BirminghamSeptember 19, 2012
Annual art fair returns to benefit Common Ground
By Tiffany Esshaki
C & G Staff Writer
BIRMINGHAM — It was named one of the top 100 art fairs in the country by Sunshine Artist magazine this year, and the Birmingham Street Art Fair is making its way downtown this weekend to celebrate fine art for a worthy cause.
The fair, now in its 38th year, is in part a fundraising event for Common Ground, a nonprofit dedicated to helping families in crisis around Oakland County. Common Ground President and CEO Tony Rothschild said the annual fair is a fun way for people to lend their support to the organization, which for more than 41 years has provided emergency intervention to more than 50,000 people.
“We are delighted to bring such an extraordinary collection of artists from across the country to the streets of downtown Birmingham. For 38 years this wonderful event has worked its magic, providing the community with an outstanding cultural event and providing Common Ground with support that has helped us continue to give the best services possible to those in need,” said Rothschild in a prepared statement. “We invite everyone to this event — to share in the magic, have fun, learn something new and help build a strong and vital community.”
More than 150 artists from around the U.S. will show off their creations. With ceramics, paintings, photography, glass, jewelry, leather, metals, paper, digital art and more, the fair will feature something to appeal to any art-lover’s palate.
For the younger set, the Detroit Institute of Arts will present a hands-on children’s art activity area. Kids can learn a little bit about the history of puppetry and create their own butterfly marionette.
In addition to perusing the many artist booths, visitors can take part in the annual art auction. On the auction block will be a selection of works donated by participating artists, with proceeds from the sold pieces benefiting Common Ground.
Suburban Cadillac Buick is helping to present the fair, along with the Guild of Artists and Artisans. The guild promotes visual art endeavors throughout North America and Europe, and is perhaps best known for its flagship event, the annual Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair. Guild Executive Director Debra “Max” Clayton said this event, like other art fairs, gives people an exclusive chance to interact with artists in a way they can’t when shopping for pieces in stores.
“The guild’s mission is to help cultivate a community appreciation for unique, handcrafted works of fine art and the artists who make them,” said Clayton in an email. “But, it is the personal contact between artist and fairgoer that is the best part of the event. Art fairs have a special appeal because there is no intermediary between the patron and the artist. It’s a genuine connection between the artist and those that appreciate fine art. It’s a partnership that honors the joy and value fine art brings to the community.”
The 38th annual Birmingham Street Art Fair will take place 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 22 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 23 in downtown Birmingham, at the intersection of South Old Woodward and Maple Road. There is no charge for admission. For more information, visit www.Birming hamStreetArtFair.com.
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