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September 25, 2013

Hazel Park Art Fair shines a light on local talent

Fine art, live music, microbreweries and more, Sept. 28-29

By Andy Kozlowski
C & G Staff Writer

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Hazel Park Art Fair shines a light on local talent
At last year’s Hazel Park Art Fair, Judy Sullivan of Seventeen17 Jewels displayed her wares to Jaide Ly, 16, and Cherish Goff, 16, both of Hazel Park.

HAZEL PARK — Now in its second year, the Hazel Park Art Fair (HPAF) is expected to draw between 7,000 and 10,000 people to Green Acres Park Sept. 28-29.

More than 80 artists will be exhibiting, as well as more than 15 bands — a step up from last year’s limited selection of acoustic performers.

“We’re focusing on local creative people and what they’re doing,” said organizer Julie Fournier, herself a Hazel Park painter.

There will also be local cuisine and a wine-and-beer tent by the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit, with 100 percent of proceeds benefiting their charitable works in inner-city Detroit.

The event as a whole will benefit the Hazel Park Promise Zone with a donation of $1,000, helping to send all Hazel Park High graduates to college. 

Green Acres Park is off Woodward Heights — Nine 1/2 Mile, one block west of I-75. The fair is from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29. Parking and admission is free.

The park will be packed with local talent showcasing jewelry, sculptures, photography, paintings and more. Nothing is mass-produced, and all artists are juried.

The artists and performers keep 100 percent of their sales. The nonprofit event charges a low fee to exhibiting artists, but aims to refund some of the fee or all of it, provided they reach adequate sponsorship levels.

Exhibit space, lighting, sound systems, stages and security are all provided to participants at no cost, thanks to the support of the city.

The fair helps to fill the hole left by the People’s Arts Festival, which remains on hiatus for the second year running.

Last year, the fair ran alongside the Hazel Park Harvest Festival, but this year, they’ve split off to the following week.

“We’ve disassociated because we wanted to present local restaurants and serve beverages separate from the carnival’s offerings, which we weren’t allowed to do,” Fournier said. “That’s what I was informed at the time, although I’m hearing now the city would possibly like to combine the two events again for next year.”

Aaron Timlin, president of the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit, said he’s looking forward to the fair. The funds raised at their microbrewery tent will support a variety of projects in Detroit, including a garden program and rooftop water-recycling program to teach families about urban farming, and free classes for kids at a ceramics studio led by a group of artists called Ladybug Studios.

The institute also has a theater production division, Detroit Broadcasting Company, which recently did a play called “Lambert Street,” about a family on the east side of Detroit. A 13-year-old actor in the play was discovered by casting agents and will now appear on the AMC series “Low Winter Sun.”

He said the beer-and-wine tent, which will feature beer from Motor City Brewery and wine from Chateau Chantal, will also support local products.

“I’m a big fan of closing the loop on the economy,” Timlin said.

And of course, the fair serves as a spotlight for all of the artistic talent in the area.

“Festivals like this help provide cultural exposure to these smaller communities like Hazel Park and Ferndale that don’t have the same sort of downtown cultural center as Detroit does with the DIA and other huge institutions,” Timlin said. “This offers an opportunity for exposure to the arts for people who might not otherwise have it.”

The 2nd Annual Hazel Park Art Fair will take place at Green Acres Park off Woodward Heights (Nine 1/2 Mile, one block west of I-75) from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, and from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29. Admission and parking is free. For more information or to sponsor, contact Julie Fournier at info@hazelparkartfair.org.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Andy Kozlowski at akozlowski@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1104.