Ann Arbor Art Fair ‘keeps getting bigger and better’
Downtown Ann Arbor is set to host the annual Ann Arbor Art Fair, filling 30 blocks with nearly 1,000 artists’ booths, musical stages and art demonstrations Thursday-Saturday.
The event draws close to 500,000 attendees to Ann Arbor each year for a transformed outdoor art gallery where artists, collectors and admirers can immerse themselves in a diverse showcase.
“I’ve been with the Ann Arbor Art Fair for 18 years now and each year it just keeps getting bigger and better,” said Karen Delhey, executive director of the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair. “Every summer we take these three days in July to celebrate art and artists from across the country and invite everyone into the downtown to take it all in. I love every second of it.”
The Ann Arbor Art Fair is the nation’s largest juried art fair, consistently ranking as one of the top juried fine arts fairs in the country. This year, guests can visit the booths of nearly 1,000 participating juried artists that come from across the U.S.
Artist Helen Agius-Andreae is just one of the fair’s many participants.
“We’ve been doing fuse glass since 2007, but we started doing the art shows full-time last year,” said Agius-Andreae, artist of “Fire and Fused,” along with her husband, Frank Andreae, in Farmington Hills. “I think my favorite thing about the Ann Arbor Art Show is the people. They want to learn about the art and we love to talk about the process. We like hands-on teaching and we met a lot of fabulous people from all over the place.”
One of the most exciting exhibits coming to this year’s art fair is the contemporary Canadian Inuit art by Canadian Inuit Artists. The featured artists are from the Canadian Artic region of Nunavut, Nunatsiavut and Nunavik. The exhibition will be located inside CultureVerse on Main Street and will include artwork from teapot sculptures to landscape drawings that explore Inuit ways of being within the contemporary moment.
This year, the Ann Arbor Art Fair will once again partner with the Prison Creative Arts Project to bring another exhibition that lifts up the voices of those silenced by the criminal legal system. Located at the corner of Liberty and Main, the exhibit will reveal the faces and stories of those in prison through the “Humanize the Numbers” project.
If you’re interested in watching live demonstrations from artists themselves, head to North University Avenue near Hill Auditorium lawn to watch the Ann Arbor Potters Guild sculpt and fire clay. Or head to Liberty Street outside of the Pretzel Bell Restaurant to watch local artists and star of HGTV’s “Bargain Block,” Keith Bynum, transform a ModuGo storage container into a work of art. You can also head to East Washington Street’s Ingalls Mall to watch colorful glass art take shape or to Liberty Street near Division to watch world-renowned artist David Zinn create original temporary chalk work live.
Along with a large variety of food options and the art experience, live entertainment will add to the atmosphere, filling the streets with the sounds of local talent. Presented by DTE, the Stage on Main, the Fountain Stage and the William Street Stage will host performers each night. For a full list of artists, visit www.theguild.org/fair/ann-arbor-art-fair/art-fair-stage/.
For those looking for a shuttle service around the perimeter of the fair, the Art-Go-Round program will return this year. This is a free service to fairgoers who want to travel the 30 city blocks without having to walk. Guests can hop on a shuttle at any of seven stops located around the exterior of the fair. For more information, visit www.theannarborartfair.com/gettinghere.
Ann Arbor Art Fair
10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Saturday