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Art Fairs that also become weekend outings

Artist Jason Fricke's booth always draws a crowd
Artist Jason Fricke's booth always draws a crowd
Jodie Jacobs

Now that warm weather has finally arrived, artists’ tents are popping up all over the Chicago area. Their fine and fanciful sculptures, paintings, jewelry and ceramics are good reasons for a weekend outing to a suburban village, Chicago neighborhood and interesting places to visit. Here are a few of the fairs to put on the June calendar.

Combine a visit to the Cantigny art fair with a walk around the gardens or visit its manor house and museum
Jodie Jacobs

Combine art and architecture. The 57th Street Art Fair, 5631 S. Kimbark Ave. in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood starts off the month on June 7 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and June 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Among the Midwest’s oldest juried art fairs, it features about 250 exhibitors. Take advantage of its Hyde Park location to visit the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute Museum exhibits. and the Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House. Visit 57 Street Art Fair for more information.

Pair art with an historic estate. Cantigny, the 500 acre grand home, gardens and museum of Col. Robert McCormick (think Chicago Tribune) hosts the Cantigny Art in Bloom Festival in Wheaton June 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and June 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Along with more than 80 artists, the fair features music, food and the “monster mural” for kids to paint. Cantigny is at 1s151 N. Winfield Rd., Wheaton, IL near Roosevelt Road (Illinois Highway 38). Visit Cantigny for more information.

Browse art and fun shops. The Old Town Art Fair, another of Chicago’s longtime outdoor art shows, is also June-14-15 with hours both days of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A $7 admission fee goes to the Old Town neighborhood association. Held in the Old Town Triangle at the 1800 block of Orleans Street, the fair features 250 exhibitors. Old Town is full of vintage wares, spice shops and restaurants. Visit Old Town Art Fair for more information.

Shop, look and listen. Custer's Last Stand in Evanston’s Main Street Station Shopping District spreads out from Chicago Avenue and Main Street past fun shops, restaurants and bakeries June 21-22 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. A huge fair of more than 375 artists, the event includes several performing groups, lots of ethnic food choices and a local sidewalk sale. Visit Custer Fair
for more information.

Think Gold Coast but go to Grant Park for art and more art. Also June 21-22 and huge at 350 artists, but with hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Gold Coast Art Fair returns to Grant Park. Instead of sitting along the upscale sidewalks of Chicago’s near north Gold Coast neighborhood, the fair spreads out in the park’s Butler Field at Monroe and Lake Shore Drives. Since the fair circles the Art Institute of Chicago, combine it with old and new masters inside AIC.Visit Amdur Productions for more information.

Do art and more art. End the month along Sheridan Road in north-suburban Highland Park at the Festival of Fine Craft, June 28-29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. After seeing and finding something among the 130 juried artists go into The Art Center which sponsors the event on its doorstep to view TAC’s exhibits including “Vivian Maier – A Photographic Journey.” TAC and the art fair is at 1957 Sheridan Rd., Highland Park, IL For more information visit Amdur Productions.