Application Deadline: June 30th


stARTup Art Fair is a contemporary art fair for independent artists working outside of the traditional gallery system. Its core mission is to provide artists with direct access to the art world, and an exhibition venue populated by dealers, curators, collectors, critics, publishers and art appreciators. Artists keep 100% of their sales proceeds, as well as any new and proprietary relationships established during the fair.

What past exhibitors are saying about stARTup:

This was an incredible experience as an artist...making sales is wonderful and the success goes far beyond that. I was able connect with so many people about my work and art making in general. Being a part of this unique community for the weekend was a rare and invaluable opportunity. -Ellie Fritz

I think it's the quality of the visitor here--it’s not about the quantity--the quality has been stupendous. On both days we’ve had about 8-10 different gallery owners. At one point there were 3 independent art dealers in here with us at the same time. -Annie Seaton

During stARTup I sold 3 pieces. I am currently in the process of another possible sale, as well as a commission. -Gillian Keller

I made two sales during the fair and have a few more that may finalize in the following weeks and months. I also made connections at stARTup with galleries, curators, etc. It was definitely a worthwhile experience for me. -Michael Cutlip

Thanks for your strong support for us on top of everything else you provided. There is no question in my mind that this was worth both the money and effort...the fair allowed me to more fully envision how this event can be implemented to move my practice forward. -Jon Fischer

The Application Process:

Applications for stARTup Art Fair Chicago will be accepted through June 30, 2016.

Those selected from the open application process will each take over a hotel room from September 23-25, 2016 to present a solo show of their work. The fair will be at the spacious and elegant
MileNorth Hotel, situated in Chicago's River North District, blocks from the Museum of Contemporary Art, The Arts Club of Chicago, the River North Gallery District, and the EXPO Chicago gallery fair.

Through its democratic, online application, stARTup Art Fair gives artists the opportunity to have their work reviewed by an impressive, influential Selection Committee that includes a diverse range of art world professionals:

Elizabeth Dunbar President & CEO, Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY

Allison Glenn independent curator and writer, Chicago, IL

Michelle Grabner conceptual artist, Milwaukee, WI and Chicago, IL

Sabina Ott artist, educator, curator, and Founder of Terrain Exhibitions, Oak Park, IL

Andrew Rafacz Owner, Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago, IL

Toma Wolff Director, Byron C. Cohen Gallery for Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO

Contact Information:

For more information please visit:
or email or
stARTup Art Fair LLC · 2241 Quesada Ave. · San Francisco, CA 94124 · USA
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