Home > Chicago, Rant > 3 Chicago Events Every Artist Should Avoid

3 Chicago Events Every Artist Should Avoid

Forwarned is forearmed, but it’s too late when they have cashed your check and you find yourself stuck at a total waste of time show.  Try to Google search information about shows in advance and talk to other artists before you sign up for one; make the investment less of a gamble.  I generally avoid outdoor vending yet one event was not a festival show.  Here are three Chicago events every artist should avoid and why:

Lincoln Square Art Walk.  This is not a community event; it is something wrangled up by Allaina the owner of Granville Picture Framing at 4757 N. Lincoln Avenue.  Allaina ignored the neighborhood association and the local chamber of commerce, skipped the businesses she felt like and I told her to her face I felt the whole event was concocted to rustle up business for her store.  I gave them my CD of works, application and a $20 check August 27th, just ahead of the deadline for the show.  On October 10th Allaina sends me a kick in the ass email to get my paintings to a store location before October 18th.  I did not even know I was in the show!  I book shows months in advance and I have no professional relationship with this woman.  No prior contact, rude, terrible organization and no apologies either.  If you argue with her, she will escalate.  I with-held my art from the one night event at Dank Haus German American Cultural Center in protest but brought it to the shop that I was partnered with in order to not screw them over.  This was not an art walk, this was a train wreck.

Portage Park Art & Antiques Show.  Make a permanent mental note, anything hosted by a school or religious organization is pandering for donations and not a good venue to go to, ever.  The Knights of Columbus oddly upped the fee to this event; I think it is $80 or more now for two days.  The Knights have a broad view of what is allowed under the term “collectibles”.  No fine artist sells anything much here and I hope you like squirrels, because you are going to be looking at them for a long time.  If you want to set your paintings next to a guy hawking a box of old VHS tapes, faded packaged toys and aged kitchen utensils, go ahead.  This is not an art fair; it is a flea market.

Rockwell Crossing Art Walk.  This event was dead and gone for years.  I had the misfortune to sign on for an attempt at resurrection the last time it was held.  There were only a few bored locals roaming around.  I had small, framed paintings and large color silkscreen prints under $20 and did not sell one single thing in the whole eight hour day.  I am still fuzzy on what they did for promotions besides cash my check.  The event is gone again but if it does a boomerang and someone tries to re-start it again, take a pass.  This is my neighborhood and the locals are spending their money on craft beer, events at Old Town School of Folk Music and tattoos.

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