A BELFAST artist is to exhibit over 40 artists in the city’s biggest affordable art exhibition to date.

Jenny Warnock, who teaches circus skills such as Poi and is an artist herself, felt there wasn’t enough opportunities for artists in Northern Ireland to sell their work at affordable rates.
Jenni Warnock (founder Thou Art Skint)

“I’ve been involved in the art community in dribs and drabs over the years, helping friends out with community projects and teaching poi workshops here and there” said Jenny.

Having also worked in magazine journalism, Jenny has always enjoyed painting herself as a hobby.

She added: “The exhibition is an idea that had been bouncing about in the back of my head for a while.

“I’ve been planning it for so long that I was starting to bore people by relentlessly talking about it, so this seemed like as good a time as any to make it happen.” STYX Ciaran McElhinney

For Jenny her primary reason for running the mammoth event on Sunday September 9 at Avalon Arts & Crafts Village at The Haymarket Arcade in Belfast is a “true love of art”.

She explained: “I love art but I can never afford to buy any original pieces when I look in galleries and I know a lot of people who are in the same boat.

“On top of this, I know a lot of artists who don’t get the opportunity to sell the work they produce.

“The intimidation of attaching the extravagant price tag or the huge amount of commission a lot of galleries ask for sometimes puts some artists off.

“Either that or there are some very lucky artists who can’t keep up with the vast amount of work they produce.

“I believed there was a real need for something like this to take place and the response I have received has reiterated that. There are already 340 people attending on the Facebook page and that was before I had one flyer or poster printed.

“The reaction from artists has been amazing as well; we now have over 40 artists taking part.

It’s been a great way for people to come together, some of the volunteers and artists even went down to Haymarket Arcade to help clear the shops, artists have sent their own flyers designs in and everyone is getting involved. It’s great.”

Jenny said that artists are suffering just as much as any other self-employed business person in the current economic climate but added: “In economic times of crisis people don’t completely stop buying luxuries such as art or stop going out socialising, they are just more discerning about what they buy and where they go.

“We are offering a free event where art lovers can come and view hundreds of pieces of artwork as well as potentially buy something unique and original for a good price.”

“Art has never been a stable career, a bit like acting or music but there is still a market for it and we are hoping the Thou Art Skint exhibition will help to fill the gap between mass produced department store art and high end, expensive fine art.”

THOU ART SKINT, Avalon Arts & Crafts Village, Haymarket Arcade, 84 Royal Avenue, Belfast. Sunday September 9, 12pm-9pm. Admission – Free.
Thou Art Skint is the affordable art exhibition, bringing over 40 artists together under one roof and all selling original pieces of art for £50 or under.

For more information log onto facebook.com/thouartskint or email [email protected].

For more information on Avalon Arts & Crafts Village charity log onto avalonartsbelfast.wordpress.com