5 of the Most Important Art Events You Should Put in Your Social Agenda Every Year

5 of the Most Important Art Events You Should Put in Your Social Agenda Every Year

Best Places to Find Contemporary Art in Spain

Your trip to Spain must not be resumed to seeing all the beautiful exhibits in the museums and art galleries. You could even interact with artists and curators or purchase some of the works, or you can see what is new on the contemporary art scene before any of the pieces ever reach an art gallery. How can you do all this? By attending some of the biggest art events in Spain, of course. And they are not limited to Madrid only! If you are traveling for business but you still want to squeeze in some art interests, you can do so in Barcelona and Seville as well.

5 of the most important art events in Spain

ARCO Madrid

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People at the ARCO fair

ARCO Madrid is Europe’s largest contemporary art exhibition, with over 200 galleries from 32 countries attending the event. It registered millions of visitors and transactions. The event was first held in 1982 by Juana de Aizpuru and it included multidisciplinary entries such as painting, sculpture, photography, design and many more. The artists are in attendance and there are live shows with discussions on the industry evolution and needs.

The ARCO event places collectors’ best interests at the centre and presents some of the best contemporary works of art. And just to show that it is never out of reach from classical art either, know that it is located near the Madrid Golden Art Triangle, near the Prado, Thyssen and Reina Sofia Museums.


JustMAD is a contemporary art fair dedicated to the promotion of emerging artists. It is hosted by the COAM-La Sede (Architects College in Madrid), an iconic building in the center of the city. An important program of the event is the Just Residence, a 4 week art residency program that gives the opportunity of spending time in the company of international contemporary artists.

The atmosphere at JustMAD is always a very friendly one, where networking is made easy for curators and collectors. Over 60 galleries are partners in the event and exhibitions of painting, sculpture, performance, video art, cross art and installation are the main attractions. Also, emerging artists are not the only ones encouraged by the event. So are young galleries.

Swab Barcelona


People queuing at the 2014 edition of Swab Barcelona

The first edition of the event was in 2006. The following edition was already attended by 42 galleries from over 13 countries and it was visited by 6000 people. In 2016, 75 galleries were involved in the project. Throughout the years, the event grew to include activities held throughout the city, with the cooperation of public institutions and artistic organizations. It was all done with the purpose of bringing art closer to the people. In 2012, for example, 20 urban artists painted 200 linear meters of city walls.

During the fair, gallery revenues increase considerably (even 75%) and artists and art students are given a chance to show their talent in innovative competitions. The event even opens the doors of private collections to art lovers in search of unique pieces.

 Barcelona International Art Fair

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 Logo of the International Barcelona Art Fair

The Barcelona International Art Fair is usually held at the Maritime Museum and it showcases paintings, sculptures, photographs and installations from over 100 contemporary exhibitors from 30 countries. Artists, collectors and curators from all over the world come together in an amazing event. Art enthusiasts always find something interesting to see and even purchase, if the budget allows it. If your trip to Barcelona happens to coincide with this event, we strongly recommend you go there and put your finger on the pulse of contemporary European and international art.

 SACO Sevilla

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Exhibit during the SACO Sevilla event

SACO is a November contemporary art festival held in the Andalusian capital, Seville. This is a grand international cultural event dedicated to emerging and established artists. Its main aim is that of creating a quality market for contemporary art and to better promote the needs of the industry not only in Seville but in the entire region as well. The event lasts for four days and it is open for artists, art students, art promoters, art critics and art lovers overall.

The festival builds on the cultural importance of Seville, on the number of its inhabitants and on the great tourists coming over every year. It all creates the necessary public for promoting art in a beautiful and historical background, giving participants a proper context of the evolution of art in the region.

It all goes to show that Spain is not lacking in cultural events of any kind. If anything, there are more fairs dedicated to bringing together artists, collectors and curators than a person visiting Spain has time to attend. It only proves the commitment of Spanish art lovers, gallery owners and event organizers for the constant improvement of the industry.