Browsing tents and tables of jewelry, pottery, art glass, paintings and photos is still going on in some towns with a slightly different format. It’s also happening virtually.
The Port Clinton Art Festival, the mega fair that usually takes over at least four blocks of downtown Highland Park, will be back the last weekend of August. But in the 2020 year of the pandemic, look for it at about a quarter of its size with about 50 artists lining one block of St. Johns Avenue on the east side of the train station.
Taking a protocol page from Chicago’s popular destinations, the Port Clinton fair will have timed tickets. They can be obtained through Evanbrite/PortClintonArtWalk.
Port Clinton is among several fairs operated by Amy Amdur as the more than 30-year-old company of Amdur Productions.
Shopping the old fashioned way, leisurely browsing in person without worrying that the items will be gone by 8 a.m. or that the internet will be overloaded, can be a treat at museums and annual gift shows.
Listed here are two examples of excellent gift shows and really good, large museum shops. They are likely to take a while to explore and are fun excursions while filling the gift list. Continue reading “Where to find unusual gifts”
In Chicago’s western suburbs, seasonal bites, spirits and shopping the Morton Arboretum way with botanical designer showcased “tablescapes” and browsing the store, welcome the coming holiday season. The event is Nov. 8 from 5 to 9 p.m. and includes a Patricia Locke Trunk Show and mixology demonstrations. Tickets are members $45.00, nonmembers $50.00.
The Morton Arboretum is at 4100 IL Highway 53, Lisle, IL 630-446-0537.
In the northern suburbs, an annual show benefiting the Winnetka Community Housegoes the whole weekend of Nov. 8-10, 2019. But a fun preview party known for its buffet stations and open bar is Nov. 7 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.. This is when collectors and people in the know go for the first peek at exceptional jewelry, furniture and art. Tickets are $150 but $30 of the ticket price will be donated back to the North Shore Art League.
The Winnetka Community House is at 620 Lincoln Ave. Winnetka, IL , 847-446-2870 or 847-446-0537.
Downtown Chicago, Chill, an international wine and culinary event co sponsored by Luxehome and Wine Spectator Magazine, features terrific food from Chicago chefs and excellent wines from around the world. It’s held Downtown Chicago at theMART, Nov. 14 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.. Tickets are $145. Funds raised go to different charities.
the MART is at 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago.
Expect to see really good ceramics, fiber art, metal work, wood working, jewelry and other crafted items when walking through the Regenstein Center at the Chicago Botanic Garden this weekend. But also, expect the unexpected.
While browsing the American Craft Exposition during a Thursday preview party that benefited mental health services at NorthShore University Health System, an attractive wall piece that looked as if it could have been painted clay turned out to be wood.
There was also a charming floral wall arrangement that might have been aluminum or steel but was pewter and works that appeared to be oils and water colors were actually fine stitchery.
But it’s not all serious. A booth of unusual and fun objects turned out to be jewelry.
Just don’t expect a visit to ACE, as it is known in the art show world, to be a quick walk through.
A highly competitive, juried show of nearly 150 artisans, ACE booths stretch from a tent at the north end of the Regenstein Center through the building to the Greenhouses at the south end and into rooms and hallways on either side.
Visitors will likely see old favorites but many crafters, such as St. Joseph, MI artist Rebecca Hungerford who works in peweter and Marquette, MI artist Joseph Graci who works with wood, are first timers and good show addiions.
However, as glass worker Joseph Pozycinski of Pozycinski Studios in Sparta, Missouri said, pointing to its high quality.. “I’ve been coming over 25 years. It’s a very good show.”
Tip: Don’t neglect the side rooms indicated to by signs that say More Art. The works there are just as good as what is seen on the main walkways.
DETAILS: The American Craft Exposition is at the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., just east of Edens Expressway, Glencoe, IL, through Sept. 22, 2019.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is by three-day passes, $18 for Garden members and $20 non-members. A three-day pass with one-day parking is $35. General admission to the Chicago Botanic Garden is free but parting costs $25 weekdays and $30 Saturday and Sunday.
Art fairs are a chance to see a Chicago neighborhood or a suburb while trying to get in your “fitbit” goal for the day. They also are a way to find the perfect painting or sculpture for your abode or a terrific piece of pottery or pair of earrings for yourself or a gift.
3- 4 Glenview
Art at the Glen features 175 artists in the Glen Tower Center, 2030 Tower Drive, Glenview. Hours: 10 am – 5 pm. For more info see Amdur Productions.
More than 100 artists participate in the annual Lincolnshire Art Festival held on the Village Green just east of Milwaukee Avenue at Old Half Day Road in north suburban Lincolnshire. Hours are 10 am – 5 pm. For more info see Amdur Productions.
24- 25 Oak Park
On the western edge of Chicago look for more than 130 exhibitors at the annual Oak Park Avenue-Lake Arts & Crafts Show in Scoville Park at Oak Park Avenue and Lake Street. Hours: Saturday 11 am – 7 p.m. Sunday 9 am – 5 p.m. For more info see American Society of Artists.
24-25 Highland Park
The Port Clinton Art Festival, among the Midwest’s best art fairs, spreads across downtown Highland Park from its center at 600 Central Ave. to feature about 260 artists from across the globe. Hours are 10 a.,. to 6 p.m.For more info see Amdur Productions.
About 200 artists exhibit their works at the annual Bucktown Arts Fest held in Holstein Park 22-2200 N. Oakley Ave at 2300 W. Lyndale St. Hours: 11 am – 7 pm. For more info see Bucktownh Arts Fest.
1-2 Lake Forest
Sponsored by the Deer Path Art League, the Annual Art Fair on the Square fills the town’s Historic Market Square and Western Avenue with 180 artists on Sunday and Monday of Labor Day Weekend. Hours: 10 am –5 pm. For more info see Deer Path Art League.
The shopping center’s Fine Arts Festival is 100 Oakbrook Center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. For information visit Amdur Productions.
About 150 exhibitors will be at the Lakeview East Festival of the Arts at Broadway From Belmont to Hawthorne. Hours: Saturday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. For more info see Lakeview East Festival of the Arts.
West suburban Naperville features 140 artists at its Riverwalk Fine Art Fair held downtown along the Dupage River and at Eagle Street and Jackson Avenue. Hours: 10 am to 5 pm. For more info see Riverwalk Fine Art Fair.
14-15 Park Forest
Sponsored by Tall Grass Arts Assn., the Park Forest Art Fair is held downtown and has 90 exhibitors. For more info see Tallgrass Arts.
20-22 Glencoe (ACE at Chicago Botanic Garden)
Among the best shows in the country, the American Craft Exposition (ACE) takes over the Regenstein Center at the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd.,in Glencoe just east of Edens Expressway. Hours: Friday & Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm, Sunday 10 am – 5 pm. For more info see American Craft Expo.
The Arboretum of South Barrington Art Festival is at the Arboretum, 100 W Higgins Rd
South Barrington from 10 a.,. to 5 p.m.. For more information vist Amdur Productions.
28- 29 Barrington
Art in the Barn brings 166 exhibitors to the grounds of Good Shepherd Hospital, 450 W IL Highway 22. Hours: 10 am – 5 pm. For more info see Art in the Barn.
The Edgewater Arts Festival, a neighborhood fair that welcomes the whole city is at 1040-1190 W. Granville Ave. The fair features more than 100 exhibitors and several bands. Hours 11 am – 6 pm. A $5 donation is suggested. For more info see Edgewater Artists.
Celebrate summer while it’s here. This weekend, art booths fill downtown Glencoe and Renee Fleming is doing Stoppard’s “Penelope” at Ravinia. Next week the Oriental Institute in Hyde Park has Hieroglyphics for kids and the Edgewater neighborhood celebrates summer with food,beverages and music
What: Festival of Art
When: July 27-28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
Where: Center point is 700 Vernon Ave. near Park Avenue west of Green Bay Road in north suburban Glencoe.
If you “Fitbit” is telling you to “remember to move” outsmart it by doing something that is also fun and gets you to a place you might not have visited in a while – go to an art fair.
From the end of June to the end of July you can browse paintings, sculptures, jewelry, pottery and fabric works from downtown Chicago and fun Wrigleyville to the beautiful Chicago Botanic Garden and historic Geneva.
A couple of blocks north of Millennium Park (yes visit the “Bean” for a photo op) walk Michigan Avenue to Lake Street to see about works by about 110 artists. Hours: Fri. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe just east of Edens Expressway is worth a visit even without the art fair. But try to get there when about 95 artists whose work fits well with botanic themes are exhibiting on the Garden’s Esplanade. Hours: Fri. 4-7 p.m., Sat. and Sun. 10 a.m-5 p.m. The garden and show are free but parking has a fee.
Held in Chicago’s Lakeview Neighborhood, the art festival has about 130 artists setting up tents on Southport Avenue from Waveland to Byron. Hosted by the Southport Neighbor’s Association, the festival benefits local causes. Hours: Both days are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Set up near the Tribune Tower, the art festival is a chance to visit the large Apple store then go down to the Riverwalk along the chicago River to hear music. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Friday and Saturday
Sponsored by the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, the art fair is a good opportunity to visit this town west of Chicago on the Fox River. More than 150 exhibitors will spread out from 100 S. Third St. on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information visit Geneva Chamber/art fairs.
About 110 artists set up booths downtown north suburban Glencoe for the Annual Glencoe Festival of Art. The fair is at Green Bay Road and Park Avenue but walk around the corner to Tudor Court to see Writers Theatre’s architecture. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Whether seeing art shows outside or exhibits inside, summer is a great time to check on what artists have been doing in their studios. Also, it’s a chance to find just the right piece for over the mantle or to spark conversation in a sitting area. Here are a few shows tovisit in June or until they disappear.
Chicago Artists Coalition is sponsoring “Far from the distance we see,” an exhibition of new works by Mev Luna. Opening May 31 with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m., the exhibit continues through July 11, 2019 at 2130 W. Fulton St., Chicago. For more information visit Chicago Artists Coalition/events.
Gold Coast Art Fair, a huge annual show that attracts 300 exhibitors, moved to June 1-2 this year at Butler Field in Grant Park at South Lake shore Drive and Monroe Street behind the Art Institute of Chicago. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information visit Amdur Productions/Gold Coast.
57th Street Art Fair in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, near 5631 S. Kimbark June 1-2.. Hours: Saturday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Considered the oldest Midwest juried art fair it has about 250 exhibitors. For more information visit 57th Street Art Fair.
MoniqueMeloche a fine art gallery at 451 N. Paulina St. is showing “Basking Never Hurt No One” by artist Cheryl Pope, June 6 through Aug. 17, 2019. He opening reception is June 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. For more information visit Moniquemeloche.
Old Town Art Fair runs June 8-9 this year. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 8 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 9. The main entry is at Lincoln Avenue at Wisconsin in the Old Town triangle District. Suggested donation is $10. More information is at Old Town Art Fair.
The Art Center (TAC) summer exhibits are “Undercurrents” and “Inside/Outside,” June 14 through Aug. 3, 2019. TAC is at 1957 Sheridan Rd., Highland Park. The artists reception is June 14 at 5:30 p.m. For more information visit The Art Center/Exhibits.
North Shore Art League’s “Art in the Village” is June 22 – 23, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days in Hubbard Woods Park, 939 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka. For more information visit North Shore Art League.
Festival of Fine Arts takes place June 22-23 on Sheridan Road on the north east side of downtown Highland Park. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information visit Amdur Productions/Highland Park.
The One of a Kind art show at The Mart is just in time for Mother’s Day. Held winter and spring, it features about 300 booths ranging from gourmet foods, glass art and paintings to hand crafted-furniture, jewelry and fiber art.
One Of a Kind Spring Show is April 26-28 at The (Merchandise) Mart, 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza at the Chicago River and Orleans Street.
At Chicago’s annual Kids and Kites Festival, youngsters can bring kites or get a free kite kit to make one themselves as long as supplies last. The festival is May 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Cricket Hill in Lincoln Park (Lakeshore Drive between Montrose and Wilson Avenues.).
The Windjammers Professional Kite Team will be there to demonstrate flying maneuvers, CircEsteem will do circus acts and Chicago Kite will be there for folks who want to buy a kite. In addition, there will be face painting, crafts and balloon artists.
Spring is not getting off to as slow a start as we think. (See Related below for earlier listings including Earth Day events). There is enough to see and do in and around Chicago for several outings. So here are more activities to add to the April Calendar.
An Iceland festival is coming to a few Chicago clubs, a restaurant, theater and collaborative space during Taste of Iceland April 11-14. Presented by Iceland Naturally, the festival is a check-it-out experience of spirits, food, film and music. The events are free except a dinner at Elske but may need reservations.
Elske, 1350 W. Randolph St. will do an Icelandic dinner each of the festival days. For reservations visit elskerestaurant . For more information go to Facebook/events.
Other Icelandic festival activities:
Spirits of Iceland: Cocktail Class, April 11, 6-8 p.m. at LH on 21, (Rooftop) London House Chicago, 85 E. Upper Wacker Dr., Floor 21. For more information visit Facebook LH Events/.
Iceland After Dark, April 12, 10-11:30 p.m. with craft cocktails, music by Solveig Matthildur and Kaelan Mikla at The Underground Chicago, 56 W. Illinois St. For reservations go to Evenbrite.
Reykjavik Calling, April 13, at Martyrs’, 3855 N. Lincoln Ave. beginning at 7 p.m. Concert at 8 p.m. Sets feature Hildur and Kaelan Mikla. Visit Facebook Event Page.
Shortfish Film Screening at the Logan Theatre 2646 N. Milwaukee Ave., followed by cocktails of Brennivín and Reyka Vodka and chat with Icelandic winning bartender Tóta. Doors open at 11 a.m., the screening begins at 11:30 a.m. For more information visit this Facebook event page.
The Icelandic Literature Scene, April 14, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at evolveHer, 358 W. Ontario,3W to visit with Ambassador Stella Soffía Jóhannesdóttir and Words Without Border Editorial Director Susan. For more information visit this Facebook event page.
In the burbs
Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Foodie Fair Pop-Up, April 14, 1-4 p.m. at the West Lake Forest Train Station, 911 Telegraph Rd. at Everett, Lake Forest. Some of the vendors are Bonique Corp, Cake My Day, Elawa Farm, Foodstuffs Lake Forest, Flowers by Katie Ford, Full Belly Foods and Hungry Monkey.
Villa Park Spring Arts & Crafts Festival, April 12-14 at The Odeum , 1033 North Villa Ave. Hours: Fri. 11am-9pm; Sat. 9am-6pm; Sun. 10am-5pm. Tickets: Adults $10; Seniors $9; Children Under 10, free. For tickets and more information visit Spring Festival Tickets.