A couple weekends ago Dale and I went to the Old Town Art Fair. It’s a very busy art fair and one of the oldest in the Midwest. And it’s big but not annoyingly so. Best of all? They have some really great artists.

Lewis Tardy does unusual (and expensive) metal sculpture. We thought the sculptures were amazing and you can check out his website here.

Another Tardy sculpture.

My favorite again this year is Nicario Jimenez–a retablos artist with works featured in the Smithsonian! He makes incredible dioramas from potato paste and gypsum powder!

I love these and can’t wait to buy one! Anyway, the retablos feature traditional and everyday behaviors as well as political statements. The above feature “day of the dead” figures drinking and singing. Click on the pictures to get a better view!
A traditional retablo.


A spectacular three-story retablo tells the story of immigration to America today. The folks on the bottom are just trying to get into the country, the second floor shows police harassment of immigrants and the top floor shows dueling demonstrations of immigrants protesting and Americans response–with the police caught in the middle.
A spectacular detail of the larger work above.
Another tradition retablo.
More drunk skeletons!

You can check out Nicario Jimenez’s site here.

Ultimately, we only bought one piece of art. Some girls at a nearby house were selling “affordable” art–this lovely drawing set us back $3 but I think it was worth it. Dale is a big fan of meerkats and this is a faithful representation of the little creatures.