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July 21, 1976 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1976-07-21

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Wednesday, July 21, 1976

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Poge Twenty-One

THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Twenty-One

G., ,

Caught in
the crowd
It's easy to get lost in the
crowd at the Art Fair. The hun-
dreds of booths lining South
University, East University,
Main Street, Liberty, Maynard,
and North University draw hun-
dreds of thousands of visitors
each year. In addition to the
displays of handcrafted work,
the Street Art Fair, Summer
Arts Festival, and State Street
Area Fair will offer entertain-
ment, tasty treats, and actual
demonstrations of craft tech-
niques. Area merchants will get
in the act and offer their own
bargains this week, holding
sidewalk sales in conjunction
with the Art Fair. All three of
the fairs run today through Sat-
urday.

PROBLEMS MAR FAIR:
Thefts hit artists, merchants

By JENNIFER MILLER
For the avid art lover and
people - watcher, the Ann Ar-
bar Art Fair is a profitable and
enjoyable experience.
It is a glorious time for stum-
bling through the heat in
search of that special piece of
art, exotic food, or unusual en-
tertainment. But as expected
when 200,000 people swarm
through a small city during a
four day period, there are
bound to be a few problems.
ONE OF THESE is brought
about by that rather nasty spe-
cies of animal commonly known
as a light - fingered homosa-
pien,
Whether it's stealing from ar-
tists' booths, shoplifting from
the stores which display their
merchandise openly in the
streets, or snatching a purse
from a too-relaxed hold, thiev-
ery abounds at the fair.
And from a thief's point of
view, what better time to fur-
ther your career than when
the streets are teeming with
People?
"TIERE'S MORE people
arOund, therefore it's easier to
oplift," said Steve Adams,
an employe at Borders Book
Shop, "the store is constantly
ful of people."
In an attempt to combat the

problem which many stores
share the employes at Borders
are especially alert during the
four days of the fair, and are
particularly wary of women,
who Adams said are the worst
offenders. "It's those big purses
they carry," he said.
Purses are also a problem in
another way, or more specific-
ally, the snatching of them. In
a large crowd it is apparently
easy to grab and run" as
Lieutenant Richard Hill of the
Ann Arbor Police Department
so aptly puts it.
A R T I S T S themselves
have had some problems in this
area, especially when distract-
ed by a customer.
"There were several incidents
(of stealing) last year when ar-
tistssturned their backs," said
Celeste Melis of the Univer-
sity's Artists and Craftsmen
Guild and coordinator for the
Summer Arts Festival. "We
caution artists to keep an eye
out," she added.
She pointed out that cash
boxes and money were more
frequently stolen than actual
pieces of art, which would prob-
ably be hard to unload. "You'd
have to be a real art lover,"
she admitted.
PI C K P 0 C KE T I N G,
a common fear among people
in crowded situations, is sur-
prisingly not a problem any-
more. "It's a lost art," said

Hill, "it went out with safe-
cracking."
Hill acknowledged however
that the other forms of theft
are on the rise, but only to the
extent that the fair itself is also
increasing in size.
It is this increase which
causes another difficulty for fair
coordinators. Each year, as
more and more artists flock in-
to town to participate in the
event, more and more uninvited
and unauthorized artists also
take up residence.
OFTEN, they set up on
street homners and attempt to
sell work that frequently is well
below Art Fair standards.
Fair planners say there is not
even enough room to accom-
modate all of the qualified ar-
tists, and they object to space
being taken up by "poachers".
For the first time in 17 years,
at this fair there will be a city
ordinance in effect which pro-
hibits soliciting and peddling
without a license. And to in-
sure that people don't just
float into town with the inten-
tion of purchasing a license on
the day before the fair, the or-
dinance states that the license
has to be purchased 60 days
before the fair begins.
"THIS ORDINANCE is pret-
ty tight," said Melis, noting
that police will arrest and de-

tain anyone selling merchan-
dise without a permit.
After hearing several com-
plaints that the fair is turning
into a large circus, Melis hopes
that the new ordinance will
make the size of the fair more
manageable, allowing better
shuttle-bus service, garbage
pick-up, and security. And
hopefully, this smaller size will
keep the quality of the fair up
to the standard which has been
expected and enjoyed for the
past 16 years,

a
balob
┬░baobab
5 FOLK ART GALLERY

77 This Ad Worth~
50C Of f
**~ the purhs ,f
1976 STREET
- ART FAIR
SlscenPinter& Whal--ale= s~iszri: T - IR
s oPo rtra T -sh r s
Graphic 'servicvs
OVER 600 DESIGNS
ANN ARBOR SHIRT GALLERY
215 S. STATE STREET
1 ANN ARBOR, MKCHIGAN 48108
L _ _. .3136629665

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