With a smaller footprint, a little music, and a lot of creative energy, Art on the Grand returns to downtown Farmington June 5 and 6.
Along with every other large, outdoor event, COVID-19 moved the juried art festival online last year. City of Farmington Hills Cultural Arts Supervisor Rachel Timlin said her team planned for an in-person 2021 event from the start–”knowing at every moment we might have to cancel it.”
Fewer artists, more open space
“We did everything we usually do,” she said. “With all the artists who applied, the communication has been direct, there’s a possibility of cancelling.”
Over the last two weeks, rapid changes in state guidelines kept organizers hopping. They’ve reduced the number of artists and left a large area open at Grand River and Farmington Road so everyone can spread out.
Director Kate Knight said the Farmington Downtown Development Authority (DDA) will set up chairs and tables in that space. A little live music on Saturday will also encourage visitors to stay and enjoy food and drinks from local establishments.
“Art on the Grand is a great platform for creativity and vibrancy,” she said. “It is the kick-off for the season of outdoor concerts and all the good things that bring folks to the downtown. We couldn’t ask for a better partner than Farmington Hills Cultural Arts.”
Keeping artists safe
Other safety measures include guiding shopper traffic with signs and limiting access to two entry points. Knight said Michele Hinds, owner of The Vines, is working on flowery arches to add an artistic touch there.
Timlin encourages mask wearing and said some artists may require people to wear them while inside their booths. Reasons vary; they may have health conditions or vulnerable family members at home.
“We just want to make sure our artists are safe and protected,” Timlin said. “We want everyone to support the artists in more ways than just buying art.”
Other weekend highlights
- Visit Kids Art Alley on the west side of Sunflour Bakehaus and meet young artists in 5th-12th grades, who will show and sell their work.
- The Farmington Farmers Market remains in the Walter Sundquist Farmington Pavilion and Riley Park during Art on the Grand. There’s Music at the Market from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
- Businesses in The Groves shopping center on Grove Street–including newcomer Dearborn Music–will host a Block Party on Sunday, 12-6 p.m. Chive Kitchen, Bodhi Movement Studio, Alfieri Hair Craft, and The Cheese Lady Farmington will offer demos, giveaways, and specials.
- Tre Sorelle will host an artisan pop-up event in their parking lot behind Williams Family and Sports Medical Center on Farmington Road.
Learn more about Art on the Grand and the artists at artonthegrand.com or follow the event on Facebook.