With summer comes the associated duty and pleasure of admiring the work of new graduates, who are currently emerging, butterfly-like, from three years cocooned in their ivory towers. This year for the first time, besides its usual graduate shows, the University of the Arts London’s conglomerate of prestigious art and design colleges is also pushing the work of 100 of its older and better-known alumni.
Curated by a panel including the London Design Festival’s Ben Evans, art and design market Artsmart is to feature work by such notables as Tatty Devine, the cult jewellery company set up in 1999 by Chelsea College of Art & Design graduates Harriet Vine and Rosie Wolfenden.
Also arguably not in need of promotion by their former alma maters are artist Gavin Turk and D&AD award-winning illustrator Sroop Sunar, who will also be represented at Artsmart, presumably to help pull in the punters for the benefit of the lesser-known talent.
Besides the selling fair, Artsmart will feature a programme of workshops and advice sessions to help students and graduates negotiate the competitive business world that they are on the cusp of entering.
Exhibitions and fairs like Free Range, New Designers and now Artsmart have sprung up over the past decade or so to help designers to stimulate interest in their work and generate a customer base.
As Evans says, ’we need to help our graduates make the transition from being students to being creative entrepreneurs’.