Ann Arbor is the place to be Thursday, July 18 – Sunday, July 21, 2019, when the city will transform into an art lover’s paradise, where visitors and locals alike will enjoy original works of art, street performances, live music, fabulous restaurants, culinary treats and a variety of sidewalk sales and boutique shopping. Let's do it all! It's all part of the Ann Arbor Art Fair.
There is something for everyone at the Ann Arbor Art Fair! Art Fair attendees will enjoy a wide array of fine art, hand-crafted art, sidewalk sales, wonderful boutique retailers, destination restaurants, food courts, live music, performances, artist demonstrations and family-friendly art activities for all ages. The Ann Arbor Art Fair is perfect for the young and young at heart, those with a wide array of interests and it fits any size budget.
The Ann Arbor Art Fair is comprised for four non-profit juried art fairs that span 30 city blocks: the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Original; the Ann Arbor State Street Art Fair; Ann Arbor’s South University Art Fair; and the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair which is celebrating 50 years. The largest juried art fair in the country, the Ann Arbor Art Fair features more than 1,000 artists and has become a Midwest tradition that draws nearly half a million attendees over four days.
Destination Ann Arbor is excited to be the Presenting Sponsor for some great musical entertainment. Make sure to stop by the Stage on Main (Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair) as well as the Fountain Stage (Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, The Original).
The Stage on Main will feature performances booked by The Ark, Michigan’s nonprofit home for folk and roots music, including an open mic night on Thursday evening. There will also be performances from the Neutral Zone. View the full performance schedule here.
The Fountain Stage (pictured) is a welcoming respite in the heart of Ingalls Mall. Featuring an eclectic mix of music and dance, the Fountain Stage offers a perfect opportunity to enjoy family-friendly performances and grab a bite from the adjacent food court.
Here are a few artists at the Ann Arbor State Street Art Fair:
- Artist Boris Kramer is a sculptor that has been at the fair for many years and has become part of the downtown neighborhood. Boris first started attending the State Street Art fair in 2006. Since 2010, he has stayed in his same location and gained a loyal following of fair goers. Boris, and his work, has connected with many of our local businesses over the years making him a part of our neighborhood. Much like our long-time shops and restaurants, visitors look forward to seeing their favorites and Boris is one of them. (Booth LI636-638)
- Artist Scot Schmidt, who works in mixed 2D, has also been at the fair for many years and has a strong following in the Ann Arbor community (Booth LI410).
- Emerging Artists at the Ann Arbor State Street Art Fair receive mentoring from The Ann Arbor Arts Alliance. The Emerging Arts are juried with the other Fine Artists. Program applicants, 18 years and older, can have done only three previous shows to be eligible for consideration.
Some of the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair artists at this year’s fair:
- Armando Pedroso’s (pictured) mixed media pieces have been featured on several television shows including the popular Chicago series of Fire, PD and Med. You can find work in his booth that ranges from $250 up to $4000.
- Ryan and Kaitlyn Lawless, known as Corbe, create ceramics in their studio in Detroit. Balancing the precision of technology with warmth of hand, their ceramic wares are inspired by mid-century design, traditional craft, and small-scale, American manufacture. You can find pieces such as pinch pots and mugs for under $50 to wine sets for $165.
- Looking for something fun and different? Check out Jeffrey St. Romain’s hand drawn skateboard decks! Featuring some interesting personalities such as Johnny Cash, David Bowie, or Louis Armstrong these decks range in price from $140 to $2500.
- In 2019, The Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair celebrates 50 years! The featured artist for this year is Kandy Myny. Kandy is a mixed media artist who incorporates whimsy into her designs using acrylic, ink, charcoal, and collage. She loves using vintage papers and found objects both old and new to incorporate into her work.
- Emerging Artists - visit our Emerging Artist booth on Liberty. Featuring college age and beyond artists who have never before exhibited at an art fair. Work includes jewelry, 2D and more.
Check out these artists at the Ann Arbor’s South University Art Fair:
- Dale Rogers Large-scale garden sculptures made of CorTen and/or stainless steel. Each sculpture is originally designed, laser cut, TIG welded and hand finished. (Booth SU1127-1129)
- Winnie Chai One-of-a-kind art jewelry woven with miniature bead fabrics combined with silver, gold and precious stones. She uses hand tools and a variety of metalsmithing techniques to make her work. (Booth SU848)
- Dan Barnes (pictured) Going beyond traditional ideas about lamps and windows by adding treated metals, crafted wood and unique lighting to stained glass. (Booth SU837)
- Ken Swanson is the South University Art Fair featured artist. Ken developed an interest in printmaking as a youngster and is now an award-winning fine print artist whose images cover a wide variety of subjects. He might be inspired by a flyswatter today or a social observation tomorrow. (Booth SU830)
- Andy Carter uses logs, branches and twigs, from over 100 species. Polished perfectly smooth and framed with a custom hardwood frame. (Booth SU1016)
The Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Original hosts several artists that bring collectors from all over the country to buy their limited addition work:
- One of those artists is Marvin Blackmore. Marvin’s hand-etched ceramic pieces generally range from $800 to $50,000. (Booth NU803)
- Another booth where you will find a large crowd gathered waiting to add to their collection is the hat booth of Ignatius Creegan and Rod Givens. Ignatius and Rod’s summer straw hats sell on average for between $150 and $300. Their hats can be found in the collections of celebrities Demi Moore, Kate Capshaw, and Steven Tyler. (Booth NU914)
- John Furchess will be showing his nature-themed and nostalgic still-life hand-water colored etchings. John’s original pieces range in size and price from $15 for a miniature to approximately $200 for a framed triptych. (Booth WA924)
- Ayesha Mayadas is a jeweler that works in 18K gold and diamonds. Her pieces sell for several thousand dollars. (Booth IN280) On the other hand, Meghan Patrice Riley’s work is lightweight and collapsible and you can find pieces for under $100. (Booth NU814)
- The 2019 featured artist for the Original fair is Amanda Outcalt. Amanda works in 2-D mixed media and her pieces often combine intaglio etching, painting, and stitching. Prices vary. (Booth NU839)
- The New Art, New Artists (NANA) student artists can be found on E. Washington in the Original Fair. This program provides the opportunity for college students to participate in the Art Fair at no cost. It’s a great way for the students to test the waters to see if being a street artist is right for them and for visitors to support young artists just starting out. We have had several that have gone on to make Art Fairs a career choice. (Booth WA801)
- The Ann Arbor State Street Art Fair is very excited about our new Hand-Crafters Marketplace, which provides expert handcrafters an opportunity to be part of the most exciting fine arts fair in the country. The Marketplace will be located in two specific locations of the fair. They are the 500 block of William St and the 400 block of Maynard Street.
- In 2018, South U. decided to add a Craft Section to its fine Arts Fair to give gifted artisans an opportunity to exhibit. The pilot program which took place on North Church and highlighted a dozen crafters was so successful it has spread to encompass North & South Church Street. The 2nd Annual South U. Craft Fair is a must see section!
Sidewalk Sales and Boutique Shopping:
- Great retail destinations in the State Street District include:
- Bivouac, family owned and operated for 40+ years! (pictured)
- MDen, the official merchandise retailer of Michigan Athletics
- Mix will be celebrating its 10th anniversary later this year. The boutique features a "mix" of vintage/gently used and new curated clothing, gift items and personal care products, plus arts and crafts
- Many other retail shops continue to provide the community with amazing opportunities for summer retail shopping.
- As the catalyst for the first art fairs, sidewalk sales have always been a staple of the art fair. Bivouac and MDen have the largest sidewalk sale areas.
- Pick up your University of Michigan merchandise at Ulrich's or Underground Printing.
Delicious Restaurants and Food Courts:
- Wonderful summer stops in the State Street District include: Sava’s, known for a diverse and joyful menu; a lively, inviting and inclusive environment; and dynamically generous hospitality led by Sava Lelcaj)
- Knight’s, a traditional steakhouse owned and operated by the Knight family (pictured)
- At Taste Kitchen, Chef Van deftly combines the flavors of his native Vietnam with French culinary techniques to bring out the best in sustainably sourced produce and seafood with a focus on high-quality seasonal ingredients
- Ashley’s has been Michigan’s premier multi-tap destination for great food, drink and hospitality since it opened in 1983
- For the first time this year, the following restaurants will extend their presence out into Main Street to offer some fun food and ambience to the event! You can visit Ravens Club, Black Pearl, Conor O'Neill's, Real Seafood Company, and Gratzi all while sitting amongst the artists!
- In addition, The Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair features two food courts. Main and Liberty features a food court brought to you by The Main Street Area Association bringing various food vendors and even some shops to Liberty Street, including Ann Arbor's own Ten Thousand Villages. Some of the food options there will include gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches from Cheese Street and crab cakes and fritters from Get Loaded.
- The Guild's Food Court on State Street and South U is excited to include a great mix of food including wood-fired pizza from Shadrach's Fiery Furnace, gourmet sweet and savory wafflestix from Yo Mobile LLC and kettle corn sundaes from Poppin' & Mixin' just to name a few!
- In the South University area, experience culinary diversity with a trip around the world – Japanese, Korean, Middle Eastern, and Italian food all within two blocks. Dining destinations include Ayaka Japanese restaurant, Sadako Japanese Restaurant, Kang’s Korean, No Thai!, Rich J.C. Korean restaurant, One Bowl Asian Cuisine, Oasis Grill, Pizza House and South U Pizza, to name a few.
- You can find great “festival” food in the Fountain Food Court on Ingalls Mall in the Original Fair. Whether it’s a traditional Gyro or everyone’s favorite BBQ (vegan version available), or just a sweet treat, the Carl Mile’s Fountain, On a Sunday Morning, and an array of umbrella tables provide a lovely backdrop for a snack or meal while enjoying the music on the Fountain Stage.
Fun Activities and Artist Demos:
- Pizza House Beer Tent – Stop in for cold beer or one of their famous Margaritas
- Chalk the Walk
- Visitors are able to create their own works of art in the family-friendly Art Activity Zone located on Ingalls Mall.
- The Art Demo Zone offers a peek into the creative process as the Original Fair’s artists demonstrate how they develop their unique works of art. Techniques range from wheel-throwing pottery to plein air painting to wood lathe turning. (pictured) The Demo Zone is located on the lawn of Hill Auditorium.
- In the ancient style of the Madonnari, Artist Tess Marhofer re-creates a renowned masterpiece in chalk on the sidewalk on Ingalls Mall. It is an exciting experience to witness a large-scale piece of art come alive right before your eyes and have the opportunity to engage directly with the artist. Did you know chalk art dates back to the 16th Century Italy? Check out this brief history of Street Painting.
- Visit the L.L. Bean Bootmobile on South University between Tappan and South U. (pictured)
- Pure Leaf will be sampling their Iced Tea as well as featuring a beautiful swing Photo Booth display at the corner of Main and Liberty. Additional sampling will include returning sponsor, Faygo Beverages at the corner of State Street and South University, where the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair and South University Fair meet as well as Cookie Dough Cafe.
- You can also grab a lottery ticket and more from the Michigan Lottery Mobile Truck, located at the corner of State and William, where the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair and State Street Art Fair meet.
- If you are an NPR buff, stop by the Michigan Radio booth on North University to test your skills at one of their fun and challenging NPR quizzes. You might even win a prize.
Navigating the Art Fair is Easy!
The Ann Arbor Art Fair has a new booth numbering system, introduced last year, that helps attendees navigate the 30-block fair footprint. The user-friendly location method utilizes two letters that correspond to the street the booth is on with the numerical portion of the booth ID corresponding to the city block on which the booth is located.
Following is a complete list of street names and corresponding abbreviations to locate your favorite artists at this year’s Ann Arbor Art Fair.
- CH = Church Street
- EU = E. University Avenue
- IN = Ingalls Mall
- LI = Liberty Street
- MA = Maynard Street
- MN = Main Street
- NU = N. University Avenue
- ST = State Street
- SU = S. University Avenue
- TH = Thompson Street
- WA = Washington Street
- WI = William Street
Convenient Parking and Shuttles
- Easy parking at the 900 space Forest Parking Deck off Washtenaw at Hill or South University. (pictured)
- Parking is more convenient than ever in Ann Arbor with structures located throughout the Art Fair.
- Ann Arbor Art Fair attendees can conveniently ride around the 30-block footprint by taking a free ride on the Art-Go-Round mini busses which travels around the perimeter of the art fair.
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