In- Person 2021 Fair Canceled

The 57th Street Art Fair Committee has made the final decision after much deliberation, and considerable sadness, to cancel the in-person event June 5-6.

There are many considerations behind this difficult decision. Concerns for the health and safety of our artists, visitors, volunteers and community remain a primary focus, but the additional time and cost to implement a safely modified in-person event this were also factors in our decision making.

While remaining optimistic, it has been an overwhelming challenge to plan for a physical event with all the uncertainties and unknowns that still remain due to the ongoing pandemic. Although the city has begun accepting permits for special events such as ours, and we have applied for a permit, we still have not received permission to hold the fair at this date. In addition, we do not currently have permission from Ray School and the Chicago Public School system to use any of the school building or blacktop areas that we would need.

State guidelines for outdoor events stipulate strict limits on crowd density. This presents a large number of logistical issues and related financial expenses for us. Currently, the limit is 15 people total per 1,000 square feet— this includes all artists and their helpers, volunteers, committee members, and visitors. It would be up to us to control the access and traffic flow in order to maintain this density at all times.

Without the city permit and permission from CPS, and with only a month to go before our early June fair date, there is not enough time to implement any of the plans we have considered for 2021’s 74th Annual 57th Street Art Fair.

At this time, we will focus on our ongoing 2021 57th Street Art Fair virtual event at 

Our 2021 Virtual Fair will be live through May, 2022 and features more than 100 incredible artists selling original works of art. 

The committee and the neighborhood will miss seeing everyone again this year, and are looking ahead to next year, when we hope to see everyone in-person to celebrate our 75th Anniversary!

Thank you again for your patience, optimism, and understanding,

the 57th Street Art Fair Committee

Chicago's 57th Street Art Fair Names William Ortman As The 2021 Newcomer Award Winner

74th Annual Virtual Fair Now Live, In-Person Fair Tentatively Scheduled for June 5-6


CHICAGO, IL (April 19, 2021) – The 57th Street Art Fair committee of jurors is pleased to award their coveted “Newcomer Award” to glass artist, William Ortman. Ortman a Columbus College of Art and Design Fine Art graduate, creates unique works of art using incredibly rich glass colors and textures. The Newcomer Award comes with a cash prize and a prominent booth space.


Each year the Newcomer Awards are chosen from the jury’s top scoring new artists from a total of almost 300 applications.  In the first stage of jurying each jury member carefully and independently reviews each of these applications, composed of artists’ images, statements, and descriptions of their work.


“While the pandemic has posed many challenges this year, we want to honor and celebrate the amazing art community and honor William Ortman with the 2021 Newcomer Award. Every year after the first stage of jurying is complete, the committee looks forward to our meeting where we gather and the jurors review the highest scoring new artists to determine our Newcomer Award or Awards,” said Cate Slighton, 57th St. Art Fair Committee Member. “Ortman is part of our robust and interactive Virtual Fair, which is currently live on our website. We remain hopeful that we will also be able to host an in- person event June 5+6.”


For Ortman, glass allows for variations of intensity of hue, tone and depth and is captivated by the way colors come to light on a glass surface. Glass can do everything that other sculptural media can; in addition, the ways in which color can be layered on glass provides a unique three-dimensional quality of depth. Currently Ortman is exploring the incalmo technique and has been incorporating cane working and complex Murine in his designs. Using traditional Italian techniques, he draws inspiration from Asian cultural art. According to Ortman, “Glass making is what I love and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. It is a pleasure for me to share what I do.”


Considered the Midwest’s oldest juried art fair, currently celebrating the 74th year, the 57th Street Art Fair is pleased to promote nearly 100 artists part of their 2021 Virtual Fair. Please visit and shop the 2021 Virtual Fair at Updates regarding the in-person event will also be posted regularly to the website.

Please note: The 57th St. Art Fair is a juried art fair and features ONLY original works of art by the country’s most talented group of artists. All work is designed and handmade by the artist, and we do not accept or promote reproductions on-site. However, some artists do sell production studio work on their websites so please work with each individual artist featured HERE if you have questions.


2021 Virtual Fair

While we continue to wait for the city to grant permits for summer events, we are excited to invite you to visit our virtual event, currently available on our website and social media accounts!


The tab for 2021 Virtual Fair, on the menu bar and at features a gallery view of participating artists, directing consumers to their personal websites to purchase art.  Artists are still being added, so please visit often!


In addition to this online gallery, we are also highlighting individual artists via our Facebook and Instagram accounts. Please follow our daily postings at:


Our team continues to actively monitor the situation, and plans for a safely modified in-person Fair scheduled for June 5-6, 2021 in Hyde Park (on 57th Street, between Woodlawn and Kenwood Avenues) when guidance from the City becomes available. 


All participating virtual artists will have the opportunity to exhibit on-site.

Please note: The 57th St. Art Fair is a juried art fair and features ONLY original works of art by the country’s most talented group of artists. All work is designed and handmade by the artist, and we do not accept or promote reproductions on-site. However, some artists do sell production studio work on their websites so please work with each individual artist featured HERE if you have questions.


2021 poster by Edwin Mighell
Update on the 74th Annual 57th Street Art Fair


The 2021 74th Annual 57th Street Art Fair will happen, rain or shine, despite the COVID pandemic. 

Our current plan features a robust virtual fair with hopes of producing a safe in-person event on June 5-6, if the City of Chicago determines it is safe to issue the special event permits that would allow this. 


We are actively monitoring the situation for any changes to the city’s permit policy, and are currently working on plans for a physical fair with a modified footprint that considers booth spacing, traffic flow, visitor access, and any resulting impact on the neighbors and local businesses within our usual footprint of 57th Street between Kenwood and Woodlawn Avenues, and on Kimbark Avenue between 57th and 56th Streets.    

Our decision to hold the 2021 57th Street Art Fair with or without a physical fair is based on our belief that, while a virtual fair will never be able to replace 'the real deal,' we can at least provide our artists some publicity and connect them with potential buyers through the virtual event should a physical event not be possible.  


We envision the 2021 Virtual Fair as a fully interactive online art fair where artists will be able to promote and sell their original artwork via the 57th St. Art Fair website cultivated by our team.  Shoppers will be able to browse artists by category, click on an artist to see more images and their bio and will be directed via a hyperlink to access the Artists's personal website and/or email address for queries and purchasing. 

We are currently building our virtual event, and the anticipated launch date for the 2021 Virtual Fair will be early April.   

Please check for the 2021 Virtual Fair tab on our website, and our social media platforms of Instagram and Facebook— linked at the top right corner—  for features such as "Meet the Artist,” Gift Guides, Artist Demonstrations from their Studio, and Video Interviews

A statement from the 57th St. Art Fair Team in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement

The 73rd Annual 57th St. Art Fair is now virtual!

57th St. Art Fair goes VIRTUAL in 2020!

2020 Art Fair under review

2019 57th Street Art Fair

Art Fair Volunteers are wonderful

WFMT is once again a media sponsor for the art fair

Top 50 Art Fairs in country

2017 Art Fair Poster

Join the Art Fair Organizing Committee

Calling All Volunteers

Limited edition signed lithographs by Anastasia Mak available

Musical Line Up For the Fair in partnership with Buddy Guy's Legends


Raise A Glass for Ray

Bachor's Pothole Installation Project

Marc Lamm, Debra Dembowski and Aaron Sault awarded the 2016 Newcomer Award Winners

Applicaiton for the 69th Annual Fair has now closed

69th Annual 57th Street Art Fair Poster

New Mailing Address

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Contact us

57th Street Art Fair

PO Box 15371

Chicago, IL 60615

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