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July 21, 1976 - Image 14

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1976-07-21

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Page Eight


Wednesday, July 21, 197(

Page Eight THE MICHIGAN DAILY Wednesday, July 21, 1 97~

Tic tac tie

Doily Photo by K'N FINK
A group of fairgoers stop to ponder the meaning of one of
last year's more unusual items-a sculpture constructed from
bicycle parts.
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Art Fair: Looking back

I was in my mid-teens when,
first exposed to the yearly ex-
travaganza called the Ann Ar-
bor Art Fair. I must admit that
I was not exactly pleased at
the prospect of being dragged
along to the affair with my par-
ents, grandmother, brother and
sister. Surely I could come up
with something better to do on
a warm, summer afternoon.
But upon entering the crowd-
ed sea of people that filled the
street, it occurred to me that
something interesting must be
going on. I had never seen a


city block off traffic for an
event like this. The most my
home town, Detroit, had ever
done was to close off one block
in order to turn on the fire hy-
THE SCENE in Ann Arbor
was a far cry from that. Rows
of booths lined the center of
the streets. Along the sidewalk,
merchants set out tables piled
high with everything from books
to shirts to trinkets. The rest
of the street was occupied by
crowds or art-lovers busily
looking at, examining, and pur-
chasing the wares.
Agreeing to meet my family
later, I decided to look at some
of the displays myself. I look-
ed at paintings, then wandered
down the block to admire the
works at some of the other
Several years passed before I
took another, longer look at the
Art Fair. This time I approach-
ed it from an entirely different
point-of-view. My first visit had
been colored by the usual teen-
aged reactions to parental ideas
of fun on a summer afternoon.
But this second time, having
lived in Ann Arbor for a while,
I now looked forward to the
event as only a city resident
high, but I soon discovered that
the fair had become much

more commercial that it had
been during my previous visit.
The booths, the artists, and
the artifacts were still there,
but the amounts of commerc-
ially - produced and standard-
ized products had increased
It seemed as if the fair had
become much more of a money-
making event than a display of
individual craftsmanship. Nev
ertheless, I decided to explore
the crowded streets more fully,
remembering how little my two-
hour stay years before had sat-
isfied me.
Summertime in Ann Arbor t
usually rather quiet. But the
more I walked around the mitre
I realized how much the Art
Fair transforms the city into a
bustling haven for artisans and
art lovers. Art Fair crowds r
al those of a football weekrtd
or the first days of schoo in
September when parents tid
stiudents flood the city.
commercialism, I found that it
was fun just to walk aong
the crowds. I stopped every now
and then to look over an nter-
esting piece of artiwork, then
I'd walk on to the next booth
And even though I didn't boy
anything. I must admit that
the Art Fair provided a nice
break from the sleepy setting
that usually characterizes an
Ann Arbor summer.

tLJ~i T 1, lI n14fto
Open Wed., Thurs., Fri. till 9 p.m.-Sot. till 5:30

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