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Last Call: Gold Coast Art Fair - Chicago

June 16 & 17

Limited Space Available!

The "Granddaddy of American Art Festivals," returns to Grant Park, Chicago's premier festival destination! Now celebrating its 61st year, the Gold Coast Art Fair is the 3rdoldest and by far one of the most well attended art festivals in Chicago. Located within walking distance of the Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park, The Bean, and Buckingham Fountain, the Gold Coast Art Fair draws hundreds of thousands of art enthusiasts from Chicago and the surrounding suburbs annually. A heavy advertising program also brings in tourists who buy art as a memory of their special time in Chicago.  Chicago has just been rated one of the top 5 tourist destinations in the United States by Travel magazine.

Cash awards for top award winners.

The Gold Coast Art Fair features about 300 artists in a lovely setting with both lake views and vistas backed by the Chicago skyline. Paved walks lead to every booth and every artist is on the main loop or at a festival entry. Food, Beverage and Music oasis in each corner of the festival provide good rest stops for artists and visitors. A special Artist VIP tent provides backup support during the festival.  Discounted parking is made available to artists.

Load in is dolly in and out, but most distances are short as we load this show in from three sides the day before the festival. Helpful staff is on site from load in through load out. Great music and food add to the weekend.

Artists will have the opportunity to interact with the public through art demos and booth chats.

Key Facts
  • Valet service/cartage in and out available (fee)
  • Urban setting
  • Dolly-in show
  • Rental of weights, tents, and panels available (fee)
  • Power available
  • Reserved close paid parking (fee)

PO Box 550
Highland Park, IL 60035
P: 847 926 4300

Views: 248

Comment by geri a. wegner on June 19, 2018 at 4:27pm

Connie, were you as surprised as I was to  see this as  when you were asked to  post this?   To think it used to be one of the best shows  in the country and now it is begging for artists only a few weeks before the show.  So sad.

Comment by Connie Mettler on June 19, 2018 at 4:30pm

Great to hear from you, Geri. What do you think happened? Was it never as good after it left its old location, some parking lots in an area I don't even know about? Did it thrive at its next location in the River North area? You have the personal history on this event. What do you think, Geri?

Comment by geri a. wegner on June 19, 2018 at 4:57pm

I only went to the original Gold Coast once.  It was still on the streets and the neighborhood had a great vibe.  I don't know if you want me to tell you what I think happened online other than promotion has a lot to do with it.                                                                                                   I am still trying to absorb the latest review on Old Town.  Joseph didn't seem too happy with it.  

Comment by Connie Mettler on June 19, 2018 at 5:03pm

I think losing the original location was the first thing. The show was in its heyday and people loved the fun of it all. Artists had to go and stand around for a couple of days to see if they could get a spot, and were willing to do that. We never were. Not sure how it changed ownership, but I think the original folks were tired of running it so it got handed over to a new owner. Things like that do happen. Sometimes new is good, sometimes not. 

I think you're right about Joseph. He made some valid points, but why shouldn't us old crabby seniors still get to be at the shows? and don't get me started on photography and giclees ... 

Comment by geri a. wegner on June 19, 2018 at 5:47pm

I agree about the location.  Old Town has the same atmosphere that GC did.  That did hurt it a lot.  I don't know when the latest promoter took over or if there was someone in the middle but once it happened, it became "just another art show by the promoter" with a lot of the same artists that can be seen at the Michigan Avenue show or in the suburbs.  The change of location was inevitable because it was the city that decided, if I remember correctly.  

As for Old Town--it is one thing to have a wonderful technique in your medium but is Chicago really a market for cow pictures?  I looked at Joseph's website and while there aren't a lot of pictures of his work, based on what he said and what I saw, cows are his focus.  Chicago did have the painted life-sized cows years ago but more than the cows, it was what was painted on them.  I don't think most people think of cows when thinking of Chicago any more.  It isn't like apples in New York, Flamingos in Miami  or peaches in Atlanta.  

I agree, getting into a discussion about photography, originals, prints, and what they are printed on is something that will never be resolved in our lifetimes!!

(I just donated about a 3rd of my glass, ceramics and jewelry to a charity and the local art center for their auctions.  I had run out of room to collect but not the desire and I wanted to upgrade my collection.  Now I can enjoy art festivals again, if the weather would ever cooperate)


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