Riverwalk Fine Art Fair

Pending moderation
Sep 17 2022 to Sep 18 2022

10 am to 5 pm

Downtown Naperville
Main Street & Jackson Avenue
60540 Naperville , IL
United States
Phone: 630.355.2530
Illinois US
Art Fair image: 

The Naperville Art League proudly announces the 37th Annual Riverwalk Fine Art Fair. We invite you to apply to our juried art exhibition and sale, which is held along the renowned Naperville Riverwalk and downtown city streets. The Riverwalk, considered to be one of the most beautifully maintained park grounds in the Midwest, features plants, trees, fountains and covered bridges along side a winding brick walkway. This paved path is a natural showcase for many of the sculptures and artwork commissioned by Naperville’s Century Walk committee. As the focal point of downtown Naperville, it is a delightful setting for a Fine Art Fair. Visitors travel from far and near to enjoy the splendor of the riverwalk and the quaint restaurants and shops in downtown Naperville. On the third weekend in September we add to the ambiance with an outstanding display of the finest in visual arts.

The Riverwalk Fine Art Fair is in the center of a sophisticated, art conscious community, with highly educated, affluent patrons. The show is heavily promoted through newspaper features and inserts, billboards, posters, and paid advertising. Thousands of postcards are sent to previous and potential buyers and an estimated 65,000 festival goers attend this highly anticipated show.



We enforce an “ORIGINALS ONLY” policy. Reproductions are not allowed (a reproduction is defined as a work of art which already exists [as a painting, watercolor, drawing etc.] and is copied by digital, photographic or other means and printed in one of a variety of methods including on an offset press, serigraph press or through a computer by means of an ink jet, laser or electrostatic printer to include Giclee). Exceptions are made for those applying under the heading of Printmaking wherein prints must be produced by the artist using printmaking techniques and in Photography and Digital Art where prints must be printed by the creator, signed and numbered in a limited edition of 250 or less. In addition, kits, factory made items, imported work, commercially made products, and fabricated forms or settings will not accepted. Artist must be present for the duration of the show.


The Riverwalk Fine Art Fair is annually on the third weekend of September. This year the show is scheduled for September 17 and 18, 2022. We are open to the public from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on both days. Optional setup will be available on Friday, September 16 from 11:00 am on.


To enter, simply complete the application process online at Zapplication.org and submit a non-refundable payment of $35 for the jury fee, $65 if applying after the deadline of April 2 and on or before April 15, 2022. No applications will be accepted after April 15.


Now you can apply in more than once from just one profile! This eliminates the need for separate profiles if you submit more than one application to our show. Simply log in to your ZAPP account, apply, and check out as normal. Then, repeat each time you apply (we will accept up to 3 applications per profile.  You can apply either in the same or in different medium categories). Each entry requires a separate entry fee. 


Booth Fees are $450. All payments are to be made either directly through the Zapp system by credit card or with a check, made payable to the Naperville Art League and sent to the Naperville Art League, 508 North Center Street, Naperville, IL 60563.


Standard booth size is 10 X 12. Booths run along the Riverwalk and adjacent downtown city streets. Exhibit areas have both sun and shade and possible uneven terrain. Some booths are on the grass and others will be on the street or brick walkway. Tents are required. Tents must be weighted down and not staked into the ground. Artists must provide their own tents, display boards, tables, chairs, etc. Booths will be assigned by show management to provide media variation throughout the show.


One Best of Show with a $1,000 cash prize will be awarded. Four awards of excellence will be presented with a cash prize of $500 each. Four merit ribbons with a $250 cash prize will be awarded. Awards are given where excellence is determined regardless of media categories.


Naperville is located 30 miles west of Chicago, Illinois in affluent DuPage County. Known for its nationally-acclaimed schools and library system, Naperville is consistently recognized as a top community in the United States in which to raise children or retire. In December of 2003, Naperville earned the top honor in Money Magazine’s “Best Places to Live” rankings. Home to over 140,000 citizens, Naperville is a booming suburb with a concentration of high tech firms. The most recently recorded estimated median family income was $95,000.The community works hard to maintain its small town character. The quaint downtown area is populated by several national retail chains, small shops, and several fine restaurants making it a favorite destination of area shoppers. For more information about the City of Naperville, area events and attractions visit the Naperville Visitors and Convention Bureau web site at www.visitnaperville.com or call toll-free at 1-877-23NAPER.


The Riverwalk Fine Art Fair is sponsored by the Naperville Art League and professionally directed and produced by Deborah Venezia. The expressed intent of the Naperville Art League is to keep the Riverwalk Fine Art Fair a high quality yet intimate art fair. We make every effort to prevent the loss or damage of artwork, however, Deborah Venezia and/or The Naperville Art League, is not responsible for such occurrences. We reserve the right to alter details associated with The Riverwalk Fine Art Fair.


Accepted artists wishing to cancel must notify Deborah Venezia at the Naperville Art League in writing by July 31, 2022 in order to get a refund (minus a $50.00 handling fee). NO refunds will be given after that date.

There will be a $50 charge for checks returned due to insufficient funds.
The Naperville Art League works with the volunteers from the Community Radio Watch to provide an overnight security presence on Friday and Saturday night.  There may be from 3 to 5 volunteers each night.  While we do all we can to maintain security, the Naperville Art League, Community Radio Watch, the Naperville Park District or the City of Naperville, its members or volunteers and contractors, as well as beneficiaries and agents will not assume liability for loss or damage.  We recommend artwork not be stored in the booth overnight.
* Application Deadline on ZAPP:  April 2, 2022
* Application Deadline with a Late Fee:  April 15, 2022
* Exhibitor Image Jury: April 26 - April 29, 2022
* Invited notification available on ZAPP: May 15, 2022
* Deadline for invited artists/pre-accepts to remit booth fee: June 10, 2022
* Information on booth assignment will be posted on ZAPP by August 15, 2022
* Last day for full refund due to artist cancellation: July 31, 2022
* Booth set up: 11:00 am September 16, 2022
* Art Festival: September 17 and 18, 2022, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily
* Booth Tear Down:  5 pm Sunday, September 18.  NO vehicles are not allowed on the street until all pedestrians have exited the area and clearance is granted from the local authorities.

* Best of Show Award: One recipient receives $1,000 cash award and an invitation to return in 2023.
* Awards of Excellence: Four artists will receive a $500 cash award (based on the highest average scores of our judges) and an invitation to return in 2023.
* Merit Awards:  Four artists will receive a $250 cash award (based on judges’ scores) and an invitation to return in 2023.
* At the judges' discretion, up to four Honorable Mention Awards may be given. This honor carries wtih it an invitation to return to the show in 2023.
* Artists are invited to set up on Friday any time after 11:00 am. If an artist would like to set up earlier than 11:00 am, please call the show director and special arrangements will be made.
* Artist Reception:  If gatherings are permitted, all participants are invited to the artist reception and award presentation on Saturday, September 17.
* Complimentary continental breakfast for artists on Saturday and Sunday.
* Estimated attendance of over 45,000.
* Overnight security officers patrol the park on Friday and Saturday.
* Electricity is available in limited areas at no extra charge. Artist must indicate the need in the application. Determination will be made on a winning artist/returning artist/new artist priority.
* Roving and on-demand booth sitters are available to assist the artists.
* Complimentary bottled water for artists.
* Marketing materials feature artwork from select, accepted artists.
* Booth sign identifying artist, category, city and state.
* Promotional Riverwalk Fine Art Fair booklet distributed to over 40,000 homes and businesses listing artists and their mediums, to include color images, booth map and helpful information for festival goers.
* Curb-side unloading and loading on main street.
* Roomy booths with storage space behind them and some with space on both sides.
* Artist-only parking close to the fair during show plus reserved overnight parking for large vehicles and trailers.
* A strong volunteer staff dedicated to making the Riverwalk Fine Art Fair an artist’s favorite show.

Eligible Media: 

Painting (acrylic, oil, water media), drawing, sculpture, fiber, graphics, mixed media, jewelry, photography (limited-edition photographic prints made from the artist’s original photographic image and processed by that artist, or under his or her direct supervision. Work must be properly signed and numbered as a limited edition), pottery, metalwork, glass, wood, digital art (any original work in which the original image was crafted and manipulated by the artist using the computer. Work must be in signed and numbered in limited editions. Artwork created using a camera and then subsequently manipulated using computer technology should apply in the photography category). We seek to maintain the highest standards for both artist and the viewing public. We enforce an “ORIGINALS ONLY” policy. Reproductions are not allowed

Artist Deadline: 
Artist Vendor Fees: 

Application Fee: $35 | Booth Fee $450

Estimated Attendance: 
Number of Exhibitors: 

Submitted images must be representative of the work to be exhibited and should be sharply focused. All 5 images will be simultaneously projected and juried by professional art experts. Artists will be ranked numerically in their category based on jury scores. Exhibitors are selected by ranked point total. A brief artist statement may be read while your slides are being projected. Booth fees are $450 for a single booth. Notification of status will sent by May 15, 2022. Due to unexpected circumstances which occur every year, the director may be involved in artist selection after the jury process.

Wheelchair Accessible?: 
Contact Info
Deborah Venezia
Naperville Art League