The Funky Ferndale Art Fair and DIY Street Fair will take place Sept. 22-24 on both sides of Nine Mile Road in Ferndale.

The Funky Ferndale Art Fair and DIY Street Fair will take place Sept. 22-24 on both sides of Nine Mile Road in Ferndale.

File photo by Erin Sanchez

Funky Ferndale Art Fair, DIY Street Fair to take over Nine Mile

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published September 19, 2023


FERNDALE — Ferndale’s big fall art fairs will be making their returns this month.

The Funky Ferndale Art Fair and DIY Street Fair will take place on both sides of Nine Mile Road Sept. 22-24. The Funky Ferndale Art Fair is located on West Nine Mile, and the DIY Street Fair is located on East Nine Mile.

The Funky Ferndale Art Fair will be celebrating its 19th year with 140 artists participating, around 20 more than its previous high, according to Event Producer Mark Loeb.

One of the things Loeb is excited about for the event this year is the participation of artist David Zinn, who will be doing some chalk art installations on Troy Street. He’ll also be leading an already-filled workshop on chalk art with attendees.

“We’re really focusing on Troy Street because this is the first year we’ve been able to fully utilize it with the parking structure up and running,” he said. “So we’ve got him doing some installations on Troy Street, and then the people who were in the workshop will be given chalk and turned loose on the rest of the festival to go crazy.”

The Funky Ferndale Art Fair will feature its juried art show; different mediums such as paintings, sculptures, jewelry, mixed media, fiber and clay; and a tent spotlighting authors.

The art fair was the first one Loeb helped start years ago, so organizing it every year is a bit sentimental for him.

“It’s a theme that’s after my heart because, as I’ve said, it’s kind of like the art fair for people who didn’t realize that they loved art,” he said.

Across Woodward Avenue, the DIY Street Fair will be held for its 15th year. Co-founder Krista Johnston stated that there will be many new artists participating. Of the 150 artists taking part, around 40% of them are new to DIY.

“We really try to champion these local artists so that they have this opportunity to sell their work and they feel so empowered by it as well, to the point where they quit their regular 9 to 5 and they do this full time,” she said. “It’s really an honor to be part of that journey for so many artists. … There are so many artists that tell me that the DIY Street Fair is where they got the start and inspiration to do so.”

In addition, there also will be food offerings from Detroit BBQ, Shredderz, The Drunken Rooster, Backdraft BBQ, House of Mac, Little Lou’s and Real Taco Express. There also will be live music from artists including Ted Leo, Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers, and The Beggars.

One of the things Johnston wanted to focus on when organizing the event was to bring in an eclectic mix of offerings for attendees to check out and enjoy.

“I think people do tend to do a lot of their holiday shopping at this event, and we really try to have, for example, there’s two ceramicists, they really have to have their each individual style. So every single booth that you see out of 150 artists that are there really has this unique vantage point. I always try to just focus on positivity, inclusivity and having a great time,” she said.

The hours for the Funky Ferndale Art Fair are 3 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22; 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24.

The hours for the DIY Street Fair are 6 p.m. to midnight Friday, Sept. 22; 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday, Sept. 23; and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24.

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