The Ann Arbor Art Fair typically draws a half a million people who come to see all forms of artwork that can inspire and stir the imagination, and to enjoy a major people-watching experience.
The 52nd annual Ann Arbor Art Fair — which is comprised of four individual art fairs — returns July 20-23 to streets adjacent to campus and downtown. It will bring a tradition of U-M representation among artists and service providers including:
❙ Julie Fremuth, a conservator with the William L. Clements Library and an exhibitor with the original Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, has been chosen to create the art for that group’s logo displayed on posters and T-shirts (see Staff Spotlight story, next page).
❙ Home Care Services with the U-M Health System again will offer wheelchairs and wheeled-walkers with seats for those requiring assistance.
❙ The School of Art & Design (A&D) will present its fifth annual Alumni Show during the Art Fair, at galleries on State Street and North Campus.
❙ The Center for Organogenesis will sell art created from photographed images of the inner workings of the human form, to support special projects of graduate students, and pre- and post-doc fellows.
❙ The School of Social Work (SSW) presents ENGAGE. LIBERATE. HEAL. from noon-6 p.m. July 23 at the SSW. It explores how art can be used as a healing journey or to promote social justice.
❙ The new C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital will offer information on the hospitals, set to open in fall, and on programs.
Home Care Services now is in its fourth year providing free wheelchairs and other services from a booth at Fletcher and North University near the Michigan League.
To illustrate the value of the service, Will Siembor, Home Care Services brand manager, recalls the time a U-M Health System surgeon was with his elderly mother at the fair. “It was a hot day and the mother became tired quickly and needed help getting back to the area where they parked. Having a wheelchair allowed the surgeon to get his mother to the car safely; he then brought the chair back in his vehicle.”
Siembor also recalls the time Home Care Services booth staff were able to help a person with polio. “For years she skipped the Art Fair because she simply couldn’t handle the hours of walking. By having a chair available she could walk as much as she wanted then use the chair when she needed to,” he says.
This year, booth staff will provide packets of sunscreen to fairgoers as another way of promoting good health and Home Care Services. “The popularity of the service grows each year with return users and the word is spreading. People now expect us to be there. We get a lot of satisfaction offering this service,” Siembor says.
Preparing for a fifth year is the A&D Annual Alumni Show, which runs concurrent with the Art Fair at Work • Ann Arbor, 306 S. State, and the Slusser Gallery, in the Art and Architecture Building on North Campus. This year’s Alumni Show theme is “Things that Move.” An opening reception is presented from 6-9 p.m. July 22 at Slusser Gallery.
The Alumni Show was launched to reconnect the growing number of A&D alumni with one another and the university. In the four years since its inception, the show has featured more than 600 A&D alumni.
This year’s theme is being interpreted in media ranging from sculpture, ceramics and photography to painting, illustration and installation. Alumni Show Chair Janet McClintock says, “We borrow the energy of Ann Arbor, alive with Art Fair. Each year A&D alumni from across the country and internationally participate in the festivities.” The opening reception includes an opportunity for viewers to vote for their favorite work in the People’s Choice Awards. The exhibit continues through Aug. 5.
For the seventh straight year, The Center for Organogenesis presents a unique type of art at its BioArtography booth at 155 E. University. The microscopic tissue photography presented as art typically raises more than $10,000 each year to fund special projects for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the Medical School.
To produce the art, stains typically used in micrograph photography add color, and Photoshop is used to sharpen images and intensify colors in these images originally collected for medical research. “We try not to over-manipulate the original image because we don’t want to lose the scientific view of it. We want someone to see it and say ‘That’s a pancreas,’” says Rebecca Pintar, administrative specialist. She coordinates the booth display, manages image inventory and schedules workers.
“Many people pass through the booth who want to see images of a specific disease or cancer type. We can do that depending on what is submitted to us. We get a lot of requests of images for cancer. Many physicians passing through have requested images of the types of disease they might specialize and treat. Kids are always fascinated with the images and this is a great way to get them excited about science,” Pintar says. “We sell approximately 75 pieces of art every year at the fair. That includes matted images and framed images, and around 150 note card packs.”
The SSW event includes a showcase with a range of works from more than 20 artists and organizations. There also will be children’s art activities, tours of the SSW Art Collection, and performances from 2-3:30 p.m. by Riot Youth’s Gayrilla Theater Troupe and storyteller Jill Halpern.
To celebrate the new C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital grand opening in November, information about the hospitals and specific programs will be disseminated from a booth at 5th and Liberty Streets, says Deb Lewis, marketing assistant. “We will be providing sunscreen to folks who stop by and have information about specific hospital programs such as Child and Family Life, Pediatric Trauma, and Patient and Family Centered Care, to name a few.” Lewis says. The hospitals also are sponsoring the Children’s Art Area at William and Main Streets, along with the Guild of Artists and Artisans.
Artist demonstrations, four Imagination Stations with art activities and live entertainment also are presented during Art Fair.
Julie Fremuth, conservator, Clements Library, on finding inspiration in old handwritten papers: “I will try to connect to that person who made the handwriting by painting on top of it, with a lot of washes and a lot of layers. I like to connect to a stranger who struggles like I do.”
The Center for Japanese Studies Free Summer Film Series presents “Kikujiro,” 7-9 p.m. July 29, Angell Hall Auditorium A