The 2010 Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) was a major success, exceeding all sales and visitor expectations and cementing its place as a major event on Australia’s cultural calendar.

More than 10,500 people from all parts of Australia and the world gathered at Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns Regional Gallery and eight venues across the city during Art Fair (20-22 August) to immerse themselves in Indigenous art, dance, music and debate.

Despite the tough economic climate, CIAF 2010 exceeded last year’s sales by more than 40%, bringing the total amount of artwork sold to more than $700,000.

We’ve heard that sales are still continuing apace from the 11 art galleries and 12 Indigenous art centres who attended the fair.

CIAF continues to build its international profile, with a number of national collectors and international curators attending the Art Fair. Artwork was sold to key national and international galleries, museums and private collections in the United States and Europe, and BBC World with host Griff Rhys Jones was also on site capturing the stories of Art Fair and Queensland’s artists.

There were many highlights from the magical opening featuring the Injinoo dancers, to Dan Sultan’s sell out concert and the final moments where children joined Traditional Owners to learn how to shake a leg the entire weekend was a joyous celebration of Queensland’s rich Indigenous cultures.

The CIAF team would like to thank all of the artists, exhibitors, visitors, partners, sponsors, staff and supporters for their generous assistance in making the event possible, and the Cairns locals who so warmly embraced the event again this year.

We particularly want to thank our departing Artistic Director Michael Snelling, whose founding vision shaped the Art Fair into something truly remarkable and inspiring.

A new Indigenous Artistic Director will be announced later in 2010.