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July 19, 1978 - Image 11

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-07-19

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

.Themichigan Doly-Wedneaday, July 19,1978-Page7
Demonstrations highlight South U

South University is the most placid of
Ann Arbor streets, that is until mid-
summer, when it becomes a formidable
task to take three steps to your right.
Back when the Ann Arbor Art Fair was
still a manageable event-when the ar-
tists maintained a spark of
originality-the festival, known as the
Ann Arbor Street Fair, took place solely
on South U. Ah, but now, those who
traverse the blocked-off streets must
contend with the estimated 250
thousand "art-lovers" from out of town,
who turn the street into a veritable mob
of buying, selling, and-that best loved
of all pastimes-browsing. Oh, there
are browsers from everywhere, to the
point that the Art Fair has ceased being
any sort of celebration-it is more likea
massive, throbbing, sun-drenched out-
door mall, with paintings and sculp-
tures in place of ornamental lam-
pshades and plastic lawn furniture.
Still, for all its overblown
magnitude, it is possible to brave the
fair's original South University section
and be "entertained"-a word we
Americans cherish so highly-and for
that we should perhaps take a closer
look at what the Street Art Fair has to
Aside from irresponsible critical
opinions on the finished products, the
most enjoyable activity is observing the
craftspeople as they work. A viewer
may stroll by a glass-blower's booth,
for instance, and see the artists mold a
blob of hot glass into a beautiful glass
horse before a group of mesmerized
onlookers, who gaze with open mouths.
Or there is the potter's wheel, where
watching potters fashion lumps of clay
into smooth bowls may make one wish
that hand craftsmanship still had some
real respectability.
"I feel that the demonstrations are

one of the most important parts of the
fair," said Roseanna Tendler Worth,
demonstration coordinator. "It's a
valuable thing for the community to be
able to see this-it's a learning ex-
perience. There will be 21 artist-
demonstrators at this year's fair, who
will do everything from plastic casting
a volunteer's face to creating ceramic
animals. Joan Beaver of Ypsilanti will
be giving pointers to those interested in
silk-screen printing.
There are even booths where lay-
persons are encouraged to try their
hand at creativity. Huge vats of murky,
steaming wax line one stall on East
University, where patrons-turned-
artists dip and redip long white strings
into the goo. When they decide they
have dipped "just enough," they snip
the string and emerge with the finished
product-a candle.
Parents can be spared, for a few
minutes at least, the nerve-wracking
task of searching for the kiddies over
the heads of the crowd. There are
fingerpainting stalls where the tots can
revel in making a mess in the name of
art. Painted clowns meander through
the throng, pinching cheeks and
bellowing ho-ho-boa. If so inclined, the
public can have their own faces painted
by a cheerful personage in patched
When one has had his fill of paintings,
sculptures, and varied unclassifiable
items, East University offers a stage
show featuring live perfomances by
bluegrass, country and jazz groups.
The Ann Arbor Junior Theatre Strolling
Players will perform on Wednesday, in
addition to other theatre offerings and
mime presentations. Those with in-
satiable tastebuds will discover a wide
assortment of cuisine, ranging from
palatable to positively grungy,
available in the south University

rots galore
Art on South University leans heavily toward painting and pottery. Here patrons
contemplate the clay at a canopied booth.

restaurants and the ubiquitous snack
huts. For those who are, shall we say,
easy to please, there are pizzas, ham-
burgers and hot dogs. If one quests for
the more sublime of appetizers, the
palate may be satisfied with vegetarian
pizza, frozen yogurt, and Mexican and
Indian food (but beware of the Mexican
food-and don't say you weren't war-
For those unfamiliar with the city,
there is an information booth, a white
box under the sign of the fish (a symbol
of the Fair since its inception in 1959),
located on the corner of South and East
University Streets. The booth has com-
plete lists of participating artists, as
well as schedules of demonstrations
and musical and theatrical perfoman-
ces. There is also a Red Cross station on
the same corner.

* Authentic Full Service Mexican Restaurant
* Live Mariachi Music Seranade During Dinner
" Disco Dancing after 9 pm
* Free Disco Dancing Lessons Taught by
Professional Instructors every Wednesday Night
* Open from 4:30 pm Tuesday through Sunday
" Live Jazz every Sunday Night
611 Church near South University

In the past, Ann Arborites, proud of
their city's supposed artistic heritage,
proclaimed the art fair as a major
cultural event. Well, perhaps we know
better now. the Ann Arbor Street Art
Fair does not turn South University into
16th century Florience (nor, for that
matter, does it tower far above 20th
century Akron), but it is fun, and we
might as well live with its bad points for
the sake of entertainment. After all, it
provides food for discussion and com-
plaints when summer is starting to

we now carry:
SES, and much more
126 S. MAIN ST.


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