Does anyone else find this to be a fair of useless crap? I mean some of the stuff is cool to a certain degree, but the fact that it encompasses so much of downtown Ann Arbor and most of the stuff is ridiculously overpriced kind of annoys me. Thoughts?
OT: Ann Arbor Art Fair
but art generally is extremely expensive. A guy I used to work with was just a phenomenal painter. He had to hang it up for a while when the market took a dive after 9/11, but holy crap. I won't deny that his skill alone made his paintings worth hundreds. He was really into birds and painted a lot of the native migratory birds. I never really realized how many "tropical" birds we get here in the summer.
Its annoying to me, b/c I'm not into it, and it cramps up the town for a half week. On the other hand, it brings in a lot of money for the local economy, and is seen as a positive thing for the city and state from out of towners, so I can't complain too much.
It's probably one of the biggest tourist draws in Ann Arbor outside of football games, and it does provide some life into a pretty dead campus during summer time. I've always just used it as an excuse to have a date and day drink outdoors at Ashley's.
I used to work downtown and the week leading up to and the week of were a major pain. (Had to give up my highly valued on-site parking for vendors). I'm more of a classical art person, so the genre of stuff around there isn't my forte. However, it can be a fun thing to visit for the people watching and sales at the local retailers. Great boost to the local economy, so that helps. I live close enough to partake if I choose, yet far enough that the congestion doesn't impact my daily life. Win-win for me.
If nothing else, Art Fair is always great for people watching, and the fact that its very existence ticks off a certain small class of Ann Arborites: the purist art snobs - makes it worthwhile in my book. Back in the 1980's, I can recall seeing some of these people wearing t-shirts that read "It's not art, and it's not fair!"
That phrase is still around. Most recently via the trendy "stencil graffiti" on walls, mail boxes, light posts, etc.
This is a second hand story, so its veracity (or should I say voracity) may be questionable, but my cousin told me that a few years ago during the art fair he saw spray painted on a wall somewhere, "FART AIR."
some of it is really worthwhile art, but there's a lot of "art" there, too. Overall, I don't think it's worth the crowds and general incovenience unless you really like the art fair culture.
I hate how it messes up traffic (I have to change my commute schedule and route every day) and the few businesses I have talked to don't like it either because it actually takes revenue away from them. (Everyone gets fair food...no one gets a haircut or goes into town to get a haircut, stuff like that, etc).
And I don't like most of what is for sale at art fair.
But. A group I'm with makes a killing on selling parking spots :-)
but it's pretty easy to find an excuse when the sun is out.
If you don't like art it isn't a valid excuse. Not that I don't use it anyhow haha.
I say please, lure in the suburbanites to line my pockets with cash. As far as the art, most of the art is decent, some is brilliant, some is unoriginal and cliche. Possibly due to a few off years in the art market, I have noticed more and more merchant booths, selling cheap perfume from China...lame.
I like that it makes some of my friends happy, but I've never been particularly interested. A lot of it strikes me as impractical, if I can use that word. Art should be a genuine expression of self; much of the AAAF tries to be art. If that makes any sense. There's plenty of sincerity, too, though, and It usually brings nice weather. I just prefer the Ann Arbor Film Festival because I'm a hypocrite
I probably need to use past tense since I'm not in Ann Arbor :(
That's a GREAT way to put it.
If you like to use Art Fair as an exhibition, that is the premiere art. You'll find some "real art" around the NYPD/parking structure area, but that is more mixed. I never venture up Liberty or Main.
We actually buy something every year, but never spend over $500 since we are impoverished by childraising. And there is some amazing stuff for more than $500. If you like art.
And is considered to have the highest class of artists there.
Anything that brings in money to Ann Arbor/Michigan in the middle of an otherwise dead part of summer works for me. I like some of the art, not others. Plus there is live music for a week. And you bitch about a little traffic? Come on.
There is one thing the Art Fair brings that brings sunlight into my heart - Greasy carnival food. It's expensive, but there are few places you can get that stuff. Elephant ears, giant sausages, chicken on a sticks; the list goes on and on. Sure it takes me an extra few minutes to get to my parking structure to walk to work, but it's all worth it when that deliciousness touches my lips.
Tell me where the nearest elephant ear stand is. I haven't had one in entirely too long.
I haven't been yet this year, but generally there is one by the Union in that food section they have going on.
For elephant ears: go next to the MI Union by the Cube. Near the entrance to the MUG Food Court.
They can also be found at the "food court" on Liberty (a block or two west of Main).
For ensuring diabetes in my future.
Seriously, just roll right on down 23 and then across M-50, takes about 30-40 minutes from AA. Michigan's largest fair. You can get EVERYTHING there. My personal favorite is the Cheddar Nuggets with ranch from the Hot Wisconsin Cheese stand, but I also usually have an elephant ear, collasal onion, some Sasparilla or Cream Soda from the Bayou Billy stand (Put a little south in your mouth!), plus whatever else catches my eye (corn dog, coney, cotton candy, funnel cake, lemon crush, loaded butterfly chips, they've got it all). All that, and a kickin' tractor pull too!
how's the demo derby?
but there is a combine demolition derby that's a lot of fun.
God Monroe sucks....
Was trying to find a restaurant. Passed like 6 bars to get to what seemed like the only restaurant in town.
I'm sure it's...grown...since then.
you definitely don't go there for the dining. That said, there are some great places to eat, but not really in "downtown".
La Fiesta down Telegraph between Monroe and Toledo and Jose's (Not sure if it's still called that) out in downtown Dundee. Also you can NEVER go wrong with Tiffany's pizza.
Coming back this weekend and I'm planning on going to Tiffany's and La Fiesta. Excited!
You, sir, know what's good. They have a location in Dundee now.
I love the Frog Leg Inn, which is actually in Erie, but... eh.
Jose's was owned by a family member of La Fiesta but then had some legal/IRS troubles and had to shut down.
La Fiesta came in and bought the space and just changed the name and re-opened.
But apparently, you do go there for the drinking. I didn't go for either. I was going for a football game. Though I think I did end up at a Pizza Hutt that served beer.
I can guarantee you there is an elephant ear stand on Liberty just off of Main in the food court section. My wife and I were down there people watching last night and she wanted an elephant ear.
On a side note I always find it entertaining to walk down the non-profit booth section to see some of the crazies!
At Ann Arbor Pioneer a couple of weekends ago. Ears galore.
But I would guess they could be found the food court around the Union, as others have suggested.
A lot of it is junky, but I enjoy the photography stands. There are some excellent U-M-themed photos on sale. One guy had a great photo of Mike Hart, in color, reaching over the goal line with a huge pile right behind him (in b/w).
I agree, I happen to be really into art, and in my experience typically the photography is the best stuff at the fair, followed by the furniture, followed by sculptures. Generally speaking, that's probably because these are the hardest things to fake skill in. Painting is where the whole subjective expression tends to come in, it's a bit more objective in other forms.
Anyhow, while I recognize the inconvenience the art fair poses for those living in Ann Arbor, it also contributes enormously to its image as a cultural hub that outsiders have of it. It's kind of a necessary evil.
I think I saw that stand too, the guy had an awesome mullet right? He also had some cool pictures of the michigan and state theatres.
people were complaining about how it had gone downhill then. Some of my friends had booths and I thought it was the greatest thing ever. Oh, the women!
99.9% of Art Fair sucks.
I'm thankful that I've had the opportunity to play Art Fair as a musician here and there several times, but on the whole, Art Fair is lame.
Best. Kettle corn. Ever.
I love the atmosphere. I love just walking around and looking at stuff. To me, it's an excuse to spend a whole day walking around the town I love without feeling like I should be doing something else.
The crap to real art ratio has swung way to far in the direction of crap IMHO. It's simply not worth it to fight through crowds to find those little gems. My parents went to college here in the 1970s and commented on how Art Fair used to be a lot smaller and higher in average quality. They've stopped coming out because they feel there is too much crap on display as well.
The only thing that really annoys me are the damn security guards at yell at me for daring to walk around my own campus at night. Last year I got into a fight with one because I tried to walk through Ingalls Mall while drunk at 3 am.
I figure a lot of the local businesses need Art Far to make it through the summer though. No football Saturdays, no massive amounts of students to buy stuff, so I accept it and go camping. Pictured Rocks on Friday!
Jealous I am.
After spending the last three summers here, I have had enough. Yes there are some great pieces of art, but between the construction and the art fair, the entire downtown has been a mess all summer. I think the worst part about is all the out of towners gawking at shit instead of being aware of where they are driving/walking/riding. I was almost run over twice this week while running because of people not paying attention. Throw on top of that the fact that a lot of it is over priced and very few of the vendors are local. End rant/
In the end, I'm still going to end up walking around looking at things I cannot afford.
One from Pozzobonelli (underneath the maynard parking structure) he does italian relief art (I guess that's what I'd call it). It's basically sculptures that hang up that look like old italian things. It feels like rocks and what not. Love his stuff I just wish I could afford the real cool wall size pieces.
I also really enjoy the psychodelic painting guy who uses very vibrant colors.
But I agree that most of the "art" is crap. All of the jewelry is bs. Most photography is bs. There is no way in hell that I'm going to pay a lot of money for a photograph that I could take myself. Hell I'd rather spend the money to go to that place and take the picture there. Photography is crap because I can do it. I enjoy art that I think is beautiful and done well and is something that I know that I could never do.
Always entertaining, but the nudists appear to be missing this year.....
It's right up there with the "I hate Football Saturdays" crew, and the "man, I love Ann Arbor, except for the college kids and University" people. If you really don't like Art Fair, and all that other stuff Ann Arbor brings to it...don't live here. I mean, if you work here, but hate all that comes with it...there are nice places with short commutes in Dexter and Saline and such. Yeah, dumb out of towner and crappy traffic aren't fun...but neither are opposing fans and students peeing on your lawn. But it comes with the territory. And the fun of a vibrant small city, with major world class sporting events, and the exciting youth (with intelligence) that the students brings 8-9 months of the year are what make Ann Arbor GREAT. Not a pain.
But as for Art Fair specifically...yeah, the Art is out of the price range of most (me included) mostly. But that's Art...if you're finding the bargain basement Fair, it's probably not really an Art Fair. It doesn't help the business as much as you would think, for some of the mentioned reasons. That's why the South U. Association kicked out the original Art Fair for their own...to make more profit. It probably was more charming "back in the day"...because it started when my Mom was in school, and a bunch of the Art students just held an Art Fair to show and sell their art on East U. in front of the quad.
And if you can think of none of the above reasons in other posts to like it, might I point out the missing point to people watching- one of the few events in Ann Arbor that is mostly women, from all over, dressed for the 90+ degree heat. Yeah, that has it's ups and downs...but it's a better percentage than you get at a Football Game.
"But as for Art Fair specifically...yeah, the Art is out of the price range of most (me included) mostly. But that's Art"
The issue here is that Art Fair is chok-full of people who've confused art with "arts and crafts."
But the arts and crafts are usually what's affordable. Homemade Christmas ornaments. Art on a stick. That's the stuff you can get from $5-$20.
it may be slightly interesting for about a day ...
but its way to long, and basically overuns campus as we close in on the start of hard core studying for summer term exams which isnt so much fun
plus to me it is sorta like hash bash ... it just gives townies and hippies a reason to overun campus
and this is coming from a kid who likes art to be honest
....all the reasons for students to overrun town...? Move in/Move out weekends, activities...etc. Frankly, give me an Art Fair patron taking the bus in vs. an out of state parent trying to figure out Ann Arbor traffic directions.
Just saying...as someone who has been on both sides, that attitude kinda has the student arrogance that helps create the conflicts in the first place.
as slightly arrogant, however it isnt meant to be...
however, it is just how i and many other students view art fair ----> kind of cool for a day, but really a hassle that gets in the way of all aspects of life including classes and studying
I'm with you on Hash Bash - that event is about 30 years past its heyday (especially given the age of most of the attendees). It crowds and dirties up the campus on a key spring weekend during the school year, and frankly brings an unsavory element to town. But I like the Art Fair. It's during the summer, when most of the students are gone anyway, and I don't think it attracts that bad a crowd. I think the city does a pretty good job keeping things tidy and functional through it all.
Last summer I had to commute to AA to work at UMMA. Art Fair week was hell between the lack of parking, lots of traffic, and no one went to the museum because of the arts and crafts outside so it was slow as hell.
When I worked in Angel Hall we locked the doors so the locusts couldn't descend upon the bathrooms inside.
Guy I used to know, local barfly, worked at the Museum, and he was definitely one of those "It's not art, and it's not fair" pin wearers.
I like the art fair but going once every 3-4 years is all I need. A lot of the stuff is the same year after year.
The only thing that really bothers me about the art fair, and maybe I'm wrong for feeling this way, are the people selling unframed photos for over $50. You have a crate sitting there with 80 copies of the same photo and I know that it didn't cost you anywhere near $50 to make each copy. If anyone out there is a professional photographer, please give me your thoughts as to why the high price is justified.
If that's your source of income and you are able to produce, on average, one photograph of very high quality per week, then you probably are not going to sell prints of that photograph for the $5 it costs to print it.
And of course, you have to factor in the costs of traveling here, transporting all your stuff, and paying for the booth for four days. Their profit margins aren't great.
is your considering only the cost of printing as the method of setting a price. That's a common mistake, and believe me, it's exasperating for any professional photographer to hear comments like that. The cost of printing (obviously) is a consideration, but it's far from the only one:
- Remember that professional photographers have thousands of dollars invested in equipment. I'll carry as much as $3k worth of gear on a shoot, and I'm on the low end of the pro spectrum; serious nature photographers might carry $10k-$20k on a shoot. Serious wedding photographers can carry just as much. So can serious sports photographers. High-end camera gear is expensive.
- Also remember that pros have spent a great deal of time learning and improving their craft. Just as you're paying for an electrician's education, skill and experience (in addition to his time) when you hire him, so you're paying for a photographer's education, skill and experience when you buy his photograph. A lot of people think it's the easiest thing in the world to hold up a camera and snap a top-quality photography -- a myth the camera companies work hard to sell -- but it's not that easy. You can hold up a camera and take a decent image, but you're not going to match the output of a skilled and knowledgeble photographer.
- Also remember that you're also paying for the time and money the photographer invested to get to where he could take the photograph. For nature shots (which is mostly what you'll find at art fairs), photographers often not just travel around the country, but also spend a lot of time finding the best vantage points -- which typically aren't right next to a parking lot. And if you're planning to get wildlife in your shot, it'll require even more patience and effort because wild animals are neither predictable nor cooperative.
- And finally, remember that it takes time and money to travel to art fairs like the AAAF to sell photos.
In other words, serious photographers don't just walk out to their back yards and use $200 point and shoot cameras and print a $10 poster at CVS to produce the images they're selling at art fairs. If you consider only cost of printing when you gauge the photograph, you're selling the pros way too short. I do agree $50 isn't an insignificant price for a photo, but you can't assume the photographer set a ridiculous price to gouge customers and make a sickening profit. Good photographers are also good businessmen and women, and they (generally) set their prices at a level that affords them not an obscene profit, but a profit sufficient to allow them to earn a reasonable living -- just like any other business.
I realize they have to make a profit, and they probably aren't living large by any means, but with such a low cost to reproduce the photos, it seems to me they'd be better off selling more for less. Then again, I'm sure they know their business a lot better than I do.
you're not going to get that sort of quantity. Fine art prints aren't like greeting cards.
You seem to be fixated on the reproduction cost, so consider this: if you sell two prints at $50 each and the cost to print each (just a totally made-up number) is $5, you've made $90 after printing. If you sell five prints at $20 each with the same repro cost, you've grossed the same ($100) but made $75 after printing; if you sell five prints but have a lower repro cost of $4 due to volume, you've still made only $80 after printing. It doesn't make sense to drop your prices unless you know you're going make enough extra sales to gross enough to make more than you would have with the higher prices. Fine art is a relatively low-volume market with customers who expect relatively high prices -- or, put more positively, customers who place a higher value on the product -- so it makes more sense not to go bargain-basement with prices.
I live and work right downtown. The crowds can be annoying but all-in-all I have to say that Art Fair is a fun time of year. It makes for great people watching at the very least.
We've created a drinking game for art fair. Whenever you see someone wearing socks and sandals take a drink. If you see someone with "Art on a stick" take a drink. Fanny packs=drink. If you see a combo of any two of those options you have to finish your drink. Enjoy.
With those rules, how are you not dead?
This is even the toned-down version. There used to be rules in there for whenever you see someone with a mullet or a belt-buckle. We decided that's better left to the Demolition Derby at the Chelsea Fair at the end of the summer.
I've been going to Chelsea's demo derby as long as I can remember, and it still amazes me how many people I see there that I never ever see anywhere else the rest of the year. Sometimes I wonder if there are people who exist only a couple days a year.
For the Chelsea demo derby, you should also throw in a rule for when you see somebody wearing a Stiver's shirt -- on the back, they say "Get Stiverized!".
That's a great idea. Stivers does deserve its own rule. If anyone has ever been "Stiverized" they'll know what we're talking about. Best Strong Island Ice Teas around.
I think they're at the Mid Michigan Motorplex the rest of the year. you haven't truly lived until you've seen a redneck bail out of a Mustang GT with his mullet on fire.
or a MusCort?
Because in my mind it was a 1987 Muscort... and it was hilarious
moes sports shop has blue hockey jerseys for $40
I cant get there till saturday, and from all of your posts thus far, you're going to get everything I'm going in looking for! If they run out, I'll blame you!
Stops at underground, Moe's, MDen... are you me 2 days in the future?
I just came from the art fair. I bought onion rings.
Culinary art is the best kind of art.