Art Fair mania creates
By RACHEL GOTTLIEB Conversations betw
Ahh, sweet Ann Arbor...green in more ways than one. (not his real name) ha
The midwestern town that mellows in the summer sun to the Art Fair by his
when the students leave, becomes a crowded, bustling browse, but she convei
haven for the people with capitalistic inclinations during check book.
the annual summer Art Fair. "No. That's an ugly
Roaming the downtown streets in Ann Arbor are You never would hav(
thousands of people of all ages, overwhelmed by the sights you only wanted to se
and sounds of the art fair that has transposed this other- "I'M SORRY I broul
wise languid town into a jungle. vase back.
PEOPLE WATCHING is one of the best ways to gage But some people a
how much people are really enjoying themselves. they are in another wo
The people who roll into the Art Fair early in the mor- gathered to listen to'
ning to secure a parking space are bohemian, preppy, ar- front of the Union, a:
tsy, intellectual, simple, funky, charitable, and friend "look at (the au
materialistic. But one thing they all have in common is a some 'shrooms the'd
peculiar glaze over their eyes. Although met of th
As if in a trance, the Art Fair dwellers meander past ping they were laid
side walk stands - tripping over each other as they look covered the lawn and
past the people blocking their line of vision to the wares kicked off their shoe:
that cover the shelves.otesokadnag
PLAS FvROM tied and hot children who are fed-up others took advantage
with the whole affair are frequent. "Mother," said one lit- passed a pipe around.
tle blond girl in big red sunglasses and plastic pink shoes, One curly-haired tod
"walk faster - I want to go swimming." Without looking, fered Cheese Doodles
her mother patted her on the head, but maintained her played the golden old
distant glare with her pupils almost taking on the shape of spirit of youthful inno
dollar signs. ted the cheesy offering
een spouses are also telling. John
d apparently been coaxed into going
s wife who said she only wanted to
niently brought her credit cards and
vase and besides, it's too expensive.
e gotten me here if you hadn't said
e everything," John said.
ght you," she responded and put the
re exceptionally happy...or maybe
rld. Wednesday night when a crowd
"Madcat" Ruth play some tunes in
short blond haired woman told her
dience), maybe if we gave them all
all get naked like at the Woodstock
ave some fun."
e audience didn't appear to be trip-
-back. Probably over 300 people
d overflowed onto the street. Many
s and lay down on the grass and
of Ann Arbor's $5 dollar pot law and
Idler assumed the roll of host and of-
to his neighbors, while "Madcat"
ie "0 Suzanna." Caught up in the
cence, the child's neighbors accep-
A mime on stilts stands before the Michigan Union yesterday.
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Artist displays unique wares
By SUSAN GRANT
While jewelry, paintings, ano
ceramics may dominate the Art Fair
exhibits, there's still a place for ar-
tists who have something a little dif-
ferent to offer.
Richard and Denise Wilson, whose
booth is surrounded by painters, are
perfect examples. The Wilson's booth
is only one of three booths in the fair
that make and sell mountain
MOUNTAIN dulcimers, which look
a little like guitars, were created by
Scottish settlers in the Appalachian
Mountains around the time of the depression." Wilson was fired then,
Revolutionary War, explained and had to find a new career.
Richard Wilson. "MY PARENTS got me interested
"They had brought over their most in the dulcimer," Wilson said.
precious possessions, but they needed "Then my parents got me a
something for immediate party dulcimer record and I liked it," he
time," Wilson said. Dulcimers filled said.
the need, Wilson said, because they're The Wilsons began slowly. "At the
played on the lap and easy to learn to time, we were living in Ypsilanti in an
play. apartment and we had $200 to spend,"
Wilson said that he got into Wilson recalled. "We could either buy
dulcimer-making eleven years ago a sofa or a bandsaw (a type of saw),
when he was a carpenter. "I was and we chose the bandsaw," he said.
making a pretty good living," Wilson "We turned the living room and the
said, "but in 1973, there was a housing dining room into a workroom and
lived in the bedroom."
WILSON said they made their first
dulcimer from a kit. They made their
second from scratch, but the wood
was pre-cut, he admitted.
"I know a lot about accoustics and
construction," Wilson said "and my
wife did the ornamentation, like the
in-lays and the soundholes."
Most of the in-lays are made of
mother-of-pearl and depict
everything from unicorns to sail boats
tobirds. The soundholes are also in
ar cut?" various shapes, such as nearts,
seagulls, and cherries.
m Deigned "I'LL DRAW them out, and she'll
work on them," Wilson said of their
iOfl Cut teamwork.
uhed Product Each dulcimer takes 13 to 150 hours
to make, he said, and they charge
l Uiomenl & Children anywhere from $110 to $1,100 each.
tiful Over the last ten years, Wison said
they have made 2,000 instruments,
ut aand have won over 100 awards
ranging from merit awards to first
DULCIMER-making has so become
a part of their lives, Wison said, that
o " : : . they now own a mobile home and
travel around the country going from
! . art fair to art fair. This is their eighth
year at the Ann Arbor art fair. 4
"This city is a great town. It's a real
* 1 S". 11 folk-oriented town," Wilson said.
"I can't think of another way of
making a living, he said.
Tf -Colony-Madison Apts.
736 PACKARD No._100