State of The Art Marketplace (SOTA) is beyond excited to have hosted its first exhibition and auction at Sotheby’s on Tuesday 18th October to fundraise for Fair Shot Café, a social enterprise cafe and registered UK charity that aims to transform the lives of young adults with learning disabilities through specialty coffee. Fair Shot provides a year-long training programme in which young adults with learning disabilities can prepare for the world of work. Their goal: to improve the statistic that 93% of adults with learning disabilities are unemployed.

SOTA or State Of The Art Marketplace is an affordable online gallery created by entrepreneur, curator and artist, Emma Lang, to bring much needed change to the art industry. SOTA’s purpose is to democratise the arts by providing a fair and trustworthy platform for artists to sell their work. Emma curated a selection of artworks by neurodivergent SOTA artists and SOTA artists with disabilities to spotlight their work, help to accelerate their careers all whilst raising vital funds for the incredible charity, Fair Shot. The auction featured works from 8 different artists including:

  • Richard Shipley (1973-2022) was a Bristol based abstract painter whose work evolved from graffiti letter forms to a purely abstract aesthetic, following a loss of vision as a complication of Type 1 Diabetes. Richard awoke to a world manifesting around him in a rich darkness spliced with fractured scars of light and colour.
  • Rory Langdon-Down is a photographer from London, awarded single image winner of the British Journal of Photography's Portrait of Humanity 2022. His work has been shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize by the National Portrait Gallery (including the portraits of Ellie-Bea and Theo), as well as the Royal Photographic Society's International Photography Exhibition in 2022.
  • Alice Poyzer is a British analogue photographer. Whilst she is interested in all photographic forms, Poyzer’s work looks predominantly on portraiture.
    • Jordan Moody and Danielle Green joined Intoart in 2021 as part of Intoart’s foundation programme. Intoart’s vision is for people with learning disabilities to be visible, equal and established artists. Based in Peckham, London (UK), Intoart supports the work of artists addressing inequalities of access to, and participation in, the visual arts, education and culture by people with learning disabilities. Established in 2000 by co-founders Ella Ritchie and Sam Jones, the Intoart studio is a site of collective action and ambitious art, design and craft production. SOTA is delighted to be collaborating with them.
    • Charlie French is an intuitive abstract artist who embraces a blank canvas as an adventure in imaginative freedom. He has studied painting in London, Dallas and Santa Fe, and his works hangs in private and corporate collections around the world. Charlie’s professional purpose is to share with others the happiness he discovers daily in his painting process.
    • Anna Berry is primarily an artist who works on large installations, however, is also a celebrated photographer. The nature of her disabilities means she quite literally inhabits a parallel world to the rest of humanity; hence she likes to draw attention to how our minds impose categories upon chaos. Anna has had multiple international residencies and exhibited her installation pieces across the world including the Tate Modern. She is also the founder of Disability Arts.
    • Zoe Kittow is a Devon- based fine artist whose work has been exhibited at the Brick Lane Gallery. Her intuitive approach leads to variety in her work, but gestural mark making is ever present. A lover of colour, Zoë’s work is often inspired by her rural surroundings, as well as introspective thoughts and feelings.

    A total of £32,000 was raised thanks to the incredible generosity of these SOTA artists enabling Fair Shot to move into their new premises in Covent Garden. Here are some quotes from the evening:

    “It is thanks to these artists donating their beautiful pieces we are able to continue delivering our award-winning programme here at Fair Shot in our dream premises in Covent Garden, allowing us to continue our mission to combat the stigma surrounding adults with learning disabilities.” - Bianca Tavella, founder of Fair Shot Café.

    "Thank you in advance to those who have joined us today, to celebrate diversity. Huge thanks goes to the Sotheby's team for welcoming us into your iconic space and of course, to Bianca Tavella and her brilliant team at Fair Shot for everything. We are honoured to be your partners on this event. Lastly, thank you to our incredible artists who have very kindly donated their work to the auction." - Emma Lang, founder of SOTA