10 artists to look for during the Ann Arbor Art Fair

By Sarah M. Parlette - Associated Producer

Credit | American Road Trip Photography

ANN ARBOR - From delicate jewelry to bombastic and bold glasswork, the Ann Arbor Art Fair, happening July 19-22, brings artists and visitors from around the country to infiltrate our already artsy city.  

With artists and tourists beginning to swarm the city in the weeks ramping up for the four-fairs-in-one Ann Arbor Art Fair, here are 10 interesting artists to be excited for.

Sara Beck & Craig Roderick
Booth #: LI210

Husband-and-wife team Craig Roderick and Sara Beck have traveled across the country to shoot abandoned urban and industrial spaces for their American Road Trip photography. Done primarily in low or night light, their explorative photography gives some pieces an eerie and moody feel while others have a crispness to them. Look for their Detroit Iron series, which focuses on abandoned cars, or their Ann Arbor shots, and guess where they were taken.  

Credit | Janet Bostwick

Janet Bostwick
Booth#: ST530

The owner of Jan’s Pottery LLC, Janet Bostwick makes usable and practical art. With eye-pleasing colors and simpler designs, Bostwick’s art is completely usable and dishwasher safe (according to her website). For those who prefer minimalistic art, Bostwick’s pieces aren’t overly fussy and use a color palette of blues, greens, ambers, purples and black.

Credit | Edsware Ceramics 

Ed Brownlee
Booth #: MN345

Look for the vibrant colors and folk imagery of Ed Brownlee’s ceramics. With abstract faces and bold colors, the characters of Brownlee’s ceramics pay homage to bits of art history. From two-headed teapots and funky mugs to canopic jars and functional stoneware, there are an array of items to look over. 

Credit | Sarah Goodyear

Sarah Goodyear
Booth #: LI107   

With a website stating, “Making your walls cooler since 2010” Goodyear’s primarily acrylic and canvas art is, in fact, cool. Subject matter ranges from a skeleton presenting flowers to anguished bodies turbulent with emotion or a couple intertwined. A color palette in Goodyear’s work is emotive and impactful. 

Credit | Kaoru Izushi

Kaoru Izushi
Booth #: IN217

Contemporary knit designer Kaoru Izushi has attended the Art Fair a handful of times previously but that doesn’t make the designs any less innovative. Izushi makes wearable art using knitted materials like cotton, wool or paper thread and fashions them into often invert-able garments like scarves, dresses and jackets. 

Credit | Matthew Naftzger

Matthew Naftzger
Booth #: NU809

Reminiscent of artifacts, Naftzger’s art seems, at first, part old machinery, part industrial age with some steampunk flair. A variety of jewelry -- rings, pendants, earrings and the like -- this artist's pieces are a bit dystopic and not the super -shiny and smooth, delicate bits of metal one might first expect. With names like “Mediocre Robot #1” and “ Ridiculous Vessel 43: Anonymous Joe,” there is humor in the crafted metalworks. 

Credit | Erin Curry

Erin Curry
Booth #: MN313

Curry’s work is borderline bizarre but absolutely awesome. Black and white cubist characters with thin lines overlay bold and colorful collage backgrounds in her Bots and Bodies, Animalia and Dia de Los Muertos series. Curry also produces her characters on wood panels and uses needles to create 3D shadow boxes. 

Credit | Steve Palmer

Steve Palmer
Booth #: NU922

Having attended the Art Fair since 2011, Palmer offers work that is somewhat familiar to fairgoers. The dynamic colors of the artist's functional, decorative and sculptural pieces, as well as abstract designs, are striking and distinctive. Attention-getting pieces, like lighting and vases, not only showcases Palmer’s 30-plus years of experience but also his vivid imagination. 

Credit | Robert Lyall

Robert Lyall
Booth #: MN231

Lyall’s labors (also the name of his website) are kooky and fun. Using recycled materials to form his metalworks since 1987, Lyall brings a sense of humor to his pieces. A professional journeyman turned artist, he is known for his Iowa art -- most notably his Capital Copper Collection, which used copper roofing from the former Iowa State Capitol. His garden art and little metal people are delightful and jocular.

Credit | Laura Wilder

Laura Wilder
Booth #: SU908/910

Some block prints can be simple, and some can be complex. Wilder’s are both. Drawing inspiration from nature and arts and crafts, Wilder has been making her block prints for over 20 years.  Her subjects range from seasonal flowering trees, a cozy winter cabin and glowing autumn landscapes to prints of specific dog breeds.

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