16 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, June 24, 1996
Ani1 insa der's g U1Ue tU h Aret Fa rs~ Atsns spent several day settingupterboh
BY GREG PARKER DAILY ARTS EDITOR
ART FAIR. SOME HEAR THE PHRASE AND LAMENT THE CERTAIN GRIDLOCK AND CONGESTED SIDEWALKS. OTHERS JUMP
FOR JOY, WHILE VISIONS OF FIRST-RATE ARTS AND CRAFTS COME TO MIND. IN EITHER CASE, ONE MUST RECOGNIZE THAT TH1
EVENT WE CALL "ART FAIR" IS BOTH UNIQUE AND EXTRAORDINARY. AND, ASIDE FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, IT IS
PERHAPS THE INSTITUTION FOR WHICH THE CITY OF ANN ARBOR IS BEST KNOWN.
What many don't know is that the Art
Fair is actually an amalgam of three sep-
arate and autonomous art fairs - the
Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the State
Street Art Fair and the Summer Art Fair.
Combined, the three fairs basically take
over the downtown and cam-
A F H:2i~
pus areas of Ann Arbor. The m-'rai
Ann Arbor Street Art Fair The Artworka
occupies the South See the
4 - University Street area of famous B
town, near campus. The Campus In
State Street Area Art Fair is 12-140 p.m
';contained, as its name sug- 8 p.m., Su
Art Fair D
gests, in the State Street Selected
area. The Summer Art Fair strate thei
is organized into two areas: times at
a small portion near State Street Art
Street and a larger portion The imagin
° on Main Street. All in all, Hands-on
the three fairs occupy children at
around 22 city blocks, and ner of Lib
BORDAN 55MIAN CAP/Daly make up a nearly continuous Fifth Stree
spectator surveys the array of artworks band of artisan booths span- Friday 10
ning downtown Ann Arbor. Saturday1
The three fairs combine to bring over 500,000 visitors into the city of Ann Arbor dur-
ing the fairs' four-day stay, from today until Saturday. What is it that draws this enormous amount
of people into the city? More than likely, it is the combination of first-class arts and crafts, and a
superb outdoor atmosphere of sidewalk sales, entertainment and cuisine.
Each of the three fairs is juried, which means that the participating artists must have their work
approved by a panel from the respective fair. For instance, the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair has poten-
tial artists present their work to a panel of Michigan Guild artists for approval. The competition is fierce
- the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair had over 2,000 artists apply for only 190 slots this year. The bottom
line is that since all the fairs are juried, the element of church-bazaar, popsicle-stick-esque crafts is
removed from the pic-
The Ann Arbor Art Fairs ture. What remains is
a well-rounded and
"" L Z J IL I diverse representation
EHrnof professional artists
- F _W][ ]m who take their work
E. Washington seriously.
F h i fl In addition, the fairs
Libty ---are recognized nation-
~II i i N.Univeit de ally as top in their
r Q I L j 4Oafield. The Ann Arbor
Sv-t Street Art Fair was
H-named the top "fine
a craft show" on a list of
. n Jeeson E a. e$ y the nation's 200 best
iaw. compiled by Sunshine
Madison Artist magazine. The
GREG PARKER/Daily Ann Arbor Summer
State Street Area Art Fair Art Fair has also made
Ann Arbor Street Art Fair it into the top three of
Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair the same list.
The artists themselves present a
multitude of medias and genres. There Ann Arbor Art Fair 1996 Facts:
are photographers, painters using oil, What: The 1996 Ann Arbor Art Fair, consisting of three sep
watercolor and other medias, metal arate and distinct art fairs
workers, sculptors, jewelers, sketch When: Today through Saturday.
artists, potters and myriad other arti- Hours: Wednesday to Friday 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturdo
sans. The artists come 9 am.-5 p.m.
gh0 gts: from around the world, Parking: Parking is scarce during the Art Fair -the best
ohn Lennon: though the state of bet is to park at Briarwood Mall and ride the AATA shut-
ks of this Michigan is amply repre- tIe bus into the city. $2 round trip.
le; at the sented, resulting in a tour What to wear: Dress comfortably. Bring an umbrella in case
otel, Friday deforce of local artists. of rain, as cover is hard to find.
aturday 10 The Art Fair also offers Estimated attendance: Approximately 500,000 people.
y 10-6 p.m. a multitude of shopping Fair area: Approximately 22 city blocks.
onstrators: Where to eat: Besides area restaurants, these outdoor eat-
sts demo interested in being dutiful ing areas should satisfy one's tastebuds: The Edible Art
ade; various unmerstduring tir. Fare, on W. Liberty Street between Main Street and
Ann Arbor . Ashley Street; Food Wagon, at Liberty Street and M
ir Local merchants, ranging Street; Liberty Plaza, at E. Liberty Street and S. Division
an Station: from Borders Bookstore Avenue; Michigan Union; Michigan Theater Beer Garden,
t area for to Wherehouse Records to at the Michigan Theater.
tarents; cor- Mr. Rib (try the Soul on a
y Street & Roll), all take to the streets to take part in the fair. Rock-bottom bargains abound dur-
Wednesday- ing the fair, and many people admittedly come to town for the shopping alone.
.m.-6 p.m., Alas, the Art Fair wouldn't be complete without the street performers. Scheduled and
a.m-5 p.m. unscheduled, with or without permits, musicians, actors and other vaudeville-esque
performers move into the streets during the fair. There are scheduled concerts with full
amplification, as well as simple one-man acts. In either case, this portion of the fair is a certain treat,
and the relatively unknown and anonymous performers most often surprise.
With the streets crowded with artisans' booths, the sidewalks covered with table upon table of
bargain hunters' paradise, musicians and street performers working their magic, and local restau-
rant favorites taking to the streets, everyone should find something appealing at the Art Fair, an
event truly unique to Ann Arbor.
The Art Fair is comprised of a variety of art, crafts and merchandise, such as these T-shirts.