5 Things You'll Love About Outdoor Art Fairs

August is the month for outdoor art fairs!

The sun is shining and the air is festive with opportunity to enjoy summer before fall arrives. I will be exhibiting in three art fairs this August. One is HUGE and the other two are tiny. This is what you can expect at each and why you should go to them (Reason #5 is my favorite!)

Port Clinton Art Fair

August 24 - 25, Saturday and Sunday, from 10-6p. This fair has a diverse group of artisans from fine jewelry to drawings. This fair is one of the largest in the Chicago land area with 250K perusing 300 artist booths.

At Port Clinton Art Fair, I will show some of my newest works on paper. Sizes of art range from 4x6” to 40x60”. All of my works on paper are beautifully framed in goes-with-everything-white. Prices range from $2000 to $100. Originals and fine art giclee prints are both available at this show.

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Aurora Alley Art Fest

August 31st , Saturday, 12-5p. This fair is ‘gritty’. By gritty I mean the tents don’t match and the artwork has a huge range in quality. There will be teenagers drawing portraits for $20. There will also be professional artists seasoned in their craft. It is an intimate fun venue marked by a small-town feel. It’s the opposite of Port Clinton Art Fair.

Art in the Park
September 1st, Sunday 10am - 5pm
Krape Park - 1799 Park Blvd, Freeport, IL


No matter if you like the big or small I’ve got 5 reasons why you should get out of the house and visit art outdoors.

5 Things You’ll Love:

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1. Fresh new artwork

I love going to art fairs because you can see what’s being produced today. New ways of creating artwork with new techniques. It’s likely you’ll see something you haven’t before. It’s likely you see something done a new way you haven’t thought of before.

2. Fast purchasing process and save on shipping

Sometimes it can be quite laborious trying to purchase something online or in a gallery. Buying direct from artists is usually faster and easier.

Shipping artwork safely can be expensive. Buying the piece and walking out with it in your safe hands is a lot less expensive and sometimes safer than shipping it.

3. Talk to the maker

What better way to understand the art than to meet the maker? Learn their story behind the art. You can learn why they draw, paint, and create their art. Ask questions. Most artists will love it. This is your opportunity to start meaningful dialogue in person. It will inspire you to think differently, to expand your horizons.

4. Get introduced to 200 artists and find new favorites

You don’t know what you don’t know until you know. Outdoor art fairs expose you to an enormous number of artists, cheaply, and most importantly, in an extremely short amount of time. You can’t get that return on investment of your time searching the web—No way!— and not to this degree of certain success.

Discovering new artist is like discovering ice cream for the first time (without the calories).

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5. Be outdoors

Only 7% of our time is actually spend outdoors (EPA study 2018). That’s not good. Time spent outside is beneficial for so many reasons you already know. i.e. Synchronizes circadian rhythm, increased energy, better mental health, vitamin D, better eye sight (true! Look it up!), increased immune function (ndhealthfacts.org ) etc.

So, get healthy, go outdoors and spend it at an art fair amongst like-minded people who appreciate visual splendor.

What do you think?

Have you ever gone to an outdoor art fair? What was the main reason why you went? What is your favorite thing about outdoor art fairs? Share your thoughts, questions and experiences in the comments below.

About the author:

Mays Mayhew has been an artist for 20 years. After a hiatus from art fairs, she is back to selling art outdoors in 2019. She creates paintings and drawings depicting the female (mostly) form, usually duplicated or mirrored in a narrative way.

For more information about Mays Mayhew events and shows, click here

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