By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS
The 57th Street Art Fair is celebrating its 67th year with a lot of new additions to its two-day event.
The 57th Street Art Fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, June 7, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, June 8, at 57th Street and Kimbark Avenue. The event is free to the public and features artists from across the country who will showcase their work including glass, jewelry, leather, photography, printmaking, painting, sculpture, wood, ceramics and fiber art.
This year the fair has done away with its Boot Camp and replaced it with Pop Up Talks. Artists who have won an award at the fair or participated in the fair often will talk with visitors about their art media, how long it took them to develop their crafts, their backgrounds and aesthetics.
“With the Boot Camps we had non-artists talking to the guests about art,” said Alexia Trznya, chairwoman of the 57th Street Art Fair. “We think it’s better if artists talk abut their own work allowing the guests to make a connection and be educated by the artists.”
Another new addition to the fair is the Artist-At-Work area, which will feature art educators, water colorists, weavers, archeologists and anthropologists demonstrating the process of art making. The artists will answer questions about their work as they create.
The 57th Street Art Fair is partnering with Buddy Guy’s Legends, who will provide five different blues and jazz artists to perform on a music stage both days of the fair.
“We enthusiastically welcome Buddy Guy’s Legends’ line-up and know the presence of musicians will only enhance the Fair,” said 57th Street Art Fair Board Member Leon Greenberg, who played a lead role in developing the partnership.
“We’ve done this before a few years ago in partnership with the Hyde Park Jazz Society,” Trznya said. “It’s not a loud rock concert performance; it just provides a great ambiance.”
The fair also selected five student artists to participate as vendors this year: Jewelry designer Seth Carlson, a student from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; sketch artist Hannah Murray-King, painter Cody Williams and photographers Sofia Hardy and Antonia-McMan McCline, students from the American Academy of Art. Each student received $250 from the fair and an opportunity to sell their art.
Painter Loretta Petraitis of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Jeweler Wiwat Kamolpornvijit of Alexandria, Va., will both receive the 2014 57th Street Art Fair “Newcomer Award.” The two were chosen from an initial pool of 387 applicants for the fair’s most prestigious award.
For more information about the fair, visit 57thstreetartfair.org.