Why the many reasons to visit the Ann Arbor Art Fair starts with one great story

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.

Photo Courtesy of Armando Pedroso.

Photo Courtesy of Armando Pedroso.

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.

Photo Courtesy of the Ann Arbor Art Fair.

Photo Courtesy of the Ann Arbor Art Fair.

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).

Photo Courtesy of the Ann Arbor Art Fair.

Photo Courtesy of the Ann Arbor Art Fair.

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.

Ten Must-See Festivals in Ann Arbor this Summer

Each June and July, Ann Arbor Summer Festival transforms Ann Arbor into a lively arts destination with 140+ events to explore Tuesday through Sunday nights. Guest Blogger Amy Nesbitt, the Executive and Artistic Director of the non-profit Ann Arbor Summer Festival put together a list of festivals you won’t want to miss.

In addition to an exciting line-up of bands, attendees can discover kids hands-on activities, movies under the stars, wellness classes, local food vendors, craft beer, and much more. With ninety percent of events admission-free, and many performances highlighting some of Michigan’s best talent, the Ann Arbor Summer Festival is the perfect summertime destination.

With the festival opening on June 12 and running through July 5, we asked A2SF’s Director, Amy Nesbitt, “What are your top ten picks for must-see events at the 2015 festival?” Below she shares her top ten and also encourages visitors to learn more at A2SF.org and download the free festival app to plan a personalized festival experience.

Photo Credit to Myra Klarman

Photo Credit to Myra Klarman

Sunday, June 14, 7 p.m., KidsRock: The Trummytones

Sundays emphasize family programming. This is a ska/reggae kids band from Brooklyn led by trombonist Vinny Nobile of the iconic 90’s ska band Bim Skala Bim.

Tuesday, June 16, 6 p.m., Cirque Mechanics: The Gantry Bike

We’re known for large, outdoor spectacles. Dangling from the 22-ft.-high, pedal-powered Gantry Bike will be 6 acrobats, contortionists, trapeze artists, and tightrope walkers.

Photo Courtesy of Ann Arbor CVB

Photo Courtesy of Armand Thomas Photography and Cirque Mechanics

Thursday, June 18, 5 PM, Retreat: Ninja Training

All ages can practice their ninja skills when Quest Martial Arts leads a free introductory class on Ninjutsu.

Friday, June 19, 5 p.m., KidZone: Learn to Master the Chinese Yoyo

A weekend of Asian cultural events includes kids learning the basics of Chinese Yoyo from The U-M Revolution Chinese Yoyo Team.

Saturday, June 20, 8 p.m., The Golden Dragon Acrobats

You’ll see stunning feats and beautiful costuming and staging from this premiere troupe for Chinese acrobatics. We are offering 50%-off kids tickets with the purchase of an adult ticket for both shows, while supplies last.

Saturday, June 20, 5 p.m., MarchFourth!

Join an unforgettable parade led by 24 costumed drummers, horn players, high stepping stilt acrobats, and dazzling dancers from Portland, OR. MarchFourth! headlines festivals around the world and often wins the audience award for best act — don’t miss them!

Photo Courtesy of Ann Arbor CVB

Photo Courtesy of Ann Arbor CVB

Tuesday, June 23 – 10 p.m., Ghostbusters

Outdoor Cinema screens classics alongside recent releases, and it’s always fun to be in a crowd among young people who’ve never seen a movie like Ghostbusters. Grab some popcorn and spread out a blanket for this classic!

Wednesday, June 24, 5 p.m., The Magmanus Show

The Swedish circus duo Magmanus will be doing a hilarious and highly skilled, free street performance. The soundtrack is even delightfully silly: Stevie Wonder, Prince, The BeeGees…

Tuesday, June 23, 8:00 p.m., Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience

Simien is a not-to-miss Grammy-winning legend of Zydeco. It’s going to be a huge dance party!

Sunday, July 5, 5 p.m., The United States Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus

A grandiose band and choral concert will cap off an amazing patriotic weekend and four weeks of fun festival activities. It’s the best part of summer in Ann Arbor!

9ZQbnrWGR7sd87ndoKYa0VJKB4lehnmixz00jv6nGdoAmy Nesbitt is the Executive and Artistic Director of the non-profit Ann Arbor Summer Festival. Now in its 32nd season, the festival attracts a diverse audience of 80,000 people and continues to grow as an internationally recognized arts celebration. Click here to learn more.

Pure Michigan June 2014 Events Roundup

Summer is in the air and festival season is full swing in Michigan. Communities around the state will host a variety of celebrations, and it is the perfect opportunity to see what Pure Michigan is all about. Native Michiganders and visitors alike, there’s something for everyone happening this month. 

Below is a roundup of some of the many events going on around the state in June. Visit michigan.org for a complete listing of Michigan events.

Week of June 1 – June 8

May 30 – June 1, Grosse Ile
Islandfest, is a time to celebrate the beginning of summer and enjoy some small town fun. The week-end-long event features arts & crafts, a fine arts show, children’s activities, a midway, live music featuring 50 Amp Fuse, parade, car show, Friday evening fireworks, historical tours, aircraft displays and rides, a variety of foods and beverages for all ages, monster truck rides, and so much more. Islandfest is a free, fun, family oriented event where all are welcome. Come join the fun!

Jazz on Jefferson
June 4, Saginaw
Jazz on Jefferson is a free music and arts festival on Saginaw’s Historical South Jefferson Avenue that features regional and local artists and musicians. Festival-goers can enjoy festivities that include music, food from local restaurants and an antique and classic car and motorcycle show.

?????????????????????????????????????????Carson City Frontier Days
June 5 – 8, Carson City
Welcome to the 42nd Annual Carson City Frontier Days. The skies will be filled with hot air balloons in the 9th Hot Air Balloon Shoot-Out this year. Back by popular demand is the chainsaw carver with his amazing art, Kids’ Zone, the outdoor movie on Friday night and the fireworks to finish out the night on Saturday.

National Asparagus Festival
June 6 – 8, Hart
The National Asparagus Festival celebrates West Michigan’s famous crop with activities for all ages. This festival features live entertainment, an asparagus food show, the Grand Parade, the Spear-It 5k, an arts and crafts fair, a variety of kids activities and the opportunity to meet the Asparagus Queen!

Baraga County Lake Trout Festival
June 7, L’Anse
The 8th annual Baraga County Lake Trout Festival will take place Saturday, June 7, 2014,  which coincides with Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend. No fishing license is necessary on that weekend. (in case of inclement weather, the Festival will be held Sunday June 8). Activities will include 5K, kids games, bike race, arts and crafts fair, music by local talent, and more. All events will take place at the Waterfront Park and marina in downtown L’Anse.

Civil War Re-Enactment Weekend
June 7 – 8, Lexington
Union, Rebel, and Civilian Re-Enactors relive the Civil War on the the village streets and Harbor of Lexington, Michigan. Encampments show life at the time of the civil war. There is a fashion show on Saturday and the speaker, Patsy Chapman, will speak about the underground railroad. Each day the canons fire over Lake Huron.

Week of June 9 – June 15

lilac-bushMackinac Island Lilac Festival
June 6 – 15, Mackinac Island
The idea of the festival was to bring people to the island to enjoy a great horse drawn parade amidst the lovely lilacs that fragrance the island in June. Now a ten day festival, includes comedy show, afternoon tea at the Grand Hotel, music, walking tours, hayrides, arts and crafts, 10K run, Lilac Festival Queen, dancing, wine tasting, bingo, Lilac strolls and much more.

Hamburg Family Fun Fest
June 11 – 15, Hamburg
The Hamburg Family Fun Fest brings family fun to the park line never before, attracting more than 50,000 attendees. Feature attractions include amusement rides, circus, petting zoo, talent competition, classic car show, arts & crafts just to name a few. A variety of concerts will be held throughout the weekend on two stages.

Michigan Sugar Festival
June 11 – 15, Sebewaing
The Michigan Sugar Festival celebrates the Sebewaing-area’s contribution to the sugar industry and sugar beet crops. The event features a grand parade, a midway and the crowning of the Michigan Sugar Queen. There are town-wide garage sales and plenty of family fun.

Bavarian Festival 2014
June 12 – 15, Frankenmuth
The Bavarian Festival is located in the Harvey Kern Pavilion in Heritage Park. Sing and dance to Bavarian music played by costumed German bands. Taste the hearty Bavarian foods, plump bratwurst, barbecued chicken and homemade pretzels.

Antiques and Collectibles Show
June 14, Gaylord
Antiques and Collectibles, under the Pavilion On Court in downtown Gaylord. Free admission, plenty of parking nearby, 20+ dealers of quality antiques & collectibles. Furniture, primitives, textiles and vintage fabrics, glass, pottery, post cards, toys and much much more for sale. RAIN OR SHINE!

Pictured Rocks Day
June 14, Munising
This will be the second year for Pictured Rocks Day which will be held at Bayshore Park in Munising. There will be bands, vendors, food, beer tent, nature shows, stand up paddle board, and kayaking demonstrations.

Week of June 16 – June 22

Tecumseh’s Classic Car & Bike Show
June 19, Tecumseh
Get your motor running and head to Tecumseh to see over 200 cars and motorcycles on display in the United Bank & Trust Hickman Financial Center parking lot located at 205 E. Chicago Blvd. and the adjacent downtown parking lot from 6–8pm for all to enjoy.

Antiques on the Bay Classic & Antique Auto Show
June 20 – 21, Saint Ignace
The first of three auto-related events features restored classic and antique vehicles on display along the downtown waterfront. Entertainment and autos dating 25 years or older are all part of the fun. Registration and a Mackinac Bridge Rally are slated for Friday, with autos on display Saturday. Admission is free for the public.

riverdaysDetroit River Days
June 20 – 22, Detroit
The 2014 festival will continue to celebrate Detroit’s maritime, ecological and culinary culture while again featuring many proven crowd-favorite, family-friendly activities and programming elements from previous festivals. Interactive exhibits, large-scale sand sculptures, strolling entertainers, eco-friendly kids’ zones, carnival rides, and live concerts with performances featuring more than 50 local, national and international music acts will be back this year. $3 admission fee, after 5pm admission is $5.

Spring Fest Arts & Crafts Fair
June 21 – 22, Pentwater
Experience the beauty of spring and summer at our annual Arts and Craft Festival. Over 100 vendors provide hand-made crafts, a special skill or art, a skilled trade or antiques on the Village Green. We’ll have live music on the Green. This is a weekend not to miss.

Week of June 23 – June 30

Ford Fireworks
June 23, Detroit
The Parade Company is excited to pump up the City of Detroit, on June 23rd as we produce the 56th Ford Fireworks presented by Target, along the Detroit River. This event attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators for one of the most anticipated summer nights in Detroit,  one of the nation’s largest fireworks displays.

Ann Arbor Summer Festival
June 13 – July 6, Ann Arbor
The Ann Arbor Summer Festival is an exhilarating celebration of performing arts, outdoor entertainment, and community spirit. A boutique music and arts festival, the three-week gathering offers dozens of performances, activities, exhibitions, and screenings representative of the best in music, dance, comedy, film, circus and street arts, and family entertainment. the Ann Arbor Summer Festival produces two concurrent programs, one indoor and one outdoor, at various venues and spaces across the University of Michigan campus and in downtown Ann Arbor.

Freighter in locks with lots of peopleSoo Locks Engineers Day
June 27, Sault Sainte Marie
A Michigan landmark will open its doors to the public, when the Soo Locks hosts its annual open house Soo Locks Engineers Day on Friday June 27, 2014. The day celebrates the engineers who built the Soo Locks along with the men and women of the past and present who maintain the Locks. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers invite people of all ages to come explore the Soo Locks and avail themselves the rare opportunity to walk across the Lock walls. These walls make it possible for freighters to traverse the 21-foot drop between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes. To gain a real understanding of how this engineering marvel works only a visit will do.

Lansing Beer Fest
June 28, Lansing
Lansing Beer Fest, Saturday June 28, 2014, 1pm – 6pm. Come out and enjoy the downtown Lansing area of Reo Town. Lansing Beer Fest is an outdoor beer festival on Washington Avenue that will exclusively feature 30 Michigan Breweries and 100+ craft beers. Food trucks, live music, vendors and more! Visit the website link for ticket information and featured breweries. This is a rain or shine event. Event held on Washington Avenue in front of Reo Town Pub.

Yoga At The Detroit Zoo A Record Setting Event
June 29, Royal Oak
Join The Yoga Movement at the Detroit Zoo on Sunday, June 29, 2014, for a special morning of yoga, music and fun. Participants will also have the opportunity to be part of an attempt to set the new Guinness World Record for “Longest Yoga Chain”. From beginner to expert, Yoga At The Zoo! is for everyone who enjoys yoga or wants to try it. Afterwards, participants can enjoy the Detroit Zoo at their leisure. Participation is limited to 2,500 and open to all ages. Tickets are $30 and available at the website link.

Harbor Festival
June 27 – July 6, Ludington
Harbor Festival is filled with nine days of exciting activities for you and your family to enjoy. With everything from touring our historic lighthouses to letting your little ones take spin on the Baby Badger, or taking in the incredible fireworks display at the beach, you are sure to walk away with memories that will last a lifetime.

Which June events do you plan to attend?