Information booth volunteers get all sorts of questions at the Ann Arbor Art Fair
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
You probably don’t know that artist, and most likely the people in the information booths around the Ann Arbor Art Fair don’t either. However, they will happily help you try to find that artist.
During a particularly hot week in Ann Arbor, this is no easy feat.
“People are starting to get crabby,” said Jim Woodhams, who has volunteered for the Art Fairs for over 15 years, earlier this week.
Staffing the booth at Main and Liberty streets, he and Lizzy Nagler also receive questions like, “Where’s a good place to eat?”
“Uhhh...I think we’ll have to narrow that one down a bit,” he jokes. He and Nagler try their best to direct people according to their budget and what they’re in the mood for.
While the food court is only a few feet away, he would generally recommend going to a restaurant for the air conditioning. “You want to be cool, don’t you?” Wohams asks.Some already knew where they wanted to go. The folks at Afternoon Delight will be happy to know that fair goers were asking about them as often as, if not more than, the famed Zingerman’s.
With teenagers and college students hawking water for $1, some fairgoers—perhaps fearing they would be funding a booze-filled night of debauchery rather than a church mission (or vice versa)—asked, appropriately enough, the volunteers from the Huron Rowing Association where they could find free water.
Linda Zimmer, one of the volunteers, speculated that the stations were not well marked or that maybe there just weren’t enough.
They also received several questions about locating artists. Specifically, the artist with the “hair things,” or the one with the “metal and glass stuff.” Some finicky art collectors were on the lookout for embroidered dog collars, because what is a dog after all but a barking blank wall?
One artist who is easily recognizable because of his hyper-realistic sculptures of people was also the subject of many questions. Unfortunately, he does not have a booth at the art fair this year. His name, though, if you want to look for him next year is Marc Sijan.
While many of us have asked why people would want to venture into the blast furnace we call “outside,” people like Woodhams are happy to hang out for hours in a booth that offers little relief and often no pay.
“I love doing this,” Woodhams says. “I love showing people Ann Arbor."