Sterlingfest art show ready to catch the eye

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published July 7, 2015

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Years before the Sterlingfest Art & Music Fair became a venue for dozens of musical acts and other entertainment, it was a place where shoppers could buy art and crafted goods from vendors.

But while the event is no longer a blank canvas, its legacy as an art show destination continues.

This year, Sterlingfest will be held July 23-25 around Sterling Heights City Hall. Karen Kazmer, Sterling Heights management services specialist, is in charge of the art fair’s vendors and booths, and she said the art portion of the fair has expanded over time.

“It’s grown,” she said. “We’re in the 35th year. It started as an arts and crafts festival or fair, and it’s now grown to not only encompass midway rides and (music) stages, but also food.”

Kazmer said this year’s event promises over 100 artists and 115 booth spaces full of handmade goods ranging from photography, woodwork, soaps, hair accessories and candles. A selection of fiber art — both wearable and decorative — has included items like purses, pillows, doll clothes and dog attire, she said.

Although Kazmer said she isn’t sure of the art’s price range, she believes that some of the photography prints may be worth hundreds of dollars. She said artists come from the metro Detroit area and across the country to sell their work.

“We have many from Florida,” she said. “There is some from … Illinois, Iowa, the Midwest area.”

Sterling Heights resident Claudia Jo Blanchard, who was a Sterling Heights Featured Artist in 2013, said this will be her second year selling her photography at the festival.

“I’m a world traveler, so I have pictures from Japan (and) all over the United States,” she said. “My Alaskan bears (photos) are to die for.”

Blanchard said she loves the fact that the festival is close to home.

“I get return business because people can call me afterwards,” she said.

Besides offering space for the art vendors, the festival will offer free arts and crafts activities inside a Kidzfest tent, organizers said.

The 2015 Sterlingfest Art & Music Fair will be held July 23-25 in the area of the Richard J. Notte Sterling Heights City Center, 40555 Utica Road in Sterling Heights. Learn more about attractions, musical acts and where to park by visiting www.sterlingfest.info or by calling (586) 446-2470.

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