Wilmette, Community

Introducing the Wilmette Art Fair, ready to paint the town this summer

Add one more local festival to your summer plans.

Wilmette will host the inaugural Wilmette Art Fair, which is already seeking artists for the first-ever event scheduled for Aug. 5-6 in downtown Wilmette (Central and Wilmette avenues).

Village officials are hoping to build off the success of recent community events in and around Wlimette, said Village Manager Mike Braiman.

“We received a lot of good feedback around events in the community, whether it’s Music on the Green or the block party, which was a huge success,” he said. “There was demand for some more events like this that we want to put on for community pride and continuing the vibrancy we have going.”

Applications to participate in the event are due on Jan. 23 and are $425 for a booth and $715 for a double space, plus $25 to apply. Organizers are expecting around 200 applications and about 100 artists to be selected by a 10-person jury. All art on display at the fair must be for sale, and the event is free for guests.

The village will close streets in downtown Wilmette during the festivities, and Braiman said business local owners will be asked if they want to participate.

The Wilmette Art Fair is a product of Highland Park-based Amdur Productions, which puts on several local art events, such as the Glencoe Festival of Art, Northbrook Art in the Park, Port Clinton Art Festival in Highland Park, Evanston Art and Big Fork, and Art at the Glen (Glenview).

Many of Wilmette’s neighbors host a regular art event, like Winnetka’s Art in the Village from the North Short Art League and the Glencoe Festival of Art. While there have been one-off art events in Wilmette, whether at Edens Plaza or Plaza del Lago, the village has not hosted a regular art fair for as long as Braiman, who came to Wilmette in 2008, can remember.

Braiman said the village was thinking about adding an art fair prior to 2022’s block party for the town’s 150th anniversary and the idea gained steam in the wake of the sesquicentennial celebration.

Many details of the art fair are still to be determined, but Braiman said the addition of food and beverage options as well as entertainment are on the table.

While much is to be decided, Wilmette officials hope the Wilmette Art Fair becomes an annual event.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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