The 57th Street Art Fair Returns to Hyde Park June 3 and 4

By CGN Staff

The 57th Street Art Fair, held annually in June in Hyde Park, is back this weekend for its 76th year. 

Located along 57th Street between Woodlawn and Kenwood Avenues and on Kimbark between 56th and 57th Streets, this is the oldest juried art fair in the Midwest! A classic summer neighborhood art fair, while the feeling is local, artists come from around the country to exhibit at the fair and are stationed in their booths throughout the weekend to discuss their work. 

According to the fair's website, the history of the 57th Street Art Fair goes back decades to the visionary Mary Louise Womer, a silversmith artist from Kansas City. Womer's studio, The Little Gallery, was a local hangout where artists in the community gathered to talk and drink tea. Wanting to create an event where local artists could showcase their work to the community, Womer established the first 57th Street Art Fair in 1948. Her studio lacked the space needed for the event, so she decided to take advantage of the local streets, stringing wires from trees and along fences of 57th Street where the artists could hang their works. Fifty-one artists, many of whom were students at the Art Institute and the Institute of Design, each paid 50 cents to participate for the weekend. Everything from paintings to ceramics to jewelry to glasswork was displayed! By the end of the weekend, earnings totaled $500, and on Sunday night Womer and her husband John cleaned up the display areas themselves.

The first 57th Street Art Fair Committee, composed of 15 dedicated individuals and chaired by Womer was organized in 1950. Together, the committee generated a list of aims and policies, documenting the goals, intentions, and priorities for the fair. Still in use today, those policies validate the artistic pursuit itself, making sure artists reap complete monetary benefit of their sales. In keeping with Womer's rules, all works must be original art; no limited edition prints or any other reproductions can be sold.

Today, a formal juried process guides the selection of up to 200 artists from all over North America who set up shop on 57th Street on the first full weekend of June. The fair now attracts over 20,000 visitors annually.


Public transportation is highly recommended. Click here for more information on parking and directions.

​Admission is free.

57th Street Art Fair Hours:
Saturday, June 3, 2023, 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday, June 4, 2023, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm