Art Fair Traditions

The first thing you learn about the Ann Arbor Art Fair when you move here, is that it will be hot and there will be thunderstorms, even if the weather before and after is mild and adorable. This year followed suit.artfair vase

I have an attendance method that involves loose clothing, an air conditioned lunch, and a lot of iced tea. This finely honed discipline enables me to trawl for ceramics, paintings, and garden ya-yas across the whole fair, which is technically four fairs, from downtown Ann Arbor to the far side of campus. It’s a couple of miles as the crow flies but many more as the shopper wanders, hesitates, doubles back, and makes side trips for that lunch and iced tea.

Z mug unbroken

New mug, not yet broken

Ceramics are heavy, so I count lugging them around with me as weight-bearing exercise. If you really like collecting objects ceramics are a great choice, because in the natural course of things the ones you have at home will break. This means you’re entirely justified in getting more.

blank bookMid-ceramics, I took some actual dollar bills that were handed to me last month in exchange for my chapbook, and swapped them for a soft, beautiful, handmade, leather-bound blank book. Poems out, poems in. Like physics, right? Conservation of creativity.

Bags loaded with mugs, bowls, vases, and book, I staggered among booths and tea vendors. A breeze came up, very refreshing, as I made my way to the booth of an artist I especially admired, Andy Fletcher. See his work here. I was innocently buying a painting of a stormy landscape when a very enthusiastic thunderstorm moved in. We waited it out while Doug drove down to get the picture and me. Andy wrapped the picture in a big plastic bag, the last raindrops bidding it goodbye as he carried it to the car.

It looks splendid over the fireplace in my living room. The ceramics and book are splendid, too.

Find the cat’s point of view, here.

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