The 59th annual Ann Arbor Art Fair, the largest juried art fair in the country, kicks off next week in Downtown Ann Arbor. The fair runs Thursday, July 19–Sunday, July 22 and will feature amazing art, music, food, and lots of family-friendly art activities for all ages. “While the art is the heart of Ann Arbor Art Fair, we have a wide array of entertainment, shopping and dining for art fair attendees of all ages,” said Karen Delhey, Ann Arbor Art Fair spokesperson. Need more reasons to check out this free event?
1. Chalk with David Zinn
Ann Arbor’s own favorite chalk street artist David Zinn will be creating original art at Liberty and 5th Avenue on Thursday, July 19 and Sunday, July 22 from 1-3pm. Art Fair attendees will get to watch Zinn sketch his fun, and inventive chalk characters. This is a must-see! Sidewalk chalk will also be available for the duration of the show so your family can also get in the fun.
2. Be inspired by local student art.
Back by popular demand, the Carr Center’s Summer Visual Art Academy returns to this year’s Ann Arbor Art Fair. Visit the Carr Center State Street booth for a look at the work of the student artists from the program. Students at the academy work in a variety of media and also learn about the practical business side of art. The Carr Center promotes, preserves and develops African and African American culture within our multicultural community. This is a great opportunity to inspire the budding artist in your family.
3. Create some art.
Your family can get in on the fun in the free Art Activity Zone, located on Ingalls Mall, near E. Washington between Thayer and Fletcher. The Art Activity Zone is open to all ages Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11am until 6pm and Sunday from noon until 6pm.
This year you can choose from the following art projects:
–Punk Posters! sponsored by the Cranbrook Art Museum:
Design and stamp your own original band posters inspired by their current exhibition, “Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die: Punk Graphics, 1976-1986.”
–Clay Creations sponsored by the Clay Work Studio:
Experiment with clay and build anything you dream while experienced instructors help you through the creative process.
-Stabiles sponsored by the Detroit Institute of Arts:
Make a unique piece of art inspired by the geometric sculptures of artists like Alexander Calder and Mark di Suvero.
-Wool Felting Fun sponsored by the Flipside Art Studio:
Create a wet felted snake, a felt geode or a simple piece of abstract art, all with natural wool.
-Insect Inspirations sponsored by the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History:
Build an insect costume while learning what it takes to be a bug. Also, take a moment to meet their giant cockroach!
4. Artist demonstrations
Wondering how these artists create their amazing works of art? Your family can catch a glimpse at the Art Demo Zone, located under the big maple trees on N. University near Hill Auditorium. At 3pm on Thursday, July 19 hear adventure tales from artist Amy Lansburg as she creates magnificent Lake Superior driftwood sculptures with simple tools. And on Sunday, July 22 at 2pm watch artist Desarae Lee bring a Cephalopod come to life through pen and ink. Demonstrations will run all week so visit the Ann Arbor Art Fair website for the full schedule to choose an artist your family wants to see.
5. Wait, there’s more?
The Art Fair will feature fantastic, free music performances as well. Entertainment will take place on two main stages: The Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair Stage is located in the Palio restaurant parking lot on the corner of Main & William. The Fountain Stage is located on Ingalls Mall between E. Washington and N. University. Don’t miss Washtenaw County’s own fiddle prodigy, The Jeremy Kittel Band, on Friday, July 20 at 7:30pm at the Fair Stage. And be sure to check out the Warehouse Cloggers for a fun dance performance kids will love on Saturday, July 21 at 1pm at the Fountain Stage.