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September 04, 1980 - Image 116

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-09-04

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Page 6E=Thursday, September 4, 1980-The Michigan Doily
Art Fair features people and crafts


Annual event brings
throngs to city, 'U'

The two forces converge upon the
city in late July. The first to arrive set-
up camp in the streets and awaits the
other's onslaught. '
Although at first it may seem like a
military skirmish isabout to erupt, ac-
tually the buyers and the sellers who
come to town for the annual Art Fair
are here to cooperate-to get a bargain,
make a profit and have some fun.
THE ART FAIR packs more people
into town than even the Ohio State foot-
ball game. And the four-day event is
one of the city's biggest money makers
with hotels booked a year in advance
and local stores and restaurants jam-
med with Art Fair shoppers.
During the fair over 1,000 artists

display their creations in wooden
booths along S. University, State St.,
and Main St. There are actually three
separate fairs, located on the three
major streets, with the one on S.
University the biggest and perhaps the
Artists come from all over the coun-
try to participate in the fair which is
one of the best-known in the nation. For
some, selling their works in booths is a
way of life every summer but for many
local and student artists the annual
event is a unique opportunity to make
some money and earn some pride.
BECAUSE SPACE is limited, artists
must go through a screening process
during which fair coordinators look for
talent and originality before awarding,
a coveted booth. To participate in the S.

University fair, sponsored by the
University's Artists and Craftsmen
Guild, participants must submit their
applications almost a year in advance.
However, many artists avoid the
procedure, prefering to lay down a
blanket just about anywhere in hopes of
pawning off their handmade jewelry or
Local merchants get into the act too
by bringing clearance items out of their
stores for display in sidewalk sales. In
fact, the Art Fair was originally a
gimmick to boost sales during the city's
'Bargain Days' almost 20 years ago.
Today, of course it's vice versa.
GEORGE WILD, the proprietor of
Wild's Mens Shop and a veteran of
some 15 Art Fairs stresses the impor-
tance of the Art Fair for local merchan-
"Business-wise the fair is com-
parable to any four days in December,'
he says. "It is extremely important."
Wild explains that the Art Fair is not
as important "as far as profits are con-
cerned" but the real value lies in

"liquidating all the odds and ends."
Wild points out that the values are
genuine and most businesses market
their goods at 50 per cent off.
"They've been a lot of fun," says Wild
of the Art Fairs he has participated in,
"but frankly they're very tiring."
Wild also noted that the weather can
"make or break" Art Fair trade. "If
you have good weather you have a good
sale, but if it rains-catastrophe."
LAST YEAR over 250,000 people
flocked to the city to pursue the pottery
and scan the paintings. Naturally, the
influx only adds to the city's already
dismal parking situation and in recent
years the Ann Arbor Tansit Authority
(AATA) has enacted a shuttle bus
system to transport shoppers into town
from parking areas on the city's
But despite the crowds and the
usually hot, sticky weather few deny
that the four days of confusion and
congestion are worth it. Long after the
crowds have disappeared the art and
memories of good times remain.

Daily Photo by JiMI KRUZ
many youngsters who experi-

A local artist draws a solemn portrait of one of the
ence the excitement and joy of the Art Fair.



Ann Arbor's jazz calendar
product of student-run Eclipse

Are you tired of going to overcrowded
rock concerts in cavernous arenas with
toilet bowl acoustics? Bored with the
same old stage tricks and dime-a-dozen
hard rock bands? Maybe you're a
longtime jazz enthusiast, or a
newcomer intrigued by what you've
heard so far. Whatever the case, you've
come to the right city. Ann Arbor is the
home of Eclipse Jazz, an entirely
student run organization that has
become one of the foremost promoters
of jazz in the Midwest.
Founded in 1975 by a group of Univer-
sity undergrads, Eclipse's shows have
represented the total jazz spectrum and
remain the area's only consistent
promoter of Black American music.
The regular Eclipse season includes
four or five shows a year in the
medium-sized University auditoriums
(usually Hill or the Power Center). This
past season's line up reveals an
amazing cross-section of jazz; from
traditional favorites like Ella Fit-
zgerald and Count Basie to the straight
ahead sounds of Woody Shaw and Dexter
Gordon, popular favorites like Weather
Report and Bob James and important
innovaters like the Cecil Taylor Unit
and the Art Ensemble of Chicagof
THE 1980-81 JAZZ season will un-
doubtedly get off to a strong start at the

third annual Ann Arbor Jazz Festival at
Hill Auditorium September 26, 27 and
28. This year's line-up isn't available at
press time, but given the national
reputation the event has earned in its
previous two years we can expect an
extremely well-balanced program
combining familiar names with both
more traditional and more esoteric,
adventurous performers. As with all
Eclipse presentations, tickets are
priced as low as possible to make the
music as accessible as possible.
An important part of Eclipse's
programming is its Bright Moments
series, designed to give obscure artists
both more exposure and the, chance to
perform in different musical contexts.
These shows take place in the most in-
timate concert settings available, such
as the tiny Residential College
auditorium in East Quad.
"We would like to utilize the Univer-
sity Club (a bar in the Union)'a lot more
this year because there isn't really a
jazz club scene in Ann Arbor," says
Diane Wiegle, co-ordinator of the
organization. "We recognize the oppor-
tunity the concert setting affords to a,
lot of performers who rarely play
anywhere but nightclubs."
Special emphasis will be placed this
year on the Eclipse jam sessions;
weekly meetings in which fledging
musicians at all levels of ability will

have the chance to exchange ideas and
play with local musicians, such as
David Swain and Tom Bergeron. This
provides a perfect setting for young
musicians to both learn and cut loose a
In addition, Eclipse also sponsors a
series of guest artists workshops, that
allow local musicians the chance to let
some prestigious talent rub off on them.
One of the highlights of last year's
Bright Moments series was a big band
of local talent led by noted teacher and
vibraphonist Karl Berger of the
Creative Music Studio in Woodstock,
While Eclipse is actually a part of
Major Events, the relationship between
Eclipse and MEO is essentially a finan-
cial one. While it is ultimately respon-
sible for anything Eclipse undertakes,
MEO primarily acts as an adviser to
Eclipse, allowing students to experien-
ce all aspects of concert
promotion-financial management,
public relations and promotions, artist
relations and sound.
If any of this wets your appetite or
merely arouses your curiosity, make a
point of attending the Ann Arbor Jazz
Festival this September. It will be a
prime opportunity to get acquainted
with Eclipse Jazz, and more importan-
tly, the music they provide. Chances
are, you'll be surprised by what you

Open / days a week.BASSIST CHARLIE HAYDEN performed masterfully at last year's Eclipse
Jazz Festival at Hill Auditorium.

* Largest Selection in
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" Art Gallery & Custom

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Doily Photo by DAVID HARRIS,
Dexter Gordon appeared in the Eclipse Jazz Festival last fall at Hill Auditorium.



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