Art Fest season is here


Art Fair in Chicago suburb (J Jacobs photo)
Art Fair in Chicago suburb (J Jacobs photo)

When the weather in the Chicago area turns balmy (and lately, flowing,) it’s as if Mary Poppins has her finer to the wind saying time to see what the artists have been doing all winter. The art events are a chance to see some historic neighborhoods, parks and special places in Chicago and its suburbs. So, starting this weekend, here are three art fairs to put on the calendar for June. They all feature paintings, photography, pottery plus jewelry and handmade items.


Old Town Art Fair

When: June 8, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and June 9, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.

Where: Old Town Triangle District with North Gate at Lincoln Ave and Lincoln Park West and Main Gate Lincoln and Wisconsin. (1763 N. North Park Ave.)

 What: More than 200 artists. For directions see GETTING HERE – 2024 Old Town Art Fair – Chicago . The fair is a fundraiser for Old Town and area non profits with $12 as a suggested donation.


(Photo courtesy of Amdur Productions)

Gold Coast Art Fair (but not on Chicago’s  Gold Coast)

When: Celebrating 66 years the fair is June 15-16 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

Where: In Grant Park’s Butler Field at South Lake Shore Drive and East Monroe Street.

Cost: $10 ahead, $15 day of

What: About 250 artists

Other Info. Getting there scroll down to event details for parking andCTA info


Naperville Fine Art and Artisan Fair

When: June 29-30 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

Where: Naper Settlement, 523 Webster St., Naperville

What: 120 artists


April events to know and go

EXPO Chicago (2023) at Navy Pier (Photo by Justin Barbin)

After experiencing the extraordinary solar eclipse, other good, yet less unusual April events are likely to be missed. But two art experiences are on this month’s agenda for people who appreciate and enjoy really special artistic events.

EXPO Chicago

Expo Chicago, both an exhibit of the best art examples filling the top contemporary and modern galleries in 29 countries, and art programs, are going on now, April 11 through April 14, 2024 at Navy Pier and several Chicago area locations.

Begun in 2012, Expo Chicago, brings 170 international galleries to Chicago. This year, they come from Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Denmark, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.

For more information see ArtWeek.

Among the local participating museums and institutions are the Art Institute of Chicago, Peninsula Chicago, Art on the Mart, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Driehaus Museum and the Block Museum of Art on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus in addion tgo the Barely Fair at the Color Club at 4146 N. Elston.  A loop shuttle will run between some of those venues. See ESPO Chicago. Visit Alignments.


One of a Kind Show (J Jacobs photo)
One of a Kind Show (J Jacobs photo)

 One of a Kind 

Also in April is the One of A Kind Spring Show April 26-28, 2024. Held at The Mart, 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza at the Chicago River between Wells and Franklin Street, it features, 350 artists, makers and designers in such areas as glass, furniture, sculpture, paintings and gourmet food. For more information visit Attend/One of a kind.

Jodie Jacobs

Holiday gift sources



Art Institue of Chicago has a great gift shop (J Jacobs photo)
Art Institue of Chicago has a great gift shop (J Jacobs photo)


We’re past Black Friday and Cyber Monda but there are still gifts to get so here are some ideas for in person and on line shopping.

In Person

The “One of a Kind Holiday Show is at The Mart this weekend from Thursday through Sunday. The show, which returns in late spring, brings back the fun of shopping without the stress.

There are more than 500 artists (think major art fair plus) that includes clever, hand-crafted, cooking utensils and gorgeous glass items. But it also has food booths of candy, spices and other delectables. Hours: Dec. 7-9, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 10 – 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

For tickets and more information call 800-677Mart or see Attend | One of a Kind Show (

The Mart is at the Chicago River between Orleans and Wells Streets. The show is on the 7th Floor.


On Line – Museum shops

If downtown Chicago, make the trip a museum destination as a two-for so you enjoy an exhibition and pick up gifts. Many of the Cit y’s top museums have on-line gift stores so you can shop at your best time.

Art Institute of Chicago

Among the best museum stores, at AIC you can find items at many price points from a Pablo Picasso scarf for $190 to cute Georges Seurat “Sunday on La Grand Jatte” socks for $16. For more ideas visit  Museum Shop.

 Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago 

Jewlery, puzzles, home décor are at all price points ranging from a Frida Kahlo puzzle for $19.99 to a Midnight Crescent Petite necklace for $180.00. For these items and more ideas visit MCA Shop.

 Happy Shopping

Jodie Jacobs

Port Clinton and Deer Path art fairs to browse and shop


Port Clinton art fair exhibitor. (Jodie Jacobs photo)
Port Clinton art fair exhibitor. (Jodie Jacobs photo)

End summer with two excellent art shows that are worth a drive to the northern suburbs the next two weekends.

Mark Aug. 26-27 on the calendar for the 2023 Port Clinton Art Festival – Amdur Productions.  Annually attracting collectors and art show lovers for 40 years and ranked among the best shows in the country, it runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., downtown Highland Park, IL

What to expect: 240 artists showcasing paintings, sculpture, glass, fabric, metal, wood art, jewelry, ceramics and photography. In addition, there are art demo stations, a Kid Zone that includes spin art, drawing and sand sculpture. Of course, there are food booths and live music.

 Labor Day Weekend is the smaller, about 120 exhibitors but really good, juried Deer Path Art League’s 68th Art Fair on the Square. Located in the historic downtown of Lake Forest, it runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept 3-4.  For more information visit About the Show | Deer Path Art League.

Jodie Jacobs

Lolla alternatives


'Marvelocity" has original artwork by Alex Ross and superhero figures and busts. (J Jacobs photo)

Nothing wrong with “Lolla” but if you’d rather detour this weekend away from Lollapalooza’s half-million people filled Grant Park, there are a few alternatives. They range from family friendly to something for youngsters, oldsters and “Grateful Dead” fans.

Anyone who appreciates Marvel’s art and characters should head to “Marvelocity, the Art of Alex Ross.” It fills the walls at the Elmhurst Art Musem after drawing fans further north at the Dunn Museum in Northwest suburban Libertyville. The museum is at 150 Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst. *(see related Marvelocity note)

Visit or call 630-834-0202 for ticket info.

Those folks who appreciate West Town’s restaurants and craft beer scene plus understand its “Dancing in the Streets name and dates of Aug. 4-6, will appreciate the an annual West Town Chamber festival. People in the know understand Aug. 4-6. Think the “Days Between” that celebrate Jerry Garcia. His b-day was Aug. 1 and he died Aug. 9.

For food, beer, art and more festival info visit Dancing in the Streets | West Town Chamber

Those music lovers who like to relax on a blanket in a tree and sculpture-filled park while listening to Mozart, Rachmaninoff or Beethoven, should head to Ravina Festival in north suburban Highland Park this weekend. Hear Mozart’s The Magic Flute with Marin Alsop and the CSO. Also featured this weekend are the music of Beethoven and Rachmaninoff with Marin Alsop, Yunchan Lim, and the CSO.  Ravinia is at the southeast end of Highland Park and accessible by train.

For ticket, schedule and other info visit Ravinia Festival – Official Site | Online Schedule / Calendar

Jodie Jacobs

(Marvelocity note: for Dunn Museum article visit A ‘Marvelocity’ of Alex Ross and superheroes – Chicago Theater and Arts)


Around Town with Art


Art on theMART debuts of new season. (Photo courtesy of Art on theMART)
Art on theMART debuts of new season. (Photo courtesy of Art on theMART)

It’s not about a guy named Art but a broad cultural happening.  COVID restrictions from 2020-2022 must be over because April 2023 has all of a sudden become Art Month in Chicago.

First, EXPO Chicago, once a big fall event centered at Navy Pier and that later moved to late Spring, is going on right now across the city’s art venues as Expo Art Week,  April 10 through April 16. BTW, EXPO is a shortened version of International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art. 

Secondly, Art on the Mart is premiering its new season/year Friday, April 14, after sunset. 

And third but not last, the Art Institute of Chicago is showing “Salvador Dali: The Image Disappears,” a major AIC exhibition now through June 12.



Working with Choose Chicago, the city’s tourism site and Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events known as DCASE, EXPO Chicago’s Art Week has what it Featured Alignments with museums, galleries and hotels. See the list plus Screenings and South Side Openings + Events at After Hours events at Featured Alignments

Art on the Mart

Actually written as Art on theMart, the display is considered the largest permanent digital art projection anywhere. It is a projection of contemporary and classical art on the 2.5 acre façade of theMART facing the Chicago River. Beginning April 14, 2023 it will feature “Funtime Unicorn: Ruby Rides through four Seasons. Beginning in May and going through the fall is Nick Cave, Ba Ba Boom.

AIC presents Salvador Dali: the Image Disappears

The Dali exhibition is the museums’ first, in depth presentation of the Spanish artist’s surrealism works and primarily features his 1930’s period. For hours and tickets information visit AIC.

Jodie Jacobs


Around Town eyes One of a Kind and Swedish Andersonville


One of a Kind Show at the Mart (J Jacobs photo)
One of a Kind Show at the Mart (J Jacobs photo)

With so many fun, tasty and sparkling events now happening post COVID shutdowns it’s easy to miss a couple that should be on the calendar, this year.

One of a Kind

It’s an art show, a gourmet gift show and a stuffing-stocker show.

Wear comfortable walking shoes here because One of a Kind’s holiday show takes up an entire floor of The Mart. It’s that gigantic building on Wacker Drive and the Chicago River (222 Merchandise Mart Plaza).

Held Dec. 1-4, there are more than 500 booths to peruse ranging from photography, glass, wearable art jewelry, paintings and woodwork to tasty spices, chocolates, candies and sauces.

For tickets and more information visit One of a Kind



Home to the Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark St., Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood is holds a Julmarknad holiday market, a St. Lucia Festival of Lights and a Julmiddag, the traditional Swedish Christmas smörgåsbord.

 The Julmarknad , a holiday bazaar of Scandinavian and other crafts plus Santa and entertainment is Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Dec. 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m..  

 The St. Lucia Festival of Lights is Dec. 13 with its crowning down in the Nordic House at the Wrigley Building (400 N. Michigan Ave.) at noon and the candle-lit procession in Andersonville on Clark Street beginning at 4:45 p.m. Visit St. Lucia Festival of Lights.

 Then the Julmiddag smörgåsbord is at the Museum Dec. 18, 2022 at 5 p.m. It includes a St. Lucia procession, a visit from Tomten (Santa) and dancing around the Christmas tree. Make reservations at julmiddag. by Dec. 13.

 For additional information on the Museum’s Christmas events, visit For details on other holiday events in Andersonville, visit the Chamber/Andersonville.


The Art Center features three dimensional artists


Norman Teague at The Art Center of Highland Park opening reception (J Jacobs photo)
Norman Teague at The Art Center of Highland Park opening reception (J Jacobs photo)

Visitors to The Art Center of Highland Park are treated to three different aspects of three-dimensional art in “Objects Oriented,” TAC’s latest exhibition.

Opened Nov. 18 and up through Dec. 30, 2022, the show features the designs and furniture of Norman Teague, the collages, designer kites, metal and ceramic sculptures of Michael Thompson and the unusual vessels of Zachary Weber.

TAC’s exhibition is a chance to see the works of the three artists at the same time. They’re all graduates of the Art Institute of Chicago and have reviews and gallery shows.

Teague is also an educator and an enabler of emerging artists. He was the lead craftsman and co-founder of the Design Apprenticeship Program at the University of Chicago’s Arts Incubator and is an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois Chicago’s School of Industrial Design.

Walk into the Center Gallery to view Teague’s “Objects for Change” exhibit.

Thompson likes to see the possibilities in objects other folk may discard or use differently. He cobbles them together as ceramics and interwoven designs.

Take a left turn into the Cindi Elkins Gallery to see his “Re-Oriented” exhibit.

Vessels and ceramics in TAC IObjects exhibit( J Jacobs photo)
Vessels and ceramics in TAC IObjects exhibit
( J Jacobs photo)

Zachary Weber is facinated by vessels and how they may be used. He says you may call them pottery). See his works “UnContained” in the Meryl Levenstein Gallery.

The Art Center of Highland Park is at 1957 Sheridan Rd., Highland Park, IL


Jodie Jacobs


Botanic Garden and Shedd plus Brookfield Zoo news


Art of Fiber at Chicago Botanic Garden. (J Jacobs photo)
Art of Fiber at Chicago Botanic Garden. (J Jacobs photo)

Not all colors are outdoors at the Chicago Botanic Garden. While CBG is getting ready outdoors for its soon to be sold out holiday Lightscape, the Fine Art of Fiber has taken over the inside of the Regenstein Center. 

Chicago Theater and Arts stopped for a sneak preview while it was setting up. Its impressive.

Extraordinary quilts, wall hangings and wearable fiber art such as shawls and jewelry, can be seen and items bought at the Art of Fiber show but it only goes Nov. 4-6, 2022. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more info visit Chicago Botanic Garden


Sea otters Suri (l) and Willow (r) have names now instead of numbers at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. (Photo courtesy of Shedd)
Sea otters Suri (l) and Willow (r) have names now instead of numbers at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. (Photo courtesy of Shedd)

Shedd Aquarium

Penguins aren’t the only cute, playful animals capturing attention at the Shedd.

Its two new otters now have names. The Shedd’s Animal Care Team has named Otter 926 as Suri for California’s Big Sur coast line between Carmel and San Simeon.

The other otter, known as 929 won the public vote name of Willow. For other otter news visit Shedd Aquarium and Sea Otter | Shedd Aquarium


Spree, a 20-year-old bottlenose dolphin, during a feeding session with Andy Ferris, a senior animal care specialist from Brookfield Zoo.(P:hoto courtesy of Brookfield Zoo)
Spree, a 20-year-old bottlenose dolphin, during a feeding session with Andy Ferris, a senior animal care specialist from Brookfield Zoo.(P:hoto courtesy of Brookfield Zoo)

Brookfield Zoo

Go to Brookfield Zoo operated by the Chicago Zoological Society in suburban Brookfield, IL for lots of animal sightings, but not for its seven bottlenose dolphins.

Beginning early November, the dolphins (along with their support staff) have taken up residence at the Minnesota Zoo for about seven months while Brookfield’s Seven Seas area is undergoing renovations.

Among the renovations is installation of a lift platform to allow quick adjustment to water depth, a new roof and a climate-controlled purifying system.

For more Brookfield Zoo info visit Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield.

Jodie Jacobs

Around Town early to mid-October



American Craft Expo features high quality items ranging from wood and ceramics to leather and glass.J Jacobs 2014 photo)
American Craft Expo features high quality items ranging from wood and ceramics to leather and glass. (J Jacobs 2014 photo)

t is easy to miss events when September ends on a Friday and October starts on a weekend. Plus, a COVID break of events for two years changed when some events are re-appearing.

American Craft Expo

Sept. 30 through Oct. 2

Usually held earlier in the year, ACE, as the art exposition is known, will be at the Chicago Botanic Garden again but runs this weekend on the cusp of September/October. A top-notch show of works from100 juried-in artisans, ACE is sponsored by the Auxiliary of NorthShore University HealthSystem and is a fundraiser for NorthShore research and care.

Hours: Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe. For more information visit Chicago Botanic Garden and American Craft Expo. Chicago Botanic Garden, CBG/ACE and American Craft Expo.


World Music Festival Chicago (Photo courtesy of Dept. of Cultural Affairs and special Events)
The all-night Ragamala concert of Indian classical music in Preston Bradley Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center, September 2018.

 World Music Festival Chicago

Sept 30 through Oct. 9

The festival has free band concerts at the Chicago Cultural Center and locations across the city from restaurants and bars to the University of Chicago. Its artists and ensembles represent 22 countries and areas. A special feature is Ragamala, the largest all-night long presentation of live Indian classical music in the United States. For more information visit World Music Festival Chicago. For the bands and locations visit Schedule.

Lyric curtain before lecture on Fiddler. (J Jacobs photo)
Lyric curtain before lecture on Fiddler. (J Jacobs photo)

Fiddler on the Roof

Oct. 2 through Oct. 7

Opera director Berrie Kosky premiered his “Fiddler on the Roof” at Komische Oper Berlin in 2017. Now it has been adapted by the Lyric Opera of Chicago for its US premiere, but it leaves soon.

Both Grand, with the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus and powerful with fine acting and exceptional dances, “Fiddler” visits the village of Anatevka in 1905 in what became Ukraine (and in 2022 is a war zone.) Lectures on operas and shows are one hour before curtain time.

The Lyric Opera of Chicago is at 20 N. Wacker Dr. For tickets and more information visi. Lyric Opera and call (312) 332-2244.