Art Birmingham to ring in the outdoor fair season

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published May 9, 2017

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BIRMINGHAM — The 36th annual Art Birmingham fine art fair will return to Shain Park this weekend to celebrate creativity, spring and, of course, moms.

According to Karen Dalhey, executive director of the Guild of Artists and Artisans in Ann Arbor, the long-running event has become something of a marker for the start of the state’s hopping outdoor art fair season.

“It’s really become a Mother’s Day tradition,” Dalhey said. “It’s in such a great location in Shain Park, which is right by the Townsend Hotel and The Community House, both of which do brunches. So people can take Mom to brunch and then walk around the fair and get her a wonderful gift (at the fair).”

More than 150 artists will pack Shain Park and the surrounding streets Saturday and Sunday to feature original work in a wide array of mediums, including painting, ceramics, photography, jewelry, sculpture, fiber and much more. The participants were selected by an independent jury to make sure only the highest level of creativity and skill make it to the event.

“Between the new booths and the returning artists bringing new artwork, it’s never the same show twice,” Dalhey said.

The guild works closely with the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center to put on the fair, with proceeds going back to the nonprofit BBAC, which works year-round to promote art and art education in the local community.

“Art Birmingham always surprises me with new art, new artists (and) new ideas,” said Annie VanGelderen, president and CEO of the BBAC. “Shain Park is the perfect backdrop to showcase creativity in all forms and celebrate spring — and, of course, Mother’s Day.”

As an extra treat for moms, the BBAC will bring back its Youth Art Activities Tent, where kids 12 and younger can create a special project to give to someone special. This year’s free project will be a card that can be unfolded into an illuminated twinkle lantern.

The 36th annual Art Birmingham fair will be held in Shain Park 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, May 13, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, May 14. There’s no cost for admission. For more information, visit

Shain Park is located off of Merrill Street in downtown Birmingham.