The fair billed as all about art was just that, from paintings and jewelry, even poetry and music, as hundreds flocked to the event in Detroit’s Palmer Park neighborhood on Sunday.
The Palmer Park Art Fair, 2013 and now in its ninth year, was a celebration over the weekend of art — of all kinds.
More than a hundred artists showcased their work, from poetry reading to tents where patrons could meet artists and buy their works. The fair is one part of what many said is Detroit’s vibrant art scene.
“I like to be around other artists, and to do that in a place like Detroit? I love that.” said Georgia Hetherington, one of the artists at the fair.
Hetherington was selling “art you can eat with” — artisanal cutting boards, serving trays, charcuterie boards and more — and she said being around Detroit artists who have committed to being part of the city’s renaissance was invigorating. Hetherington of Chicago came to the fair for the first time and loved meeting the other artists.
“I think it’s exciting to have a chance to be part of Detroit’s already thriving art scene,” she said.
At the Mint Artists Guild tent, visitors could meet teenage artists who were showingcasing their work; Nearby artists displayed fabric art, paintings, sculptures and more.
Catherine Wu, 29, of Detroit said Sunday she was back again after visiting Saturday because she had seen a painting that “really stuck with me.” It was raining by the time she made it back Sunday afternoon, but she was determined to find that painting.
“I didn’t think it was my style, but as I was at home this morning, I realized I had the perfect spot for it, so I came back,” she said. She doesn’t own a lot of art, she said, but she loved the chance to invest in the work of people living in her community.
“I think it’s going to make the painting look even better,” she said.
David Ruggeri, a St. Louis artist who works with spray paint and acrylic, said he came back to the Palmer Park Art Fair this year because he has loved it and his visits to Detroit in the past.
Detroit is known as a “little Berlin,” he said, a city known for its street art and murals as well as its galleries and architecture, and for its “good art energy.” Detroiters are kind and enjoy his work, which he said is inspired by graffiti and nostalgia.
“Being an artist is running a small business,” Ruggeri said. “You have to see if your product works by getting it in front of people.”
When his work is in a gallery, he doesn’t always get to interact with buyers or get the chance to find inspiration from the work of others. But in a setting like the Palmer Park, Art Fair, the chance to meet patrons can make a difference.
As he was talked about the chance for encounters with fair goers, a woman approached and commented on one of his painting that featured Lucky Strike cigarettes. She used to go to store and “get a million of them,” she told the artist, before she quit in 2002. The piece brought happy memories, she said.
It’s that kind of response that keeps him returning to Detroit, Ruggeri said.
“I get a lot of feedback from people. I get to see their response,” he said. “It’s always a really good response, like that lady. It’s bringing back a memory, and it puts a smile on her face. That’s great.”