The Ann Arbor Art Fair Prepares for Another Record Year

A graphic for the Ann Arbor Art Fair.

Ann Arbor is a vibrant and eclectically diverse community of about 119,875. But that number is going to swell by several orders of magnitude from July 18 to 20 as the fifty-sixth annual Ann Arbor Art Fair takes over downtown.

“We have a marketplace that the other art fairs don’t have, that is affordable and allows for more diversity and options for fair goers,” Angela Heflin, the brand new executive director of the State Street District section of the fair, said. “I think the diversity and community element of the event, to have three fairs in one event, is no easy task. To close 30 city blocks and have 1,000 artists between us is very unique.” 

Heflin added, “If there wasn’t community engagement from the city and businesses downtown, it wouldn’t happen. I think that that’s what makes it special.”

Foldenauer said at the kick off preview event on May 6 that she’s been a fan of the art fair since moving to the area from Chicago. This will be her sixth year with a booth.

A graphic for the Ann Arbor Art Fair.It has been another record year for applicants from across the country. The three sections of the fair go out of their way to bring a diversity of art genres, demographics and geography to bring as many types of art as possible to downtown. You can find a painter from Europe, nature photographer from the West Coast and even art supply store owner and medical illustrator for U of M’s neurosurgery division Megan Foldenauer.

“I will be over on Washington Street, where I’ve always been, right by Rackham – right at Ingalls Mall – I’ll be right there,” Foldenauer said.

She said he art has evolved since her first art fair. “It’s always been tiny – I work very small, very detailed – and now I am working on these pieces on commercially available paint swatches.”

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Some artists at the fair are solo acts and some work together. For example, Chris Kamykowski and Stassia Fulmer are a husband and wife team from Grass Lake that will be bringing ceramics to their booth. Kamykowski forms the structure of the ceramics and Fulmer paints and decorates them. 

“What’s cool about [the art fair] is that you have this big conglomeration of emerging artists to artists who have been doing this for decades,” Fulmer said. “Ann Arbor is a town that just supports the arts so strongly, even compared to other cities we’ve been to. It is so a part of the soul of Ann Arbor, and you can feel that as an artist.” 

Kamykowski said, “This is the biggest part of our calendar year because we stick to art shows in Michigan and this is the biggest one you can do.”

People come from all over the world to gush over Ann Arbor’s art culture every summer. However, this means traffic is an issue which arises every year. 

The solution to this comes in the form of National Trails, the bus service that will be providing transit this year.

According to National Trails’ Angel Collins there will be two locations with plentiful parking at Huron High School and Briarwood Mall, to and from the center of the fair. The standard rate is $8 per person, “round trip” according to Collins. Each route will have four buses providing regular service. Fair goers with mobile disabilities will have access to at least one bus on the route designed to accommodate riders using walkers or wheelchairs.

Applications to get your own booth at the art fair are already closed. But anyone with art to sell will be able to sign up for juried consideration for the 2025 art fair starting next fall. The details can be found at

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Drew Saunders is a freelance business and environmental journalist who grew up just outside of Ann Arbor. He covers local business developments, embraces his foodie side with reviews restaurants, obsesses over Michigan's environmental state, loves movies, and feels spoiled by the music he gets to review for Ann Arbor!