In Which There are Two Art Fairs

20 07 2008

This was my odometer Thursday night as I packed Oskar up for my three week trip through Michigan, into Canada, up through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and over into regions of Wisconsin and perhaps even Minnesota. A few hundred miles later and I’ve spent my first day back in Ann Arbor. It’s nice to be back.

After seeing Clara and fam off for their week of camping, Liz and I headed into A2 to hit up The Produce Station and the new Plum Market for veggies and fruit. The Produce Station is absolutely amazing in the varieties of veggies and fruits they have available. While I would rather shop my local farmer’s market (definitely didn’t get up in time for that this morning), it’s a pleasant place and great produce and delightful service. Their soups are amazing as well, but I somehow managed to resist the urge to buy one of each. The Plum Market is something new for me – a beautifully laid out grocery emphasizing service, freshness, and environment. It is truly aesthetically pleasing with brightly-hued produce, wide aisles, and some of the most impressive lighting I’ve ever seen in a grocery. I’m unsure how the prices compare to other groceries in the area, but am thinking that one is definitely paying something for the experience of shopping there.

Veggies and fruits in bag, we made our way over to the last day of the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair. I attempted to go to this event when I lived in the area but went on a Sunday, only to find out that the event ends Saturday night. Liz led me through a seemingly never-ending terrain of artists from across the nation and I found some pretty amazing stuff, including:

Billy Hall’s amazing glowing wood sculptures are truly works of art. He uses wood native to North Carolina and hand turns them to create a wooden sculptures that filter light in some pretty amazing ways. I can only imagine the delicate work of making these pieces – according to his website, each shade is 1/32 to 3/32 inches thick, depending on how much light he wants diffused. I once tried to make a wooden bowl with my Uncle using a similar method and that was super-tricky, so I can appreciate his skill and bow in his general wood-working direction.

Shape of Light

Shape of Light

I fell in love with the work of Nick Wroblewski. The Madison, Wisconsin artist’s woodblock prints are bold yet delightfully detailed. I would have taken the above, Shape of Light, home with me if I didn’t have two-and-a-half weeks of travel before me. I envision it hanging in the renovated bungalow I will someday own…

After looking through the Ann Arbor Art Fair, Liz dropped me off at home where I took care of my produce and took off again, this time to the Shadow Art Fair in Ypsilanti. It was a nice change from the morning’s experience, crowded and filled with local artists with wares I could actually afford. Things I loved:

Etsy seller Barrel of Monkeys has some seriously delightful buttons. Anyone who has a Boston Terrier button in mass quantities has to be amazingly cool.

Another Etsy seller Hip to Piece Squared was there with a nice collection of pouches, bags and journals. After packing several plastic bags with toiletries, electronic device thingamabobs, and other extraneous schtuff, I was in desperate need of some pouchage. Luckily, I found this:

It’s a sweet little pouch that fits all my electronic device thingamabobs beautifully. I love the vintage-inspired print and the lining is perfect – after sewing together my laptop bag last week, I realize how much of the suck I am with the sewing machine. One day, I hope to be this good. Oh, and it seems she has a blog.

I also bought a baby congrats card from etsy seller Sparklepants Industries. Seriously, with a name like Sparklepants Industries how could I not? And the best part: her baby congrats card was so simple and lacked glitter. Hard to find in a welcome to the world baby card.

And now I am sucking free internet at Panera. Oh, Panera, how I love your Asiago cheese bagels with sundried tomato schmear… smells like dinner. Then off to bring the horses in, round up the chickens and feed the house critters. Perhaps Roman Holiday and sock knitting to round out the night?

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