Event Information

Old Town Art Fair 2019

Residential streets of Chicago's Old Town Triangle neighborhood
Chicago, Illinois (Midwest)

Phone: 312-337-1938
Event Dates: 6/8/19 - 6/9/19
Application Deadline: 12/15/18 Midnight CST

The application deadline has passed.


Images: 5 (a booth shot is NOT required)

Fee (Old Town Application/Jury Fee): $40.00

You can submit up to 3 applications for this show.


Event Summary

The Old Town Art Fair will take place June 8-9, 2019, on the streets of the historic Old Town Triangle neighborhood on Chicago’s near north side. The Old Town Art Fair was rated America's #1 Art Fair this year by ArtFairCalendar.com.  It has been a perennial favorite of artists, art lovers and art buyers since 1948.
A distinguishing feature of the Old Town Art Fair is its all-volunteer management. The show succeeds thanks in no small part to the tireless efforts of as many as 750 unpaid volunteers – your partners in this great event! Fair proceeds support the Menomonee Boys and Girls Club, local schools, community organizations, neighborhood improvements and the activities and operations of the Old Town Triangle Association, presenter of the Fair. We invite your application and will give it careful consideration.


Old Town Art Fair 2017 from Steve Weiss on Vimeo.

General Information


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We now offer Friday afternoon/evening set up!!​

The Old Town Art Fair is considered one of the top outdoor fine art shows in the nation. It is held on the streets of the historic Old Town Triangle neighborhood on Chicago’s near north side, amid charming homes and leafy parkways.

This is a show for artists and art buyers alike -- our art patrons are considered to be discerning, art-educated and loyal art buyers. In addition, again this year we are putting a strong emphasis on increasing our marketing profile to be able to bring more buyers to you.
The volunteer-led Old Town Art Fair is committed to providing the highest quality experience possible for both our artists and our patrons. The Fair is produced by the Old Town Triangle Association, a non-profit neighborhood organization. Fair proceeds go to support the Menomonee Boys and Girls Club, our local schools, community organizations, neighborhood improvements and the activities and operations of the Triangle Association.

We invite you to apply for one of our highly coveted artist spots!


Location: The residential streets of the historic Old Town Triangle neighborhood in Chicago (not to be confused with Wells Street Art Festival held nearby on a commercial street on the same weekend)

Event Name: Old Town Art Fair

Contact: Barbara Guttmann, Director of Arts & Operations, Old Town Triangle Association

Mailing Address: 1763 N. North Park Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614

Telephone: 312-337-1938

Exhibitor Informationhttp://www.oldtownartfair.org/exhibit/


Images: 5 images of artwork only – no booth image or detail shots accepted

Jury/Application Fee: $40.00

Application Deadline: Midnight (CST), December 15, 2018

Total Number of Booths:  250

Booth Fee: $625 (includes $25 Itinerant Merchant Fee required by the City of Chicago for each artist and forwarded on the artist's behalf to the City)

Booth Space: 10’ x 12’

Artist Presence: Required


- Participation in one of the country’s most prestigious outdoor fine art shows in one of the country’s greatest cities
- Cash awards for Best of Show and Second Place within each of the four jury media groupings
- Website gallery with artist’s full color, thumbnail image and link to artist’s website (we use image #1, so plan accordingly)
- Applications accepted in multiple medium categories (up to 3) using just one profile!  Each application requires a separate $40 fee.
- Organized load-in Friday and, if necessary, Saturday, and cooperative load-out Sunday at booth space
- Artists retain all proceeds
- Promotional postcards (up to 50), as well as an electronic version, provided free to artists to send to customers
- Booth sitters available for artists and complimentary water and snacks delivered during the show
- Complimentary continental breakfast on Saturday and Sunday of the show
- Express lanes for artists at food concessions


December 15, 2018: Application Deadline
January 12, 2019: New Artist/New Medium Jurying
By February 15, 2019: Notification of Acceptance, Wait List or Not Invited Status via ZAPP™
March 1, 2019: Acceptance Deadline and Booth Fee Due; No Booth Fee Refunds Given After this Date
Early May, 2019: Important Information Emailed to Artists and Available on Website
By Early June, 2019:  Artist Gallery on Website
June 7 & 8, 2019 : On-site Artist Check In and Booth Set Up
June 8, 2019 (10 AM-7 PM) & June 9, 2019 (10 AM- 6 PM), Rain or Shine: Old Town Art Fair


Artists may only exhibit work in the medium/media for which they were accepted. A separate application is required for each medium (up to 3) for which an artist wishes consideration.

Acceptable Media:

2-D Mixed Media: Works that incorporate more than one type of physical material in their production. Two-dimensional mixed media should include more than one of the following: paint, pencil, watercolor, photography, printmaking or drawing, fabric or other found objects, and collages.

3-D Mixed Media: Works that incorporate more than one type of physical material in their production. Three-dimensional mixed media should include more than one of the following: claywork, fiber, glass, metal, wood or any other 3-D objects.

Ceramics: Original, hand-crafted clay and porcelain. No machine-made or mass produced work is permitted. If multiple pieces of the same design are displayed each piece must be signed. Work should be primarily aesthetic; functionality is secondary.

Digital Art: Includes any original work in which the original image was crafted and manipulated by the artist using the computer.  Work must be in editions, signed and numbered, on archival paper. Artwork created using a camera and then subsequently manipulated utilizing computer technology should be entered in the photography category.

Drawing/Pastel: Works created using dry media including chalk, charcoal, pastels, pencil, wax crayon or from the fluid medium of inks and washes applied by pen or brush.

Fiber: Artwork crafted from fibers, including embroidery, weaving, tapestry and papermaking. No machine-tooled work, machine-screen printing or other forms of mass production are accepted. We do not accept wearable items/artwork, including clothing, hats and leather goods/purses, in the Old Town Art Fair.

Glass: Glass works that are functional or decorative by design and are kiln-formed or have been crafted by glass blowing, molding or casting. Works may be etched or engraved. No forms of mass production are permitted. Work must be made primarily by the hands of the applying artist.

Jewelry: All jewelry, whether produced from metal, glass, clay, fiber, paper, plastic or other materials. No commercial casts, molds or production studio work is allowed.  Work must be primarily hand-fabricated by the artist.  Watches are not allowed.  

Metal: Includes all non-jewelry work crafted from metals. No production studio work is allowed.

Painting: Original compositions on a flat surface created by the artist’s hand using oils, acrylics or watercolor.

Photography: Limited-edition digital or film photographic prints made from the artist’s original image and processed by that artist digitally or using wet techniques, or under his or her direct supervision. Work must be printed on archival-quality paper and be properly signed and numbered as a limited edition.

Printmaking: Printed works for which the artist hand-manipulated the plates, stones or screens. Prints must be signed and numbered as a limited edition.

Sculpture: Artists sculpting clay, metal, wood or stone should apply in that medium unless the work incorporates mixed materials (in which case it is 3D-Mixed Media) or media not included separately here.  This category is only for work that does not fit into any other category.

Stone: Original work in stone that is shaped by the artist, whether hand-tooled or machine worked.

Wood: Original work in wood that is hand-tooled or machine worked by the artist.

Reproductions are not allowed at the Old Town Art Fair. See the note below on reproductions.

PLEASE NOTE: The following items cannot be exhibited in the Old Town Art Fair. Applications received with artwork in these categories will be declined and no refund given: belts, books, buttons, calendars, calligraphy, cards, candles, clocks, clothing, cutting boards, desk accessories, hair ornaments, hats, lamps, leather goods, magnets, mirrors, musical instruments, note cards, pillows, planters, posters, purses/totes, puzzles, stationery, toys, utensils, watches or wearable art.


- Artwork must be first and foremost an artistic expression. Utilitarian purposes must be secondary.
- All work must be designed and handmade by the accepted artist/artist team.
- Jewelry made from strung, commercial beads is not considered handmade by the artist and will not be accepted for the Old Town Art Fair.
- Production studio work is absolutely prohibited.
- The display and sale of commercial reproductions of any kind are not allowed (see the note on reproductions below).
- Photography and digital art must be signed and numbered in limited editions.
- Printmaking is defined as hand-pulled prints, in signed, numbered, limited editions.
- Proof of originality and authenticity of work is required. An artist’s statement must be prominently displayed in the booth.

The Old Town Art Fair reserves the right to determine if artists have violated any of the Fair’s policies or requirements. If violations are found, artists will be given the opportunity to remedy the situation or be asked to leave the Fair. The Old Town Art Fair reserves the right to not invite violators to future Fairs.


The Old Town Art Fair is committed to being a high-quality fine art show. Therefore, all artwork displayed must be original and produced by the hands of the exhibiting artist(s).  No reproductions will be permitted. 

Any method of making multiple copies of original art using photo, mechanical, digital or casting technology is considered by the Old Town Art Fair to be a reproduction. This includes Giclees. Reproduction technologies have one or more of the following characteristics:

- The work is not the product of the artist’s own hand.

- The number of reproducible copies is technically limitless.

- All copies are identical.

- The copies are produced by commercial entities, and the artist is not involved in the process.

Reproductions also include postcards, notecards, posters and books, though the artist may have promotional postcards and business cards on hand to give to prospective customers.  These may not be sold during the Art Fair.

Methods of creating multi-copy art in limited runs, such as intaglio, lithography, relief painting and other traditional printmaking means, are not considered reproductions.

Regarding photography and digital art, the Old Town Art Fair recognizes that artwork created utilizing photographs and/or computer technology are inherently reproducible. We also recognize that the use of cropping, enlargement and darkroom and digital processes can produce different effects even from the same negative/image. All of this is allowed in the Old Town Art Fair. We require that participating fine art photography and digital art artists show only work that they have signed, numbered and produced in limited editions. Such work is not considered to be reproductions.

To prevent the sale of mass-market work at the Old Town Art Fair, the Fair reserves the right to halt sales of such work on-site, and/or to not invite artists who are believed to be selling reproductions to future Fairs.


- Booth Fee: The Old Town Art Fair charges a booth fee of $625 that must be paid by March 1, 2019. Booth payments in cash or by credit card are only accepted through ZAPPlication. No partial payments are allowed. The booth fee includes a $25 required Chicago Itinerant Merchant Fee that the Fair will forward to the City on the artist’s behalf. No booth fee refunds will be given after March 1, 2019. No Itinerant Merchant Fees will be refunded after May 1, 2019.

- The fee for corner booths is an additional $100. Only a limited number of corner booths are available and are assigned by the Fair, with priority given to artists invited back from the previous year's Fair. Payment for corner spaces will be requested in the spring once booth assignments have been made.

- Only original artwork produced by the exhibiting artist’s or co-artists' hands may be exhibited. Neither reproductions nor work produced by assistants are allowed in the Old Town Art Fair. Work assembled substantially from commercially-produced units (including beads) is also disallowed.  Artists may have notecards, postcards, posters or other promotional material to give customers, but such items may not be sold in the booth.

- Artists may exhibit work only in the medium or media in which they applied and were accepted by the jury. To exhibit in another medium, artists must apply separately for jurying in the desired category prior to December 15. Now you can apply to the Old Town Art Fair in more than one medium category (up to 3) from just one profile!  This eliminates the need for you to maintain separate profiles if you submit applications in more than one medium category to our show.  All you have to do is log in to your ZAPP account, apply, and check out as normal.  Then, repeat for each additional category you are applying in – up to 3 categories.  Each application requires a separate $40 application fee.  For more details visit: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1yyQOZ6VMnmLVfnAB3evL1oxQa5C4646JXl_IoCBDZ6k/edit?usp=sh

- If two artists have collaborated in the joint creation and production of the art exhibited, they may together show their work in the booth and will be listed jointly in the Fair program. On the application, do not list individuals (spouses, business partners, etc.) who are not co-artists with the primary applicant.

- Artists must be present with their work for the entire two days of the Fair. Artists may not show in other fairs or festivals in the metropolitan Chicago area during the same dates as the Old Town Art Fair.

- An artist’s statement of processes must be displayed in each booth to indicate that all work is original and the creation of the artist, to further public education, and to inform the jury and Fair leadership. The artist’s statement must include information about materials and techniques used in the creation and production of the art.

- Demonstrations or other on-site art creation and production are not permitted in the artist’s exhibit space.

- Only artists accepted in the jewelry category may display and sell jewelry.

- All work on exhibit must be for sale.

- Sales from catalogs are not allowed.

- Booth spaces are 12 feet wide and approximately 10 feet deep.  Booths are on city streets and lined up perpendicular to the curb.  The streets slope down to the gutter.  The back of the booth may open to a brick or grass parkway or the sidewalk.  Trees and street signs may be present.  Artists must supply and set up their own display equipment, including a tent if the artist chooses to use one.  Rental companies are not allowed on the Fair streets to set up an artist's booth.  There is no electrical power for booths.  On some streets, artists are asked to place the back of their booth on the curb. Plan accordingly for these conditions.

- Security:  Items are left in the booth overnight at the artist’s own risk. The Fair provides limited overnight security.  Artists must have their own insurance against damage or loss.

- Booth Set Up:  On our application, artists may choose whether to set up their booths Friday afternoon/evening (preferred), with load-in beginning at 4:00 pm, or a Saturday morning time, with load-in beginning at 6:30 am.  An orderly process for Friday afternoon/evening and Saturday morning load-in has been established and will be communicated to artists prior to the event.  There will be no parking allowed on the Fair streets beginning Friday morning at 9:00, and any cars still on the streets will be towed Friday morning.  A Friday set up is highly encouraged.  Artists are asked to unload their materials on the sidewalk and remove their vehicle prior to setting up their booth.  Note that this is a residential neighborhood and noise is to be kept to a minimum.  Load out on Sunday is not formalized and artists work cooperatively to complete the process.

- The Old Town Art Fair is a rain or shine event; artists are encouraged to plan accordingly.

- Booth sitters will be available for artists without a partner or assistant during mid-day hours of the Fair. Instructions for accessing the booth sitting service will be available on our website in advance of the Fair. Sign up for booth sitting will take place at artist check in.  


Late cancellations are taken seriously by the Old Town Art Fair. If you are accepted to the Fair you must notify us if you accept or decline the invitation by March 1. Artists who decline or cancel after March 1 will not be allowed to exhibit at the following year’s Fair. Booths fees are non-refundable after March 1.


The Old Town Art Fair convenes juries twice a year and uses a four-panel system, with each jury panel of three individuals focused on a separate grouping of media. Jurors are generally recruited from the Chicago-area art community and represent a wide variety of disciplines. Jurors typically include working artists, art educators, curators, collectors and gallery representatives.

New Artist Jurying: In January, the juries review and score the ZAPP™ applications of artists seeking to exhibit at the upcoming Fair, as well as those of invited returning artists seeking to display an additional medium in their booths. Applications are considered solely on the merit of the five digital images submitted with the application. Images must be of current work and must accurately represent the work to be exhibited; no booth images or details of complete artworks are allowed. Each juror views the images on a computer screen. ZAPP™ makes use of the sRGB color space. The quality of the images is not in itself judged, but it is to the artist’s advantage in this competitive environment to provide images of the highest quality.

All applicants are juried individually, following a full medium overview. Each juror records his/her score anonymously based on an overall assessment of the work presented. The process, materials, dimensions and price for each image and artist information statements are made available to the jury. The scores are computer tabulated.  Juror comments are not recorded and are thus not available for applicant review. Scores and scoring ranges will be shared with applicants.

Top scorers are invited to fill open spaces, and a waiting list is retained to fill spaces that may open prior to the Fair. Artists are notified of the outcome of the jurying by the end of January, via ZAPP™.

On-Site Jurying: The four jury panels, meet again during the Fair when all of the participating artists are juried on site. The jury scores are used to determine award winners and who will be invited back for the next year. Lower scorers are juried out but may reapply the following year. This year approximately 35 percent of last year’s 250 artists have been juried out.  

Jury evaluations are based on:

Basic art design
Technical skill
Creative statement
Exhibit Impact

All decisions of the jury are final. 


The Old Town Art Fair presents awards for Best of Show and Second Place to artists within each of the four jury media groupings. Thus there are four Best of Show winners and four Second Place award winners. Awards are presented at the winners’ booths on Sunday morning of the Fair. Each awardee receives an Old Town Art Fair ribbon. Best of Show awardees each receive a check for $600; Second Place awardees receive $300.

See the General Information above for all Old Town Art Fair rules and regulations.

Booth Information
See the General Information above for all Old Town Art Fair booth information.