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2011 Ann Arbor Art Fairs

Tuesday, 19 July, 2011 1:19 AM

PREVIEW: What to Expect at the 2011 Ann Arbor Art Fair

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

An overview of the 2010 Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair. The art fairs will take over the city streets from July 20 - 23.

 

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- More than 1,100 artists from all over the world will be displaying and selling their art pieces at the Ann Arbor Art Fair. That's 100 more than last year. It is made up of four unique art fairs: the original Street Art Fair, the Summer Art Fair, the South University Art Fair and the State Street Area Art Fair. In addition, there will be three stages featuring musical entertainment of almost every genre. If one gets hungry, there will be plenty of food to eat throughout the art fairs.

The 2011 Ann Arbor Art Fair is the largest group of art fairs in the state and is possibly even the biggest in the country. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Wednesday, July 20 through Friday, July 22 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 23.

Click here to download and print a map of all four Ann Arbor Art Fairs, provided by the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority. Click here to download the Art Showcase Magazine, the official event guide for the 2011 Ann Arbor Art Fair.

The weather should be the best on the first two days, Wednesday and Thursday. It will be partly cloudy on July 20 with a high of 94 degrees and mostly sunny on July 21 with a high of 99 degrees. Isolated storms are expected to hit the Ann Arbor area on Friday and Saturday, however they will not last all day. There will be a high of 94 degrees on July 22 and a high of 91 degrees on the final day of the art fair, July 23.

Featured artists for the 2011 Ann Arbor Art Fair include Julie Fremuth at the Street Art Fair (booth #A227), Su Abbott at the State Street Area Art Fair (booth #B419), Daniel Lager at the South University Art Fair (booth #E150) and Stephen Kade at the Summer Art Fair (booth #D375). They are featured in the official event guide and on the four official websites of the art fairs.

The original Street Art Fair is celebrating its 52nd year with over 200 hand-picked artists (20 more than last year), free art activity zones, art demonstrations, performances on the lawn and souvenirs. Exhibitors are located on the city streets surrounding the Burton Carillon Tower on the University of Michigan central campus. Eight students from four universities (U-M, Washtenaw CC, CCS and EMU) were selected to show off their work at the New Art, New Artists booth #A263. A new addition this year is the Applegate Tour, which will be passing out free samples of organic hot dogs. In addition, attendees will be able to paint the community mural and allow kids to play in its imagination playground.

"We've got a slightly different footprint this year," said Maureen Riley, executive director of the Street Art Fair. "We are back on E. Washington after a five-year hiatus in order for the university to complete construction of the North Quad. We have expanded the number of artists we can fit in. We've got artists from California, we've got artists from New Mexico. We've actually got artists from some foreign countries. I believe we have someone from South America. You can't escape the change of the economy. Artists have had to make some adjustments. There may be some more affordable work available. It has made artists consider whether a show is profitable enough for them to travel a long distance. Our artists do well so they come from a long distance to participate."

The Summer Art Fair, presented by The Guild of Artists and Artisans, will feature 375 juried artists (100 more than last year), demonstrations, performances and souvenirs. Exhibitors are located on State Street from South University to William and on Main Street from William to Huron and Liberty Street from Ashley to Fifth Avenue. This art fair will also feature artist demonstrations at booths #C042, #C050, #C073, #C150, #D211, #D319, #D297 and #D374.

The State Street Area Art Fair is celebrating its 44th year with 315 artists (10 less than last year). Exhibitors are located along N. University, Liberty, Maynard, Thompson and William streets. It will feature contemporary art pieces and traditional crafts such as glass, paintings, ceramics, photography, jewelry, fiber, wood and more. This art fair will also feature artist demonstrations, three outdoor food courts and special sidewalk sales from shops along State Street. The Ann Arbor Fiber Arts Guild will have a double booth at the intersection of State and North University.

The South University Art Fair is celebrating its 12th year with about 130 artists. Exhibitors are located along S. University, E. University and Church Streets. Children will be able to make greeting cards for Mott Children's Hospital and healing wheel bracelets from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 23. This art fair will also offer clay demonstrations by the Yourist Studio Gallery from noon to 7 p.m. at booths E41 to E44. The Michigan Silversmiths Guild will offer demonstrations through the hours of the art fair at booths E157-158.

Attendees can enjoy free musical entertainment during the art fairs

The Street Art Fair will feature musical performances at the all-new Fountain Stage, next to the fountain at Ingalls Mall. It will feature performances by the Queen of Scots Dance Academy, Axis Music Academy, People Dancing, Dan Kim and the Blueberry Incident, Michael Malis Quartet, PURe Dance Ensemble, Low Blow, O'Hare School of Irish Dance, Dr. Geoffrey Stanton, WCC Dancers, Cottonwood Cloggers, The Anderson Quintet, Daycroft Treble Makers, Hobbs/Imberski Dance Exchange, Fiddlers ReStrung, Ann Arbor for the Performing Arts Jazz Band, Michigan Ballroom Dance Team, Dance Collective and Blank-Walbridge Duo.

Mr. B, George Tait - The Living Statue and Bob Culbertson will also perform during the Street Art Fair at the corner of North University at Thayer.

The Summer Art Fair will host musical performances on the iSpy Stage, located on Liberty between Main and Ashley. Some of the performers will include Of Mice & Musicians, DJ Meph, Lawless Carver, iamdynamite, DJ x10sive, DJ Gennetics, The Satin Peaches, Brass Jacket, DJ Zu, Prussia, Falcon Pierce, Passlacqua, Sharky & the Habit, JWPP, Graveyard Train, Dragon Wagon, Hampshire, Perth Elliott, Jennifer Smith and Bluesmatic.

The South University Art Fair will feature musical performances on the Ann Arbor's 107one stage, at the corner of Willard and Church. It will feature performances by Chris Good, Gun Lake, Appleseed Collective, Funktion, Bright Lights Tree City Super Jam, Nathan K, White Raven, Wolfie Complex, Khalid Hanifi, George Bedard and the Kingpins, October Babies, Nicole P'simer, Katie Lee, Hannah Winkler, Blake Jake & The Carnes, Stepdad, Marc Broussard, Lake Folk, Steve Springer, Shari Kane & Dave Steele and Third Coast Kings.

There is more of a collaboration between the four distinct art fairs

This year, the executive directors of all four art fairs collaborated on three key initiatives.

First, they have worked together with Jacobs Media to bring back the iPhone app. It is available for a free download on all iPhones and on the iTunes music store. The Ann Arbor Art Fairs iPhone app will provide a map of the festival, list of the artists, schedules and parking information. Click here to download the iPhone app.

Secondly, the new A2 Trolley will give attendees a ride between each of the four art fairs. A group of trolleys will make two stops at each of the art fairs. It is a new convenient way to get around downtown Ann Arbor during the art fairs. The trolleys are air-conditioned and will run on natural gas. Tickets are $1 for unlimited rides in one day.

M10 Marketing has created a brand new website called TheAnnArborArtFair.com and is working to market the four art fairs as one huge event.

"The art fairs have always collaborated," Riley added. "We've come to the realization that the public really views it as one event. It is one event. We've made a more significant attempt to try to make the overall event more visitor friendly. In doing that, we've just said let's be one event. There's four fairs, but we're one event."

Attendees can park for free at Briarwood Mall or Pioneer High School and take the shuttle to the art fairs. Shuttles will be operated by the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority's The Ride. Fares are $1.50 each way or 75 cents each way for fare deal card holders and students, K-12. Fares are free for children under age five and seniors.

Local restaurants rely on the increased traffic during art fair week to remain profitable for the year

It is often considered the busiest week of the whole year for restaurants in downtown Ann Arbor. Art booths will be lined up and down the streets just outside their main entrances.

The Arena Sports Bar and Grill is located at 203 E. Washington St. It offers All-American food and calls itself one of the most economical places to eat in A2. Some of its most popular dishes include burgers, chicken wings, monte cristo sandwiches. The restaurant will be calling in all of its staff for art fair week, however it will not be adding workers. The Arena will not have a booth in front of their restaurant, however festival goers are encouraged to dine inside or place carry-out orders inside.

"Last year, we had really good weather and it seemed to help us out a lot," said Gordon Loll, owner of The Arena Sports Bar and Grill. "When it's warmer out, it pushes everyone in for drinks and when it rains, it pushes everybody in for food. I think sales this year will meet or exceed last year. I think we're coming out of this economic slump we've been in. Things have been turning themselves around for a good. It will be long days for all of us, but well worth it in the end. We have a new menu rolling out, I don't know if it will be ready for art fair. We're hoping so."

The Original Cottage Inn Restaurant is located at 512 E. William St. It opened in 1947 and expanded to the carry-out restaurants all over metro Detroit. Some of its most popular dishes include pizza, salad and pasta dishes. The restaurant will double its staff from 60 workers to 100 or 120 employees. It will have a booth in front of their restaurant to sell slices of pizza and appetizers.

"Art fair is consistent, it's real weather related," said Jim Michos, owner of The Original Cottage Inn Restaurant. "We've had a nice consistent year. It's been really good. We're looking forward to this year. Hopefully, sales will be the same as last year. Art fair keeps growing. People know certain spots in the area. It's about looking at the art and you want to have good food. We're pretty much busy from art fair and then school starts right after. Salad is light and fresh, it's not something you'll get from the outside wagons. Chef Matt is always working on new specials."

The Parthenon Restaurant is located at 226 S. Main St. It offers Greek and American food and has been in business for 36 years. Some of its most popular dishes are the gyros, lamb plates, chicken plates and pasta. The restaurant will double its staff from 15 workers to 25 employees. It will have a booth in front of their restaurant selling gyros, chicken fajitas and soft drinks.

"Sales from last year were almost the same from a year before," said Steve Gavas, co-owner of The Parthenon Restaurant. "Hopefully, this year will be better. We're trying to have high expectations. We don't just sell Greek food. We have a kind of a unique menu. We try to satisfy everybody. We will have the same food whatever we do now. Plus, we have the outdoor cafe. We sell food outside in the patio. It's a lot of work, but it pays--long days, long hours."

Food vendors at the Summer Art Fair include Blue Nile, Chan's Concessions, Conor O'Neils, Cosi, Cottage Inn Pizza, Greek Tavern, J and I Concessions, Mahek, Mawi Wowi, Melting Moments, Mr. Spots, Nuts and Such, Olympic Kitchen, Paradise Concessions, Parthenon, Pizza Pino, Potato Factory, Sabor Latino, Smoke House and We R Korney.

Don't forget about the restaurants located on the lower level of the Michigan Union, located right on State Street. Down there, art fair attendees can dine at Subway, Pizza Hut, Wendy's, Panda Express, Mrs. Fields, Auntie Anne's and Freshens. In addition, there are restaurants inside the Michigan League, located right across from the fountain at Ingalls Mall. Attendees can eat at Taco Bell, Wendy's, U-go's Express and Beanster's Cafe. A student ID is not required to access the building or dine at those restaurants.

For more information about the Ann Arbor Art Fair, visit www.theannarborartfair.com.

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

A look at the 2010 Ann Arbor Street Art Fair

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Nathan K will perform at the South University Art Fair on Thursday, July 21 at 3 p.m.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

George Bedard and the Kingpins will entertain audiences at the South University Art Fair on Thursday, July 21 at 6:40 p.m.

 

Complete Coverage of the 2011 Ann Arbor Art Fairs on AmericaJR.com

 

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