LeeAnn Slack, of Shelby Township, colors sections of a giant coloring book display during the 2016 Shelby Township Art Fair. The event will return for its 35th anniversary Aug. 11-12.

LeeAnn Slack, of Shelby Township, colors sections of a giant coloring book display during the 2016 Shelby Township Art Fair. The event will return for its 35th anniversary Aug. 11-12.

File photo


Shelby Art Fair returns for 35th anniversary

Event will host more than 100 artists Aug. 11-12

By: Joshua Gordon | Shelby - Utica News | Published August 6, 2018

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Shelby Township Art Fair is returning for its 35th annual event Aug. 11 and 12 on the municipal campus, 52700 Van Dyke Ave., and there will be more than 100 artists participating from all over Michigan and neighboring states.

The art fair is the largest event put on each year by the Shelby Township Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Department, as Director Joe Youngblood said they expect to welcome more than 10,000 visitors over the two-day event.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 11 and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 12. Parking and entry will be free. A complimentary shuttle bus will take guests from parking at the Community Center, 51670 Van Dyke Ave., to the event, which Youngblood suggested that patrons utilize, as parking is limited on the municipal campus due to courthouse and police station construction.

“This is a very popular event, one of the bigger events in Shelby Township, that brings people out for the entire weekend,” Youngblood said. “It is a great way to show off our beautiful township grounds, and we look forward to getting people out here every year.”

Artists will display work from a range of mediums, including painting, pottery, jewelry, wood and glass. There will be live music and a Kids Corner, with strolling circus performers and a scavenger hunt for kids.

Macomb Township resident Shirl Hathaway is a mainstay of the Shelby Township Art Fair, as she has been showing her work for around 30 years. This year, she is one of the featured artists for the show.

Hathaway will have many of her paintings on display and for sale, and she said she really specializes in watercolors. She said patrons can expect to see a lot of contemporary art at her booth.

“A lot of my work has organic feelings, movement and rushes of color, because you can be unrealistic with colors,” Hathaway said. “I don’t use regular colors like red, yellow and blue, but mix all the colors. I have a creative style where I show how I feel and put colors and soft edges in it.”

Hathaway has a fine arts degree, with an emphasis in painting, from Wayne State University, and she earned her master’s degree in art education. She taught at Chippewa Valley Schools until she retired in 2010.

Hathaway said she started painting around 3, and while some people say artists are naturals or born with it, Hathaway said she has seen many children and adults learn how to become better artists over her many years of teaching.

Having a show like the Shelby Township Art Fair allows artists to get out and meet their potential customers, as well as fellow artists.

“It is really important to get art to the people, and this show is a great way to take advantage,” Hathaway said. “I have some of my work in a gallery selling for over $1,000, but it is nice to get my work to people for a nominal cost. We do like to get our artwork out there and hate to see it sitting in a closet.”

The event will host the Detroit Institute of Arts Away Mobile Unit Aug. 12. The 53-foot expandable trailer will allow patrons to look into the minds of artists and then try out their own creative thinking skills at a hands-on station.

The Shelby Township Solid Waste and Recycling Committee’s Trashy Treasures Art Competition is also returning this year, giving people a chance to see trash turned into art and vote for the winner. The winner will take home up to $75 in prizes.

The Shelby Township Fire and Police departments will be in attendance with a smokehouse and a bounce house. Police officers will showcase a mobile education unit that educates the community on narcotics.

Youngblood said that all the artists and extra activities make for an exciting two days.

“A lot of people like to (attend) this event because it has a small-town feeling to it,” he said. “Some people just come out to dance and grab something to eat. Others go to the Michigan-made area. It is a wonderful, free, family event.”

For more information about the art fair and a schedule of events, visit www.shelbyartfair.org.

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