On Sunday, December 5, the Palmer Square Art Fair will return for a second run. This time, the market moves indoors to Avondale’s Sleeping Village (3734 W. Belmont Ave), with a name change to the Chicago Winter Art Fair.
Local artist Hannah Sellers originally put the fair together during the summer of 2021. “The first one came to be because I started doing art a lot in the pandemic and I just noticed a lack of options for artists to get their work out into the world in a way that was accessible and affordable,” she said.
Sellers explained that booth fees at larger fairs can be steep. For example, 10-by-12-foot booths at the June 2022 Old Town Art Fair go for $750. At the Dec. 18-19 Renegade Craft fair, shared (3-by-6-foot) booths go for $350.
The winter Palmer Square Art Fair’s $50 booth fee is much easier for new artists to cover, Sellers said. Plus, Sellers provides vendors with help from a few friends and neighbors. These volunteers can help vendors set up, a courtesy that not all fairs provide but that many artists greatly appreciate, Sellers said.
“I think a lot of markets focus on or cater to artists who are just constantly doing markets and that’s their thing,” Sellers said. “And I think with [the Palmer Square Art Fair], there’s always going to be someone there who’s never done a market before.”
Both artists with huge social media followings and those who are just starting out are welcome, Sellers said, adding that she was intentional in making her market “super DIY so that the barrier to entry was really easy.”
On July 24, the Palmer Square Art Fair went off without a hitch. Sellers said she wasn’t sure what to expect but was happy to report that everything went smoothly. There was plenty of foot traffic, and vendors sold more than they expected.
“Everyone was just beaming the whole day and just having so much fun,” Sellers said.
After the fair’s move indoors this December, February and summer 2022 markets also in the works. For the upcoming fair, Sellers collaborated with Sleeping Village, a local bar, meaning that guests can enjoy drinks (and a DJ!) while they shop.
Though the event is open to the public, guests must be at least 21 years old and bring a valid ID, plus proof of vaccination. If you would like, you can RSVP here.
The new Chicago Winter Art Fair will include 25 vendors of diverse wares, including “ceramicists, jewelry designers, vintage curators and everything in between,” Sellers said.
Some artists will be new to the fair, while others will be returning from the summer. Sellers said it was important to her to build a continuous community while also providing opportunities for new vendors.
She added that she thinks the fair will be a great place to meet people, connect with artists and find unique gifts made by local creators.
“I’m just really excited,” Sellers said. “I wish I could [organize fairs] all the time, because I get to meet such cool people from doing it. I’m really excited to see where it goes in the next year.”
You can apply to sell your art at future markets by filling out the Google form linked on the fair’s instagram page.
In the meantime, make sure to stop by Sleeping Village this Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. to find some handmade treasures.
Featured photo: Hannah Sellers