Farmington art fair brings the craft home

By: Sherri Kolade | Farmington Press | Published May 27, 2015

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FARMINGTON — From a Farmington fiber artist to a California leather hatmaker, over 100 hundred artists from around the country will descend upon Farmington to show off their goods during the city’s sixth annual juried fine arts fair, Art on the Grand.


The June 6-7 event on Grand River is presented by the Farmington Hills Special Services Department’s Cultural Arts Division in partnership with the Farmington Downtown Development Authority.


Various forms of art — including paintings, sculptures, fiber works, ceramics, glass and more — will be represented. Fair attractions include hands-on activities for children, sidewalk shopping and outdoor dining at numerous downtown restaurants.


Art on the Grand is celebrating its sixth year as a standalone event from the Founders Festival, typically held in July.


Annette Knowles, assistant to the city manager, said Art on the Grand was previously included in the annual Founders Festival, but because Art on the Grand grew in popularity, the event became its own main attraction.


Knowles added that Grand River is a “beautiful setting” for the art event.


“The quality of the art seems to improve every year,” Knowles said.


St. Clair resident and mixed media/sculpture artist Lisa Hermesmeyer said being a part of the show allows her to show others her work.


“It is a wonderful show,”  Hermesmeyer said.


Hermesmeyer said she expanded her human art form pieces to have chrome finishes in different colors, which she will sell at the fair. Prices are roughly $90 and up.


She added that the 3-D mixed media pieces are made primarily of fiber, paper and clay, and they can be displayed inside or outside.


“The whole thing is made from scratch,” Hermesmeyer said. “I start with a wired frame on them and then expand it with aluminum foil and wrap these pieces in strips of fabric.”


Hermesmeyer said the fair shows “tremendous support” for the arts.


New this year is the Detroit Institute of Arts’ mobile art unit, called DIA Away, which will be open in the children’s area from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. June 6-7.


“That is a nice complement to the art, having the DIA here. And we’re really lucky to have it as a contained mobile trailer,” Knowles said. “We like to encourage art and (encourage) the folks who come to art events to explore the downtown and shop. It is a beautiful day to sit outside and relax and enjoy.”


City Cultural Arts Assistant Carolyn Powers said new artists are always featured in the show.


“I love it,” she said. “We have wonderful feedback.”


Powers added that it is a nice show because it’s “not overwhelming.”


“It runs down Grand River, and it is very easy to see everything,” she said. “When you walk through our show, you are not going to miss anything.”


Last year, about 30,000 people didn’t miss a thing; roughly the same number of people attended in 2013.


For more information on Art on the Grand, call (248) 473-1848 or visit DowntownFarmington.org.

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