Tales of an Art Fair Aficionado: Ed Seidman of Chicago

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I know that many of my subscribers love art fairs and seek them out on their travels2customers.jpg and trade information with other art fair lovers and send me tips also. A couple of years ago I started hearing from a man from the Chicago, Ed Seidman, who has developed his own calendar of art fairs that he distributes to friends.

Thanks Ed, for keeping me on my toes and sharing your list with me.

Here is his story: Ed and Judie moved from the Los Angeles area to the Midwest in 1971 with three paintings and a few ceramic hippos. In addition they brought along one dog and four teenage boys. Over the years the boys and their wives have added 14 grandchildren.

Over time, the ceramic hippos have produced around 300 offspring. Many of them are true pieces of art by known artists. The media includes cloth, ceramic, glass, stone, ivory, silver, clay, jade, wire, wood, paper maiche, etc.

In the mid-eighties we found Door County, Wisconsin, and visit on a yearly basis. We got involved with Edgewood Orchard Galleries. It is one of the finest in the country. Through the gallery and a variety of local Door County artists, we began to collect a variety of media and artists.

We then started attending the local art fairs in the Chicago area. Over the past 20 years we have been putting out an art fair list for a group of four couples. The summer became art fair time and filled up most of the summer weekends. With the help of the Internet, it became easier to track the fairs from year to year. Currently copies of the list are sent out directly to about 40 couples. Each of these forwards the list to as many as ten other people.

We are now at the point where many of the artists know us by sight. Some have made special pieces (like hippos) in their media. It is great to stop and chat with them as old friends. Many we have watched as they had kids and the kids have grown up. Some we have been in contact with when they were ill. It is like being part of a family. Knowing the artists personally, adds another dimension to the art, as we have watched some grow and change their media.

Thanks, Ed, for sharing this story with me and for being what every artist needs: an appreciative audience. Thanks also for doing something else important: sharing this love and bringing your friends to the art fairs. I hope to see you soon at an art fair near you!

Reader, I’d love to hear from you too. Are art fairs an important part of your life also? I’d love to hear about your experiences and loves, hates and collections. Email me: or add a comment below this article.

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