Hazel ParkAugust 28, 2012
Hazel Park Art Fair expected to attract thousands
By Andy Kozlowski
C & G Staff Writer
HAZEL PARK — At the upcoming Hazel Park Art Fair, a variety of paintings, sculptures, photography, pottery, fine art and mixed media made by talented artists from across the region will compete for your attention.
The inaugural event, held in conjunction with the city’s first annual Harvest Festival, will take place at Green Acres Park, 620 W. Woodward Heights, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22.
“Some of the artwork is just incredible,” said event organizer Julie Fournier, herself a Hazel Park painter. “I’m really blown away. I don’t want to name one artist over another — they’re all amazing.”
Festival planners anticipate a large turnout, anywhere from 7,000 to 10,000 people. This is due in part to the People’s Art Festival not being held this year in Detroit, as well as the positioning of the fair as a premier showing of Michigan’s artistic talent, representing communities across metro Detroit.
The nonprofit event also aims to be one of the largest festivals of its kind, with no commission asked of exhibitors. All profits go to the artists — the vendors just pay a $5 booth fee to benefit the Hazel Park Promise Zone, which provides college scholarships to all students who graduate from Hazel Park Public Schools.
The fair is targeting around 80 artists. A music merchandising area will also be set up, selling the works of around a dozen acoustic performers playing at the show. The musicians also reap 100 percent of the proceeds; the city even provides the exhibit space, lighting, sound systems, stages and security, all at no cost to participants.
New artists and musicians can still sign up for the show by contacting Fournier and sharing samples of their work at hazel email@example.com.
The fair is possible thanks to sponsors Country Boy, Du-All Art & Drafting Supply, Noir Leather and Smiling Eyes Studio.
Carl Lundgren, a Detroit artist, said he won’t be able to participate in the fair, but he hopes to check out the show.
“I think Julie’s quite open-minded and willing to kind of experiment and take chances with many artists people don’t know,” Lundgren said. “Seeing something you’re not used to seeing is a treat. And Detroit has so many local artists that are just amazing, and that just don’t get exposure. I’ve been to other cities, seen other areas, and I think Detroit is one of the most prolific for artists.”
Fournier said that she hopes the fair will adjust people’s perception of Hazel Park. She says the city is brimming with talent, but is sometimes overshadowed by larger cities. She also says the fair should prove profitable for local businesses by generating a great deal of foot traffic in the area.
“I want people to come into Hazel Park and see there are a lot of artists moving here and living here,” Fournier said. “We have an Arts Council and an art community; we have culture; and we have events. We want to let people in on our little secret and share.”
She added that encouraging the arts is also good for the city.
“Artists increase the tax base — they’re incredibly beneficial to the community in terms of growth,” Fournier said. “The industry we used to have is gone, it’s changed. So let’s redirect our focus and grow in another area. This festival can add value to the city’s culture, and make it a more attractive place to live.”
The Hazel Park Art Fair will take place at Green Acres Park, 620 W. Woodward Heights, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22. To be an art vendor or an acoustic performer in the show, contact Julie Fournier at firstname.lastname@example.org. Artists are asked to send five samples of their work in JPEG file
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