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Your Ultimate Guide to Ann Arbor Art Fair 2023: Navigate the Best Attractions, Artists, and Tips

Overview of the ann arbor art fair

Believe it or not, the largest judged art fair in the country is the Ann Arbor Art Fair!

With over 1,000 artists lining blocks and blocks of city streets, there’s something for everyone. Read on to learn everything you need to know for the 2023 Ann Arbor Art Fair, including parking, restaurants, and some artists to look out for.

Ann Arbor Art Fair Dates and Times
The Ann Arbor Art Fair is set for July 20-22, 2023.
On July 20 and 21, the fair runs from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. On July 22, the fair goes from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

crowds at the ann arbor art fair

The Ann Arbor Art Fair is Three Separate Art Fairs in One

Next, it’s good to clarify that the Ann Arbor Art Fair is composed of three separate fairs that all happen in the same weekend. These fairs are the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair; the Ann Arbor State Street Art Fair; and the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair.

Each fair is run by a different organization and has a different set of judges. For ease, they’ll be referred to as the Original, the State, and the Summer.

The Ann Arbor Art Fair “The Original”

The Original Street Art Fair is hosted by Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, Inc. This nonprofit seeks to “increase public knowledge and appreciation for contemporary fine arts and fine crafts.”

The State Street Art Fair “The State”

The State Street Art Fair is hosted by the State Street District Association that promotes strong local businesses and a strong community.

The Summer Art Fair “The Summer”

The Summer Art Fair is hosted by the Guild of Artists and Artisans, a nonprofit with the goal of “developing and presenting art fairs for education, culture, entertainment and community.”

kids at the ann arbor art fair

Navigating the Ann Arbor Art Fair

The Ann Arbor Art Fair occurs in one area, but each fair occupies its own space within the whole fair.

  • The Original is the smallest block, located between East Washington and North University, from Thayer Street to Fletcher Street.
  • The State is located on, believe it or not, State Street. Jokes aside, this part of the fair can also be found along East Liberty and Maynard.
  • The Summer is broken up into two spaces: one south of the Original on South University and State, and one west of the State on East Liberty and South Main.
woman chalk painting at the ann arbor art fair

About the Ann Arbor Art Fair

Next, let’s emphasize the scale of this event. It’s the largest juried art fair in the United States. The event draws around 400,000 attendees each year. Nearly half a million people will come to Ann Arbor for a weekend. Imagine if the entire population of Minneapolis visited a city at once: that’s the scale we’re talking about here.

So, with so many people condensed in the streets, safety is something to keep in mind while at the fair. Establishing a meeting spot in case someone you’re with gets lost, like a storefront or a particular intersection, is a good idea as well.

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Parking and Transportation at the Ann Arbor Art Fair

There’s really no nice and easy way to say it: finding parking at the Ann Arbor Art Fair is rough.

With people driving in from all around the country, nearby parking goes in the blink of an eye. Arriving early is recommended for those who want the best spots.

But fear not, there are a few other options. Besides the parking garages all over the city — that also fill up in an instant — there’s a shuttle service to bring people to the fair from various locations.

Ann Arbor Art Fair Shuttles

The shuttles are located at the Briarwood Mall and Huron High School. The Briarwood Mall shuttle stops at Main Street and Williams, as well as State Street near South University. The Huron High School shuttle stops at Fletcher and Washington, as well as South University and Forest.

They run every 10 to 15 minutes, and that’s not bad considering the volume of people. Parking at either location is free, but each round trip will cost $8. Children 5 years old and younger ride free.

To travel to and from the different fairs, there’s a mini-bus service called Art-Go-Round with routes connecting all three fairs. For complete information, go to

Michigan Farm to table restaurants

Restaurants And Places to Eat During the Ann Arbor Art Fair

Ann Arbor is home to some delicious, innovative restaurants. Frita Batidos is an awesome restaurant with a modern twist on Cuban street food. The burgers are phenomenal and the crisp plantains are oh-so-craveable. Outside of personal favorites, there are quite a few restaurants and food vendors featured throughout the art fair.

The “Original” art fair has five food vendors: Bao Boys, Bearclaw Coffee, C.A.Y.A. Smokehouse, Maizies Kitchen and Market, and Mity Nice Ice – Italian Ice. The Original provides fairgoers with a wide variety of meal options: from Korean fusion to classic barbecue, and treats like Italian ice and frozen coffee. Bao Boys’ bao buns are fluffy and flavorful, so try them if you have a chance!

The “State” art fair has more than five vendors, so we’ll stick with highlighting some favorites. Their vendors are mainly for treats, like Cinnabon and Auntie Anne’s. However, Poke Your Way offers fresh, flavorful poke bowls.

Similarly, the “Summer” art fair has quite a few vendors. Once again, theirs primarily focus on sweets and snacks. Frick’n Good Cookies and Pink Confetti Pastries are good choices for those with a sweet tooth. M C Doggonit sells hot dogs with their own twist. Their many toppings and flavor combinations are sure to satisfy even the pickiest eaters, and those with kids in tow know how hard it can be to find something for the little ones.

If you’re looking to go to a restaurant, there are dozens to choose from in downtown Ann Arbor.

Isalita Cantina features the bright, fresh flavors of a Mexican cantina. Jim Brady’s features classic American bar favorites, with particularly good burgers. Palio features authentic Italian cuisine and a seasonal menu. These are just some of the many options you have to dine in Ann Arbor.

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Artists to See at the Ann Arbor Art Fair

Each fair has a wide variety of artists. From painters to woodworkers to jewelers and everything in between, it’s hard to walk throughout the entire event and have nothing catch your eye. But for those in need of some guidance, keep an eye out for the following artists.

Artists to See at the “Original” Art Fair

Every year, the Original has a featured artist. This year’s featured artist is the fantastic Katie Musolff. Her watercolor paintings of Wisconsin’s fauna show incredible realism and a true connection to the wilderness. In addition to the fetured artist, there are hundreds upon hundreds of amazing artisans to be found.

Hedy Yang’s functional claywork is dreamy and whimsical, whisking the viewer away to the plush comfort of the clouds above. Tom Horn’s mixed media 3D work is lively and warm, bringing the viewer through the dense brush of the jungle and into the animal kingdom.

Artists to See at the “State” Art Fair

The State has a delightful variety of artists. From looking at their artist directory, the State Street District Association seems to curate a modern, fine art feel. Every piece looks like something you’d see in the personal collection of a millionaire art collector.

Neha Chheda’s ceramic creations incorporate soft florals, abstract textures, and elements of Indian culture. Megan Litts’ paintings are reminiscent of a fantastical bedtime story that you feel like you’ve seen, but you just can’t place it. Her work focuses on animals, the ever-changing canvas that is the sky, and fantastical elements like sparkles and wings. Scott Macklin’s jewelry evokes a similar sense of whimsy, with a cool focus on less traditionally “beautiful” animals, like the angler fish and the nautilus that dwell in the deep sea.

Artists to See at the “Summer” Art Fair

The Summer’s amazing menagerie of makers is hard to miss. The Guild of Artists and Artisans carefully selects the most awe-inspiring works, and it shows. Adam Hoffman’s digital artwork is truly hard to describe unless it’s in front of you. The fractal abysses he features draw the viewer into the breathtaking landscape. His art feels like it should be narrated by Carl Sagan.

Richard Bond’s unique glass work is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. His tactile glass artworks vary from contemporary to natural landscapes. The intricate details guide the viewer through the beautiful Canadian wilderness on a gently flowing river. Judith Smith’s novel leatherwork is a sight to behold. Her silhouettes are unique and thought-provoking, and her patterns are wholly unexpected for leatherwork but her creativity brings them together.

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Visit the Ann Arbor Art Fair

Are you ready for everything the Ann Arbor Art Fair has to offer? Whether you want to expand your art collection, start your own art collection, or just browse the thousands of artists, there’s nowhere better to be. Bring your art-loving friends and family along for a weekend full of delicious food, incredible art, and unforgettable memories.

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About the Author-
Norene Bassin is a content writer from Royal Oak, MI. This past spring, they graduated from Michigan State University’s School of Journalism. They’ve previously written for Impact 89FM with a focus on alternative and indie music. When not writing about travel destinations across the state, Norene can be found listening to punk rock, building decorative Lego sets, or playing with their pet hamster Milton