Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Art Fair returns to downtown Ann Arbor July 17-20

More than 1,000 artists and a half million art lovers are expected to converge on campus and downtown streets for the 54th annual Ann Arbor Art Fair.

The event, from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. July 17-19 and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. July 20, will take over Central Campus streets and Liberty and Main streets downtown. Children's activities and live music also are presented.


Annabelle Smith of Novi views art on display in the Jackson Junge Gallery on South University Street during the 2012 Ann Arbor Art Fair. (Photo by AustinThomason, Michigan Photography)

Learn more about what's happening at the 54th annual Ann Arbor Art Fair.

The four official fairs are the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the State Street Art Fair, the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair and Ann Arbor's South University Art Fair. Traditionally, several university faculty and staff members serve on jury panels that vote on admittance into the fairs and assign awards. Students are involved in artist's programs.

Fair week opens with the 10th Townie Street Party from 5-9:30 p.m. Monday, on East Washington Street between Thayer and Fletcher and on Ingalls Mall. It is a fundraising event for educational and community outreach activities of the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Original.

Performers are singer-songwriters Seth Bernard and May Erlewine, from 5:30-6:30 p.m.; Dragon Wagon, with bluegrass-folk rock at 6:45-7:45 p.m.; and The Macpodz from 8:05-9:15 p.m., with rock-jazz fusion music. It includes food and beverage offerings, a Kids' Art Fair, and a public participation ArtZone.

The 7th Annual Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design Alumni Exhibition "Transition" is Monday-Aug. 3 and throughout the fair in the Jean Paul Slusser Gallery on North Campus, 2000 Bonisteel Blvd., and Work•Ann Arbor, 306 S. State St. It features 170 pieces by alumni from across the country and an online gallery. In its seven years, the show has featured nearly 700 A&D alumni of all ages.

"We feature established alumni as well as recent graduates, so it's a chance to see the trajectory of creative work," says Slusser Gallery Director Mark Nielsen.

Faculty, staff and student volunteers with U-M's BioArtography project will return to East University, Booth 112. There, artistic microscopic tissue photography will be on sale, to fund projects of graduate students and fellows associated with The Center for Organogenesis in the Medical School. New bioart this year includes an image of induced pleuripotent stem cells from the Parent lab used to make cardiac cells.

"They are heart cells that will actually beat in a culture dish," says Deborah Gumucio, professor of cell and developmental biology.

The School of Social Work (SSW) presents the Social Justice Art Fair from noon-5 p.m. July 20 at SSW. The event aims to explore how art can be used as a therapeutic tool and mechanism to promote social justice and/or change. Activities include an artist showcase, a children's creative station and a tour of the school's art collection. Go to for more information.

For the sixth year, Home Care Services will provide free wheelchairs and other services near the Michigan League. Michigan Radio will have a booth in the Street Art Fair section along Ingalls Mall, where several units participate in the Art Activity Zone.

Because of construction on South University, the fair will extend down State Street to Madison, where the AATA shuttles from Briarwood and Pioneer will be relocated. An Art Fair Trolley will run continuously connecting all the fairs, parking structures and shuttle stops.

Maureen Riley, executive director of the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, says a Northside park-and-ride shuttle has been added this year. Parking is at Huron High School and the shuttles will run to two fair sites.