Heading into its fourth edition, the India Art Fair, formally the India Art Summit, is launching Collectors’ Circle, an ongoing membership programme which aims to connect and educate collectors and art enthusiasts, with a particular focus on those new to the Indian art world.

India Art Fair to be held 25 to 29 January 2012 in New Delhi.

Educating new art collectors in India

According to Dinesh Vazirani, CEO of online Indian auction house Saffronart, the recent economic boom in India has given rise to a new wealthy class and these young professionals and entrepreneurs are interested in art both as an investment and for appreciation. These new potential collectors are broadening the existing collector base in India and becoming a new force in the art market.

Neha Kirpal, founder and director of the India Art Fair.

However, a lack of art infrastructure, such as museums, institutions and schools, in India is leading to a set of ill-informed or under-educated new collectors when it comes to art market knowledge. Neha Kirpal, founder and director of the India Art Fair, was quoted in an article in The New York Times as saying, “There are people who are coming [to the art fair] who are saying: ‘I have money in my bag. Where do I start?’”

Sandy Angus, co-owner of India Art Fair.

To nurture this group of emerging art collectors in India, the India Art Fair has founded Collectors’ Circle, an outreach and educational program offering new Indian collectors a chance to engage directly with art professionals through a range of activities and keeping them informed on developments in the local and international art scene. As Sandy Angus, co-owner of India Art Fair and founder-shareholder of Art Hong Kong, said in an IANS interview, “This country [India] has simply got to attract people to appreciate and buy art.”

Getting into Collectors’ Circle

As a platform for art collectors, Collectors’ Circle-organised events are exclusive to its members throughout the year. Collectors’ Circle is open for application to anyone above the age of 21. To be a member, one needs to submit an application form and pay a membership fee of USD200 for individuals or USD250 for couples.

VIP Pass from India Art Summit, 2011. From 2012, the annual fair will be called the India Art Fair.

Collectors’ Circle members are granted a number of privileges when they attend the India Art Fair, to be held from 25 to 29 January 2012 in New Delhi. Not only will they have access to the VIP preview and programmes at the 2012’s fair, but they will also be invited to talks and special guided tours of the Fair that are exclusive to members. These activities with artists, curators, art historians and conservators are aimed at enhancing Collectors’ Circle members’ art collecting knowledge.

Collaboration with international art organisations

Collectors’ Circle is working closely with institutions and private archives in India like Lalit Kala Akademi as well as international art organisations to advise members of trends in the art market. Neha Kirpal said in an IANS interview that at least thirty museums, reputable art houses and institutions have confirmed their patronage of Collectors’ Circle, namely in the form of educational seminars.

[Editor’s note | 7 January 2012: The names of Collectors’ Circle institutional partners has been removed from this article at the request of India Art Fair as they are yet to be confirmed. We hope to publish this information again at a later date.]

India Art Fair hopes to provide a window into the Indian art scene for the rest of the world. Neha Kirpal described how she sees the future of the Fair in an interview with Pocket Arts Guide, “[India Art Fair will grow] as a consolidated platform for the Indian art scene, and to continue to forge deeper relationships between art communities across the globe.”


Related Topics: collectors, India, art fairs, market watch, business of art

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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