In Depth

Something for everyone at the Edinburgh Art Fair

Scotland's premier art event returns with a diverse mix of contemporary and cutting-edge works for collectors of all kinds

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Contemporary art can and should be enjoyed by everyone. But all too often, galleries and international fairs can feel intimidating or unwelcoming for the casual collector.

Enter the Edinburgh Art Fair, an annual exhibition that prides itself on creating a friendly, laidback environment that welcomes first-time buyers and experts alike.

Now in its 12th year, the fair will see more than 500 local and international artists from 65 galleries congregate over three days. Thousands of original works will be available and prices range from as little as £50 right up to five-figure sums.

Local galleries to look out for include Art Amatoria, which showcases works from some of the UK's most exciting new artists, and VAB Lab, which fuses pop art with cultural memorabilia and iconography. Elsewhere, Canterbury-based Lilford Gallery brings the big guns, with pieces from Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst, while London is well represented by a number of exhibitors, including the South Bank's long-established Skylark Galleries.

Meanwhile, an international element is brought to the event by the likes of UK-based Vietnamese art specialists Hanoi Art House and Spain's Gaudi Gallery, who will be exhibiting for the third consecutive year.

There is also a diverse programme of workshops, artist talks, demonstrations and guided tours on the bill. Visitors are encouraged to make a day of it, something made easier by an on-site bar and restaurant, plus a complimentary creche service and activities for children.

The organisers understand the importance of purchasing handmade art, particularly in a culture of disposable images and objects, and are keen to ensure that everyone has access to it.

"People can be a little intimidated about visiting galleries, but the fair is the ideal place to take this first step," says director Andy McDougall. "There is no pretentiousness at our fair, just great art and appreciative gallery owners eager to meet a new audience, gain new clients and point you in the right direction to help find that special piece."

The Edinburgh Art Fair runs from 18 to 20 November at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange, New Market Road, Edinburgh EH14; admission is £5 for a weekend pass; artedinburgh.com

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