Art fair provides chances to be more artistic

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published August 3, 2015


SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The 32nd annual Shelby Township Art Fair will bring a few new features that encourage the public, young and old, to not just browse artists’ wares, but also create some art of their own.

The art fair will take place from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 8 and from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 9 on the municipal grounds, located at 52700 Van Dyke Ave., south of 24 Mile Road. A free shuttle service will be available from the Shelby Community Center, located at 51670 Van Dyke Ave., north of 23 Mile Road.

A local painting company, Paint and Pour, will be on hand giving $10 drop-in painting classes, and people can register for a more comprehensive painting experience for $25, art fair coordinator Pam Marshall said.

She said there would be a 20-foot mural for attendees to color.

“It’s almost like a giant coloring page,” she said. “It’s just on white with black lines. We have washable markers, and children and adults alike can color it in and get creative. We want to encourage art in all aspects.”

Returning staples include the popular “made in Michigan” section, which began four years ago and will feature approximately 32 product booths this year, Marshall said.

“It makes it a little bit easier for people that may not want to come and spend $500 on a painting, but still want to support the local economy by buying something made here in Michigan,” she said.

There will be 75 artist booths offering a wide selection of artwork.

Art fair committee chair Barbara Gasparski, a watercolor artist and one of the founders of the event, said that as time goes on, there seem to be fewer two-dimensional artists.

“The young people haven’t taken (two-dimensional art) up as much as jewelry making and other aspects,” Gasparski said. “Earlier in the art fairs, it was mostly painters, although I’m sure people will find their fill of two-dimensional art in the Shelby Township Fine Art Society tent.”

There will be three bands playing in the band shell each day of the art fair. Marshall said a crowd favorite is the Rick and Dayna Trio, featuring Marshall Allan, who will perform from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Aug. 8.

Other attractions at this year’s fair include the Detroit Flyhouse Circus, a petting zoo, a chainsaw art demonstration, kids crafts and inflatables, live animal demonstrations and displays by the Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center, a recycled art competition, fire and police demonstrations, tours of the historic Andrews Schoolhouse, and more.

Marshall said she is hoping for 10,000-15,000 attendees throughout the span of the art fair this year, although the crowds are always weather-dependent. Last year, she said, the weather was fabulous and the fair drew approximately 12,000 people.

“It’s the young people keeping this fair going, I think, because their crafts and their art bring a whole different dimension than we had 30 years ago, and the enthusiasm is always there,” Gasparski said.

For more information or to volunteer, call the Shelby Township Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Department at (586) 731-0300 or email For a list of vendors and schedule of events, visit