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July 25, 1979 - Image 19

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1979-07-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Objets d'art
scarce at
street fair
'craft Show'
By STEPHEN PICKOVER
"Is $30 the best you can do?" he
queried, turning the object d'art slowly,
affecting his best disdainful yet disad-
vantaged air.
"For you, young man, $28,' spoken
as if this deal was better than Manhat-
tan Isle for $24.
"$22."
"26.50-my final offer."
"$25."
"Sold."
The art of haggling, reminiscent of
exotic Arabian bazaare and that box of
questionable odds and ends purchased
for "a steal" at the local flea market is
a delightful pastime and one that is too
often sorely missed at Ann Arbor's an-
nual market of potpourri-to the
disadvantage of student-low-budget-
types.
Can one find anything at the annual
art fair with the "I have only $12.00 and
it's for my terminally sick aunt in
Maudlin, Montana .. ." routine? The t
answer, unfortunately, is rarely.ren
Good buys are rre. Prices are not
set with the student populous in mind,
as most of the swarming masses consist
of out-of-toWners, who come to the Art
Fair intent on buying a set of ceramic
hippos for Aunt Gladys, a malachite
ring for daughter Janies, a fake Tiffany
belt buckle for little Tod nd an oil
landscape for the living room, not to
mention lunch, dinner and various
snacks peppered throughout their shop-
ping spree.
As you may have already discovered,
the "Art" Fair is in reality a crafts 'oe
show. One is swamped by a plethora of
ceramic and glazed bric or bra, silver
jewelry, leather belts and purses,
pillows eaisneedlepoint, clocks with
tree bark faces, dried floral
arrangements and Ann Arbor Art Fair
tee shirts-all this in addition to the
local merchants setting up shop outside
their doors and hawking wares at far
from discount prices.
The Art Fair used to be quite an event
in Ann Arbor, with ll the townies coun-
ting the weeks, looking forward to the
varied display of many local and out-of-
town artists. But now, it reminds ne of
the blatant tourist trap storefronts
abounding in mid-town Manhattan-the
ones that have been going out of
business for the last ten years-selling
everything from kitchy Sttues of
Liberty to Sony receivers with a 50-100
per cent mark-up. The Art Fair has
become a tourist extravaganza, with
everyone from the corner popsicle ped-
dler to the multitudinous storefront
owners gearing to make fast bucks.
Some years, it is almost worth
wading through the common goods to
find the few dealers with exceptionally
high quality and reasonable priced art.
One year I recall a fine painter of
watercolors, and excellent brass sculp-
tures. Unfortunately, these artists have
become the exception, not the rule.
Quality of the merchandise varies
from fair to fair, but prices are abon-
minably high for all three. If you've
never been to the fair, go exploring on
thelirstd , and-tue restof the timetry
to steer clear of the mobiHappy 4ni-i-
ting.

The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, July 25, 1979-Page 13
To each his own
SELF-PROFESSED connoisseurs may
question the aesthetic value of some
pieces exhibited at the fair, but artists'
profits year after year indicate that the
general populace is not as particular.
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