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July 31, 1996 - Image 9

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1996-07-31

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Art Fair annoying but short-lived
Biy Jams Wison move, much less mike progress toward ple, most of them from out of town,
a desired destination, but I had to be descend on Ann Arbor- the area around
Well, once again the student popula- constantly on nay guard because dis- campus, in particular - and rush around
tion has survived another annual Art gruntled shoppers kept trying to stick from place to place, buying in a nearly
Fair. No doubt every last one of us is those abstract-expressionist lawn deco- hedonistic frenzy, consuming overpriced
breathing a sigh of relief that the rations into my spokes and send me fly- sausages, and drinking as much beer as
crowds, tents and overpriced conces- ing (all right, I made that part up). the vendors can offer. Yes, as a student, I
n stands have temporarily returned to Worse than the crowds was the traf- can honestly say it all adds up to an
infernal depths from which they fic. There was so much of it that for the annoying and inconvenient moment in
came (for another year, anyway). While first time in my two years living here, the history. But at least Art Fair goes away.
the swarms of people and art (of both polluted smell of exhaust was ubiquitous We University students are a constant
quality and trash) presented an enter- in Ann Arbor. presence in Ann
taining way to pass a few hours, one can Until Art Fair, I Arbor, and I sus-
not help but complain, at least a little. had no idea What I saw the pect that the native
My first problem with the monstros- what a nuisance residents (mean-
ity that was somehow dubbed "Art Fair" it is to step out- m ost of was som e ing non-students)
is the quality of the merchandise being side for a breath get as fed up with
haggled. While there were many beauti- of fresh air and sort of abstracit us as we do with
ful pieces, to browse or buy, a fair be met with the Art Fair cele-
ount of the barter was not only art- scent of hot rub- expressionist laWn brants. So maybe,
but tasteless as well. There were ber and ether. through this short-
some fantastic works of~art lingering in Then again, I decoration. lived event, we
various corners of the fair, but what I saw cannot coin- students can come
the most of was some sort of abstract- plain too much, since, with the surfeit of to appreciate what the citizens of this
expressionist lawn decoration. They traffic, I was able to charge people ten town have to contend with every day: an
were everywhere, toted around by every dollars to park on my front lawn (I guess overshelming number of transient per-
middle-aged male and female who had you can make money at anything, if you sons, who come into town for a while, do
the means. Of course, I an only guessing try hard enough). whatever they have to in order to have a
when I refer to them as "lawn decora- I mnust admit, though I have done my good time, and leave, without a second
tions." They consisted of a long, narrow share of complaining, I cannot help but thought to the glut of trash they've left
*tal pole, topped with some sort of sense the poetic justice of it all. I mean, behind (I guess you can find a moral it
metal-worked object, which varied from Art Fair is a time when thousands of peo- anything, if you try hard enough).

An overhead view of the Art Fair - look out for the pointy lawn decorations.


j New Fitness Center
i New Activities Center with Billiards
W Brand New Interiors with New Appliances
I Studios, 1 & 2 Bedroom Apartments and
2 Bedroom Townhomes
Pets Welcome

simple desigis to metal birds. If they
have some purpose other than to be stuck
into the sod in front of every home in
every middle-class neighborhood in the
country, it is beyond me. But as ambigu-
ous as the purpose of these items is, the
sheer number sold is a phenomenon for
which I have no adequate explanation.
Perhaps H.L. Mencken was right
when lie said, "No one ever went broke
derestimating the taste of the average
American." Then again; at least these
hapless Art Fair visitors were not sink-
ing their money into black velvet paint-
isgs of Elvis Presley (I guess yoL] can
find something positive in anything, if
you try hard enough).
My second problem with this event
is that it has lost all the characteristics of
a fair and replaced them with the quali-
is of urban Japan. Every msajor street
near campus was congested with the
sweaty, smelly bodies of slow-movinig
visitors. The area was so overcrowded
that it took me an extra five to ten min-
utes just to ride my bike a few blocks to
'sy class at the Modern Language
Building. Not only was it difficult to
Bring home a
bucket of Rod's
mild and hot wings
Call ahead for carry-out
812 S. State St. 769-5650

Canoe ren V ai

t( Minutes from U of M
Apartmentsa Townhomes

44P~b 4-P


3000 Fuller Rd
Ann Arbor




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