Growing up in Ann Arbor, the Art Fair is an annual fixture in the hippie artsy culture of the area. I used to go more often as a younger person. I haven’t gone much in the past 12 years… As an adult with 4 kids in tow, it generally seems more like an opportunity to lose a child than gain a greater appreciation of art. But with an adventure seeking mate, he convinced me it would be a good thing to take our underage entourage for a brief foray into the big wide world of the art fair. And so we went.
It was hotter than hot and we only stayed an hour or so and only saw less than a quarter of the entire fair. But it was edifying to see some pretty works, some funny pieces, vast arrays of metal garden art, as well as some truly disturbing and bizarre “artwork”. I snagged a few business cards of a few vendors that I liked. Picture taking of the artwork was not permitted so I can only share links…
First up was Of Nature by Sandy James. Metal plated leaves… hardly a description worthy of such gorgeous pieces. If I had a million dollars I would have bought something… anything… a patina-ed gingko leaf in some wearable form. I love gingkos (as much for their graceful shape as well as their story of evolutionary survival… bio nerds are gonna nerd). Loverly work, no?
One booth the whole family liked was Tiny People Big Laughs by JJ Johansen. Un-photoshopped images of tiny model railroad figures doing funny things… a delight for all ages :) I don’t want to reproduce his images here, but check out the gallery website for some good times. One of my favorites is here.
Another family favorite was Carl Zachmann, Machine Artist. He welded little robots out of metal silverware, tea strainers, bolts, and other salvaged materials. His little bots were so clever and detailed, but unfortunately he doesn’t currently have any of them on his website. But I’ll link anyway in case he ever does.
One last personal favorite was the cultural portrait photography of Jim Spillane. Just gorgeous colors and captivating faces.