The 2013 Ann Arbor Art Fair: 1,100 Artists, 1,100 Stories, and One Big Michigan Tradition

For more than 50 years artists with amazing talents and unsurpassed skills have come to the streets of downtown Ann Arbor to exhibit at the Ann Arbor Art Fair. This year, artists will display their latest work and engage the imaginations of more than 500,000 annual fairgoers from July 17 – 20. 

Daniel Cherrin who works with the team behind this award-winning event is here to fill us in on what to expect this year. Read from him below and learn more about The Ann Arbor Art Fair by visiting michigan.org.

Tradition is important in Michigan and some will even tell you that tradition began in Ann Arbor. In fact, every July 1,100 artists from all over the world submit their artwork to a jury of their peers waiting for the honor and privilege of exhibiting in The Ann Arbor Art Fair.  The Ann Arbor Art Fair is not just one fair – it is four major art fairs in one big event.

For four days, from July 17-20, 2013, art collectors, people watchers and those that just enjoy being a part of tradition will come to Ann Arbor to walk the 30 city blocks of pop-up retail before these artisans pack up their crafts and move on to other locations.  It is the time of year when friends meet up and where parents take a day off of work to spend it with their children.

Every year brings new artists and brand new art. Whether it is experimenting with a new medium – from mixed media to digital media, from wood to metal, jewelry to fiber and fabric – The Ann Arbor Art Fair has something for everyone, making it one of the top art fairs in the nation.

Every artist has a story to tell, and in Ann Arbor you will have the chance to hear their stories and then the opportunity to re-tell it when you share their art with friends and family.

For example, talk to celebrities such as Barbara Lazaroff or Dustin Hoffman and they will tell you about their private collection of works by Sondra Wampler, a California surfer turn photographic artist, whose works also appear in the corporate collections of the Four Seasons, Scottsdale Quarter, Kaiser Permanente and others.

Work from Darrin Hoover

Speaking of celebrities, have you seen artist Ayala Naphtali’s works on NBC’s Parenthood or how about the works of Armando Pedroso on Chicago Fire or Cougar Town?

Most artists have interesting stories to tell about how they became an artist.  Take Darrin Hoover, always known as “the kid that could draw,” is now a well-known artist who has created a unique style of aging new wood to create something we can all connect to.

So this July, come to Ann Arbor to celebrate, collaborate and create with our 1,100 artists, spanning over 30 city blocks, from 38 states and four countries, for the 54th Annual Ann Arbor Art Fair, July 17-20, 2013.,Each one has a story to tell and it is your opportunity to develop new relationships, build on old ones and enjoy a right of summer, one of Michigan’s best traditions and an event that is Pure Michigan. It’s a great time to also take part in the many art demonstrations, children’s activities, musical entertainment, shopping and to enjoy all the wonderful restaurants Ann Arbor has to offer. For more information, please visit TheAnnArborArtFair.com.

Will you be heading to Ann Arbor for the art fair? Share with us below!


Daniel Cherrin is an attorney practicing public relations, crisis management and public affairs. He is the former Communications Director for the City of Detroit and Press Secretary to the Mayor of Detroit. He is a co-founder of M10 Marketing, an integrated brand + advertising + marketing + agency, providing organizations the opportunity to expand and build their brand. The Ann Arbor Art Fair is an M10 client.

Crowd Favorites Meet New Makers at Maker Faire Detroit 2013

Maker Faire Detroit returns to The Henry Ford later this month! Lish Dorset, social media manager for The Henry Ford, fills us in on what you can expect this year at the popular event.

It feels like 2013 has been flying by so far, especially when you think that Maker Faire Detroit is right around the corner. For our fourth installment of the popular DIY festival, we’re mixing a bit of the old with a lot of the new for our guests to enjoy July 27-28.

We received some truly fantastic applications this year from makers both from Michigan and across the country. More than 400 creative individuals will take to Henry Ford Museum and our specially-constructed outdoor midway for two days of hands-on fun and learning. Crowd favorites, like EepyBird (the Coke and Mentos guys) and Life-Size Mousetrap (a 25-ton Rube Goldberg machine) will return along with Gon KiRin, a 64- by 26-foot fire breathing dragon for one final appearance at Maker Faire Detroit. It’s always exciting to see fans ask for some of their favorite makers and exhibits year after year.

Joining our tried-and-true favorites are a crop of new-to-us Maker Faire Detroit participants. We’re pleased to have makers from all corners of the state come to The Henry Ford this month for Maker Faire. Cities, such as Lansing and Grand Rapids, will have representation as they show off their projects to a whole new audience.

Inside, the area’s best computer thinkers will be trying to “hack” Henry Ford Museum thanks to Compuware’s programming-themed “Hack the Museum” hackathon going on both days. Keep up to date with Maker Faire Detroit news and scheduling information with Compuware’s app, too. (Visit iTunes and search for Maker Faire Detroit 2013 to download this free app to start planning your visit.)

This year’s event will also honor our institution’s founder, Henry Ford, as we celebrate what would have been his 150th birthday just a few days after the big event.

As Maker Faires, both big and mini, continue to gain popularity and draw bigger and bigger crowds, it’s important to us to see groups recognize the power of the making movement. Recently the Michigan House and Senate passed a resolution recognizing the contributions Maker Faire Detroit has made to the state of Michigan. We’re honored to say that July 27-28, 2013 is officially recognized as Maker Faire Detroit Weekend in Michigan. It’s a wonderful honor and once again reinforces that the maker movement is hear to stay.

If you come to The Henry Ford for Maker Faire Detroit, make sure to share your experiences with us by tagging your posts, tweets, and photos with #MakerFaireDetroit. We can’t wait to see what inspires you.

Lish Dorset is the social media manager for The Henry Ford in Dearborn. She lives in Royal Oak with her family. When she’s not sharing some of her favorite artifacts from the collections of The Henry Ford with fans on Facebook, she’s at home crafting and thinking of new project ideas for Maker Faire Detroit.

Treasure Hunting for Michigan-themed Antiques

Summer is the perfect time of year to find hidden gems at Michigan’s many antique shops and markets. Today, Dianna Stampfler of Promote Michigan fills us in on the treasures she’s found at the Allegan Antiques Market.

Do you have a favorite flea market or antique shop in Michigan? Share with us in the comments section below!

For many, summer in Michigan is meant for beachcombing, boating, biking, golfing and enjoying the great outdoors of Pure Michigan. It’s also a prime season for exploring the area’s flea markets, antique shops and yard sales.

One of my favorite places for treasure hunting is the Allegan Antiques Market, held the last Sunday of each month (April through September) at the Allegan County Fairgrounds. Touted as one of the largest markets in the Midwest, more than 400 vendors (both inside and out) spread around the fairgrounds selling everything from large scale furniture to glassware to postcards.

Over the years, I’ve established quite a routine when it comes to this event. Sometimes my visits are short and sweet, but often I find myself getting lost in the variety of booths for three or four hours. Despite repeated requests from family and friends to join in the adventure, it’s something I (selfishly) prefer to do solo. I like going at my own pace, without worrying about a guest who is bored 10 minutes into the day, and getting lost in the nostalgia of it all.

While I rarely have something specific I’m looking for, I always seem to find “just the right thing” to add to my collection. Items featuring Michigan receive top attention of course – especially travel brochures and magazines, food and agriculture focused pieces, unique license plates and slightly-rusted signs. I’m also drawn to cottage- and beach-themed décor, garden art and things that are red (the primary accent color in my home).

This past April, a couple treasures found their way into my heart (and ultimately into my bag). A wooden dachshund with “Frankenmuth Beer” in faded paint was a steal at just $5 (even with its chipped tail – which to me, adds to its character). I also scored 5 juice-size glasses adorned with red roosters – perfect for sampling my favorite made-in-Michigan spirits – for $7.

Over the years, my visits to Allegan have yielded some of my most treasured finds. A 5-foot red bench now serves as a coffee table in my living room; a red and black hinged checkerboard hangs on the diagonal on the dining room wall (next to my family’s original Michigan-made Carrom board); an eight-sided jar holds a collection of marbles purchased at my grandmother’s estate auction; a red wooden stool stands proudly in my kitchen.

I’ve also amassed a large number of postcards – highlighting travel destinations around the state of Michigan, from the early 1900s. Despite their small size, these can be quite expensive. Typically, I limit myself to $5 per card, but I’ve been known to drop $25 for a rare find. 

Another highlight of the market is the opportunity to indulge on fair fare – and even here, habits are hard to break. Midway through my shopping, I stop for a steak sandwich with onions (and A1 sauce), fries and a Dr. Pepper. Then, before heading back to my car – it’s a stop at the elephant ear booth for dessert to go.

The Allegan Antiques Market runs on the last Sunday of each month (April through September) from 8am to 4pm at the Allegan County Fairgrounds. Admission is $4 per person; parking is free.

Tips for shopping at the Allegan Antiques Market

  • Wear comfortable shoes, there is lot of walking both on paved pathways and grass (where roots, acorns and other items gather).
  • Bring a tote or wheeled-bag to carry your treasures.
  • Bring cash. There is no ATM and most vendors are not able to process credit cards.
  • Don’t be afraid to barter on price – many vendors are willing to negotiate (especially later in the season).
  • Make sure you have room in your car – in case you find something “big” to haul home.

Dianna Stampfler of Promote Michigan inherited her love of history, collecting and antiques from her father (a local historian and genealogist) and grandparents. She lives in Plainwell, just blocks from the family home where she was raised.