Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

Chicago, IL - June 14 & 15 - 65th Annual Old Town Art Fair - 250 Artists

This top-rated art fair is in the heart of arguably the best urban neighborhood in the country, built after the Chicago Fire, cheek by jowl beautifully restored homes and gardens, city living at its best. The show benefits the OTAF boys and girls club and is run by 750 volunteers. 60% of the exhibitors were reinvited from the previous year, making it tough to jury in.

One of my favorite booths, paintings by Jerry Brem. Nice work, very nice look (did you see that rug that repeats the colors in the paintings?)

Did you say serious buyers? I met this man in Carol Boucher's booth early on Saturday morning. He and his wife had a complete schema including measurements for the work they intended to purchase.

Beautiful glass by perennial award winner Tony Cray.

I took this photo of mixed media artist Lisa Norris' booth because I loved her panel covers (and then I saw the cool work), linen draped over the Armstrong panels and tied on with simple cotton ties. It really complemented her work which harkens back to dressmaking days with the pattern collages.

Who is one of the most famous collectors at the art fairs? Here he is, Don Kinder, with his crony woodworker Matthew Hatala

Sarah Kaufman, how tall IS that booth? The logistics of setting this up overwhelmed me.

Ted Gall (in the background) with the intriguing bronze sculptures has been at this show for nearly 40 years. His collectors showed up to lighten his load for the trip home.

Photographer Steven Daniel with his traveling companion, Jasper

I know Kristina Robinson isn't going to like this photo of her, but photographer Mikel Robinson carried off the Best of Photography prize. I believe it was his first time at this show.

Meet Sabrina Zhou, an AFI member, participating in her very first art fair. How does an artist end up at Old Town as a first fair? She said she reads everything on this site and used all the info you have shared. She also had a sterling assistant. 

It was great to see old friends and members of AFI: Steve Olszewski, David Curles, Carol Boucher, Beth Crowder, Anne London, Amos Amit, Andrew Shea, Doug and Renee Sigwarth, Mark Sudduth, Christine Bartling, Jack and Joe Forney, Frances Kite, Harry Roa, Jerry Scavezze, Linds Steinworth, Frank Strunk, Chris Bruno, Kina Crow, Chris Dahlquuist, Cherie Haney, Marjolyn van der Hart, Amy Flynn and Phil Crone, Dawn Adams, Kathy and Jim Eaton, Charlie Gatewood, Signe Grushovenko, Sarah Kaufman, Michael Bryant, Chris Coffey, Steven Daniel, Ray Hartl, Clif Henri, Cali Hobgood, Jerry Maschinot, Allan Teger, Daryl Thetford, Chia Haruta, Marina Terauds, Phil Thompson, Ted Gall, Jennifer Ivory, Matt Hatala and Jay McDougall.

Jennifer Ivory did a show review with more details that you can see here:

Views: 1080


You need to be a member of Art Fair Insiders to add comments!

Join Art Fair Insiders

Comment by Sabrina Zhou on July 1, 2014 at 8:51am
Thank you Connie. So nice meeting you. I was meeting a super star!
Comment by Connie Mettler on June 25, 2014 at 2:58pm

Carol Boucher has reported back to me that the man with the schema of his walls did return with his wife and purchased the two large drawings that he measured in her booth. Carol delivered them as they lived in the neighborhood and reports that they had brought work from at least two other artists. "I hope to be re-invited, and I would apply again.  Artists all around me seemed to do well, I saw many paintings selling.  "

Comment by Christina L. Towell on June 24, 2014 at 9:16am

Thanks, the photos, the art, the architecture, the critique.  Looks like a great show!

Comment by Jacki Bilsborrow on June 24, 2014 at 1:07am

These are great shots Connie.  That looked like a fun show to go to.

Comment by Annette Piper on June 23, 2014 at 5:35pm

So lovely to see it all!

Comment by Connie Mettler on June 23, 2014 at 7:54am

Yes, he is making his frames, Barrie. I've seen his work evolve over several years from more traditional work to finding the unexpected in his booth every time I see him. Kristina told me they had a great show at Jazz Fest in New Orleans, and you can see why, the mix of the media, the Old South, the metaphysical images ... 

Comment by Barrie Lynn Bryant on June 21, 2014 at 10:19pm

Well, I had to get up from the computer before I finished my message and lo and behold it posted on its own! So I just wanted to say that Mikel Robinson's work is stunning. I might prefer the mixed media goodies over the photography, but then the jewelry is really cool, too. Very fine work, indeed. I'm especially fond of that Mississippi River boat and several of the more abstracts with black bird and yard sticks. And look at that, he's making his own super cool frames. WOOHOO!

Comment by Barrie Lynn Bryant on June 21, 2014 at 10:14pm

Very nice essay, Connie. I'm so glad I popped in to see it.

Fiber artists -- use this resource to find new buyers:  Advertise with Reach over 60,000 fiber arts lovers.

Our 50 Best Art Fairs

Look Inside the our latest Art Fair Survey:
Who Won and Why

Join the MasterMinds Group for personalized coaching on your Internet Lifestyle Business! 

Video Website Reviews

60 Page Report - Best US Art Fairs

Click Here to
Learn More


  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2021   Created by Connie Mettler.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service