Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Got Art?

Art Fair has erupted on the streets of Ann Arbor. Artists and buyers from across the country have converged in an orgy of consumption on what are guaranteed to be some of the hottest days of the summer. It's a tradition.

Literally block after block is lined with booths selling everything from high end sculpture to tie-died sundresses. In reality "The Art Fair" is three separate main fairs and a few little ones that are held on the same dates in the same part of town. This distinction is lost on nearly everyone, since local merchants and food venders fill up the distance between the separate fairs.

Each year fair organizers thoughtfully set aside the blocks between two of the fairs for county non-profits. This year I served a shift in the Center for the Childbearing Year's booth for the first time. Since I'm also on its board, I helped plan for the booth. I'm proud to say it was my idea to put up belly casts as a way of getting attention. Here is one of the two we put up. Each has the organization's logo painted on the front.

My older son went with me last night to help set up the booth. He got inspired by watching the various booths slowly take shape and by our talks of how to decorate our own space. This morning he came upstairs with two signs for me to post in the booth. If you know how careless he tends to be with his writing and work, you'd know these were earnest efforts on his part:

By the way, I swear I have NOT said a word at home about my bias toward NOT finding out the gender of one's baby. I think this came completely from somewhere inside him, which makes me appreciate all the more what a thoughtful kid he is.

After working in our booth, I had to go to my job on campus. I was surprised to stumble across an exhibit by the Friends Service Committee protesting U.S. involvement in the war in Iraq. They had boots organized by state and with names attached representing the soldiers who wore them and were killed in the war. They filled the grassy plaza at the center of campus.

To go from talking with women about the transformative power of birth to reflecting on the exhibit and the destructive power of war was just about too much for one morning.


Blogger Dynamic Doula said...

What an incredible photo... I think the whole day would have wrecked me, I would have been a puddle by the end of it.

I just love that wisdom of children! He *gets it* without having it explained, and that really speaks to the truthfulness of the message, IMO. How beautiful!

7:35 PM  
Blogger Pink Lady said...

What a sweet story with the drawings from your son. Incredible :)

7:26 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Way to go, Ave!

The nonprofit aisle is my favorite part of the fair, though I managed to avoid the whole thing this year.

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I walked through the diag three times, hoping to see that instalation with the shoes, but it was never out when I was there... I also didn't see you and your booth, in spite of the fact that I walked up and kdown Liberty at least a dozen times. Maybe I'm just not too observant... Thanks for the story.


3:26 PM  
Blogger doulicia said...

The installation was supposed to be there Wednesday through Saturday. My husband rode through Wendesday night and saw them packing up shoes, for the night, or so we thought. But he, too, never saw it again.

11:00 AM  

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