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A kids' guide to the Ann Arbor Art Fair: Family-friendly, all ages activities

(Credit: Ann Arbor Art Fair)
(Credit: Ann Arbor Art Fair)

ANN ARBOR – The Ann Arbor Art Fair is right around the corner, and with it comes plenty of separate activities and events that are fun for all ages. Previously, we focused on the music at the fair, but this week we wanted to take a look at things from a younger perspective. After all, the fair has many different facets to it, which is why we all love attending every year.

“While the art is the heart of Ann Arbor Art Fair, we have a wide array of entertainment, shopping and dining for art fair attendees of all ages,” said Karen Delhey, a spokesperson for the Ann Arbor Art Fair. 

The family-friendly breakdown is as follows: 

Artist Demonstrations

Ann Arbor Art Fair attendees are invited to peek into the creative process as artists demonstrate how they develop their unique works of art. The Art Demo Zone is located under the big maple trees on N. University near Hill Auditorium.

Thursday, July 19

11 a.m. - Potters Guild: Wheel Thrown Ceramics: Watch as Guild members demonstrate various techniques for throwing clay.

Noon - Jeremy Shires: Painting Expressive Landscapes: Witness a landscape come to life with expressive marks and dramatic color.

1 p.m. - Gabriel Craig: Metal Illustration: Explore drawing on metal using hand tools and a variety of techniques including chasing, stamping and engraving.

2 p.m. - David Dallison: Plein Air Painting: David will create a watercolor while sharing stories of painting while traveling through 36 different countries.

3 p.m. - Amy Lansburg: Driftwood Art: Hear adventure tales and learn how to make magnificent Lake Superior driftwood sculptures with simple tools.

4 p.m. - Jay Canterbury: Photographic Vision: Find a new way to see! Learn how to spot photographable images in everyday life.

5 p.m. - Potters Guild: Wheel Thrown Ceramics: Watch as Guild members demonstrate various techniques for throwing clay.

Friday, July 20

11 a.m. - Potters Guild: Wheel Thrown Ceramics: Watch as Guild members demonstrate various techniques for throwing clay.

Noon - Jonathan & Allison Metzger: Silkscreen on Paper: Silkscreen from start to finish! Participate in a 2-layer print and walk away with your very own sample.

1 p.m. - Cali Hobgood:  Hand-Colored Photography: Learn the technique of hand-coloring black and white photographs and then try it yourself.

2 p.m. - Nancy Gardner & Burton Isenstein: Ceramics with Flair: Witness the beauty of hand-built ceramics.

3 p.m. - Cliff Lounsbury: Wood & Personality: Lathe turning for functional objects. Cliff will take requests from the crowd!

4 p.m. - Meghan Patrice Riley: Sculptural Jewelry: See two-dimensional line drawings being transformed from steel cable to sculptural jewelry.

5 p.m. - Potters Guild: Wheel Thrown Ceramics: Watch as Guild members demonstrate various techniques for throwing clay.

Saturday, July 21

11 a.m. - Potters Guild: Wheel Thrown Ceramics: Watch as Guild members demonstrate various techniques for throwing clay.

Noon - Jon Welborn: Woodturning with Jon: Try your hand at woodturning and make a live edge bowl onsite.

1 p.m. - Wilbur Quispe & Melanie Ebertz: Woven Fiber: Watch master weaver, Wilber Quispe, create intricate tapestry showcasing his knowledge of Andean culture & tradition.

2 p.m. - Lisa Tevia Clark: Press Molds and Clay: Capture impressions in clay with found treasures to make unique mosaics.

3 p.m. - Julie Draeger: Abstract Painting: Start with a drawing and end with a painting while examining six steps to help you get there.

4 p.m. - Steven Olszewski: Mixed Media Sculpture: Watch a sculpture come to life!

5 p.m. - Potters Guild: Wheel Thrown Ceramics: Watch as Guild members demonstrate various techniques for throwing clay.

Sunday, July 22

12 p.m. - Annabella Sardelis: Natural Fiber: Explore environmental art using natural dyes and sustainable fiber.

1 p.m. - Jay Canterbury: Photographic Vision: Find a new way to see! Learn how to spot photographable images in everyday life.

2 p.m. - Desarae Lee: Drawing with Pen: Witness a Cephalopod come to life through pen & ink.

3 p.m. - Potters Guild: Wheel Thrown Ceramics: Watch as Guild members demonstrate various techniques for throwing clay.

DIY Art Activity Zone

Create your own works of art in the Art Activity Zone, sponsored by Concordia University. Located on Ingalls Mall, near E. Washington between Thayer and Fletcher, the Art Activity Zone is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 6 p.m. The following family-friendly art projects are open to all ages and free to the public. 

  • Punk Posters! sponsored by the Cranbrook Art Museum - Design and stamp your own original band posters inspired by their current exhibition, “Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die: Punk Graphics, 1976-1986.”
  • Clay Creations sponsored by the Clay Work Studio - Experiment with clay and build anything you dream while experienced instructors help you through the creative process. Clay donated by Rovin Ceramics.
  • Stabiles sponsored by the Detroit Institute of Arts - Make a unique piece of art inspired by the geometric sculptures of artists like Alexander Calder and Mark di Suvero.
  • Wool Felting Fun sponsored by the Flipside Art Studio - Create a wet felted snake, a felt geode or a simple piece of abstract art, all with natural wool.
  • Insect Inspirations sponsored by the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History - Build an insect costume while learning what it takes to be a bug. Also, take a moment to meet their giant cockroach!

The Carr Center’s Summer Visual Art Academy

Visit the Carr Center State Street booth for a look at the work of the student artists from the program. This academy has students in the studio working with a variety of media including painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture while pushing the limits of their creativity. In addition, students learn about the practical business side of art: how to present works, sign, edition and the art of the sale. The Carr Center promotes, preserves and develops African and African American culture within our multicultural community.

Chalk the Walk with David Zinn

Recognized globally for his clever and improvised chalk street art, Ann Arbor’s own David Zinn will be creating his original temporary work at Liberty and 5th Avenue. 

Thursday, July 19 and Sunday, July 22 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

  • Ann Arbor Art Fair attendees are invited to watch Zinn sketching his globally-known chalk characters on near at the corner of Liberty and 5th Avenue.
  • Sidewalk chalk will be available for the duration of the show so art fair attendees can leave their personal creative mark on the Ann Arbor Art Fair.

Days and hours for the 2018 Ann Arbor Art Fair are as follows:

  • Thursday, July 19, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Friday, July 20, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 21, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 22, Noon to 6 p.m.

Winding through downtown Ann Arbor and across the University of Michigan campus, Ann Arbor Art Fair attendees will be treated to artist demonstrations, art activities for all ages, stages with live music performances, street performers, and the amazing shops and restaurants in the State Street District and in downtown Ann Arbor. Restaurants, bars and retail stores remain open throughout the weekend to welcome local residents and out of town visitors.

For more information about the Ann Arbor Art Fair, please visit: theannarborartfair.com.

About the Ann Arbor Art Fair

The Ann Arbor Art Fair is comprised of four independently juried, nonprofit art fairs that run consecutively: the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Original (59 years); the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair (49 years); the South University Art Fair (19 years) and the State Street Art Fair (51 years). The Ann Arbor Art Fair is the largest juried art fair in the country that attracts nearly half a million attendees across a 30-block footprint. The Ann Arbor Art Fair features more than 1,000 artists, artist demonstrations, art activities for all ages, stages with live performances, street performers, and the amazing shops and restaurants in the State Street District and in downtown Ann Arbor.

Check out more Ann Arbor events on the A4 Community Calendar 

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