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July 20, 1977 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-07-20

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

Wvednesday, July 24, 1977

THE ml(-HIGAN DAIL'

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Wednesday, July 20, 1977 THt MILHtt~AN DAIL4(

Art Fair provides a lively interlude

By GREGG KRUPA
When you think about it, it's
really out; atsight, you know?
It is truly comparable with 'a
number of actiivties that enliven
the tedium of the summertime
workaday world.
It provides a diversion, like
heading into Detroit to watch
the Bird pitch, or cruising to
Pine Knob to see CSN, or put-
ting on a buzz and watching the
fireworks show on the Fourth of
July, or heading down to Indian-
apolis on Memorial Day to
watch the 501.
It has become a part of sum-
mertime Americana, like jaunts
to the beach, backyard barbe-
ques, softball games, and throw-
ing a frisbee on the Diag.
This week some 251,000 peo-
ple will descend upon Ann Ar-

bor, for what has become a
summertime tradition-the Ann
Arbor Art Fairs.
The fairs offer an opportunity
for artists and art worshippers
to gather in an informal setting,
to talk about fine arts and
crafts, and relive the experi-
ences of an older, slower, less
complicated world, where a
buyer could meet face to face
with the craftsman of a particu-
lar treasure that stimulated his
fancy.
"The best thing about the
fair," said Marjorie Timmons,
"is the fact that you get to talk
to the artist who produces the
stuff you buy. It's a lot differ-
ent from art galleries where
you just talk to the guy who
owns the place. He's just a
businessman."

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From the artists' point of
view, the art fairs provide an
opportunity for marketing his
craft without the aid-or inter-
ference - of a gallery owner.
Many of these owners often take
a 40 per cent share of the art-
ist's profit.
Traditionally, artists have on-
ly been employed by getting
their works displayed in these
galleries or by teaching art in
schools. However, the Ann Ar-
bor fairs and other street fairs
around the country offer artists
a chance to professionalize
while remaining free of market-
ing or professorial constraints.
Richard Markham, who has
taken part in past Ann Arbor art
fairs explained the plight of
many artists who chose to travel
the street art ,fair route.
"I've had my paintings dis-
played in a couple of galleries
but they both put a lot of con-
straints on the kinds of paint-
ings they would sell," said
Markham. "Another problem is
the amount of money those gal-
leries charge the artist for dis-
playing your works. For exam-
ple, one of my paintings sold
for $450. I only saw $200."
Markham also talked about
the rapport between artists and
buyers at street fairs.

"Irregardless of what you are
doing, whether it be paintings,
or p o tIt e r y, or sculpture, or
working in metals, what you
produce is very much a part of
you. It's like a child of yours or
something. So when you sell it,
I like the feeling of knowing
where it's going to be. If the
buyer asks the right questions,
he can find out what inspired
me to choose the subject, or
why I did things a certain way,
or even what I feel about the
painting. Everything is just a
lot more personal."
The first fair in 1959 was con-
ceived of as an addition to the
Downtown Bargain Days, spon-
sored by the Chamber of Com-
merce to entice residents into
the area to shop. Since then the
fair has expanded in size almost
geometrically.
In addition to artists special-
izing in material designs, like
painters, sculptors, potterers,
and the rest, the fairs will also
offer culinary artists and per-
forming artists.
"There will be a new per-
formance pavillion this year at
the corner of South and East
University," said Dick Brun-
vand, co-ordinator of the South-
See ART, Page 23

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