Common Ground to benefit from annual Birmingham Art Fair

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published September 14, 2015

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BIRMINGHAM — If you’re looking to stretch your summer festival legs one last time this season, you’ll get your chance this weekend at the annual Birmingham Street Art Fair.

The 41st annual sendoff to summer will be held in the streets of downtown Birmingham Sept. 19-20. The fair, which is often one of the last seasonal art events in metro Detroit, usually draws more than 80,000 visitors to see hundreds of jury-selected artists and their work.

Visitors can peruse original artwork, curated by the Guild of Artists and Artisans, best known for the famed Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair. Among the mediums represented will be ceramics, painting, photography, jewelry, glass, sculpture, wood, leather, fiber and plenty more.

Ferndale artist Alanna St. Laurent was selected to participate in the event for the first time this year. She’ll bring selections of her photography, much of which, she said, pays tribute to the city of Detroit.

“I like to shoot the city — the abandoned and nonabandoned things. I know a lot of people do that, but I think for myself I really became fascinated with the history around the buildings and the architectural details. I appreciate that buildings going up now won’t be built like that anymore,” St. Laurent said.

In addition to art for purchase, the Detroit Institute of Arts will bring art for making to the children’s area of the fair. Kids can participate in art activities at no charge.

But perhaps the most important part of the festivities will be the art auction, benefiting Common Ground in Oakland County, which was named the Best Managed Nonprofit by Crain’s Detroit Business last year. Visitors will be able to bid on original pieces donated by participating artists, with all funds going to benefit the crisis intervention work that Common Ground does with individuals and families around Michigan.

“We are so grateful to the community for coming out to the Birmingham Street Art Fair all these years and supporting the work of Common Ground,” Heather Rae said in an email — she will replace the retiring Tony Rothschild as Common Ground CEO this month. “Proceeds from this wonderful event, including the silent auction, are used to develop and sustain programs and services that help people move from a crisis to a place of hope and healing.”

For more information about Common Ground’s 41st annual Birmingham Street Art Fair, go to www.BirminghamStreetArtFair.com or call (734) 662-3382.

The fair will take place 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 19 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 20 in downtown Birmingham, on South Old Woodward, south of Maple.

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