5 things to check out Wednesday at the Ann Arbor Art Fair
The Ann Arbor Art Fair can be an overwhelming experience, with more than 1,100 artists and all kinds of other attractions competing for your attention. Each day during the fair, AnnArbor.com will offer a few suggestions of things we think are worth checking out:
With its off-the-beaten-path location west of Ann Arbor, sometimes it's easy to forget that Motawi Tileworks is part of the community. So its annual presence at the fair offers a great chance to see some of the amazing work produced there.
Motawi will have a slightlly different location this year, on South University just east of State Street (near the University of Michigan Museum of Art) in the South University Art Fair.
Motawi will unveil a new Ann Arbor-themed work at the fair: “Burton Tower,” showing the design of the iconic structure in Ingalls Mall. The art fair will mark the first time the design is shown in public.
• Cool off, eat, drink, and listen at the Michigan Theater
Ann Arbor's historic movie palace, at 603 E. Liberty St. in the heart of the State Street Area Art Fair, always proves to be a great stop on art fair days. The theater opens to the public—you don't have to buy a movie ticket, although that's another idea—noon-8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and noon-6 p.m. Saturday.
While you're there, you can simply sit and cool off if you like. But the theater will have grilled bratwurst, hot dogs, and its famous popcorn for sale, as well as soft drinks, bottled water, beer (Bell's and Miller products) and wine (cabernet, merlot, pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot grigio) for customers with a valid ID (you don't need to be a member of the theater). Seating is available both in the air-conditioned foyer and outside on the patio.
In addition, each day at 1:30 the theater offers a free concert on its historic 1927 Barton pipe organ: Wednesday, Bud Bates; Thursday, Henry Aldridge; Friday, Andrew Rogers; Saturday, Stephen Warner.
Live entertainment is a big part of the art fair, with three separate stages showcasing acts throughout all four days of the fair.
Every day offers multiple highlights, but one good bet on Wednesday will certainly be Timothy Monger—the former leader of beloved local bands Great Lakes Myth Society and Original Brothers and Sisters of Love who now works mostly as a solo act.
Monger will appear at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Fountain Stage in Ingalls Mall, part of the Street Art Fair.
Monger writes on his website, "It's not far from State Street where I used to busk the three songs I knew as a 14 year old. Busking at the Art Fair was actually my earliest experience as a performer and while I don't consider myself too civilized to do so again, I'm glad to have a place to hang my hat this year and play for you through a nice sounding PA system on the big green lawn of the Mall."
• The Macklins' sculpture fountains
Shannon and Gail Macklin of Flagstaff, Ariz., are back in Ann Arbor after an absence of about six years, Gail said during Tuesday's setup. Last week saw them at a fair in Royal Oak, but after this weekend, they'll take a break from the fair circuit.
The couple make elaborate fountains—which are designed to hold potted plants—out of copper and driftwood from the Pacific Northwest. They are designed to work indoors or out, and many feature moving parts.
Find out more at www.macklins-sculpture.com, or at their booth on Liberty Street west of Fourth Avenue in the Summer Art Fair.
• Watch an artist in action
The big attraction of the fair is seeing finished works of art, but the event also offers great opportunities to see artists while they work.
The Street Art Fair offers a full schedule of artists showing how they do what they do throughout all four days of the fair: ceramics, drawing, jewelry, photography, and more.
In addition, the South University Art Fair will offer metalworking demonstrations throughout the fair at two booths on East University, and the Summer Art Fair will present a variety of demonstrations as well (see A2artfairmap2013.pdf for booth locations).