The public will be able to peruse the Fine Art Fair at no cost.

The public will be able to peruse the Fine Art Fair at no cost.

Photo provided by Julie Fournier


Fine Art Fair to return to Detroit

By: Brendan Losinski | Advertiser Times | Published August 3, 2018

 Coleen Parsons will be among the artists featured at the Fine Art Fair, showing her unique reverse window painting. The artist said that much of  it is inspired by pop culture and classic Hollywood.

Coleen Parsons will be among the artists featured at the Fine Art Fair, showing her unique reverse window painting. The artist said that much of it is inspired by pop culture and classic Hollywood.

Photo provided by Julie Fournier

DETROIT — Both connoisseurs and casual appreciators of local art can swing through Detroit on Saturday, Aug. 11, to check out the seventh annual Fine Art Fair.

The Fine Art Fair focuses on maintaining the aesthetic of a community art fair by only featuring local artists and not big studios. The  fair is funded entirely through artists’ space rental fees, so organizers don’t need to worry about allowing sponsors to guide the event or bring in non-art-related attractions.

“Unlike most art fairs, we feature only art by local artists,” said Julie Fournier, the fair’s founder. “They’ll find nothing but ceramics, paintings, sculptures and so forth. It’s all volunteer-based. All the profits after costs are donated to local charities. This year, I am donating to the Congregation of Every 1, a nondenominational group which helps homeless people in the city.”

The fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Old Miami Bar located at 3930 Cass Avenue in midtown. Both admission and parking for the event are free.

“I started the Hazel Park Art Fair, which is what (the Fine Art Fair) was originally,” explained Fournier. “Since Hazel Park is a small city that could use some showcasing, I thought it would be a good fit. There were some political differences with the city after a while, so I decided to relocate the fair to Detroit. This is the third year under the new name,” Fournier said. 

Local artists, artisans and musicians will be showing off creations in areas such as sculpture, photography, fine art, metals, wood, textiles, ceramics and more. Acoustic music will be provided by Bruce Farrell and the Laughing Madmen.

“Our first year at the new location was challenging. By this year, we’ve worked out the challenges, and I think it will be a great show. Old Miami is a good location; people know it and I think people are excited,” she said. “We have painting, drawing, ceramics, metalsmithing, photography, sculpture and pretty much anything else you can think of. We’ve had a comic book artist and a henna artist. It includes pretty much anything you can consider art.”

Among the artists who will be featured is Coleen Parsons, of Pleasant Ridge. She reverse paints on the backs of old windows to create unique and visually striking works of art.

“I like to upcycle old materials. My husband got old windows when we moved into our house, and I tried to paint on the back of a window. It was a challenge how to do it, and I got really good at scraping off a first try,” said Parsons. “I paint a lot of animals or rock ’n’ roll and Detroit-centric subject matter. The satisfaction of mastering the process and the enjoyment people got out of it made me happy.” 

Parsons has been featured in the Fine Art Fair before, and she said that having a neighborhood art fair is good for a community and can be a great resource for artists and non-artists alike.

“I hope people enjoy the fair. I hope they get a mental break from the day-to-day,” said Parsons. “I think people need a break from politics and the other difficult parts of life, and art can do that. I am a consummate Libra, so I like making sure there’s a balance in all things. … (Art is) good for you. People should do something good for themselves and get outdoors, get down to Detroit and have some fun.”

Fournier hopes people will attend the event. She also said artists are still welcome to apply if they are interested in renting a space.

“There are still a few spots open,” she said. “They can send an email to detroitfaf@gmail.com, and they can send in an application, as well as three samples of their work. It is $50 for a space, and they have to provide their own tables and other display equipment.”

More information on the fair can be found at www.detroitfaf.com. 

“People can come and have a good time and feel really good about building community, helping those in need and supporting local artists,” said Fournier. “I think art is important to the Detroit community and everyone in general because it stimulates problem-solving and inspires solutions to our local problems. It also builds community and helps promote economic growth. I would call art a necessity.”