57th St Art Fair's Art Buying Boot Camp

The free fair on Saturday and Sunday offers a guided tour lead by local artists and art experts, called Art Buying Boot Camp. The tour can helps art rookies learn the ins and outs of art buying, showing them how to navigate their way through an art fair. It can save browsers time and money and help experienced buyers maximize their day.

"With little precious free time, choosing which fairs to attend can be easy if you plan ahead," says local pottery artist Karen Patinkin. "Using the Internet to search for fairs in your area can help you pick the fairs you want to attend, then previewing artists' work will help to confirm you like what you'll see when you get there. And going to some fairs early in the season means you'll see a lot of the artists' best work before it gets bought up by others."

Art Buying Boot Camp offers a private tour through the art fair with art-buying experts who can help you make the most of your time and your art fair experience. Art experts answer questions such as "What is the best price for a piece?" "What size art piece fits my space?" or "How can I get creative with a small budget?"

Register for the boot camp online at www.57thstreetartfair.org or by calling 773.493-3247

"In today's economy, with more people choosing to redecorate over scrapping and starting over, buying art can be an affordable part of any redecorating plan that helps freshen the look of a room," says Jay Mittelstead, 57th Street Art Fair Boot Camp leader.

The 57th Street Art Fair www.57thstreetartfair.org/ was organized 63 year ago by some of America's ground-breaking artists who felt it was important to gather and share their passion with peers and art lovers. Many say they changed the way people access art. The oldest juried art fair in the Midwest; 57th Street gave some of Chicago's most well-known artists their start, and continues to have critically-acclaimed and internationally-recognized artists participate in all aspects.

You can visit more than 250 artist booths at Chicago's 63rd Annual 57th Street Art Fair on Saturday, June 5 from 11 am to 6 pm and Sunday, June 6 from 10 am to 5 pm Glass, jewelry, leather, photography, printmaking, painting, sculpture, wood, ceramic and fiber works will be displayed. The fair is family friendly and alcohol-free

The Art Fair is located in the historic Hyde Park Neighborhood along 57th street between Kimbark and Kenwood Avenues. For more information, visit www.57thstreetartfair.org or call 773.493-3247.

Public transportation options: Metra station at 57th St. or the CTA bus 6 or 28 at Stony Island and 57th St., 173 Lakeview Express and the 192 from the downtown trains. Parking is available at 55th and at the Midway Plaisance parking facility between Dorchester and Ellis.

Saturday and Sunday
57TH ST. Between Kenwood and Kimbark

Tips For Choosing A Fair and Buying Art Courtesy 57th St. Art Fair www.57thstreetartfair.org/

Art Buying Do's • Attend some of the early season fairs when you'll see the artists' best work before it gets bought up by others. • Use the Internet to preview art. Go to the 57th Street Art Fair www.57thstreetartfair.org/ you can click on "Art Browser" to preview the artist's work before you go to the fair. You can make great use of your time at the Fair with a list of artists you want to visit.

  • Look for different art mediums. Photos, prints and watercolors tend to be less expensive than oil paintings
  • Buy at an art fair instead of a gallery. You can find good deals because you don't have to pay commission to a gallery. You almost always get to talk directly with the artist about what inspires their pieces—that can help you connect more with the piece of art you have in your home
  • Determine your budget range and bring only that amount in cash with you to the Fair
  • Buy small pieces; they can make a big statement too. If you buy a small piece you can get creative with matting and framing to create a larger piece.
  • Take into consideration what you're buying. There's a difference between decorative art and fine art. With decorative art, which includes posters and prints, there's some negotiating room depending on how the customer is purchasing.
  • Be aware that any price adjustment is dependant on the artist and will vary from both to booth. Occasionally the artist will allow for a modest discount with a simple request.
  • Be reasonable with your negotiating. Remember artist make their living on selling their work; don't put the integrity of the piece at risk by low-balling your offer.
  • Go with your instinct. If you love it and it's in your price range, buy it.
  • Art Buying Don'ts

  • Never negotiate the price of an item that you do not intend on buying.
  • Don't be nervous about the process. The more opportunities you have to buy art, the more expert you will become and the less intimidated you will be.
  • Don't let others influence you. This is one time that shopping with friends may not be helpful unless you know that your friend understands and respects your sense of style and taste. Art buying is a personal taste.
  • Don't think you have to know which room or particular wall space to fill before you purchase a piece of art. Keep in mind that a small piece can be hung anywhere but a large piece of art is a larger commitment; you need to already have or be able to find a suitable place for it.

    "I work in high-fired porcelain, wheel thrown and sometimes altered, Karen says. " The surface treatment is achieved through a variety of glaze and slip techniques, including graffito, wax resist, slip trailing and layering glaze on glaze. I am a color enthusiast and continually test new glazes and slips to add to my repertoire."

    Karen is a traditional potter in that I intend for my pots to be used. In addition to aesthetics, I'm concerned with weight and balance, she adds. "I tend towards simplicity of form and add complexity through surface decoration. Inspiration for the surface imagery can come from almost anywhere including ancient Islamic ware, Japanese textiles and, of course, nature."

    Karen started in clay at college in the 70's. She has a BA degree from the University of Illinois in Champaign. She is a full-time potter, mother of two and has had a studio at Lill Street Art Center http://lillstreet.com/ since 1978.

    Karen teaches at Lill Street and at other ceramic centers and has also worked on a large clay mural with teenagers in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. Her work is available for purchase at Lill Street, Terra Incognito Gallery, art fairs, including the 57th Street Art Fair, and several other shops and galleries.

    "I know that my life is made a bit richer through using handmade objects in my everyday rituals and I hope that people who use my pieces feel the same," Karen says.

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