Interview with the Artist
What did you like best about being a part of the Fair?
The sense of community, with all of the artists, visitors, the TOAF staff and volunteers. We all share this massive passion for art, so the conversations are always super engaging (I bring a notebook every year to write down conversation points!). They automatically understand my base foundation as an artist and I always feel at home in my booth talking with everyone! This show is a wonderful way to connect with new collectors and reconnect with past fair friends, but I find it to be a time for inspiration, as well. The conversations I have always lead to new ideas for series or pieces. I always look forward to July so I can see all my people and talk ART! A huge shout out to the other side of our TOAF community, our wonderful volunteers who help mind our booths (among many other tasks) - we are so appreciative. Another mention needs to go to the hard working TOAF staff: the facilitators that work year round to make this fair the huge annual success it is. Thank you so very much, you guys truly are the greatest.
From left: Anahita Azrahimi, Bruce Eves, Moira Ness, Alex Ciappara (TOAF Board Chair)
What did winning the Best of Fair Award mean to you?
I was absolutely blown away! Being the last person sitting on the stage, I honestly thought a mistake had been made. I felt a whirlwind of emotions when Anahita announced my name; pure joy, relief and a lot of gratitude. To have judge Bruce Eves say your work is the best in the Fair is quite an uplifting feeling. With so many talented and equally deserving artists in the Fair, it made it that much more special winning this award - truly the ultimate validation at TOAF for me as an artist. With the generous prize donation by Mrs. Catherine Bratty I was able to buy some art from my fellow artists at the Fair (something I wouldn’t be able to do usually) and was also able to pay off some art debt (archival framing is crazy expensive!!!).
How has winning your award affected your career?
Most importantly, it has allowed me to continue my art career. Between balancing studio time and making money outside of art, it is sometimes hard to make ends meet as an emerging artist. With the boost in confidence this award has given me, I also have started working in new mediums. I’m now really enjoying using text in my new work, something I have always worked on but had always kept very private. The professional and personal connections I made at TOAF 2018 were countless, I really think having that “award winner” banner up in your booth helped start many conversations.
“Vaughan Mills,” 2018, 30 x 20 inches by Moira Ness
Moira in the studio with new work, some of which will be on view at TOAF19.