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.
As the weather has already let us know, summer events still have a month to go. Some of the Chicago area’s big events are in the weekends to come. Most are free. Think, Air & Water Show and Port Clinton Art Festival. Then, get out the calendar.
Aug 4-7 Windy City Smokeout West Loop at the United Center Cost: $50 and up
Combine country music stars such as Tim McGraw and Miranda Lambert with pit master food bites from Kentucky and other famed smoke-it regions and you have Chicago’s annual Smokeout. More info at Home Page – Windy City Smokeout
Aug. 13 is Chicago’s famed Bud Billikin Parade and Festival, 10:30 a.m. to noon.
It’s in Bronzeville along Dr. Martin Luther King Drive from Oakwood Boulevard to 51st Street and continues Ellsworth Drive through Washington Park to 55th St. The event has floats, dance teams and bands plus food and other booths. It started in 1929 as a way to generate excitement about back to school shopping and activities. For more information visit Bud Billikin event.
Aug. 20-21 Chicago Air and Water Show 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at North Avenue Beach.
The 2022 show features U.S. Navy Blue Angels and U.S. Amy Golden Knights Parachute Team. However, some of the show can be seen on Friday when the participants have practice run-throughs. For more information visit Chicago Air and Water Show.
Aug 26 4-10, Aug. 27-28, noon to 10 p.m. Taste of Greek Town
The food fest is on Halsted Street from Van Buren to Adams St. For more information visit Taste of Greektown.
Aug. 13-14 Printer’s Row Art Festival 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sponsored by the Greater South Loop Association and South Loop Neighbors, the fest includes local restaurant booths. Booths line Dearborn Street from Harrison to Polk. A parking garage is at 75 W. Harrison St. For more info visit Printer’s Row Art Festival.
Aug 19 noon to 5 p.m. Aug 20 and 21 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Evanston Art and Big Fork Fest. Booths are downtown Evanston along Church Street. For more information visit Evanston Art and Big Fork.
Aug. 27-28 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Port Clinton Art Festival. Considered among the top art fairs in the country, the Port Clinton event showcases more than 260 juried-in artists who do sculpture, glass, painting, photography, wearable art and furniture. The art festival is downtown Highland Park on Central Avenue. For more information visit Port Clinton Art Festival.
Aug. 27-28 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Bucktown Arts Fest. An annual celebration of art, craft, food and music in Chicago’s Bucktown Neighborhood. For more information visit Bucktown Arts Fest.
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.
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.
You never know what you will see or find at a summer art fair. (Port Clinton-Jodie Jacobs photo)
Check out some suburban shopping areas and Chicago neighborhoods while the weather is still warm and breezy. The reward may be a painting perfect for the hall, a sculpture just right for the yard or mantle, a silk print scarf or tie to wear to a concert or a piece of jewelry to hold onto until gift giving during the holidays.
Here are some art fairs that are a good excuse to get outdoors.
Art at the Glen features 185 artists in the Glen Tower Center. Hours: 10 am – 5 pm. For more info see Amdur Productions.
About 120 artists participate in the annual Lincolnshire Art Festival held on the Village Green in north suburban Lincolnshire. Hours are 10 am – 5 pm. For more info see Amdur Productions.
25-26 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 pm , Sunday 9 am – 5 pm. For more info see American Society of Artists.
25-26 Highland Park
The Port Clinton Art Festival, among the Midwest’s best art fairs, sprawls across First and Second Streets and the Port Clinton Plaza on Central Avenue as it showcases about 265 artists from across the globe. For more info see Amdur Productions.
Even though summer activities are winding down some of the best art shows in the Chicago area are yet to come.
The first three festivals listed here are at the end of August. They mark the end of summer for their communities just as Labor Day Weekend festivals signal the beginning of fall.
September 16-17 is particularly a popular art festival weekend. The top one that weekend is ACE, The American Craft Exposition. Some folks may recall it used to be on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus then moved over to the Botanic Garden a couple of years ago. It is ticketed but the proceeds benefit NorthShore University HealthSystem research.
Aug. 26 & 27 Oak Park
The suburb of Oak Park, just west of Chicago is holding its Oak Park Avenue-Lake Arts Crafts Show in Scoville Park at Oak Park Ave and Lake Street. Operated by the American Society of Artists, the hours are Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tip: You might want to look up Frank Lloyd wright’s Oak Park designed structures before you go so you know where to look on the way to or from the art fair. For more information visit the American Society of Artists.
Aug. 26 & 27 Highland Park
The annual Port Clinton Art Festival features about 265 artists from several countries and states downtown Highland Park. Spread across the Port Clinton shopping square, Central Avenue, it also now crosses Central at 1st and 2nd Streets. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For other information visit Amdur Productions.
Aug. 26 & 27 Chicago’s Bucktown Neighborhood
The last weekend in August is also the Annual Bucktown Arts Fest. Approximately 200 artists will be in Senior Citizens Memorial Park, 2300 N. Oakley Ave & 2300 W. Lyndale St.11 am to 7 pm 200 Artists The Bucktown Arts Fest is a non-profit, all volunteer-run, neighbourhood celebration of the arts. The fair benefits arts education programming at Holstein Park and in the Bucktown/Wicker Park neighborhoods. For other information visit Bucktown Arts Fest.
Sept. 3 & 4 Lake Forest
Art Fair on the Square, sponsored by the Deer Path Art League, fills historic Market Square and Western Avenue across from the METRA station downtown Lake Forest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It features 180 exhibitors. For more info: visit Deerpath Art League.
At the same time, visit the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Artisan Guild Fall Fair adjacent to Market Square in the parking lots of Lake Forest Bank & Trust to see 45 more booths. There is live music, a BBQ cookout and homemade ice cream. This fair benefits C.R.O.Y.A, the local youth group.
Sept. 9 & 10 Lakeview East, Chicago
Lakeview East’s Festival of the Arts showcases 150 exhibitors at Broadway Street and Belmont Avenue, Sat. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sun. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information visit Lakeview Festival.
Sept. 9 & 10 Wicker Park, Chicago
The annual Renegade Craft Fair featuring 300 crafters takes place at Division Street between Damen Avenue and Paulina Street from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Visit Renegade Crafts.
Sept. 15-17 Glencoe
The American Craft Exposition returns to the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 E. Lake Cook Rd. (east of Edens Expressway. The Preview Party is Sept. 14: 6:30 to 9 p.m. General admission is Fri. and Sat. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sun. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking is extra if not a Garden member. For ticket prices and other information call (847) 835-5440 and visit ACE.
Sept. 16 & 17 Park Forest
The Park Forest Art Fair, considered among the oldest juried fairs in the area will feature more than 90 exhibitors downtown on the Village Square at at Main & Cunningham Streets. Presented by the tall Grass Arts Association, the fair is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information visit tallgrassarts.
Sept. 16 & 17 West Loop, Chicago
The West Loop Art Fest has 180 exhibitors on Washington Boulevard from Halsted to Racine. The fair is 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.. For more information visit Amdur Productions.
Sept. 16-17 Ravenswood, Chicago
The annual Ravenswood ArtWalk is along Ravenswood Avenue from Irving Park Road to Leland Avenue from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Co-presented by the Greater Ravenswood Chamber and Community Council and the sponsor, Access contemporary Music, ArtWalk combines its arts and creative industries.m See Ravenswood ArtWalk.
Sept. 16 & 17 Naperville
The suburb’s Riverwalk Fine Art Fair has about 140 artists downtown at
Eagle Street and Jackson Avenue along the DuPage River. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. See more information at Naperville Riverwalk.
September 23 & 24 Highwood
A tiny suburb known mostly for its restaurants, Highwood started its Annual Starving Artists Show last year and drew a crowd. Its 2nd annual show will showcase 120 artists along Sheridan from Highwood to Webster Avenues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. For more information visit Amdur Productions.
Sept, 23 & 24 Barrington
Art in the Barn features 166 exhibitors on the grounds of the Good Shepherd Hospital, 450 W Highway 22. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information visit Art in the Barn.
Sept. 23 & 24 Edgewater, Chicago
The Edgewater Arts Festival, formerly Edgewater fall Art Fair, is a popular neighborhood get together that now attracts visitors from other Chicago communities. Spread from 1040 to 1190 West Granville Ave. it features the performing and visual arts. Along with more than 100 juried-in Chicago area artists, the festival has three music stages, a beer garden and a children’s activity area. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information visit Edgewater Arts.