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.

Exploring Art in Detroit

Did you know that Detroit is home to a thriving art scene? Today, native Detroiter Ingrid LaFleur, founder and director of contemporary art gallery Maison LaFleur, takes us on a tour of just a few of the many artistic gems throughout the city.

Detroit’s art scene is growing by leaps and bounds in ways you would only believe until you see it for yourself. For that reason I designed a tour to show the creative side of that growth. I recently took a group through Detroit highlighting some of the most fascinating art projects happening right now. The tour was organized through D:Hive, known for being an excellent resource for all things Detroit.

We began in Eastern Market, one of many places in Detroit where graffiti abounds. When we parked I immediately recognized the work of street artist Shades who painted the door of world renown electronic music producer Derrick May. His iconic lips were unmistakable. We walked to the other side of the busy farmer’s market into a beautiful letterpress called Salt & Cedar. The 3,000 square foot space is neatly organized and filled with antique press equipment and furniture. Using a 500 year old tradition, proprietor and artist Megan O’Connell uses the letterpress technique to create invitations, business cards, experimental printing and book structures. We were able to witness book binding by hand.

From there we went to the Alley Project, a wonderfully accessible public art project nestled in a quiet neighborhood in Detroit’s Southwest. The project was developed by non-profit organization Young Nation with the intention of supporting youth and communities through culture and development. The highlights included a block of murals painted on garage doors and QR codes knitted into fences.

We took a short break in Mexicantown for the best hot chocolate at Cafe Con Leche, a colorful corner cafe filled with art work by local artists. It was a perfect way to warm up before our walk through the magical wonderland created by artist Olayami Dabls. For the past 12 years Dabls has been working on an ever expanding art installation that resides outside of his African Bead Museum on the westside of Detroit. Using iron, rocks and mirrors on vacant land and buildings, Dabls weaves a story that enacts the development of our society. Each visit is a new experience.

We ended the tour at Power House which rests on the border of Hamtramck. Power House is an artist-run neighborhood-based nonprofit organization that includes a number of projects such as a Skate Park. The house itself was purchased for $1900 in 2008 by husband and wife team Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert. Power House produces its own electricity from solar and wind power. The house is used as an art center and artist residency that has hosted over 23 artists and designers. Because they also facilitate the purchase of surrounding properties, Power House has become an anchor for a flowering arts community thus enabling their mission to revitalize neighborhoods through creative enterprise.

Detroit has become the hub for all things entrepreneurial and the creative industry is actively engaging in that spirit. I encourage you experience it for yourself.

Native Detroiter Ingrid LaFleur is founder and director of Maison LaFleur, a contemporary art gallery. With over a decade of curatorial and arts administrative experience to her credit, she has worked with artists and arts organizations in New York, Detroit, Nairobi, Johannesburg, and a host of other cities. A world traveler and self-described nomad, Ingrid has happily made her home-base Detroit.