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July 24, 1984 - Image 13

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1984-07-24

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July 24, 1984/ Page 5
People watching
at the fair is a
great diversion
By MARLA GOLD "You aren't really going to print that,
are you?"
THE ART FAIR, filled with every Isa, a Russian literature student, said
kind of eye-catching attraction, people watching "helps to define your
from paintings to clothing, has a unique own type of behavior."
side show which veteran fair-goers say Another woman said she watches
is the best anywhere. women to see what they are wearing,
The sideshow? People watching, of and watches men "to find cute guys."
course. Mark Vaitkus, a seven-year art fair
Although people's reasons for people veteran, and a sociologist, said the wide
watching differ, everyone agrees that it variety of people at the art fair makes it
shouldn't be missed - from the "the number one people watching event
sometimes flamboyant to the in the state."
sometimes outright weird, always He thinks that people watch others to
changing art fair crowd. "size themselves up. People need to
According to Dr. Steven Withey from know they fit in or don't fit in."
the Institute of Social Research, people He considers Ann Arbor one of the
will look at anything that constantly easiest places to fit in, because anyone
changes - ocean waves, fire - but is "normal compared to the weirdos" in
people hold the greatest fascination the area.
because "there are a great variety of "And there's the entertainment value
them, and so there is nothing more also," Vaitkus said. "(People wat-
curious than people." ching) is a good way to kill time."
Ann Arborites agree, and claim to Cathy Counard, a University
have one of the best people watching graduate, likes to watch the street
areas around. people and "contemplate why they're
"Ann Arbor is the second best place here, what their lives are like."
to watch people, second only to the
Village (in New York City)," said Steve Avid people watchers have the sport
Whitney, who is looking forward to his down to a precision art. Isa watches the
eighth Ann Arbor art fair. way people walk and their facial ex-
People watching is a "good sensory pressions to find out their sense of pur-
input," Withey said, adding that "it's pose, and what kind of people they are.
better than doing nothing."
A lot better, say some people. "I look "Ann Arbor is a great people-watching
at scantily clad women," said Carl town," Whitney asaid, andathen he
Dmuchowski, an applied statistican at got back to the business at hand-
U-Hospitals. He then added, grinning, people watching on State Street.

The art fair means more than just sales and crafts-it's a real boon for the
people watchers, too.

Art juries determine who comes to the fair

TF YOU'RE AN artist, getting into the
I fair isn't just a matter of submitting
an application and waiting for a reply.
Two of the street fairs use a jury
process to select the artist that will be
allowed to set up booths at the fairs.
Artist selection begins early for all
three sponsoring organizations. The
Ann Arbor Street Art Fair and the State
Street Fair have street jurors and
require application slides to evaluate
an artist. Street jurors evaluate an ar-
tist's work during the fair itself. This
procedure prevents an artist from
bringing in works which are not equal
in quality to application slides. Artists
are usually reinvited unless street
jurors find fault with their work. Then
they must reapply.
The Ann Arbor Street Art Fair jurors
rate artists in four categories: craf-
tsmanship and technique; design; color
and texture; and originality and inven-
tiveness. The State Street Art Fair
judges its participants in three areas:
creativity, presentation, and skill.
Despite the ambiguity of these
criteria, Pat Kemen-Macias, coor-
dinator of the State Street Art Fair, said
the subjectivity of the jurying process
is kept to a minimum. "Art is personal.
You can't get away from that." But sin-
ce the jurors are either artists them-
selves or people who have been exposed
heavily to differing forms of art, "they
are able to critic art independent of

their own tastes."
The Artist and Craftsmen Guild does
not have the same jurying process for
the Summer Arts Festival. Because the
Guild sponsors other fairs year-round,
members of the Guild are evaluated
through a standards committee, which
checks different levels of expertise in
each artist. According to Anne Mary
Teichert, membership coordinator of
the Guild, levels of expertise are
separated into artisan, journeyman,
and master, which is the highest rank.
Exhibiting members are allowed into
the Summer Arts Festival unless they
have not been evaluated twica as ar-
The deadline for the Guild's Summer
Arts Festival and the Ann Arbor Street
Fair is in March. The State Street Art
Fair's deadline is February 15. Audrey
Libke of the State Street Art Fair, still
receives calls from people who want to
get into the fair. "I just received a call
from a person telling me his gran-
dmother does great weaving and wan-
ted to know whether a booth was still
available," Libke said.
According to Jill Damon of the Street
Art Fair's jurying committee, "the
focus (of the Guild's fair) is different
from our own. Their system includes
artists of varying levels and en-
courages them to grow. I by no means
think there is only one good way to run
a fair."
The Ann Arbor Street Art Fair
provides plastic topped booths for ar-
tists. These 10' by 10' booths are con-

structed without sides by teenagers and
young adults who are contracted by
South University merchants. Artists
who participate in the Summer Arts
Festival and the State Street Art Fair
provide their own booths.
Approximately 700 artists submitted
slides to the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair
jurors this year. But only 45 new artist-

s were accepted. Nearly 430 artists ap-
plied to participate in the State Street
Art Fair and 61 were invited. The Ann
Arbor Street Art Fair sponsors about 250
artists while the State Street Art Fair
sponsors 168 artists.
Staff reporter Stacey Shank
filed a report for this story.

A y a"o"ht r"l
As always, preparations for the art fair begin early.

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