Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair 2015

Yes, it's that time of year again. Locals, flee! Art Fair is here. My first Art Fair was also my first summer living in Ann Arbor in 2011. I didn't work downtown at the time, so Art Fair was fresh and fun! I skipped it in 2012 because I was busy starting my new job at the bookstore. Since then, I have been working downtown, so it's pretty hard to avoid Art Fair. (And find decent parking for work. I really believe they should set aside a parking lot for downtown employees rather than exploit our positions and force us to pay extra for use of the shuttles, parking structures, or walk twice as far as the usual half to 3/4 mile I can usually score for free parking.) 

In 2013, I ventured out during my break at work for dinner and to check out the Main Street branch of Art Fair. Last year, Greg and I headed out early and spent the whole day exploring the four individual fairs that make up the Big Event. We saw the DeCamp Sisters perform, who have since broken up, sadly. (I kind of wish I'd bought that T-shirt now.) This year, I didn't have the whole day to explore, but I was out of work by 6pm and was able to meet up with Greg for dinner and arting.

Dinner was via the second of the summer food rallies at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market in Kerrytown. (Read about the first one here.) We split a falafel pita, a half and half serving of regular potato and sweet potato fries (very yummy), and got two shakes, chocolate and strawberry, from Shimmy Shack. Since the shakes were vegan, they were more like smoothies. They strongly reminded me of Orange Julius! We also grabbed some blueberry crisp ice cream from Sweet Marias.

Heading into the Art Fair, we found a lot of the usual boring stuff you see everywhere (so much generic pottery), but also some really interesting things, and some stuff that made us giggle. We ended up buying a couple of prints from The Secret Life of Toys by Marcos Minuchin on Main St (really clever stuff!) and I got some Doctor Who earrings from Wicked Whatnots (my third pair of earrings from them, plus I have a bracelet) and a leather bracelet from Vintageliz that also has stamped into a piece of affixed metal the words "possibility begins with imagination." Both of the latter two are in the alley group off Liberty.

Someone else to check out is Makeshift Accessories, also on Main St. They use a lot of salvaged metals, including from fighter planes, military equipment, and other pretty hardcore items. Greg really regrets not getting a particular ring from them last year. I love a lot of their cuffs and earrings, but they are, sadly, a wee bit out of my price range. I was inspired to use the foreign currencies I've been collecting to make jewelry, though! (We'll see if I actually find the time.)

We did not see the Violin Monster (boo), but we did see at the corner of Main and Liberty the silver living statue lady! She is cool. We saw her last year, and I saw her the year before, as well. A man standing next to me handed me $1 to put in her tip jar so we could see her turn and bow her thanks. I think he and his friend were too shy to do it themselves, hee. One of my favorite things about festivals is seeing the clever street performers. I hope to see more this week between work shifts. Maybe I will spot the Violin Monster. Awooo!

Art Fair goes through Sunday. Check it out if you have the time. And good luck parking. I suggest the metered parking in Kerrytown after 6. It's free! Otherwise, there is the Waterhill neighborhood, or taking the shuttles for $2.

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