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July 24, 1985 - Image 10

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1985-07-24

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Page 10 -The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, July 24, 1985
Art fair opens its arms

(Continued from Page 1)
along South University from
Washtenaw to East University, and
extending up East University for
about a block.
"This year we have 238 artists -
juried artists - and in addition we
have probably about 20 Potters' Guild
members, and 10 or 15 senior
citizens," said Esther Rainville, a
painter and a member of the fair's
planning committee since the fair's
birth. Rainville explained that besides
the booths for juried artists, courtesy
booths have been provided to mem-
bers of The Senior Citizens' Guild and
the Potters' Guild. In addition, two
booths have been given to the Ann Ar-
bor "Y" to be used for childrens' ac-
"ONE OF the things we wanted to
do (back on the fair's original plan-
ning committee 26 years ago) was to
inform the public of good art. We wan-
ted to inform all ages," said Barbara
Dorr, a retired art teacher who as
president, of the Ann Arbor Art
Association appointed the original
planning committee for the fair. "So
we decided to show what the little
folks do, what the senior citizens do,
and we still do that today."
This fair includes such diverse
media as paintings, prints, clay,
sculpture, wood, glass, metal
smithing, fibers, and enamels.
"Usually the clay (medium) has
been predominant, along with pain-
ting. Those are the two big media,"
said Rainville.

University continues its tradition of "WE'RE ALL kind of after the
artist demonstrations, including same thing," Kemeny-Macias said,
paper making, spinning, etching, and comparing the three art fairs that
wheel-thrown pottery. "We've always begin today. "We're after the high
had between 20 and 25 demonstrators quality artists and bringing that (art)
each year," said Rainville. "That's into Ann Arbor so the public can get
been part of our philosophy. We want closer to it."
the public to see how things are Comparing the fair she is coor-
done." dinating to the more prestigious Ann
Approximately 100 of the fair's 238 Arbor Street Art Fair, she said, "I
artists are new, a turnover of about 40 think tradition has a lot to do with it.
percent, which largely reflects the in- They began eight years before us. You
flux of new artists from the State can still walk around during the art
Street Area Fair. fair and hear people still asking -
The Ann Arbor Street Art Fair has where's the juried fair? Well, we're a
been juried from its inception. juried fair too."
THE STATE STREET Area Fair, The State Street Area Fair began
sponsored by the State Street Area jurying its artists in 1979. It, like the
Association of merchants, is located Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, features
again this year in a few booths on artist demonstrations.
State Street, but mostly they can be Both the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair
found along Liberty, North University and the State Street Area Fair select
and Maynard Streets. their artists based on jury decisions
This fair, with 166 artists, is the from slides and on-scene judging of
smallest of the three fairs. "This year returning artists' work, and from
we have three large categories - slides alone for the new artists.
clay, fiber, and metal," said Pat The Summer Arts Festival, spon-
Kemeny-Macias, coordinator of the sored by the Michigan Guild of Artists
fair.. "I don't know if that reflects and Artisans, is located on State
craft approaches that are popular Street from South University to
now, but I think that's what it is." William, and downtown on Main
The fair has 58 new artists but Street from William to Huron. It's the
Kemeny-Macias said that this is about largest of the three fairs.
normal turnover every year. She This fair is not juried in the same
spoke of the large number of artists sense that the other two fairs are -
jumping ship over to the Ann Arbor acceptance is based on seniority
Street Art Fair: "They had a very big within the 1,500 member Guild.
turnover this year. A lot of our very This year's Summer Arts Festival
,.,,.a...,,i,, - .,.,-will hav FM78 hibitnr Thp S~m


good quality people who have been
trying to get into that fair for years
finally had their chance this year."

winave woexrnwors. 1 e ummer uy ny mu~Dy _KLLr^N,-VI
Arts Festival is only one of several art The art fair is always filled with artists of all kinds selling their crafts.
fairs sponsored by the Guild. This merchant sells his strange-looking kites.
Fair atmosphere is too sticky
(Continuedfrom Page7) empty bottles and running back to the about being the most discriminating
stupid way and would make a good liquor stores to collect more booze in its range of artists.
gag gift - but when he says $35, you money. So you get on your feet and go for it.
just keep walking. Obviously he's A number of industrious kids are The first sight that greets you is an
used to the response because he im- even out, prowling the streets with organ grinder's monkey. The organ
mediately walks away to start the large plastic trash bags full of empty grinder isn't playing and the monkey
routine all over again with someone cans slung over their backs. These isn't doing anything - just sitting
else, kids will probably make more in the there next to a dingy little steel cup.
Down where East Liberty dead ends next few days just picking up empties You stop and look at some bright
with State Street lies the heart of the than what they'd make in a whole chunky renderings of an Oriental
art fair. This is the State Street Art summer of mowing lawns. seaport of a Manhattan skyline. They
Fair, distinguishable from the other By now the crowd is getting really remind you of a dingy old Holiday Inn
two principally in its blatant all-out thick, and it lumbers ata deathly slow room in some Godforsaken tourist
commercialism, pace. The high July sun has turned the town.
All of the shops push tables full of air into a thick, humid, soupy con- In the next booth are bold, vulgar,
merchandise out into the streets, sistancy. Your feet begin to stick to flashy paintings of eagles in flight,
loading them with everything from the pavement, which is now glossy and wolves on the prowl. You wonder
dusty eight-track tapes - a buck with spilled beer and pop. - if the artist has ever considered pain-
apiece and a bargain if y'all got a pick You're getting irritable at this ting vans for a living.
up with an old deck in it - to size-14 point. You want to be somewhere, You're tired 'and sticky with old
tennis shoes to hundreds of pairs of anywhere, but in this crowd. But sweat. Your senses are numb from
baby blue polyester khakis. you're trapped. If someone stops in oversaturation. In the distance,
A good portion of the $15 million front of you to look at a booth, you babies are crying, a bottle breaks,
made at the art fair probably goes have to crawl around them. Ahead of and a distant siren whines. Crowds
right here. It goes in the form of pop them and behind you, stand a long, are pushing you and tugging on you.
and beer, jacked up in price twenty to seemingly endless procession of sun- You're almost at the end. Just up
thirty cents a bottle. It goes into the burnt, sweat-soaked humanity. This is ahead, Washtenaw Avenue and (sigh)
albums that one of the stores marks the art fair - an earthly equivalent of open space.
up two dollars more the day before the purgatory - except your only sin was
art fair, with a red neon sign that says being unassuming and innocent You start panicking a little,
SALE slapped on beside it. All of the enough to walk into it. becoming more intent on pressing
restaurants have operations going on The air is thick with the odor of ahead. You start elbowing people on
in front of it, selling anything: pizza, greasy hotdogs and rancid mustard. both sides, and in a final desperate
hotdogs, ice cream - you name it. You start to feel sick but you manage surge of strength, you hurl yourself
Drinking alcohol in the streets is to find an opening in the crowd and across the raging stream of bodies
illegal, but you would never know it make a break for it, diving onto the rushing in and out of Village Corner,
from the thousands of open beers and grassy lawn in front of the Univer- and onto the grassy edge of the Mud-
coolers in the hands of people as they sity's art museum. You catch your bowl.
walk by you. When emptied, the cans breath, and wonder if you might be
and bottles are tossed onto the better off calling it quits. But then you You've made it. You're a veteran of
heaping mounds of trash where can- consider that just down South Univer- .
nisters once stood. The local street sity is the original art fair. The one art fair. And tomorrow, you can do
urchins have a field day, collecting that makes the molt'-vocal claims


The art fair is also for people watching. Some try to make themselves
harder to miss.I

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