Archive for the ‘Art Things To Do’ Category

The St. James Court Art Show in Louisville Report

October 6, 2008
St. James Court by mister_poppular

St. James Court by mister_poppular

Didn’t make it to Louisville this past weekend, October 3-5? Maybe you’ll want to be there next year for the St. James Court Art Show and its satellite shows on 3rd Street, 4th Street and Belgravia Court. They tout 700 artists and around 300,000 visitors in this beautiful, leafy old neighborhood full of historic homes. It is a lovely place to spend a fall day, see and be seen, eat Kentucky burgoo and discover treasures.

Here are reviews to pique your interest:

A site with many images, including the one above:

Another site that has wonderful images of the unique architecture of the neighborhood (enough to bring you to the district again to see it without the crowds), This man needs to be on the Chamber of Commerce for the city.

St. James Court Art Show Ends Sunday
WLKY – Louisville,KY,USA
Perfect weather has made for a comfortable stroll for visitors of the St. James Court Art Show. Some of the finest artists and craftsmen in the country came … read the story and see the video.

From the Louisville Courier-Journal: St. James art show: It’s a scene.

See you there next year?


How Do the Candidates Feel About the Arts?

October 5, 2008

What can you do about support for the Arts in this election year? Please read the letter below I received from the bi-partisan Americans for the Arts.

October 3, 2008

Dear Constance:

Americans for the Arts Action Fund is pleased to present you with its just released summary of the Arts Positions of the 2008 Presidential Candidates. (Also see side-by-side comparison table below.) Sorry, it is not below because my tech skills are not up to reproducing it here…but you’ll find the info at the links.

As you may know, Americans for the Arts Action Fund launched its ArtsVote2008 initiative in May 2007 in order to educate presidential candidates on issues impacting the arts and arts education with the goal of securing—for the first time ever—formal position statements from the top candidates.

To date, we have shared with you Senator Barack Obama’s comprehensive arts policy proposal that he began issuing in February 2008. Unfortunately, the McCain campaign has not been as forthcoming, despite numerous formal requests from the Arts Action Fund and Senator McCain’s own supporters over the last year. However, we are pleased to report that Senator McCain has now issued a short statement that he released in an article for today’s Salt Lake City Tribune.

With this information in hand, we ask you—the arts advocate—to take action by doing the following things:

1. Share this side-by-side comparison of the presidential candidates with your friends, family, and colleagues.

2. Blog about this issue on any sites that you are affiliated with.

3. Post the comparison chart on your social network sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, and others.

4. Send a Letter to the Editor of your local newspapers and journals. We’ve made it easy for you by drafting a customizable letter at our E-Advocacy Center that you can personalize. You will then automatically be given the choice to e-mail your letter to all the key media outlets in your area based on your zip code.

5. Ask questions about policies on the arts and arts education to both your Congressional and presidential candidates in any kind of town hall forums, online chats, or any other public forums.

6. Vote for the candidates that you feel will best advance the arts and arts education in America.

With only 32 days left to Election Day, now is the time to act and show your support for the arts!

Visit this link to view the Arts Positions of the 2008 Presidential Candidates

ArtsVote2008, a program of the Arts Action Fund, was created to secure bold, new policy proposals in support of the arts and arts education in America from candidates in the 2008 presidential campaign.

For more info visit, or call 202-371-2830

Art Fair of the Month: Plaza Art Fair in Kansas City, MO

September 19, 2008
Taking the art home!

Taking the art home!

September 19-21
77th Annual Plaza Art Fair
Country Club Plaza
Kansas City, Missouri
230 artists

The Plaza Art Fair is consistently ranked among the nation’s top five art festivals. In a highly competitive jury process, about 1,500 artists submit their best in hopes of becoming an exhibitor in the nationally recognized program.

The celebration of the arts extends 9-blocks into the streets of the Plaza, and showcases the finest works in ceramics, digital art, fiber, glass, graphics and printmaking, jewelry, metal, mixed media, painting, pastels, photography, sculpture and wood. The fine quality and beauty attracts admirers and buyers alike to browse the outdoor art gallery.

The evenings are beautiful in Kansas City at this time of the year and the art fair comes alive with serious shoppers, here to score the best art work in the region, eat from the famous restaurants and listen to fine music set in the streets of the historic Country Club Shopping Plaza. Don’t miss it!

Here is the official website: Plaza Art Fair

Here is a guide to the fair at with some cool local flavor.

And here is a cool blog about it: Mary Anne’s Kansas City, MO, blog…I think she loves the Plaza Art Fair. I also think she has great taste!

Now you have all the info. I’d better see you there.

Meet Me in St. Louie: September 5-7

September 5, 2008

Arguably the best art fair in the country the St. Louis Art Fair, held in downtown Clayton, MO, opens this evening. So many artists apply to be in this event that it takes three days of judging to choose the participants. Translation: excellent work to be seen here.

Here is an article from the about how an artist gets chosen:

One juror talks, How artists get into the fair

And some more info from one of our favorite artists, Dolan Geiman, from his blog:

St. Louis Art Fair this weekend. Gustav is not invited.

Michigan Festival: Sunny Days, Smiles Abound in Pontiac – Day Two

August 31, 2008

Beautiful weather brought patrons and smiles to artists faces. A big part of my day was spent overseeing the street jurying. Arts professionals (this year, Larry Butcher, professor of art at Delta College and well known Michigan artist, Nancy Swearingen, photographer, painter and jeweler) jury the art presented for $7500 in cash awards.

Every year we have different judges and every year we are so pleased in the evident interest they take in reviewing every booth and evaluating the work therein. Larry and Nancy started out at 10 am and completed choosing the award winners by 8 pm. They spent the day visiting the booths and interacting with the artists.

Interestingly, one year’s Best of Show award winner may be completely passed over the following year, and vice versa, the ‘passed over’ will turn out to be the prize winner.

Our award winners:

Best of Show/1st Place: Emerson, photography
2nd Place: Steve Uren, wood
3rd Place: Sylvia Pixley, graphics

Awards of Excellence:

Adam Shirley, jewelry
Gwen Bennett, Mixed Media
Mark Traughber, Painting
Neptune Hot Glass
Bruce Holwerda, Painting
Joe Hoynik, Photography
Donna Geissler, Digital
Ralph Rankin, Ceramics

Spirit of the City Award: Paul Adams – This award is for the body of work which best exemplifies urban energy

Golden Dolly Award: Bill Beaubien-This award goes to an artist’s helper, someone who has accompanied an artist to shows for many years and has served in the background, not receiving recognition for their contribution to the artist’s success. I believe we are the only art show in the country who presents this award, and it even comes with a check!

Here are some more stories about Arts, Beats & Eats:

Want to see some great images? Visit this link at the Detroit Free Press.

Then there is the great Arts, Beats & Eats mojo…fabulous weather. More info at this link:

We’d surely love to see you on Saginaw St. in Pontiac today and tomorrow. Come show these artists the famous Michigan hospitality. Check out our award winners and the rest of the fine work. Meet these interesting people who live a great American life creating imaginative work and traveling the byways of our country.

Michigan Festival: Show Time – Day One

August 30, 2008

I am happy to report that we got the spaces marked on the streets yesterday while it was still light. What a thrill! Thunderstorms were predicted and we ran out of wax crayons to mark the spaces so we finished with chalk. Luckily, an artist from Texas, Larry Hughes, was waiting around for us to mark the spaces and he followed us around with duct tape to further delineate so we wouldn’t have to get up in the early morning to remark the spaces.

Even when I finished my work the streets of downtown Pontiac were full of high-lows, scaffoldings, electricians trucks, semis, tents almost throughout the whole night constructing the rest of the festival. But I was the first one at the office on Friday morning at a little after six A.M.

Friday starts early, up at 5:15. This is the hardest day of all. The artists start checking in at 7 am, arriving from California, Utah, Texas and many places closer to home. It is always exciting to see old friends and to watch the tents go up and the work appear in the booths. I always say that the best shopping left in a country carpeted with look-alike shopping malls is the art fairs. Every booth full of usual and sometimes unusual hand made work makes for exciting viewing.

We have juice, coffee, bagels and cream cheese available for the arrivals and we try to greet them with genuine hospitality. Without them there would not be an art fair, and we need them to be here.

It was great to see old friends Larry Humphrey, Allan Teger, Svetlana Kuznets. Sonny Dalton, Jim Reinert, Jan Kaulins, Lou Hii, Donna Beaubien, Richard Rothbard, and recent artists of the month: Steve Uren and James Parker. In another section of the festival I also met heirloom seed jeweler, Deb Groat. Great to meet all of you!

There was the last minute scramble to reconfigure the art fair as artists personal emergencies got in the way, a father-in-law’s death, a spasming back from an accident, a severe bout of diverticulitis. Calling artists to take their places is often on the agenda. Other times we leave the space open as a walkway through the booths.

Two artists are coming in early on Saturday morning. William Cowherd of Indianapolis recovering from a van breakdown, and jeweler Mary Cody who was camping nearby and left her keys in the washroom and they disappeared. She spent Friday trying to find them and lining up a locksmith to get her into her van so she can show up for the rest of the weekend. What a nightmare for an artist depending on being at the fair to earn a living.

It is always a relief to get everyone in and set up. This is really nonstop work from 6:30 am to about 4 pm when the show opens, requiring many phone calls, many mini-emergencies (fumes from the generators, canned street music drowning out the sweet sounds of the jazz guitar musician, Russell Donnellon, artists setting up in some one else’s space). Monitoring it we had our two street team (Wendy and Greg) and four of us handling the paperwork and making sure all the artists were heading the same direction.

By four o’clock all the booths were open and the crowds had started to filter in for the evening. This festival is especially beautiful on these balmy summer nights, with each individual booth lit to enhance the goods inside. It is like a magical village. Sure hope you can make it tomorrow night. We look forward to seeing you there.

A long day…ending now at 11:30 pm.

Planning Ahead for the Labor Day Weekend: Aug. 29-Sept. 1

August 25, 2008

Ann Arbor Street Art FairThree Great Art Fairs to Consider

Do you ever travel to attend art fairs? What are you doing on Labor Day Weekend?

Here are three festivals well worth attending, all held on August 29-September 1.

  • Sausalito Art Festival, Sausalito, CA
  • Long’s Park Art Festival, Lancaster, PA
  • Arts, Beats & Eats, Pontiac, MI

Sausalito is held on the shores of San Francisco Bay and attracts artists from throughout the country, but you are likely to see art from Western artists who don’t make it to the Midwest, and a real treat they are.
For more info:

Long’s Park is held in a lovely park outside of Lancaster, PA, and is just about the best art fair in the East. Like Sausalito, you are likely to find artists who do not make it to the Midwest.
For more info:

For a great weekend in the Midwest then head to Pontiac for Arts, Beats & Eats with its great lineup of art, food and entertainment. In addition in downtown Detroit is hosting the International Jazz Festival on the riverfront, as well as the Grand Prix on Belle Isle. They are calling this celebration “Three Days in the D.”
Info on Arts, Beats & Eats:
& more info on Three Days in the D:

Looking for more art fairs around the country?

One Day Left for Ann Arbor Art Fair(s) – Be There!

July 19, 2008

Lucky me, on Thursday my friend Barb and I spent an exhilarating day in Ann Arbor shopping, visiting and eating. Here’s the story.

The easy way: drive to Briarwood Mall, off of I-94 at the State Street exit. Ride the shuttle bus to the fair, $2 roundtrip.

Easy way to get to the fair

Easy way to get to the fair

Just when you think you have seen enough art and art fairs you are deposited in this wonderful place. The Ann Arbor Street Art Fair never disappoints. We didn’t have time to see all the art, but here are some favorites.

Painting by Glenn Payne

Painting by Glenn Payne

Imagine a young person enjoying the art fair!

Imagine a young person enjoying the art fair!

Sculpture by James Eaton

Sculpture by James Eaton

Pottery by Michigan artist John Herbon

Pottery by Michigan artist John Herbon

As she walked away I heard this woman say, “that’s what I like about art fairs, the artists are so helpful and friendly.”

Painter Kathleen Eaton from the Chicago area

Painter Kathleen Eaton from the Chicago area

Sculpture by David Bryce from N. Egremont, MA

Sculpture by David Bryce from N. Egremont, MA

The Street Art Fair Plaza

The Street Art Fair Plaza

For twenty-eight years my partner, Norm Darwish, and I participated in one or another of the Ann Arbor fairs. Out of nostalgia we revisited our space:

Photography booth now occupied by Mark Mowen, leather worker

Photography booth now occupied by Mark Mowen, leather worker

It was great running into many old friends, including the sheriff himself

Sheriff James Eaton - policing the art fair being caught out by Barb

Sheriff James Eaton - policing the art fair being caught out by Barb

Great to see Joe Henderson looking well after his illness. Welcome back, Joe!

Great to see Joe Henderson looking well after his illness. Welcome back, Joe!

The happiest people of all were the shoppers, there in large numbers and carrying out all the goods.

A big sale for artist Kathy Sheldon from Wyoming, MI

This shopper needs a few more hands

Looks like it was a good day for artist Kathy Sheldon from Wyoming, MI–two big pieces left the fair as I was walking along (above and below).

Happy and looking for more

Happy and looking for more

Heading home

Heading home

Getting a hug from dear old friend David Bigelow from Ozark, MO

Getting a hug from dear old friend David Bigelow from Ozark, MO

Very happy shoppers fill the shuttle with their purchases and promise to return next year

Very happy shoppers fill the shuttle with their purchases and promise to return next year

Ann Arbor Art Fairs 101: Intro to Art Fair Attending

July 15, 2008

July 16-19
Ann Arbor, MI

Michigan Art Fair

Let the buying begin!

The Ann Arbor Art Fairs
Wed.-Fri. 10 am-9 pm; Sat. 10 am-6 pm
1000+ juried artists

In case you didn’t know it, starting Wednesday Ann Arbor, MI, turns into art fair city with four official art fairs throughout the downtown and on the U-M campus. Here are the links that tell the rest of the story:

We’ll start with:

1. Getting Downtown during the Art Fairs, plus a story about commuting during the fairs with its own website.

2. Oh, and of course, any event worth its salt has its own preview party. Tonight attend the Ann Arbor Fair Townie Street Party, from 5 to 9:30 p.m., at a new location under the big tents on North University Avenue in front of Hill Auditorium and around the fountain on Ingalls Mall.

Artist Chuck Wimmer with customer at the art fair

Artist Chuck Wimmer with customer at the art fair

3. For a great preview/overview, with lots of useful detail read the blog at The writer talked with Shary Brown from the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, who always has the best info. “You may have been looking forward to this moment since last year. Or you may have been dreading it. Either way, brace yourself.”

4. A nice view of the fairs from the University of Michigan Daily gives some more details on what to expect,  “art fair” may call to mind kitschy wooden dolls or intricately bent wire sculptures – more an excuse to spend cash on “summer collectibles” … Read Ben VanWagoner’s report at The Michigan Daily.

5. For a look at the economic impact of the event read: Ann Arbor Art Fairs “economic engine” revs up.

6. Here is a story I found in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. There are always busloads of shoppers from Cleveland who love the art fair. How fun to ride to and from the fair with friends, plus the great “show and tell” on the way home!

7. And here’s the story from the Grand Rapids Press. It is well written with lots of good detail differentiating the various art fairs. Very helpful to newbies.

Selling blown glass at the art fair

Selling blown glass at the art fair

8. If you are a regular reader of this blog you know it has been a “weather-challenged” year for the artists. You might enjoy reading this story in the Ann Arbor News:

It’s almost time for the Ann Arbor Art Fairs – and organizers are ready for all kinds of weather

9. And yes, you will also find an alternative art fair in Ypsilanti on Saturday: The Shadow Art Fair. The Shadow Art Fair began two years ago as a warm-up for the Ann Arbor Art Fairs and to bring Ypsilanti area artists together.

Is there anything I’ve missed? This site has all the answers in one place:

What Are You Doing This Weekend in Detroit? Art Fairs For You!

July 12, 2008

38th Annual Royal Oak Outdoor Art Fair:

July 12 and 13, marks the 38th year that artists and art lovers mingle in the lovely setting of Memorial Park for the Royal Oak Outdoor Art Fair. Sponsored by the Royal Oak Arts Council and the Royal Oak Recreation Department, the juried fair offers artwork in several categories, from painting, printing, photography and clay, to glass, metal, wood, jewelry, leather and fibers. Read more in the Oakland Observer

47th Annual Wyandotte Street Art Fair:

Featuring the work of many artists, children’s emporium, sidewalk chalk art, riverfront and street entertainment, local business sidewalk sales and more, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Wed.-Sat. Downtown Wyandotte, Biddle, between Oak and Eureka, Wyandotte. 734-324-4506.

Furthermore, things are turning green with lots of energy being put into “greening up” the festival atmosphere. Read more about it in the Free Press.