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July 23, 1980 - Image 13

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1980-07-23

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The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, July 15, 1980-Page 5
Ann Arbor Art
Fair began 21
years ago as

Dily Photo by JIM KRUZ
Art exhibited at the Ann Arbor Art Fair comes in all shapes and sizes and
can be made from every material imaginable. Here, the subjects of this
almost life-size soft sculpture seem undisturbed by the bedlam surrounding
Artists, merchants,
shoppers take over
streets of Ann Ar'bor

Today's Art Fair-a four-day, three-
fair extravaganza attracting upwards
of 80,000 people per day, began twenty
years ago on South University when 99.
artist hung their works on ropes strung
between parking meters.
The South (and East) University fair,
formally known as the Ann Arbor Street
Art Fair, first opened in 1960 at the
request of the South University
For a pictorial look at the '79 Art'
Fair, see Pages s and 12.
Business Association, according to
Olivia Bottum of Brunvard Associates,
the organization that handles publicity
for the fair. The businessmen were in-
terested in an arts and crafts display to
coincide with area July bargain days,
she said.
joined the festivities (and profits) in
1967, inviting close to 40 Michigan ar-
tists and craftspersons to exhibit their
wares. Currently, artists from other
areas may display artwork in the State
Stree fair.
In 1971, the University Artists and
Craftsmen Guild formalized the Sum-
mer Arts Festival on East University
providing more than 100 students with a
place to show their works, according to
fair director Celeste Mellis. Prior 'to
this, the students had displayed their
works on the Diag. The object of the
fair, Mellis, said, was to combine the
crafts of professional artists with those
of students, who were discouraged from
joining the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair.
Mellis said one of the problems
associated with the original art fairs
was the large numbgr of tee-shirt ven-
dors and sellers of cupie dolls who m

vaded the city, making the event seem
more like a "circus" than an art
festival. City ordinances, she con-
tinued, currently restrict peddlers from
selling their wares within three blocks
of the fairs.
IN 1974, THE Main Street merchants
asked that the Summer Arts Festival be
extended to include their area of the
city, according to Mellis. This year, she
said, the location of the fair will be
altered again. Due to construction, the
Guild lost their East University site, but
gained additional space on State Street,
between the Michigan Union and
William Street.
The widespread popularity of the art
fairs yearly sparks the interest of
thousands of artists wishing to display
their goods. Consequently, each of the
three area associations has set rules
and standards to maintain quality fairs.
In 1965, the Ann Arbor Street Fair ar-
tists were required to undergo a jurying
prdcess to determine those artists who
would be invited back, Bottum said. A
previewing committee also decided
which new artists to include in the next
year's fair.
THE SUMMER ARTS Festival Rules
Committee decided in 1976 that all
works of, art in their show must be
"original, hand-crafted, and presented
by the original artist," Mellis said. She
added that this year, each artist's work
will be reviewed by a committee of
fellow craftspersons.
After being reviewed, each artist will
receive an insignia declaring them an
apprentice or a master member, Mellis
continued. Artists labeled apprentice
will be granted two years to further
develop the style and quality of their
works whereas master members will
not be reviewed again for five years.
State Street Art Fair participants
receive a score of one to five from
judges who later determine the artists
See ANN ARBOR, Page 6

(Continued from Page 3)
Summer Arts Festival (see story page
7) is located on Main Street and in front
of the Union. The fair, which began ten
years ago, is sponsored by the Univer-
sity's Artists and Craftsmen Guild.
THE SUMMER ARTS Festival was
started by the guild to enable more Ann
Arbor residents and University studen-
ts to display their work. Unlike the
other two fairs, participating artists
are not chosen by jury-art must be
original and meet certain
specifications. A standards committee
reviews the artwork and classifies the

artists at a "masters" or "apprentice"
Like the rest of the Art Fair, the Arts
Festival creates business opportunities
for local merchants. The Main Street
sidewalk sales often attract as many
patrons as the booths of pottery and
The Festival also increases the traf-
fic in local restaurants. Kathy Hall,
manager of the Real Seafood Co., said
the Art Festival is a "hectic but fun
event"-second only to the Michigan-
Ohio State football game. As far as
business is concerned, Art Fair days
are "like four football Saturdays in a
row," she said.

Is There
Something .
Got To Say?
CALL 764-0557

Dr. Bop and the Headliners will entertain at the Second
Chance with fun for all ages. They will be singing oldies and
rack and rail fram July 24th through the 27th.

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