OLD TOWN — The Wells Street Art Festival is back after the pandemic canceled last year’s edition.
The festival, organized by the Old Town Merchants and Residents Association, runs Saturday and Sunday along Wells Street between North Avenue and Division Street.
“We are thrilled to see new and returning artists in person again and excited to be able to come together as a neighborhood for the first time in over a year,” said Jennifer Tremblay, co-chair of the art festival committee. The Wells Street Art Festival has united art collectors and novice art enthusiasts for decades, and we’re excited to continue this tradition.”
The event will showcase painting, photography, sculpture and digital art. It will also feature several Old Town restaurants and local retailers.
Christopher Donovan, board president of the Old Town group, said the festival is a major driver for small businesses. It brought around $600,000 to support local shops in 2019, and funds raised by the festival benefit the local chamber’s neighborhood programs.
“The festival provides the neighborhood with an opportunity to highlight all the incredible restaurants, retail destinations and community organizations that make this neighborhood special,” Donovan said.
The festival will follow all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Chicago Department of Public Health guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Free rapid COVID testing and vaccinations by Northshore Clinical Labs will be available on site.
Face masks will be optional for all vaccinated attendees, and a follow-up COVID testing event will happen 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 19 at the Franklin Fine Arts Center, 225 W. Evergreen Ave.
More information on the festival can be found on its website.
Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.
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