This is the summer for you to get creative, and for curious art lovers to explore over 1,000 juried artists’ displays around 30 city blocks on 11 city streets throughout Ann Arbor.
Every one of these artists has a story to tell, with even more stories behind each one of their creations. The artists that will soon converge on Ann Arbor’s city streets are soldiers and teachers, retired auto workers and cancer survivors. Some have school in their craft and others, like Armando Pedroso, are self-taught and on their second career.
You can see their works in the corporate headquarters of Hyatt Hotels and Steelcase, on an official White House Ornament or on your Lenox dishes. Their works can also be seen in the background on a television show, like Chicago Fire.
The materials they use range from acrylics to photography and metal toglass. And yet each of these artists find the inspiration to create something that a jury of their peers found so fascinating, that they were invited to display their works and sell them in one of America’s largest art fairs in Ann Arbor.
It is a great place to buy that first piece of original art or add on to the collection you have already started. Art fairs give you the unique opportunity to connect with the artists and purchase art at extremely reasonable prices. They also give you the chance to hear the artist’s story and how they create their picture, painting, sculpture, jewelry or other works of art.
Take Armando Pedroso as an example. Pedroso’s artistic career had an unconventional beginning. After September 11, 2001 Pedroso was laid off from his corporate sales job of 18 years. It was at that time he “thought” he heard a voice within himself literally that told him to paint. Strange as the voice was, as he had never painted before, he listened and gave over all his future corporate energies to make a bold move and pursue his new dream of being a self-taught artist.
So now, Pedroso deconstructs and reconstructs layers of roofing tar, plaster, found objects, metals, symbol’s, rich acrylic colors to create inspirational and emotionally driven paintings. Sometimes playful, gritty or with an urban feel, Pedroso’ paintings capture the essence of what an individual’s dream might look like if inspired to take that leap of faith.
That leap of faith has allowed Pedroso to travel the nation and share his works of art. In fact, his works have appeared on a number of television shows such as: Chicago Fire (NBC), The Boss (NBC) and Cougar Town (TBS), not to mention beautifully displayed in the iconic Prudential Building in downtown Chicago.
Each artist has a story to tell and each one gives you 1,000 reasons to stroll along State St. or South University, marvel on Main St., and look at all the masterpieces on Liberty St. and North University, this July (15-18).
The Ann Arbor Art Fair is more than just a summer tradition in Michigan. For the artists fortunate enough to get selected and invited to appear, it is their chance to share their story and our chance to spend the summer in Ann Arbor after it transforms into an artist market.
For more information on the Ann Arbor Art Fair and similar events happening in Michigan, visit Michigan.org.
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.