Ed and Celina Pitt, of Commerce Township, left, and Karen and Greg Anton, of Shelby Township, right, watch Louie Sanchez, of Juice Box Studios in Detroit, perform a glass blowing demonstration during The Art of Fire in downtown Royal Oak last year.

Ed and Celina Pitt, of Commerce Township, left, and Karen and Greg Anton, of Shelby Township, right, watch Louie Sanchez, of Juice Box Studios in Detroit, perform a glass blowing demonstration during The Art of Fire in downtown Royal Oak last year.

File photo by Donna Agusti


The Art of Fire to return with more demonstrations

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published May 28, 2019

 Jillian Sutphin and her mom, Charlene Sutphin, both of Chesterfield, look at metal garden flowers created by Bob and Donna Walter, of Morrison, Oklahoma, during The Art of Fire in downtown Royal Oak last year.

Jillian Sutphin and her mom, Charlene Sutphin, both of Chesterfield, look at metal garden flowers created by Bob and Donna Walter, of Morrison, Oklahoma, during The Art of Fire in downtown Royal Oak last year.

File photo by Donna Agusti

 Ray Kandt, of Great Lakes Flow, performs with live flames during The Art of Fire in downtown Royal Oak last year.

Ray Kandt, of Great Lakes Flow, performs with live flames during The Art of Fire in downtown Royal Oak last year.

File photo by Donna Agusti

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ROYAL OAK — On June 8 and 9, the clay, glass and metal show that emphasizes live demonstrations and interactive art experiences will return to downtown Royal Oak for its 25th year.

This will be the second year the fair will run under the reimagined moniker, “The Art of Fire,” given that the mediums of clay, glass and metal all require heat and flame to craft. 

The show will take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 8, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 9, on Washington Avenue, between Fifth and Lincoln avenues. More than 100 artists from across the country will show and demonstrate their artwork.

“We have demonstrations throughout the art fair, and no other art fair is as interactive as this one,” publicist Linda Ashley said. “There’s actually going to be quite a bit of fire.”

Demonstrations will include glass blowing, fire performers, blacksmithing, welding, pottery, stained glass, wire sculpting, tile pressing and more.

“It’s really all-inclusive of every type of art demonstration you can imagine,” Ashley said. “Visitors can also get involved interactively and make a piece of art that they can leave with.”

Two new highlights this year, she added, will be metal sculptures with fire elements from Flame Effects, as well as partnerships with eight local restaurants that will offer fire-themed food and flaming drink specials.

The show will also feature a range of live music, from DJs to classical violin. 

“The idea is, you can come and make a day of it,” Ashley said.

Heather Zeller, director of events for the Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce, said she is excited about the increased number of demonstrations and the make-your-own-art experiences.

“This year, we have a lot of new artists and a lot of artists who have come back,” she said. “It’s definitely a fun atmosphere. We’re trying to make it a family-friendly atmosphere with hands-on activities for the kids to do, fire performances to watch and great art to shop for.”

Street closures will begin at 5 p.m. Friday, June 7, and will last until 11 p.m. Sunday, June 9. Washington Avenue will close from Fifth to Lincoln, and Sixth Street will close from Lafayette to Washington.

During the dates of the show, parking in all of Royal Oak’s parking structures will be free. Thanks to the Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority, visitors can park in the city’s parking structures for free all Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in June, starting June 6.

For more information about The Art of Fire, call the Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce at (248) 547-4000 or visit www.artoffire.com.

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