By BROOKE STEVENSON
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE — The 48th annual Wyandotte Street Art Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday in the city’s central business district on Biddle Avenue between Oak and Eureka.
Entertainers will perform from noon until 11 p.m. over the four days. The event also will feature 250 artists from 30 states, 45 performances and 23 food vendors in seven blocks of the downtown area.
It is the second-largest outdoor fair in Michigan, with an average attendance of over 200,000 people each year.
The fair began in 1961 when artists from the Acanthus Art Society exhibited their work in front of a local downtown business.
A new feature for the fair this year is “Find ART in Wyandotte.” ART, a drawing of an artist holding a pallet and brush, was created in 1964, and is one of the earliest images representing the fair.
ART’s likeness was discovered on an early street art fair poster in the archival collections of the Wyandotte Museums. Fairgoers can find pictures of ART in booths throughout the fair and bring them to the information station to win a prize.
All of the artwork at the fair is handmade and juried according to select guidelines.
The ‘dotte Arts Project, held for its third year and located at the corner of First and Elm streets, hosts emerging artists in the mediums of photography, jewelry, painting, sculpture, pottery, printmaking, film making and craft making. It is composed mostly of self-taught artists and graduates from local art schools and community colleges and is a showcase for those working toward a career in the fine arts.
A new addition for ‘dAP this year is a theme T-shirt design. The shirt, featuring a squid hugging the ‘dAP logo as a submarine, was designed by Audrey Pongracz, who started her career at River’s Edge Gallery in Wyandotte.
‘dAP also will feature a graffiti wall, a sidewalk chalk project open to children of all ages in cooperation with the Roosevelt High School Art Department, and pottery demonstrations hosted by the Henry Ford Community College Pottery and Ceramic Department.
Two entertainment stages — the Riverfront Stage between Oak and Elm streets, and the ‘dAP Stage at the corner of Elm and First streets — will feature musical entertainment during the fair.
Featured artists at the Riverfront include Psyfunk, Fifty Amp Fuse, Mega 80’s, Ray Street Park, Charlie Slick, Silver Ghost, Frontier Ruckus and Blache.
The ‘dAP Stage will feature 20 bands during the fair, and for the second consecutive year Cresit Energy will provide a solar power truck to provide the stage’s power.
For both stages’ complete schedules go to www.wyandottestreetartfair.org.
The Kid’s Activity Area has moved to the parking lot next to Jimmy John’s off Biddle and north of Sycamore.
The area will feature Arts & Scraps, the Children’s Emporium and the Wyandotte Street Art Fair Scholarship Program.
Arts & Scraps will include the ScrapMobile, which is meant to provide children with affordable learning and creative experiences using recycled industrial scraps.
The Children’s Emporium is now in its 28 year, and provides school-age children the opportunity to buy artwork at a low cost.
Each participating fair artist is encouraged to donate at least one item to be purchased by children,12 years old and younger, for $1 to $5.
The emporium is open from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.
This year’s winner of the Wyandotte Street Fair Scholarship Program is Janae Griffin, a Lincoln Park resident who attends Roosevelt. Her $1,000 scholarship is raised from this year’s Children’s Emporium and Entertainment area.
Parking and shuttle services are available at several locations throughout the city.
For shuttle times and locations, or for more fair information, go to the fair Web site at www.wyandottestreetartfair.org or call the Special Events Office at (734) 324-4502.
By BROOKE STEVENSON