The famous Ann Arbor Art Fair(s) are in-progress and on-going through Saturday, July 24. It is really four separate, concurrently running fairs that attract over 500,000 attendees. The one that started it all and is known as The Original Fair, has been named a Top Ten Fair by AmericanStyle magazine readers every year since 2004, among many other local, national, and international accolades.
The organization states on its website that their mission is “to increase public knowledge and appreciation for contemporary fine arts and fine crafts by creating opportunities that connect artists, the Ann Arbor community and the general public to their mutual benefit, culminating in a top quality juried street art fair.”
THE FOUR FAIRS
The Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Original
The one that started it all is now in its 51st year. It was established in 1960 by a collaboration between the Ann Arbor Art Association, the University of Michigan, and two business groups. In 2003, the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Original relocated to North University Avenue and the streets surrounding the landmark Burton Memorial Tower. This new location on the University of Michigan’s Central Campus is set amidst elegant architecture and beautifully landscaped pedestrian walkways.
The State Street Area Art Fair
Combines the talents of 325 artists with a host of merchant displays along the vibrant streets of Ann Arbor's campus area. It was established in 1968 as a way to attract Art Fair shoppers to the business district of downtown Ann Arbor and is sponsored by the Ann Arbor Street Area Association.
The Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair
The Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair was established in 1960 and is run by the The Guild of Artists & Artisans. Originally called the Free Arts Festival and held on the “Diag” in the University of Michigan's Central Campus,later renamed to become the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair. Currently, it is held in two locations, one on State Street, and the other on Main Street and Liberty Street between Main and 4th Avenue. In addition to 375 professional artists, the fair also features performances and children's activities.
Ann Arbor’s South University Art Fair
Features almost 150 artists and is where the past meets the future. Cutting edge blends with traditional styles in the youngest of the Ann Arbor Art Fairs. Great ethnic restaurants, hip stores and plenty of easy access parking at the Forest Parking Deck make this a great starting place for an art adventure.
Several unofficial, for-profit art fairs generally pop up to capitalize on the crowds of browsers and shoppers created by the Ann Arbor Art Fairs. The “unofficial” art found at these fairs is generally lower priced than that found at the official venues. This may be attributed to lower booth fees, the relative lower experience level of the artists, and the greater chance of being accepted as an exhibitor.
The Ann Arbor Art Trolley, presented by VisitAnnArbor.org, will get you around to all of the fairs all day for $1.00.
For more information visit the vast online information available on all activities:
Ann Arbor Street Fair, The Original
Need driving directions? You can get anywhere with Google Maps.
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