Ann Arbor Art Fairs – Sheer Art Attack!

Its 100 degrees; Must be time for the Ann Arbor Art Fairs!


Its sort of a long standing joke that the week of Art Fairs in Ann Arbor is going to be hot and muggy.   This year did not disappoint!  Even though the  heat was oppressive on Friday, we still had a fun time checking out the sights and sounds that the Ann Arbor Art Fairs bring to town.

Folks enjoying the The Guild Summer Art fair on Main St.

The Art Fair is really 4 art fairs spread through out downtown Ann Arbor.  The Original, Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair,  the State Street Area Art Fair, and Ann Arbor’s South University Art Fair.  Each one brings a diverse set of artists to town.

Plenty of art at the Ann Arbor Art Fairs


Art with a function

While main themes such as pottery, photography, sculpture, and painting make up the bulk of the art fair offerings.  There are some almost craft like artists making some really unique things.  This year, Brenda found a great new bag by Bagitude.

Bagitude sign says it all

Karla (the artist behind Bagitude) takes old album covers, book covers, game boards, etc and turns them in to very fun and funky bags.   I thought this one of The Who was great!

Bagitude cool bags made from real album covers


However, Brenda thought the Santana Abraxas cover looked a little less masculine 🙂   I have to agree 🙂


Brenda with her new Santana Abraxas bag

The last thing most folks think about when its 90 degrees with 90 percent humidity is winter hats and gloves, but that didn’t stop Brenda from finding Strong Wear.  Kate Strong makes stylish coats, hats, gloves and scarfs using American made fleece.  Brenda found a cute hat and matching gloves.

A wide selection of items at Strong Wear


Fun Points of View

Now you can spend all day looking and perhaps purchasing some art, but the Ann Arbor Art Fairs have an extra bonus feature.  A very interesting non-profit row on Liberty Street!   Mars anyone?!?

Mars anyone?

You can also find Atheists and Christians, side by side!  Would that be miraculous?

All kinds of folks at the non-profit booths


Music, Music, Music…and some beer 🙂

Music is another great aspect of the Ann Arbor Art Fairs.  We took a break from the heat to visit Bill Beer Garden.  Did you think I’d let a post go by without a picture of some beer (Oddsides Citra Ale – in case you were wondering)!

Time for a cold Odd Sides Citra at Bill Beer Garden


As we sat and enjoyed our beers, I heard an interesting cover of Citizen Cope’s Sideways being performed by a local band called the Fever Tongues.  Not too shabby!

The Fever Tongues rockin out at the iSpy stage


As we toured the Ann Arbor Summer Art fair on Main Street, we came upon the Violin Monster!  Quite a unique and popular local musician.

The Violin Monster!

There was also a guy who was playing for rent money.

Playing guitar for rent

While making our way down past Liberty plaza, we found a pair of hard working young men playing some oldies (I mean, Buddy Holly old !)

Brothers in arms jamming near Liberty Plaza


Billy Hall, who happens to makes some very cool glowing wood sculptures, was passing the time playing the banjo.

Play the banjo while waiting for customers


Nervous But Excited!

You kind of get the vibe that music abounds at the Ann Arbor art fairs.  One particular stage that we look forward to each year is the one hosted by Ann Arbor 107.1   They do a great job of promoting local music as well as bring some national acts into Ann Arbor.  This year we had the good fortune of getting to see Nervous But Excited.

More Nervous But Excited

Kate Peterson and Sarah Cleaver are the “pleasantly aggressive folk” musicians who make up Nervous But Excited.

Kate Peterson

Sarah Cleaver

They have been on hiatus for a bit as Sarah has moved out to Boston, so it was a real treat to have them back together playing on the 107.1 stage down at the South Street Art Fair.  Kate has been doing some solo work and you can see her at Sonic Lunch in Ann Arbor on August 22nd.

The Ann Arbor art fairs are a great way to explore the work of tons of talented artists in beautiful Ann Arbor, Michigan.  For even more photos, please stop into the photo gallery.



  1. I am working with the Belding Labor Day Festival to line up outdoor vendors for our “Arts on the Flat” portion of the weekend long festival. August 30 – September 2, 2013. Location is at the Belding Central Riverside Park along the riverwalk. I have attached the craiglist posting that has a few pictures of the park so you can get an idea of the area.
    I am trying to connect with my resources for contacts for outdoor vendors, arts, crafters and speciality foods (and/or farm market type vendors as well). We realize many vendors already have their schedules set for the year, but hoped we might still be able to reach out to some that would be interested.

    Any contacts, advice or direction that you can provide would be greatly appreciated!

    Belong are links to information and forms. Please pass it along to any interested parties. this links to all events for the weekend as well as the forms.

    Thank you very much and have a great day!!!

    Joanne Strobel

    • Hi Joanne,

      I posted on our Facebook page about your event. We’ll see if that can help spread the word 🙂



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest