Posts Tagged ‘Plymouth Art in the Park’

the more they stay the same.

Art in the Park is one of Plymouth’s premier yearly outdoor events.  I’d say it’s the king of all the local festivals and fairs.

What really stands out this year is that it looked surprisingly the same as last year’s event.  The same vendors have the same tents in almost the exact same places.  There appear to be more empty spaces this time around.

While this might appear to have a negative tone, I certainly intend no such thing.  This is more an observation than a judgment.  As always, there are some cool things to be found.  I bought a painted coin pendant, which, though pricey, is quite nice.  I do not remember this vendor in years past.

There’s still another day of AIP, so come out and see for yourself what is offered.

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In the run up to this past weekend’s Art in the Park, I really had little to no interest in it.  I probably felt like I had seen a lot of the art in years past.  I also knew it would be hot and, quite honestly, I don’t like walking around on pavement in the heat all day.  Our plans to get away to one of the Great Lakes fell through so we went to the AitP and I’m glad we did.

My wife loved  — loved! — the works at the Plymouth Potter’s Guild’s tent.  She bought several pieces, which is a first.  We normally don’t buy much at this festival.  It was nice to support local artists and it was cool to see that some local people making great stuff.

I loved the artist — and I cannot recall her name — who did literary caligraphy.  She has not been at AitP in the past few years, so she was new to us.  Her stuff was beautiful.  I would have picked up a piece but I got shopped out before I could make up my mind and return to her booth.

The street chalk artists did some lovely free-hand copies of a handful of Van Gogh masterpieces.   It was inspiring to watch them work.

The most pleasant surprise for me was the appearance of “The Toppermost,” a Beatles tribute band.  I’m a Beatlemaniac, but I’ve never really gotten into cover bands.  Since they were playing a free concert, though, I was happy to check them out.  I must say they did a pretty good job of capturing both the sound and spirit of the Beatles live, at least the Beatlemania/moptop period (1962-64.)  Vocally they didn’t sound  a whole lot like the Beatles, but who can really copy the singing styles of any of the Fab Four?  No one.

I didn’t get a lot of photos this time around, but I got a few that I will share.   They don’t really capture the overall feel for the event — they’re little tiny snippets.

Painted Boy


Van Gogh boats


Sugar and Spice

The Toppermost

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Art in the Park starts tomorrow.  While I generally think that all the downtown events are good for the city to some degree, I think I have lost personal enthusiasm for this event.  I hope it goes over well, and I hope it brings a lot of cash and cool people into the city.  But I’m probably not going to spend too much time down there myself.  I like being able to go where I want to go, when I want to go there, and AitP gets in the way of that.  I must be getting old and curmudgeonly.

Here’s a link to the official website for the event.


I also noticed the the compass at Ann Arbor Trail and Main Street was being re-painted and/or re-coated.  I like the aesthetics of it, but the more I think about it needing maintenance (at who knows how much cost) the more I question the return on investment.  It doesn’t look that great and it needs to be kept up.  I think brickwork would’ve looked as nice and required less work on a year basis, but I could be wrong.

Sorry for if this seems unnecessarily negative.

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I presume most readers of this blog are familiar with Plymouth’s annual Art in the Park weekend.  It kicks off today.

If you don’t know anything about it, the event showcases the works of various painters, sculptors, photographers, craftspeople and other artisans.  Works of art or craft can be purchased at vendor tents that line the streets in the heart of the downtown area.  If nothing else the event is a great chance to get out and people watch downtown.


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Unfortunately, I haven’t yet had a chance to see all the vendors at AIP. The event runs until 5:00 p.m. today (Sunday, July 13.)

What I have seen, though, has been quite impressive. There are so many incredibly talented folks who are here this year. I do not know the statistics, but it seems that there are more vendors this year than last. Variety is the best single word that comes to mind to describe the make-up of AIP. You can find just about anything you might imagine, from purses and accessories made of cigar boxes to tie-dyed shirts and dresses to hand-made furniture. Most items are original works, but I did see one or two exhibits with antique or vintage items (with artistic touch-ups.)

I am all for free enterprise and companies who pay the money to have spot at AIP should get to sell their goods like their fellow exhibitors. But I was a tad dismayed to see that companies that sell gutters, replacement windows and stone pavers have booths/tents. These are not hand-crafted items, but rather mass-produced home improvement products. The event is called Art in the Park and at its core it is about art. What gutters and windows have to do with art, I’m not sure.

I plan to get a better look at the exhibits late this afternoon before the event ends.

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Plymouth’s annual “Art in the Park” event launched today and runs through Sunday, July 13.

Art in the Park is a lot of fun.  Scores of craftsmen and artisans pack downtown, plying their wares.  Not surprisingly there is a lot of food and entertainment.  The vendors, in my view, lean heavier toward crafts: yard art; handbags; clothing and accessories; jewelry.  Quite a few sculptors, painters or photographers also attend.

My draw to AIP is not the art itself, but the chance to people watch.  It has a great family atmosphere and is a good excuse to get out of the house.  So, come down and check it out.

Here’s the official website for the event.


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