Chicago Art Fair Weekend

Chicago Art Fair Weekend

art fair weekend chicago

This weekend is exciting in Chicago. Summer weather is here, and it is art fair weekend. Chicago has two art fairs that run simultaneously in the heart of the city. Old Town Art Fair and Wells Street Art Fair are the best art fairs in Chicago. I will sell my photography at the Wells Street Art Fair on June 8 and 9th. This is a great opportunity to meet me, see my photography, and chat about all things Paris.

well street art fair

The Difference Between The Two Art Fairs

Both art fairs have a suggested donation fee, which benefits the neighborhood.

Old Town Art Fair is in the heart of the Old Town Triangle Historical Neighborhood. It will feature 200 one-of-a-kind artists, along with food and music. You can see some beautiful homes and gardens as you stroll through the neighborhood. The expected attendance is 30,000. It is a family-friendly neighborhood and event.

Wells Street Art Fair runs on Wells between North Ave and Division. There are 225 artists, food vendors from local restaurants, and music. This is a much more lively scene than the Old Town Art Fair. The music can get loud, and if you bring kids, I suggest they come in the morning. Average attendance is 50,000.

I have called Chicago home since graduating college and have lived in the Lincoln Park neighborhood in a few different apartments. The energy and excitement that come with art fair weekend in the city are incredible.

You can find me at Booth #333 at Wells Street Art Fair across from 1311 N. Wells J.C. Lind Bike Co. is the closest landmark.

How I Got My Start

I have been selling my photography since 2010, and I started with farmers markets each Saturday morning in the city and a drive to the suburbs. Over the years, I tried as many art fair opportunities as I could apply to, mostly in the suburbs. I learned by trial and error, which worked the best for me. When I first applied to Wells Street Art Fair, I got waitlisted and was not accepted. I continued to apply and was accepted the following year. Wells Street Art Fair is a core part of my business each year.

A lot of work goes into an art fair, if it is one per year or one every weekend. The weather is a big factor, and I have been through it all. We had the best weather weekend for an art fair I can remember back in 2020, and there was no art fair. Please keep your fingers crossed for a good weather weekend.

A Few Facts You May Not Know About Art Fairs

We have to apply and pay a jury fee to get in. Applications start in the fall and end at the end of the year. Artists get their acceptance early in the year and have to decide to participate or decline the invitation. It costs to apply to each show, and there is a booth fee. Corner booths cost extra.

Artists are in charge of their setup and booth. Each booth is brought by the artist and is set up late at night or early morning before the art fair begins. The booths can be very expensive.

I am lucky to live in Chicago and have a short commute to the Art Fair. Some artists do one every weekend and drive from as far as the East and West Coasts with their art for this weekend. While I know it is fun to negotiate the price of art at a fair, I highly recommend getting to know the artist and value their work. Most likely, the talented artists who are my friends and neighbors have undervalued their work.

What to Expect This Weekend in Chicago

It is going to be busy! I highly recommend coming early if you can. The middle of the day is the busiest, and the evening gets quiet around 6/7 p.m. That is usually when I close up my tent for the evening. We start setting up at 4 a.m. on Saturday morning, and I know I am going to be exhausted. I don’t sit down, and I am constantly chatting with blog readers and customers all day.

There will be big framed pieces and smaller unframed pieces for you to bring home and decorate. The standard sizes I will have to shop are 8×10 and 11×14. You can mix and match to create your gallery wall. Customers spending $100 or more will get an EDP tote bag to bring home.

EDP Tote bag

Henri will be at home due to the heat and crowds. He will be much happier at home, and I can’t wait to snuggle with him at the end of the day.Please stop by and introduce yourself. I can’t wait to meet you on Wells St.

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  1. I hope you had great success at the art fair, and it was such a pleasure to meet you. Thank you for the EDP tote. It’s my new favorite!

  2. I lived in Chi for a few years and have very fond memories of the Old Town and Wells St art fairs.
    One year I worked the Old Town Fair exhausting but fun. Good luck, hope you have great weather
    Really enjoy your blogs about Paris and now about Chicago. Loved living in the near north area.