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Posted on Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 5:37 a.m.

10 dos and don'ts from an Ann Arbor Art Fair first-timer

By Danielle Arndt


Harrison Township resident Michele Novak, right, talks with Michael J. Mikula about his glass sculpture at the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair on Ingalls Mall.

Angela J. Cesere |

Before spending more than three hours in the sun on Wednesday, I was an Ann Arbor Art Fair virgin.

But not a virgin to artists’ wares and fairs overall.

My family is a big fan of festivals, carnivals and craft shows. Our summer — and often, winter — vacations growing up always consisted of very traditional, Pure Michigan-type adventures. And typically, our destinations would depend on the festivals or fairs taking place in a particular town.

The Ionia Free Fair, Greenville’s Danish Festival, the Douglas Wine and Art Stroll, Saugatuck’s Venetian Festival, the West Shore Arts & Crafts Fair in Ludington, Petoskey’s Art in the Park, Grand Rapids’ ArtPrize — we’ve seen them all.

But after Wednesday’s Ann Arbor Art Fair experience, I will say that if there is one art festival not to miss, it’s Ann Arbor’s. If the above festivals are your scene, then Ann Arbor really offers a combination of them all. And, as cliche as it sounds, there is something there for everyone.

Here are some dos and don’ts — including what to hit and miss — from the eyes of an Ann Arbor Art Fair newbie.

1. Do take the bus into downtown Ann Arbor.

Locals who have witnessed the traffic gridlock and craziness of the parking situation in downtown gave me this advice, and I did not regret taking it. While others tweeted about being stuck in traffic or waiting in line for the parking garage during their morning commute, I was sitting on the bus reading their tweets and with only about 10 other people around me.

2. Don’t try to see all of Art Fair in one chunk of time.

I had the idea that for this column, I would time how long it took to get through each of the four, concurrently-held art fairs — from one end of downtown to the other — traveling at a slightly faster than “mosey” pace and stopping at the occasional booth to browse and take in the pieces and wares.

I wanted to be able to tell readers how much time to allot to get a “full” Art Fair experience.

Bad idea. I couldn’t do it.

There was simply too much to take in that I got distracted from my mission. Plus, how can you not people-watch at a fair this size? That’s half the fun!

Its size is one of the reasons the Ann Arbor Art Fair easily surpasses any usual “art in the park” experience. And the variety. With artists from more than 47 states and three countries, there are some really unique pieces, which leads me to my next “do.”


Grosse Pointe residents Stephanie Manos, left, and her sister, Joanna, look at jewelry by artist Sandy James at the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair on E. Washington St.

Angela J. Cesere |

3. Do check out “The Original” Ann Arbor Street Art Fair around Ingalls Mall, between North University and Washington streets.

I can’t even begin to tell you my favorite booths from the Street Art Fair, but the pieces stood out from the rest. The pieces here are phenomenal, from a complete living room of funky black and red metal furniture; to exquisite hand-blown glass; large jacks hanging from a wall; a mostly enclosed booth resembling a shipping crate filled with wildlife paintings; and jewelry that makes a statement.

Here you also will find the art demonstration tent, which is worth taking in if for no other reason than it’s breezy under the giant trees off North University and makes a the perfect spot for a nap, as one elderly woman proved Wednesday afternoon.

4. If you are in Ann Arbor for the art, don’t be discouraged by the sidewalk sales.

State, Liberty and Main streets were the most packed with people walking around on Wednesday, but if you are on a time crunch and are looking for distinctive pieces, either for gifts or your home, some of these blocks appeared to be more about the sidewalk sales, mixed with some flea market fare.

My advice: Don't be discouraged by the sidewalk sales and keep going; there's art nearby. The discount perfume, as-seen-on-TV knife sets and knock-off designer sunglasses booths just kind of dampened the “art” experience for me.


"Architectural constructionist" Andy Striewski, the former Ann Arbor artist who created this piece, has been showing her work at Art Fair for 25 years.

Danielle Arndt I

5. Having said that, do visit the following booths on Main Street, in the Summer Art Fair:

  • The Cordwainer” — Booth D202. Custom leather bags, purses, wallets and belts by James and Rombye Perry from Tennessee. Unique, but not beyond what a reasonable person would pay for a custom leather bag.
  • Exotic water sculptures — Booth D306. Maryland artist Yos Belchatovski creates metal, home and garden sculptures that double as fountains. (He even has several hooked up to running water, so if he’s not looking you may be able to splash a little on your face).
  • Architectural constructions — Booth D315. I didn’t see anything else quite like former Ann Arborite Andy Striewski’s clocks, shelves and other wall hangings. Made from found objects, fragments of buildings, clay, plaster, paper, stone and plastic shapes, Striewski tries to exhibit a connection between women and architecture in her work — “their strength, endurance and integrity,” she said.

6. Don’t miss the big stuff. (And it was also about this point in the day that I learned: Don’t forget cash, water or sunscreen).

What was most exciting for me about the Ann Arbor Art Fair was the large-scale sculptures, reminiscent of Grand Rapids’ ArtPrize and differing from a typical summer art show.

One of the biggest complaints of ArtPrize has been that artists sink a ton of money into one piece or a collection of pieces that they submit to solicit votes from event-goers for a chance to win $250,000, but the sales element is missing. It is not cost effective for artists to participate, so some people speculate how long the event will last. Whereas here in Ann Arbor, there is both the display and recognition element as well as the opportunity to sell various items. And this is Ann Arbor’s 53rd Art Fair.

It was fun to see local artist Bill Secunda’s sculptures at booth E161 off South University Avenue. Secunda was a finalist in ArtPrize 2009 for “Moose.”

There are more large-scale, metal animal sculptures by Keith Bradley near the corner of Maynard and William streets — such as: “The Pisser,” which you’ll just have to see; “The Boca Babe,” a giant hippo that doubles as a chair; and “Poopsie” the Poodle. Bradley asked for no photographs, so you will have to wander down there to check them out.

7. Don’t look for the nudists.

Apparently once a staple on Liberty Street during Art Fair, the Ann Arbor nudist group (the Southeast Michigan Naturists) was nowhere to be found this year.

And I’ll admit: I was searching for them.

I've heard so many stories about the Art Fair nudist group that I was curious. I’m not sure what I would have done, had I encountered them — other than turn bright red and hide my eyes from their loincloth regions. But nevertheless, I was out to experience all of Art Fair for my first time, so I was a little disappointed by their absence.


George Tait’s The Living Statue interacts with fair-goers Wednesday at Thayer and North University streets.

Danielle Arndt I

8. Do indulge in the fair food.

It's not possible to properly enjoy a summer festival without eating some greasy fair food. But with Ann Arbor being close to the foodie capital of the mitten, I was hoping for food with a little more spunk than the traditional items of shaken lemonade, hot dogs, Gyros, Philly cheesesteaks, pizza and elephant ears.

I found the food court at Ingalls Mall was the place to be. The University of Michigan booth was offering “Wolverine Juice,” which consists of pineapple, mango and blueberry juices; gazpacho and pad thai. And next to the U-M booth, Southfield-based Eskimo Jacks sold ice cream sandwiches with a choice of two warm gooey cookies and your favorite ice cream.

9. Do bring your kids.

The children’s crafts and activities in the Street Art Fair were awesome and educational. Kids could learn to use a potter's wheel, as well as make "found object," monochromatic sculptures with staff from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit. The sculpture project was inspired by a Detroit sculptor named Gordon Newton. The children learned about the artist, his history and the history of the medium while they worked.

10. This is probably the No. 1 lesson I learned at Art Fair Wednesday...

The website makes it sound entertaining and magical. However, awkward was the result of my interactions with George Tait’s The Living Statue.

After standing around watching the silver spray-painted man with two other ladies Wednesday afternoon, wondering how to get the living statue to perform, I decided to drop a dollar into his waste basket.

The statue came to life. Snatched up my hand and kissed it, which would have been fine except he left his lips to my hand and held on tight to my fingers until I told another member of the "audience" to take a second dollar from my purse to put in his waste basket.

Lesson: Don’t give money to the street performer. Or at least know what you're in for if you do.

Staff reporter Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at


Hi Tek

Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 2:36 a.m.

Oh and Connoisseur is 5 years? Bwahahahahahahaha! And someone who has been going since they were a kid for 16 years is an "old timer"? Srsly? Double noob!

Hi Tek

Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 2:33 a.m.

Been doing the Art Fair since the 60's. Serouusly noobish advice! Take the bus? LOL! Just learn where to park close for free.


Fri, Jul 20, 2012 : 7:17 p.m.

The 11th rule is dont feed the bums, maybe they will leave the area....wishfull thinking :) !!!!!!!


Fri, Jul 20, 2012 : 5:12 p.m.

DO bring babies in strollers, and your dog. Because no one appreciates art, or enjoys hot weather and noisy crowds, as much as babies and dogs do.

Rork Kuick

Fri, Jul 20, 2012 : 12:05 p.m.

My todo #1: Talk to an artist whose work you like. Payoff can be big.

Tim Martin

Fri, Jul 20, 2012 : 2:18 a.m.

You forgot the No. 1 pet peeve (literally) ... LEAVE YOUR DOGS AT HOME! Poor babies.

Elijah Shalis

Fri, Jul 20, 2012 : 12:24 a.m.

There were no elephant ears this year boooooooo

Jed I Knight

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 11:22 p.m.

Did the fair from 10 am to 4 pm yesterday. Loved every minute of it - no complaints. Not sure about those venting here. Its live and not previously rehearsed experience.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 10:13 p.m.

Stop at the information booth and ask a question... we volunteers love helping visitors out and there are no dumb questions (well, maybe there are a few, but we'll try to answer them anyway!).


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 7:57 p.m.

I just got home from a nice time at the Art Fair with my 3 1/2 year old. I've been doing Art Fair with kids for several years now, and have some tips: **Bring water, hat, sunglasses, sunblock, and baby wipes. Keep your child cool, comfortable, and clean. Nobody wants to see sticky faces and fingers near the art. Mine carried all his stuff in a little backpack and was very proud of being such a "big kid". **Explain what behavior you expect before you go. My kids and I have a system: when I say "hands" they lace their fingers together. That's how they have to behave in a booth, and they know that we'll leave if they don't listen. **Slip a card with your name and cell number into your kid's pocket and instruct them to find a grownup (I usually tell them to locate another mommy with kids) and give them the card if you get separated. Then make sure you don't get separated! **Plan to let the kid dictate how fast to go and how long to spend walking around. Dragging a bored or exhausted kid is no fun, but wandering around and seeing things through a child's eyes is! Talk to them, ask them what they like, let them help choose gifts for people. If you must do some power shopping, leave the kids at home. **Ditch the stroller. An infant will be more comfortable in a sling or wrap anyway. If you absolutely cannot function without one, go at off-peak time and bring a compact umbrella stroller. **Feed them often, give them breaks to sit on the grass or run around, don't expect them to have the same stamina as an adult! **Know where the bathrooms are. Or ask the artists, they always know the closest one.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 7 p.m.

I spent a couple enjoyable hours at the Fairs this morning with my 2 year old daughter, a friend from out of town and her two kids. We had a wonderful time! There are so many things there designed specifically for children... how can anyone suggest that kids should be left out? She made one of the mentioned "found object" sculptures and a butterfly decoration at the DIA tent. We had lunch at Cottage Inn. We received lots of smiles from vendors and fellow fairgoers alike, and we took some precious pictures. Everyone... drivers, locals, all the grumpy people on this thread... need to realize that Art Fair disrupts the town for a few days, gives us something fun to do, and makes memories for Ann Arborites of all ages. Relax and try being nice and enjoying each other and the day!

Jake C

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 6:59 p.m.

I'm not an "old timer" by any means, but I've been in Ann Arbor for over a dozen years (and worked downtown for many of them) so I've seen my share of Art Fairs. The main thing I've learned is that Art Fair is not a race. It's not a competition to walk past the booths as fast as possible just so you can claim you've "seen the whole thing". That was my attitude when I was younger, but I've gained an appreciation for just stopping and talking to an artist who makes something really unusual, even if it means I'll "miss out" on something else. I understand that people need to get to their jobs and that the hairdressers and lawyers who have offices on Main Street can't necessarily take a whole week off. I'll deal with the parking & traffic hassles all this week too. If you're someone who needs to get somewhere in a hurry, there's almost always a way to do so without shoving people out of your way in the middle of Liberty St. People sometimes stop & gawk, or need to take it slow while pushing a stroller. If you're in a hurry, try the sidewalk instead of the street. It's usually sparsely populated, even if you don't get a good view of the art as you're flying past; but you're not really paying attention to it anyway.

Danielle Arndt

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 7:43 p.m.

Thank you for your insights, Jake. And just so you know, I didn't mean anything by calling those 16-year-plus visitors "old." Simply, it is impressive that people keep coming back for that long. Obviously, the Art Fairs are doing a nice job of offering a festival that continues to attract repeat customers. I lived in my hometown of Rockford for 23 years, but my family only frequented our annual "big" summer festival maybe eight of those years. We just got tired of the same ol', same ol'. Organizers should view the number of "old-timer" and "veteran" responses in the poll as a success.

sun runner

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 5:48 p.m.

Reading the comments up to this point reminds me of why I prefer to skip Art Fair.

Danielle Arndt

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 5:22 p.m.

I love that readers are adding their own "dos" and "don'ts." Thank you! It's awesome to see how many "old-timers" there are coming back to the Art Fair for more than a decade. I would love hear the stories or advice you may have to share.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 5:13 p.m.

I gave up on the Art Fairs a few years ago - after AA thanks me for coming into town by giving me parking tickets; only takes a moment or two and their handing out the tickets. I try to be careful and plug the meters or pay stations correctly - still it is not enough. Then there are the strollers with crying children who I believe would rather be anywhere else - most likely at home - with grandma - than being drug around an art fair. Lastly, the dogs. Can dog-lovers not leave their pets at home for a few hours? Really? I don't bring my dogs, cats, kids or extra relatives along. It's just not the place or time for all that 'luggage'. Wake up people - try leaving the 'cargo' at home and enjoy the Art Fairs on your own - if you can't bear to part with them, stay home and enjoy them and leave the Fairs to the rest of us. Thanks so much!


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 5:02 p.m.

Don't even go

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 4:28 p.m.

i would prefer that people only come singular in running shoes with a BMI less than 24 and the ability to run 6 repeat 400's in less than 60 seconds each with a 2 minute recovery in between. That way we can all move along in a timely fashion.

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.

I haven't met the qualifications since 1969. But I'm grandfathered in because I made them up. ;)


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 4:38 p.m.

@ Craig, so you're staying home this year?


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 4:21 p.m.

#11 - go take a whiff of our new parking structure before it closes back up after the Art Fair for who knows how long.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

Please come in a group as well. Walk 5 or wide and stop every 10-15 yards to talk to each other. Also, stop for no apparent reason as if you are the only one there.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 3:50 p.m.

Lets plan to bring a big group of friends and then stop in the middle of the street to have a protracted conversation about the joys of wicker as though we are the only people at the art fair.


Fri, Jul 20, 2012 : 3:52 a.m.

This is a Michigan thing -- not just an A2 thing...


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 4:26 p.m.

That's also SOP at the Farmer's Market. Also a great place to not bring your dog or stroller.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 4:22 p.m.

That happens all the time in Ann Arbor...just go to any grocery store or pharmacy. This yakkers will block aisles and doors with their yakkety yakk...Ann Arborites are just rude..end of!


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 3:30 p.m.

DO bring a pocket full of dog treats to hand out.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 2:43 p.m.

DO NOT Bring your kids in carriages and strollers!!! Get out of the way please- and DO NOT bring your DOGS, they suffer from the heat and feet stepping on their paws AND they don't like art, neither do babies - get a sitter and enjoy the fair without blocking everyone with your strollers PULEEEZZ. It so so selfish to bring babies and pets

kt rix

Sat, Jul 21, 2012 : 3:37 p.m.

I saw a ridiculously large stroller yesterday with only one child in it, and the lady pushing it even said what a bad idea it was. So yes, some strollers suck. But a few years ago I brought my then 4 year old nephew with me to art fair. We walked up from our house near 7th Street, and knowing that he would probably be tired and cranky before we got there, I asked if he wanted to take his small stroller. He was happy to walk with me for awhile and ride when he got tired. Once we got downtown, he knew the stroller couldn't go into the booths, so he looked from his seat, and asked to walk into a few of the more fun and kid friendly booths. On the walk back home he fell asleep, and since he was in the stroller, i didn't have to carry him. Without the stroller, Art Fair would have been awful, but since we had it, we both had a great time. Yes, some kids like to become a zombie in front of the tv, and some parents let them. but kudos to the parents (and aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends) who get the kids out into the fresh air and teach them an appreciation of art.

Kitty O'Brien

Fri, Jul 20, 2012 : 5:53 a.m.

What about bringing a dog in a doggie stroller? Better yet, two dogs in a double doggie stroller. Anyone have a problem with that?


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 10:08 p.m.

JoJo: 3 years old? She's old enough to walk. I have children and I totally agree with the first post: parents can be very selfish people. You have a right to bring your kids anywhere you want, but if your child is old enough to walk, they should walk.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 6:54 p.m.

Even better then all that, sit your kid in front of the TV – I've read that they can go for hours and probably won't bother you until hungry or diaper is filled up. You could leave it at a playground with a bag of gummy bears and go run some errands. …or what kid doesn't love "art" - get some finger paints and big sheets of scrap paper from your family butcher and keep it busy for hours. You could both pretend it did a great job and act all surprised at the "talent" and staple it to your refrigerator (use an air-gun and construction staples). I personally can draw and paint way better than any kid. ….your kid would be much happier doing any of those things then faking art fair joy. Schools are all about bullying these days so you could probably sign up for a class when it's older. It could certainly make more money shaking down other kids for lunch money then selling lemonade!

Terri Eagen-Torkko

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 5:02 p.m.

Shepard, you have no idea what her three-year old would like.

Jojo B

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 5:02 p.m.

shepard145: I just love the wanna-be-parents telling me what's best for my daughter. No I'm not taking her to a cartoon movie instead; she enjoyed art fair, told me so, and she wants to come again. You non-parents think kids do nothing but sit in a stroller, suffering and going numb while ignored by parents. My daughter got to eat and play by the fountain and cube, run around on the grass by the diag and got to see some cool art (including an artist who even gave her a little Snow White pendant which made her super happy, do some crafts at the art activity zone (hint hint--it's for kids so maybe kids are encouraged to come!), and watch a dance performance. She had a BLAST. And I made a point of keeping our stroller out of the way, so oblivious texting teenagers and disoriented middle-aged people carrying sticks could be the primary irritant of 20-something hipsters who insist that they can't run through the crowds fast enough. :) So thank you all for the downvotes and the parenting advice. When my daughter is in high school and is having trouble with calculus or somebody bullying her, I'll be sure to ask you for some sage advice.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 3:53 p.m.

Your 3 year old would love going to a cartoon movie better - take it there and skip the art fair this year. I don't think they can ban wheelchairs but I cannot imagine someone sitting in one of those things in a crowd and this heat would not be bummed out.

Jojo B

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 3:30 p.m.

Actually, we brought our daughter in a stroller when she was 3 and she loved the art fair and we'll do it again. And you are going to have to accept that. I know some people can be rude with them, but that's the real problem, not the fact that they exist. People also come in wheelchairs and they shouldn't be banned either. There are plenty of bipedal out-to-lunch people who are in the way as well. You're in a crowd, things move slowly, deal with it.

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

separate from the heat issues, on the rare occasion i go to the art fair the shear humanity is as "blocking" as the occasional stroller or dog in my personal experience.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 2:33 p.m.

'The statue came to life. Snatched up my hand and kissed it, which would have been fine except he left his lips to my hand and held on tight to my fingers until I told another member of the "audience" to take a second dollar from my purse to put in his waste basket.' I don't think so. Not cool. Physical coercion is not a good way to solicit tips. Sounds illegal.

Ron Granger

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 7:10 p.m.

Tut, Tut. I think you could have easily gotten away by simpling asking "let go". If not, I suspect this would have worked: "Does that makeup protect you against pepper spray?"

Danielle Arndt

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 5:29 p.m.

It was definitely an unexpected and slightly unnerving way to interact with an audience member. He gripped my hand so tight, there was no way I could slip my fingers out without him letting go. Trust me: I almost pulled him off his stand trying.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 2:05 p.m.

DO remember that not all cross streets are blocked off. I've seen countless people walking down Liberty nearly get creamed by cars/trucks/buses/motorcycles as they cross Fifth or Division. Most drivers here at this time are either strangers to the area driving confused and distracted, or inconvenienced locals who are driving impatient or angry. Combine this with countless Art Fair goers who don't seem to even realize there's an open street or traffic lights as they blindly step right in to the road, and I find it amazing that we don't see more accidents.


Fri, Jul 20, 2012 : 4:58 a.m.

Good advice, amlive. But this is a year-round problem in Ann Arbor...

Danielle Arndt

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 5:26 p.m.

amlive, this is actually really good advice. I watched a number of people almost get hit while strolling through the crosswalks yesterday. I almost did it myself. It was easy to forget with so many roads being closed and only a few that aren't.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 1:57 p.m.

Bring the biggest stroller you have and make sure you walk as slowly as possible! Oh, and don't forget your dogs (plural). My Art Fair tips. Go downtown on Tuesday, the day of set-up. The streets are closed already, so it's easy to get around. You get to see the art as it's being put out without the crowds. The restaurants are nearly empty, so after you look around you can have a nice peaceful dinner. If you saw something you liked, you can return during the Art Fair and go directly to that vendor to make your purchase. My favorite thing to do at Art Fair was get an outside table at the Parthenon, have a few drinks and people watch. I miss Parthenon. The last tidbit - go downtown Saturday evening when the vendors are packing up. Once, again the restaurants are pretty slow, so you don't have to wait for a table.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 1:50 p.m.

Don't ride a bike through the crowds in the middle of the streets. I saw this happening several times last night. Very stupid.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 1:45 p.m.

Went to AF yesterday: Not crowded in late afternoon/evening Most artists were looking bored and sweaty, using their iphones in their booths, wishing people would stop and look Most people were walking by booths, very few stopping to look Food was very overpriced, overheard many commenting on this Fewer food vendors than in past years State Street "artists" more commercial than ever "King's Chosen" or whatever that parking lot off Liberty is called, worse than ever Artists I chatted with said it was very slow sales on Wednesday Sales at local downtown stores were not great but drew the crowds A lot more commercial booths than in the past (selling gutters, windows, tee shirts, etc) Fewer political booths on Liberty Fewer street music performances


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 12:49 p.m.

What is up with the exhibitors not wanting you to take pictures?


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 10:09 p.m.

Most exhibitors are ok with strange people taking photos IF they first ask for permission. It's strange to see someone just come up and start taking photos without even acknowledging the artist (who is usually sitting close by). Be polite and please ask if it's ok! The artists aren't so worried about copying since you can find their work on their websites anyway. It's just rude to come into a booth and just start snapping away with your digital camera or iphone as if you own the place.

Tex Treeder

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 4:04 p.m.

People want to take pictures because they like the art. I suspect the amount of real copying is much less than the artist imagines. Signs like those "No photographs!" just make me want to take pictures. So I do.

Ron Granger

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

A LOT of copying happens. It is so much easier to copy than to innovate. That which may seem obvious generally isn't. And if it was obvious, you wouldn't need a photo.

Madeleine Borthwick

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 1:33 p.m.

fiddlesticks, maybe they're afraid you'll try to copy it. ah, paranoia.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

We went Wednesday evening and it was a perfect time to go! Over 600 spaces available in the parking ramp... easy access to all the exhibits and artists, and the temperature was noticeably cooler with an occasional breeze. Nice.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 2:27 p.m.

Nice for visitors, but less so for artists who I'm sure saw fewer sales due to light crowds Wed.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 12:26 p.m.

Do bring your kids who are old enough to enjoy the art, music, and activities, but large strollers are not a good idea.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 4:40 p.m.

I agree with everything in this post. Let me throw in a bit about bicycles. I'm concerned about them hitting someone as they weave throughout the crowd.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 3:14 p.m.

I always feel bad for the babies and tots in the strollers. It's 100 degrees out. It's too hot for them. Please, find a baby sitter and keep them indoors where it is nice and cool (hopefully).


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 1:38 p.m.

THANK you. I was about to say the same thing. As much as I love little kids, strollers are a nightmare both to maneuver and encounter.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 11:56 a.m.

Not everyone can afford the very expensive art so I disagree about the sidewalk sales. That is where I spend my money.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 11:46 a.m.

We waited 15 minutes for the pad tai on Inglass mall and were finally given someone else's order (only two people waiting for orders) and it was aweful.

Tex Treeder

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 4:02 p.m.

Food has definitely gone downhill this year. The food court near the Union is smaller, less varied, and less enjoyable.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

Stop voting this comment down. It's one person's experience and opinion of the food at the fair.

Rob MI

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 11:39 a.m.

If you love your pets, PLEASE LEAVE THEM AT HOME.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 11:34 a.m.

Don't bring your dog(s)

Chip Reed

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 11:26 a.m.

Before Briarwood opened, the sidewalk sales were a highlight for local residents. Klines, Fiegels, etc. all had their best prices of the year for clothes.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 8:27 p.m.

I miss the downtown department stores too but golly, Briarwood has been with us for almost forty years now! Time marches on, nothing stays the same. Perhaps next will be most bricks and mortar retailers being replaced by online shopping. We may not always like it but hey, change happens!


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

Briarwood killed any real shopping for downtown. Now downtown is just a strip of overpriced restaurants and boutiques.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 11:01 a.m.

Here's a tip for any art fair goer: please try to be aware that when you shamelessly make negative comments about an artist's work, you are sometimes oblivious to the fact that the artist, a human being with ears and feelings, is sitting right there.


Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 3:47 p.m.

Oh come on! A professional artist is hardly concerned with the ramblings of some AA know-it-all. ...and for the few knowledgeable art critics out there, it the artist is new and does stink at it, better they find out sooner then later. Totally agree with those who say leave the dogs and strollers at home!

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 10:45 a.m.

"he left his lips to my hand and held on tight to my fingers until I could tell another member of the "audience" to take a second dollar from my purse to put into his waste basket." that would get a "normal street person" arrested.

Madeleine Borthwick

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 1:31 p.m.

Darn right! he better not try that with me!!!