Visual arts fest, design book fair get Kickstart boost

Visual arts fest, design book fair get Kickstart boost
Art Of Subtle War by Tanya Coloma and Erwin Mendiola from the Philippines will be on show at Spot Art.

SINGAPORE - Two new events, a visual arts festival and an art and design book fair, are muscling their way into an increasingly crowded arts calendar here, with an injection of funds from the Singapore Tourism Board.

Both projects, touted as the first of their kind here, are the earliest recipients of the agency's $5-million Kickstart Fund. The grant scheme was launched in June to support new lifestyle events and concepts with tourism potential. Successful applicants may be awarded funding of up to $75,000.

Spot Art, a festival dedicated to budding visual artists aged under 30 from the region, will be the first to debut next month.

To be held at ARTrium@MICA in Hill Street from Oct 26 to Nov 4, it will have more than 200 works by more than 70 artists from 10 countries in the region on display and for sale. The pieces include paintings, sculpture and installation works, and are priced between $500 and $5,000.

The event, estimated to cost more than $400,000 and is mostly privately funded, is organised by Americans Jerry Gunn and Mary Pan. The husband- and-wife team run an art consultancy and have been based in Singapore for three years.

Mr Gunn, 41, says the inaugural annual festival, which coincides with the Singapore Biennale this year, is unique because "Singapore has no other international juried art festival focusing on emerging artists in the region".

The works on show were drawn from an online open call in May. More than 1,500 submissions were received, including works from artists who are still students or recent graduates, with little exposure to the art world. A seven-member jury, including Singapore artist Milenko Prvacki and curator Iola Lenzi, deliberated over the submissions and made the final cut.

There are plans for the festival to also include guided tours of the show, as well as educational talks and panel discussions by members of its jury.

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