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All Things Summer Art Fair

July 12, 2013

The Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair

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Written by: Ellen Kortesoja
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The streets of Ann Arbor seem to sweat art in the month of July. Many locals I know claim to despise Art Fair in the same way that we despise Hash Bash for bringing out masses of non-Ann Arborites. But how can you not secretly love it? Even if you’re not into sweltering heat and milling around aimlessly, the people-watching is always top notch. Also, everyone has their favorite artists that return every year or their favorite fried food stand that returns every year. All in all, Art Fair is as woven into the legacy of our city in a way that is comparable to Michigan Football, snowstorms in March and the likes of Shakey Jake and Violin Monster.

The Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair is one of the four official partners that make up the award-winning Ann Arbor Art Fair. The fair celebrates its 44th year this July! The Summer Art Fair is presented by The Guild of Artists and Artisans and has 375 artist booths, demonstrations and live entertainment. The Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair takes place on all of Main Street, on Liberty west of Fifth Avenue and on South State St. south of William.

Here are a few of this year’s Summer Art Fair exhibiting artist highlights:

Elaine Lamb from Medina, Ohio uses clay as her medium. Bright, bold colors in interesting shapes make her functional pieces look Dr. Seussian. Lamb makes only one piece at a time on the wheel or on a slab roller. She works independently and says this freedom allows her creative spirit to be completely focused in the art. She will be on South State between South University and William.

Nels Johnson is a photographer utilizing popping colors and humorous, delightfully charming subjects who will be on Main Street between William and Liberty. Johnson spends his summers in Florida and displays scenery from the Key West and Gulf Coast that makes the viewer ache for a beach vacation, a margarita and a companion.

Metal sculptor, Ray Berger, began by teaching students and enjoyed sharing ideas this way. Gradually, Berger began to progress towards a full-time artist career selling metal pieces at shows. His pieces are for the home or garden and range from abstract to traditional, to contemporary. A favorite of mine is his “Kali Tree” or “Super Kali Tree” – a twisting and youthful tree depiction ablaze with shining discs as leaves. Berger will be set up on Liberty between Main and South Fourth.

Steve and Benita Benitez have been making jewelry for 25 years. The couple lives in Richmond, California and this year will be on South State between South University and William. Their work is majestic-looking and regal. The artists say each piece follows an organic balance and a nature motif. Each ring can take three to six hours to construct, and afterwards the piece is buffed, filed and polished to perfection.

Art-goers, the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair awaits you! Remember to drink water, linger often and take many breaks. I often find that after a while everything becomes a sea of blurred colors. So find time to fall in love with art and enjoy the hours of labor and dedication in each individual piece.

About the Author

Ellen Kortesoja

Peninsular Place

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