The Biennial “Celebrate the Paperweight” is Back. Plan Accordingly!

Late September Chicago is the place to be for lovers and especially lovers of fine glass paperweights! Two years ago we had to put the Selman biennial on hold in order to assist the Chicago Art Institute in the sale by auction of close to 400 duplicative weights from the Arthur Rubloff Collection and other holdings. After that smashing success for a good cause, we can now return to tradition!

Come to town by the 27th of September to settle in and stop by to have a toast at the gallery with us from 3-7pm.

Gordon Smith & David Graeber

Gordon Smith & David Graeber

Friday the 28th, We’ll be offering transportation to an all-star glassmaking demonstration at the Project Fire Studio with David Graeber, Andy Najarian, Gordon Smith and Damon MacNaught. The bus will begin boarding at 10:30am from the Congress Hotel, to arrive in time for the 11am-2pm demonstrations. Heading the Project Fire Studio is Pearl Dick, an accomplished glass artist, teacher and social activist who has engineered this operation to give at-risk youth an opportunity to create something meaningful, learn teamwork and develop technical skills that may provide a path to employment. Light lunches will be provided by the gallery. After the event you can come back to the gallery, have a beverage and examine first-hand the paperweights to be offered in the fall auction as they’ll be freshly filling the display cases.

Friday, beginning between 5:30-6pm and going until we’re thrown out, we’ll all converge at the Columbia Yacht Club aboard MV Abegweit, one of the great ships (retired) of the Great Lakes. Enjoy gorgeous views of the lake and the city skyline as the sun settles behind the panorama of “skyscrapers” in the city that gave birth to the word. Take in the Lake air with drinks in hand. Among the speakers will be the aforementioned Pearl Dick. We will also hear from Kathryn Sharbaugh, the Flint Museum curator of the “Small Worlds” Paperweight exhibition, which is running through the PCA conference next April in Dearborn. She also authored the recent and very attractive volume Paperweights: Highlights from the Flint Institute of Arts Collection. This evening will also feature gift bags, a raffle and an auction to benefit the Paperweight Foundation. In addition a portion of the ticket proceeds will be donated to them as well.

View from the Columbia Yacht Club

View from the Columbia Yacht Club

Saturday the 29th at the Fine Arts Building we’ll host the Artist Fair at 10am in a beautiful dance hall with floor to ceiling views of Grant Park. You’ll be seeing many new designs offered by many of the finest glass artists in the field. The fair will run from 10am to 3pm.

Later on Saturday we’ll get back together for dinner and a celebratory send-off at the Walnut Room for our closing dinner (6pm). “The world famous Walnut Room was the first restaurant ever opened in a department store. With Circassian paneling imported from Russia and Austrian chandeliers, the 17,000 square foot dining room is both elegant and comfortable.”

The historic Walnut Room

The historic Walnut Room

And for those of you returning home on Sunday, please feel free to stop by in the morning for a goodbye mimosa!

Please refer to the links provided and make your hotel reservations soon. We suggest you make the Celebrate the Paperweight the core of a vacation experience that may include the Art Expo, the new Halim Museum, the Art Institute’s John Singer Sargent exhibition, the play, HAMILTON, the famous Randolph Street Art Fair, and so many other attractions listed on our GUIDE to the weekend’s events.

To purchase a ticket for the event, click here.

To book your stay with the group rate at the Congress Hotel, click here. (more hotels available for recommendation)


We’re glad you asked…

It is NOT too early to sound the horns… The planning for the 2018 CELEBRATE THE PAPERWEIGHT (September 27-29) is well underway and a good time will be had by all attending.

Here is a view of the Lake from one of the rooms - quite lovely!

Here is a view of the Lake from one of the rooms – quite lovely!

The important thing today to communicate is that there are many other events and attractions occurring that very weekend. It will be High Season and the rooms may go quickly or go up in price! The Selman Gallery has reserved 20 rooms for the 3 nights at the comfortable and convenient Congress Plaza, at $189/night, plus tax. You can book your room by clicking HERE. You must mention our gallery to get the group rate. Also, you may cancel your reservation up to a month before the dates, at no penalty (read the contract). If you choose another hotel, that is fine, but do it soon. And the hotel will honor (if rooms are available) the same rate for “shoulder dates” on either side of your reserved dates. And, if you check in and the hotel still has lake view rooms unrented past about 3 pm, they will upgrade you to a lake view at no extra charge! However, if you want to be absolutely assured of a lake view, it’s just an extra $20/night. So book soon while the lake views are still available!  Don’t take the gamble if you are hoping to see the sun come up!!

Other attractions that will bring people to Chicago at that time include the annual and massive ART EXPO on Navy Pier, and the recently opened Halim Time and Glass Museum in Evanston, offering collections of Tiffany and stained glass (and over 1,000 rare timepieces). That will also be the closing weekend to see the Art Institute’s 100-piece exhibition “John Singer Sargent and Chicago’s Gilded Age.” Also on view will be “Lest We Forget: Sailors, Sammies And Doughboys Over There In World War I” hosted by The Pritzker Military Museum, just across from the Art Institute.

For those coming in a day early you can catch Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (September 27th). For those unrepentant (Grateful) Dead Heads among you, the Dark Star Orchestra tribute band will be performing at the north side VIC Theatre on Saturday night the 29th. Sunday the 30th will not only be the last day of the Sargent/Gilded Age show, but you can also enjoy an afternoon wandering the intriguing west loop Randolph Street Market antique fair! Oh, and yes, HAMILTON, the Musical will be going strong. … And that is just scratching the surface!

For information on purchasing tickets, booking your hotel and for a schedule of events, click here.

Questions? Just check our online postings or call us!

Come for the Fest, Stay for the City!

Chicago’s at its best in the Fall!

Garden at the Art Institute of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago gardens

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This page serves as a landing page for quick links for tickets/hotel and schedule information. For more detailed descriptions of each event and location, click here.

To purchase a ticket for the event, click here.

To book your stay with the group rate at the Congress Hotel, click here. (more hotels available for recommendation)

If you have any questions about the schedule or experience any trouble with the links for tickets and hotel, please call us in the gallery at 312-583-1177 or email us at and we can assist as needed.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, September 27th

Welcome Reception at the L.H. Selman Gallery from 3-7pm. Those arriving on Thursday are welcome to join us for libations & cheer.

Friday, September 28th

Demonstrations at Pearl Dick’s Project Fire from 11am-2pm. Participating artists include David Graeber, Gordon Smith, Andrew Najarian & Damon MacNaught. Transportation will be provided between the Congress Hotel and Project Fire, the bus will begin boarding at 10:30am. Light lunch provided.

Dinner at the Columbia Yacht Club, beginning between 5:30-6. With breathtaking lakeside views, the evening will include dinner, drinks, musical entertainment, speakers, gift bags, a benefit auction & raffle.

Saturday, September 29th

Artists’ Fair in the Fine Arts Building, 10am-3pm. An informal get-together, with light food and refreshments.

Dinner and a celebratory send-off at the historic Walnut Room at 6pm!

Sunday, September 30th

Morning Mimosas at the gallery.

Wondering why you should book your hotel now? We’ve made a GUIDE to some of the other exciting events taking place the same weekend in Chicago.

For a digital map featuring location highlights, click here. (We will continue to add to this map, so check back).