The 29th annual edition of SURTEX, North America’s premier exposition and conference for the selling and licensing of original art and design, ran May 17-19 at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. A dynamic mix of artists, illustrators and licensing agents showcased art and design at the successful 2015 edition.
“SURTEX offers art and design for every taste – traditional to contemporary, abstract to figurative and more – and this year’s event attracted attendees from increasingly diverse categories,” said Liz Crawford, vice president and group show director, SURTEX. “The common denominator, amid such a wide variety of styles and themes, is the exceptional business opportunities provided to SURTEX participants.”
The opportunity to meet, network and establish relationships with retailers and manufacturers, as well as a myriad of others attending SURTEX, are often the start of long-term, partnerships that take an exhibitor’s licensed work of art through to a finished product. A connection with Harrods of London three years ago at SURTEX took Working Girls Design’s art first into Harrods, then onto their e-commerce site and now into the airport in London.
“SURTEX lets us take our brand to new places,” said Tonja Steel, owner/author, Working Girls Design, Inc. “This year, we have made varied contacts from T-shirt transfers to high-end handbags or $1,000 canvases. Buyers are very focused and they are here specifically to find artwork that fits their needs.”
Beyond exhibits, business best practices in a wide variety of categories such as licensing, monetizing art and trend-spotting were explored through SURTEX’s conference program, presented in three separate tracks: CORE, ADVANCED and TREND AND BEYOND. In addition, SURTEX’s Trend Theatre delivered insights into the latest design, style and buying trends in a variety of product categories. Hosted by industry experts, color forecasts, children’s fashion trends and millennial buying patterns were among the many topics analyzed as part of the nine-part series.
Beyond these educational sessions, SURTEX also hosted designext, an annual international design competition honoring art and design students for exceptional surface design work. Lucy Harris, a senior working toward a BA in Fashion and Textile Design at the Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, UK, was recognized as the 2015 Grand Prize winner.
The 2016 edition is slated for May 15-17 at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.
For information and registration, visit surtex.com