Who is Art Friend?

Art Friend throws art jargon out the window and invites everyone to the gallery. We are a non-conventional, inclusive space run by female gallerist Shona Bland. Art Friend makes art accessible, inviting and fun by showcasing and celebrating art from artists of all backgrounds and identities. This is a safe space where everyone can enjoy art – no stuffy vibes and no admission fees. 

We sell a range of artworks by handpicked friendly artists including established names like Dave Buonaguidi (Real Hackney Dave), Marcus Aitken and Kay Gasei to emerging talent such as Sara Hoque, Adam Bartlett and Claud. Mediums range from original artworks, print editions to oil paintings and sculptures. This East London Art Gallery 'ART FRIEND' is here to shake up the art world and show that art is for everyone. Previous exhibitions include 'LeAF' Boxpark Shoreditch, 'REJECTS' Bermondsey,'Housewarming' Stoke Newington, and The Affordable Art Fair Battersea.

A picture of Shona Bland the founder of Art Friend, high-fiving an artist at his art fair stand full of blue cyanotypes.

A story from the founder Shona Bland:

“I was helping an artist with an exhibition a few years back (Semi Skimmed Gallery) and a friend had invited a friend. He didn’t know this type of thing (Low key art exhibitions and openings) existed. This blew my mind, I just took it all for granted. He was alien to this world as he didn’t have an ‘Art Friend’ to invite him to Private Views and exhibitions etc, and that is where ART FRIEND was born!"

"I want to be that art friend to people who don’t have one and show people that art is for everyone! Having had a few years out of the art world I spent many years trying to get back in and was constantly being rejected so I decided to do it myself. You don’t need an art history degree, you just need a bit of passion, a positive attitude, a goal and of course some friends.”

Lets be #artfriends