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Posted on Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 7:59 p.m.

Storm shortens day three for most artists; Tally Hall concert moved

By Staff

A strong rainstorm that blew through Ann Arbor on Friday definitely dampened day three of the Ann Arbor Art Fairs, but initial reports showed little damage.


A few artists on Liberty Street reopened their booths after the storm, but most did not.

By 7:15 p.m. the rain had mostly moved off. Most artists did not reopen after the storm, although a handful did.

Hardest hit seemed to be the South University Art Fair, where director Maggie Ladd said the Yourist Gallery collective area sustained some damage. A few jewelers’ booths also came down, but no one was hurt.

A highly anticipated return concert by Tally Hall was in the process of being moved to the second floor of Pizza House, 618 Church St., around 8 or 8:30 p.m.

At the Summer Art Fair, director Debra "Max" Clayton said one booth on Main Street was affected by the storm and that things were basically shut down for the night.

Both Kathy Krick of the State Street Area Art Fair and Maureen Riley of the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair reported little to no damage and no injuries. Krick noted that the artists are accustomed to even worse weather, so this closure was not difficult.

The fairs reopen from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday for the final day of the event.

Chrysta Cherrie and Bob Needham contributed to this story.



Mon, Jul 26, 2010 : 2:30 a.m.

It's true: the art fair has always seemed to draw bad weather. Even moderate temps feel a lot hotter on the street, never mind really hot weather and humidity, and of course the storms. Could things -- dates, days, hours, etc.-- be changed? Of course they could! But it would be really difficult to persuade people that they can live with a little change. Changing dates would be difficult. But changing days and hours and the length of the fair -- would be doable. Art fairs, contrary to the views of some, are held in various places all year round, not just in July. I would bet that there is at least one art fair somewhere in the middle and northern states every single weekend from May through September. In the warmer states, many fairs take place during the late fall and winter months. Ann Arbor's collective art fairs are fabulous and always in the top tier. Deservedly so. But the length of our collective fairs takes a real toll: we lose many of the country's really fine artists. Four days is REALLY LONG: and the hours are long as well. There are almost no other outdoor fairs in the country that are this long. The number one plea from the artists is to shorten the fair. Man top artists will no longer do Ann Arbor because of these conditions. For all of the artists the fair is absolutely draining; for out-of-town artists it is a very expensive fair to attend as well: travel, food, lodging, a long week away from studios. It adds up to some tough problems. But artist pleas and wishes to bring about some change are far down on the totem pole, it seems. So, why do we as a community keep it so long? Well, for one thing the merchants want to keep it as long as possible for their sales. For another...people resist change. It would take very persuasive powers and guts-- a lot of guts-- to address these problems and make a few changes. So far no one seems truly up to the challenge. Gail Dapogny

Marti Bombyk

Sun, Jul 25, 2010 : 1:04 p.m.

Downpours are a standard feature of the Art Fair. I wonder if festival organizers could imagine the unthinkable: Change the dates of the Ann Arbor Art Fair? Since it is a destination event that brings so much commerce and cultural capital to Ann Arbor, why keep scheduling it during our "monsoon season"? Could someone consider checking the Farmer's Almanac or the Weather Report for a nicer time of summer when temperatures aren't blistering and the sky is not convulsing with rain?


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 3:57 p.m.

I was lucky enough to get back to Ann Arbor for the previous two Art Fairs, but am stuck in Texas this year. Best of luck to all the artists, I hope the weather cooperates today, Saturday....I particularly miss hearing Mr. B. Here's to next year in A2.


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 2:54 p.m.

Nice story and coverage of the Art Fair thunderstorms. Mark Bialek also was covering it. After seeing the sky from a friends house on Westside Ann Arbor, he literally ran to his truck and drove to the one spot that would give the most dramatic photograph. Since I'm seeing other people put links in this column, I'd like to include one to the most dramatic photo of the festival.


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 8:23 a.m.

I was at the fair from 10 a.m. until the end, took shelter several times, ducked in for a pedicure. It was kind of fun to dodge the storms. Too bad it closed things up early, but thanks to those hearty artists who were able to reopen.


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 12:15 a.m.

Huge crowds at the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair this year. I was fortunate enough to get "stuck" under the tent where Mr. B plays his piano during the first rain storm. It was great fun!

Rinku Kokiri

Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 9:31 p.m. Man I was there since 3, hot then pouring, still hot, then pouring again. Got some nice photos though :D


Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 7:53 p.m.

We went to the art fair after the afternoon rain. It was very hot and humid and the crowd was very sparse. I have been going to the Ann Arbor Art Fair for decades. I haven't seen so few in number of fair goers since the early 1970's. That was because it was much smaller back then. Took shelter during the evening storm and went back out around six-thirty. Nearly all the artists had closed their booths. Here's hoping that Saturday is a knock-out day.