Old Town Art Fair, Wells Street Art Festival will draw crowds to the Old Town this weekend

CHICAGO (CBS) — The nationally acclaimed Old Town art fair kicked off Friday with a groundbreaking ceremony.

Aldus. Michele Smith (43rd) and U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (D-Illinois) were among those cutting the ribbon.

The 72nd Old Town Art Fair will host more than 200 artists from the United States and Canada throughout the weekend. The artists work in all media – painting, photography, printmaking, drawing and pastel, digital art, mixed media, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, wood, glass, fiber, stone and metal.

It is held in the Old Town triangle area off Lincoln Avenue, with booths on Wisconsin Street, Menomonee Street, Orleans Street, North Park Avenue and Lincoln Park West.

The event also includes a self-guided garden walk involving 52 selected neighborhood gardens.

Two music stages will also be set up – on North Park and St. Paul avenues at the food court, and on Wisconsin and Orleans streets.

On Sedgwick and Wisconsin streets, the Kids’ Corner will feature a magic show, children’s musical theater and take-out art projects.

The Old Town Art Fair is the main fundraiser of the Old Town Triangle Association. Profits are given back to the community through grants to schools, charities and other non-profit organizations.

The Old Town Art Fair is one of two Old Town Art Fairs this weekend. Also on tap is the Wells Street Art Festivalwhich begins Saturday at 10 a.m.

The Wells Street Art Festival runs along Wells Street from North Avenue to Division Street. It features juried artists from across the continent and also working in a wide variety of disciplines – as well as a musical performance stage behind O’Brien’s Restaurant at 1528 N. Wells St.

A children’s play area is also available at Wells Street and Evergreen Avenue – where children can work on arts and crafts, take part in a show or “just have fun”.