It’s one thing to see art in a gallery, but is it even more delightful to be surrounded by trees, water and fresh air? The trade fair producer Mark Loeb sees it that way.
Nature and art merge at Loeb’s brand new Stony Creek Metropark Art Fair, which starts on Saturday and runs through Sunday on Baypoint Beach by Stony Creek in Shelby Township. It will feature more than 60 artists in a range of media on the Baypoint grass. In addition, Loeb and his team organize the Kensington Metropark Art Fair every year.
“We have been working with the Metroparks for six to seven years to bring more art to the Metroparks,” says trade fair producer Mark Loeb. “We have the Kensington Metropark Art Fair and it has become one of the top 100 art fairs. We thought it made sense to add another in Stony Creek.”
Loeb, who originally planned to create the new fair last year when COVID-19 hit, said Stony Creek in Shelby Township in north Macomb County is about as far as Kensington in Milford, “but at the same time it is very similar”. Both have a variety of beaches, hiking trails, and plenty of space to spread out.
“By presenting it (the art) in a beautiful setting, it gives the art a whole new meaning,” Loeb said. “Galleries are great, but kind of sterile.”
Art fairs are returning en masse across Metro Detroit this summer after Governor Gretchen Whitmer lifted the state’s latest COVID-19 restrictions.
The Orchard Lake Fine Art Show in West Bloomfield Township also kicks off this weekend after being canceled last year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Patty Narozny of Hot Works, the organizer of the show, had just seven weeks to plan this year’s show after Whitmer lifted the state’s final restrictions in June.
140 juried artists will present who sell original and handcrafted works. That is around 20% fewer artists than in previous years But the guests won’t notice a difference because the stands are a little further apart, said Narozny.
A big factor this year was the Ann Arbor Art Fair’s flip-flop schedule, which was canceled earlier this spring and then reintroduced after state restrictions were eased.
“That had a huge impact on our shows this year,” said Narozny. “… (Some) artists went to other parts of the country when Ann Arbor was closed. But we put on a beautiful show.”
After a year without art fairs, Narozny realizes more than ever how important these are in building relationships between artists and customers.
“You can’t judge it,” she said. “The importance of a one-to-one relationship is bigger than we ever thought it would be.”
Mixed media artist Kandy Myny from Shelby Township agrees.
Myny, who creates paintings and collages on wood and canvas, was free for 16 months during the pandemic. She had a show at her home and was doing more advertising for her website, but “it’s not the same as meeting my clients in person and telling them about my process,” she said.
Myny will be present at this year’s first Stony Creek Metropark Art Fair. And she is excited.
“I think Shelby Township residents will be eager to go out and see something new,” said Myny, who also just graduated from the Ann Arbor Art Fair, said the purchasing power this year was “great.” “I think people really itch to come out and do something and are happy to be able to buy art again!”
Metro Detroit Summer Art Fairs
Belle Isle Art Fair: Approximately 100 judged artists from August 7th to 8th at the Scott Fountain on Belle Isle. Go to https://www.belleisleartfair.com/.
Orchard Lake art exhibition: 140 judged artists Saturday and Sunday on Powers and Daly Road, south of Maple, west of Orchard Lake Road; $ 5 adult entry. Go to artsandeducationinc.org/.
Stony Creek Metropark Art Fair: Around 60 artists performed Saturdays and Sundays at Baypoint Beach by Stony Creek, 4300 Main Park Drive in Shelby Township. Go to www.stonycreekartfair.com.