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New Zealand Art Bound For New York And Paris

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

10 December 2008 - New Zealand art will feature at the New York Outsider Art Fair for the first time in January before travelling to Paris for an exhibition over April and May 2009.

The work of nine New Zealand artists will be profiled at the New York Outsider Art Fair, which runs from 8 to 11 January. Wellington artist, curator and academic Stuart Shepherd is leading the New Zealand presence in both New York and Paris.

Included in the line-up are five Wellington artists (Reece Tong, Colin Korovin, Ray Ritchie, Daniel Phillips, Robert Rapson) who are taking part in the Creative Business Support Service, a partnership between Arts Access Aotearoa and the Ministry of Social Development.

Shepherd will also be representing the work of Andrew Blythe (Auckland), the late Jim Dornan (Wairoa), Martin Thompson and Justin Morshuis (both Dunedin), along with five Australians.

"There are close links between Australian collectors and New Zealand self-taught artists," Shepherd says. "Including Australian work is building on those links and adding depth to our presence at the fair."

More than 12,000 people attend the annual four-day fair. Held during Outsider Art Week at the American Folk Art Museum, it includes a gala opening, trade show, lectures and tours.

The New Zealand booth will stand alongside presentations from more than 30 leading galleries of "outsider" or self-taught art - all intent on selling their work to the European, North American and Asian dealers and collectors who flock to New York to attend the fair. Executive Director of Arts Access Aotearoa Marianne Taylor says Shepherd is "a leading advocate" for self-taught artists in New Zealand.

"Stuart has been providing a voice for self-taught artists for many years. The invitation to represent New Zealand art at the fair is tremendous recognition of his dedication, and the knowledge and networks he has built up."

The New York invitation led to a second invitation - this time, to showcase contemporary New Zealand photography and work on paper at the Galerie Impaire in Paris over April and May.

Galerie Impaire is a branch of the Creative Growth Art Centre in Oakland, California, which Shepherd describes as the "most established and progressive art workshop" in North America.

"Being associated with the Creative Growth Art Centre is an honour," he says. "It's also a valuable connection for creative spaces and self-taught artists in New Zealand."

Self-taught or outsider art is well-established internationally and has a growing market, Shepherd says.

"The invitation to represent New Zealand at the New York Outsider Art Fair means that the organisers can see serious investment potential in what I have to show."

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