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July 19, 1978 - Image 25

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-07-19

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The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, July 19, 1978-Page 21
Year-round art in A2 galleries

Once a year, during four days in late
July, the city of Ann Arbor is transfor-
med, major streets are blocked Off and
evolve into open markets, filling the
city with more crowds, chaos and crafts
than any other time throughout the
But the permeating atmosphere of
aesthetic creativity, originality and in-
novation is not something that has been
imported for the Art Fair alone, but a
special characteristic unique to Ann
Arbor that is found year round. This
sense of artistic growth and vitality
that makes Ann Arbor a consistent art
center, is due in part to the variety of
galleries and exhibits interspersed
throughout the city.
The Alice Simsar Gallery, located at
301 N. Main Street, may be a hike from
the main thoroughfares, but a visit to
this small and classy gallery, so filled
with charm and intimacy is always
worth the walk. Although the exhibits at
the Simsar Gallery tend to be creations
by modern artists who are already,
somewhat established in their field, the
gallery attendants feel the Art Fair
does offer fine quality crafts by less
known artists.
At Gallery One, 113 S. Fourth Avenue
where the emphasis is on art for the
sake of fun and sheer enjoyment, the
exhibits tend to be by unknown artists
who often teach their craft. Diverse
works in every media from ceramics to
oil paintings to sculpture can be found
throughout the gallery, and really do
succeed in being fun. "Swing" sculp-
tures have hung from the Gallery One
ceiling, begging for someone to par-
ticipate in their full essence by taking a
spin, while walls are covered with the
boldest and brightest of enticing colors.
Although two of the artists that
exhibit at Gallery One have also shown
their works in past Art Fairs, gallery
director Clare Spittler finds the Art
Fair both an exilarating and depressing
experience; exhilarating due to the
carnival spirit that exists, but
depressing due to the quality of art
work shown which she feels is generally
inferior to the art she carries in the
During Art Fair days the number of
viewers at Gallery One increases
slightly, and Spittler is looking forward
to assisting all who wish to visit,

especially the more serious art collec-
The University of Michigan Art
Museum, located in Alumni Memorial
Hall on State Street has one of the most
extensive collections of Chinese and
Japanese art..Two separate galleries
are devoted to Chinese and Japanese
scrolls, calligraphy, watercolors and
ceramics. Upstairs is the museum's
permanent collection of European and
American sculpture and paintings,
dated from the Middle Ages to the
Being on one of the major strips of the
Art Fair, the museum offers a place for
people to take a break from the hectic
buying and selling atmosphere of the
outdoors, and to view exquisite art in
peace, quiet and air conditioned com-
Museum director Bret Waller is
always glad to receive the extra art
viewers, and says he feels the pieces
the Art Fair has to offer cover a wide
range, from extremely high to poor
quality items.
The Michigan Union Gallery, located
on the first floor of the Michigan Union,
has monthly exhibits by artists from
the state of Michigan and the mid-
western area. These exhibits cover the
full range of the art spectrum:
photographs, drawings, prints, pain-
ting, sculpture and batik.
Many of the artists that exhibit at the
Union Gallery show their works at the
Art Fair as well. During the four-day
fair, the street activity as well as the in-
terest in communication of the arts
seems to the gallery's benefit. As far as
the quality of work shown at the Art
Fair, those at the Union Gallery find a
great inconsistency in the quality of the
crafts, as well as an inconsistency in
the pricing of the works. Says gallery
director Pat Pancioli, "Some people
price fairly and conscientiously while
others seem to take advantage."
The whole idea of the Art Fair seems
to be an extremely attractive business
opportunity as well as a viable means of
bringing art of nearly every level of
quality to the public. After the Ann Ar-
bor streets appear concrete once again,
and the crowds and merchants pack up
their newly purchased or unsold works
and leave, the artistic spirit of Ann Ar-
bor still lingers on. It is maintained
through the many diverse galleries and
exhibits which satisfy all tastes in art.

(lay Menagerie
Art Fair buffs meander through South University pottery displays in search of
artifacts which meet their standards: price, compatability with their home
decor, utility, aesthetic value. The fair gives all who frequent it a chance to be
discriminating critics.
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