I would have spent it all at the Ann Arbor Art Fairs last weekend!
The 'rents came out from Chicago, and we spent all day Sunday cruising through three of the four fairs in downtown Ann Arbor. With over 1,200 artists from almost all 50 states, this is no Gaspee Days, kiddos! No water balloon yoyos, no face painting, and no glittery fairy wands; this is a real, hard core art fair. We spent five hours, and still didn't see everything. There were so many amazing artists, that even though I didn't find a single piece I could afford, I have inspiration for months. Not to mention the awesome people watching, great food, and sales at all of the area shops. Well worth the tired feet! Next summer Eric and I will most likely be living in Ann Arbor, so you should all come visit. Bring comfy shoes! And your kids' college fund.
On to the fun part... while I did see at least 25 artists who I loved, there were a few real standouts. Bryan Cunnigham makes mixed media art inspired by tattoo art, pinup girls, old school comics and carnival freaks. And he wears gold Elvis sunglasses. Hello? He should be my boyfriend. All of his work is dark and funny and bold, and would look perfect in my house. If I had to pick favorites, they would be the huge Anatomy skeleton and the raven, which you can find on his site in the gallery. (p.s. he's also on myspace!)
I also loved everything made by Darrell Ezekiel, an artist from Alabama who does both painting and funky assemblage. All of his paintings were quirky and ironic, especially my favorite huge Mouseketeer. Too bad it was way over my budget, and too large to realistically fit anywhere but my imagination.
L. Lee Junge had one of the most interesting booths, not only for the art, but also the presentation. It was like traveling through a labyrinth full of color. Not all of this stuff is my style; my favorite piece was a mixed media 3D work (left), and it was the only thing like it. But the depth and color in these paintings is just magnificent. I wouldn't hang them in my house, but I could look at them for hours!
Sadly my most favorite person of all, Miriam Carter, does not have a website. She's a fourth generation felter who has been at it for 18 years. I wanted to cry when I tried on a 400 hundred dollar jacket that fit me perfectly. It was my favorite color, and honestly looked like it was custom made for me. Alas, I have a bullshit job and a wedding to throw, so no splurge shopping for me. However, I'm going to online stalk this woman until I can afford one of her pieces, even if it takes me 10 years.