Art, spelled A-D-D

What do you get when you take over 350 galleries, over 8000 works of art, and put them all in the largest commercial building in the world for 4 days?

ADD, or Art Distraction Disorder.

This weekend is Artropolis, a mega art festival with five concurrent shows in the Merchandise Mart. I attended the preview parties on Thursday and I swear, I felt like a kitten in a catnip factory.

My parents went with me, and we’re old pros at art fairs. My dad’s an artist, and my childhood summers were spent reading and people-watching at his booth or exploring the other artists’ creations. While he’s switched media and no longer participates, we still attend fairs often and have a simple method: walk up one aisle to the end, then round the corner and come back, like walking turnstiles at an amusement park.

This zig-zag method usually works quite well, but not at Artropolis. We’d start out OK, but then we’d see something that would catch our eyes and we’d stray off path. There’s just SO much to see.

You’ll want to plan your visit before attending. The shows each have a different feel, and will appeal to varying groups.

Art Chicago: This is the biggie, with 132 exhibitors and 600 booths.  7th Fl

International Antiques Fair: 115 dealers showcase antiques and fine art. 8th Fl

The Intuit Show of Folk and Outsider Art: Self-taught, Intuitive, and Outside Art. 8th Fl (accessible by stairs from Art Chicago, but not accessible from Antiques Fair)

The Artist Project: New art from independent artists. 350 W Mart Plaza Lobby (Apparel Center)

Bridge Art Fair: Galleries featuring emerging and new contemporary works. 350 W Mart Plaza, 12th Fl (Apparel Center)

Tickets: $15
Merchandise Mart






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