On Sunday, August 7, Travis and I took our little ones to the Belle Isle Art Fair at the beautiful Belle Isle Park in Detroit. The fair was Belle Isle’s first art fair and I absolutely loved it!
I was immediately drawn to the art booths because there was such a great diversity in unique art featured at the art fair. It was refreshing to see art from different cultures and different forms of art such as photography, paintings, sketches, murals, wood art, clay art, and even doll art. Travis said he also liked how there was a variety of types of art featured at the Belle Isle Art Fair. Two of his favorites were metal working, such as a knife maker, and cloth art.
When we first entered the art fair, we encountered a line of vibrantly painted doors. The doors were re-purposed by artists who created various artistic expressions such as a mural of Downtown Detroit city buildings called “Detroit Rising” and other art pieces depicting the city of Detroit. Later, when we discussed our experience at the Belle Isle Art Fair, Travis told me, “I think the overall theme of the doors was birth and rebirth.”
You know, art challenges you to think…to find interpretation. So every time we go to an art fair, it’s like exercise for the mind. It was cool seeing art from local artists. I really liked the doors from DIA and the teen booth. -Travis
I particularly enjoyed the diversity of the artists featured at the art fair. I enjoyed viewing art by artists such as Desiree Kelly, Michele Sapp, and Jasmine Stader. I wish I could have taken pictures of my favorite art, but not all artists like to have people take pictures of their art. The reasoning is very understandable, as I know some people may not have the best intentions when photographing an artist’s work.
Travis and I both loved how young artists were also featured at the art fair. The Mint Artists Guild featured art from Detroit teen artists such as Nurjahan Shah, Eleanor Quist, and First Born Art & Music.
We purchased an art piece for Michala from artist Nurjahan Shah, a young woman who specializes in acrylic paintings and Henna art. I selected Shah’s painting “Puffy Pamela Dreams Come True” for our daughter Michala (14). I selected this particular piece because the image reminded me of Michala’s journey of self-discovery and identity as a teenager. I felt the painting would be inspirational to her and also motivate her to keep creating her art.
The Belle Isle Art Fair was a family-friendly event, as well. Hands-on art activities such as creating your own art with the Detroit Institute of Art (DIA) and the Michigan Renaissance Festival were a big hit with Zhen, our three-year-old. She loves jewelry and always gets into Mommy’s jewelry box. So when she had an opportunity to make her own bracelet, she was very eager to create her own jewelry art at the DIA tent.
Zhen also enjoyed playing the vibraphones with a Detroit musician at the art fair. He invited Zhen to play the vibraphones with him. She was a little shy, but excited to play the instrument.
And it was a little hot that Sunday afternoon, but there were plenty of food vendors selling cold drinks and a cooling off station for people to cool down in the heat. Of course, Zhen thought the mist station was cool and wanted to keep jumping in and out of the water. Zechariah, on the other hand, wasn’t too pleased when I took him to the cooling off station.
Overall, the Belle Isle Art Fair was an excellent art event which featured many different types of art from extraordinary Detroit-based artists, including art created by teens.
Parking was very accessible and also free (you still need a park pass to get into the park). I was happy that we didn’t have to park very far from the event and pay a lot of money. I also liked that we were able to bring our own drinks and snacks. Having two small children this is a big plus because sometimes food vendors do not sell the types of food or drinks our toddlers need.
And probably the biggest plus of all was our little ones got ice cream afterwards. Zhen kept asking me over and over if she could please have some ice cream.
I hope Belle Isle will make the art fair an annual event. I know if the Belle Isle Art Fair is featured next summer, my family and I will definitely be in attendance!
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