Wildlife photography by Deborah Tanner, of Brighton, will be shown at the Stony Creek Art Fair this weekend.

Wildlife photography by Deborah Tanner, of Brighton, will be shown at the Stony Creek Art Fair this weekend.

Photos provided by Linda Ashley


New art fair at Stony Creek Metropark could be a roaring success

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published July 23, 2021

 Jayney Payne-Short’s artwork features some clay mosaic pieces.

Jayney Payne-Short’s artwork features some clay mosaic pieces.

 Artwork by Richard Franz, of West Bloomfield, will be a part of the art fair at Stony Creek Metropark July 24-25.

Artwork by Richard Franz, of West Bloomfield, will be a part of the art fair at Stony Creek Metropark July 24-25.

 Kandy Myny, of Shelby Township, will feature mixed media artwork.

Kandy Myny, of Shelby Township, will feature mixed media artwork.

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Stony Creek Metropark Art Fair, a brand-new fair that combines fine art by artists from across the country with the park’s beautiful scenery, will make its debut at the park’s Baypoint Beach July 24 and 25 in Shelby Township. 

The show, which is based on the successful Kensington Metropark Art Fair, has a jury system to judge the artists. The show takes place one week after the Ann Arbor Art Fair, which means it can bring some of the best artists from that fair into Oakland and Macomb counties.

The art fair hours will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 24, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 25. At the show, there will be 75 artists, food trucks, art activities and more. Stony Creek Metropark is located at 4300 Main Park Drive in Shelby Township, and the park itself sprawls across the border of Macomb and Oakland counties. The fair is coming to the public one year later than originally planned due to the pandemic.

Mark Loeb, director of the Stony Creek Metropark Art Fair, said that after a year’s wait, organizers are ready to bring the art fair to the township.

“We have been partnering with the Metroparks for five years. It was always the plan to add a show. With the pandemic we were given an extra year to make sure we had it right,” Loeb said in a prepared statement.

The Anton Art Center is partnering with the show to provide art activities for children and families. The show also is working with Consumers Energy to provide $5 food vouchers to participants, meaning that attendees can have $5 in food for free from any of the participating food trucks.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Anton Art Center on this show,” Loeb said in an email interview. “They have always represented the best in visual arts for Macomb County. Working together we are able to produce a show with great quality artists with a focus on art that people in the area will really appreciate.”

Booths will be spread out for comfort and safety, and there will be sanitizer stations. Masks are optional.

Joe Cilluffo, a painter who uses acrylics and mixed media for his landscape scenes, which include places in Michigan, said he is looking forward to the new fair.

“It’s an incredible setting and a great community. I think it is going to be a big success on many levels. People are ready for art. In this post-COVID culture, people want to feed the soul, and nothing does that quite like good art. It answers the hunger for a brighter future,” he said in an email interview.

Cilluffo works out of Clay Township, which is in St. Clair County near Algonac. He said art is a visual language.

“In other words, art can be eye-candy that beautifies our homes, but it can also embody truth. Artists use this visual language to speak to their audience. How many times have I heard art fair shoppers say, ‘Your art speaks to me,’ when we buy art that resonates with us on a visual and a heart level. Put another way, art can embody truth, so when we buy art, we are not just buying a painting but a message of hope,” he said.

George and Deborah Tanner, of Brighton, will be showing their photography called “Tanners Adventures Photography” at the fair. The Tanners have used their travels in nearly every U.S. state as well as around the world to create images that capture the imagination.

George Tanner said they enjoyed participating in the Kensington Metropark Art Fair and they think Stony Creek will be similar. 

“The setting goes so well with our photography that specializes in varieties of beautiful landscapes from around the world,” he said via email.

Photography of wildlife in Africa is among the most intriguing of the Tanners’ work and includes close-ups of elephants, lions and lion cubs.

“We went on safari in 2017 and 2019, and our high expectations were met 100 times over. These were scenes of amazement that we have tried to capture in the photography,” said George Tanner.

He said that while attending art fairs, they especially love the reactions of the kids who are attracted to these close-ups of wild animals and are drawn in to see more. 

“We love to answer their questions and engage them in the world of wildlife and art, and of course the same goes for all the adult visitors at the art fair,” he said.

The fair will offer plenty of convenient parking. The park is located at 4300 Main Park Drive. There is no admission to the art fair and parking is free, but a daily or annual Metropark pass is required to enter the park. A daily pass costs $10 per vehicle.

For more information and a partial list of artists, go to www.stonycreekartfair.com.

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