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Melbourne Art Fair returns with a renewed focus, venue and CEO for August 2018
Maree Di Pasquale, CEO & Director, Melbourne Art Foundation.

MELBOURNE.- Melbourne Art Fair returns as the region’s most significant platform for Australasian contemporary art. The Fair takes place as the anchor event of Melbourne Art Week, 2-5 August 2018, housed in a temporary structure within the Southbank Arts Precinct and alongside the iconic Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA).

Showcasing 40-50 galleries from Australia, New Zealand and the region, Melbourne Art Fair returns with a curated selection of some of the newest and most respected names in contemporary art. Owned and managed by Melbourne Art Foundation, the Fair is set to welcome 20,000 visitors over 4 days as the anchor event of Melbourne Art Week; a city-wide program embracing cultural organisations, public institutions, independent art spaces and commercial galleries in the creation of public events, exhibitions, talks and performances.

Beginning in 1988, the biennial event provides a platform for artists, collectors, curators, arts professionals and enthusiasts to connect and engage with contemporary art, providing commercial and curatorial opportunities for galleries and their artists.

The revitalised fair is driven by the newly appointed Melbourne Art Foundation Director and CEO Maree Di Pasquale, who brings international art fair expertise having worked in key global markets across Asia and the Middle East. Di Pasquale takes the helm after holding senior positions with key regional fairs, namely Assistant Director of Sydney Contemporary and founding Director of Art Central in Hong Kong.

Di Pasquale says, “With a highly selective offering, Melbourne Art Fair is set to become the premier showcase for leading Australasian contemporary, and will once again be instrumental in driving critical and commercial attention for galleries and their artists. It will play an important and iconic role in reaffirming Victoria’s profile as a commercial hub and centre for cultural accomplishment.”

“We are committed to servicing the needs of our key stakeholders, artists, galleries, collectors and the public, to provide commercial opportunities for the industry and to lead the way in building national and international audiences for the Australian art market.”

Di Pasquale is supported by a new Melbourne Art Foundation board with a diverse skill set across government, commerce and the creative industries. Chaired by Charles Justin, a founder of architecture giant SJB and past President of the Jewish Museum for 5 years, the Melbourne Art Foundation is focused on its mission to support and promote contemporary Australian artists through commercial incentives.

Justin says, “Melbourne Art Fair is more than just an art fair. It extends beyond the commercial showcasing of work to the cultivation of discussion and creative relationships necessary to support and grow contemporary art commercially, culturally and socially.”

“Southbank Arts Precinct is the ideal location for the revitalised Melbourne Art Fair as it embodies the creative diversity of its host city. The precinct is a true demonstration of excellence in the visual and performing arts; home of an Australian flagship contemporary art space, ACCA, the Malthouse Theatre and Chunky Move, and a neighbour to the University of Melbourne Faculty of VCA and MCM, and the future Buxton Contemporary.”

ACCA’s distinctive rusty steel façade and world leading artistic program offers an inspiring setting for Melbourne Art Week’s anchor event. Melbourne Art Fair is a short walk from renowned precinct arts organisations and venues including the city’s premier concert venue Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne, the National Gallery of Victoria, the Melbourne Recital Centre and MTC Southbank Theatre.

Sydney-based Roslyn Oxley, Owner of Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery (Sydney) says, “We have been long-term participants in the Melbourne Art Fair. We intend to maintain our involvement. We are particularly enthusiastic about the prospects of the new venue in Southbank.”

Melbourne Art Fair responds to the city’s growing appetite for contemporary art, as well as an industry’s demands for the return of a scalable commercial exhibition platform in Victoria. Di Pasquale explains, “Melbourne Art Fair was the first commercial fair of the Asia Pacific to establish an international network for collectors to connect and engage with the Australian art market. We have a strong and active collector base that galleries from Australia and the region want to access. Melbourne Art Fair provides that access.”

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