Art on the Grand celebrated its 10th anniversary in downtown Farmington with confetti canons and a bit of unwelcome chaos, courtesy of Mother Nature.
The two-day, juried arts festival drew about 100 artists to Grand River, which closed between Grove Street and Farmington Road for the event.
A line of severe storms blew through mid-afternoon on Saturday, leaving the works of several artists scattered on Grand River. Booths closed for about an hour.
Earlier that day, Farmington Hills Cultural Arts Supervisor Rachel Timlin and her staff presented Oak Park artist Michele Reynolds with a gold cape, honoring her 10 years with the festival.
Reynolds said she met former Cultural Arts Supervisor Nancy Coumoundouros years ago at an art fair. When the Farmington Hills Cultural Arts Division in 2010 moved Art on the Grand from the Founders Festival in July to a standalone event, Coumoundouros invited her to be part of it.
“I think there have been so many improvements,” said Reynolds, who creates jewelry. “It’s gotten more organized, and the system just gets better and better.”
First-time participant Terry Butler of Ann Arbor also had high praise for the event. His black oil, lino-cut prints inside hand-crafted frames earned him Art on the Grand’s Best in Show honor.
“I’ve been doing art fairs for about nine years,” said Butler, who began working as an artist after teaching in public schools for six years. “The people who run (Art on the Grand) are really exceptional. They seem concerned about the artists.”
Farmington and Farmington Hills mayors also presented awards to the artists they felt deserved recognition. Farmington’s Steven Schneemann selected photographer Mari Pruks of Ann Arbor; Farmington Hills’ Ken Massey chose Farmington Hills resident Ted Simpson, painter and certified Bob Ross art instructor.
Young artists also had an opportunity to shine during Kids Art Alley, open on the west side of Sunflour Bakehaus during both days.
Coordinator Becky Burns said the kids not only displayed their art, but were also required to take a turn volunteering, to give them a sense of ownership in their show.
Here’s a quick tour of the event, created by the City of Farmington Hills Video Division:
Correction: The titles of Cultural Arts Programmer Brooke Samelko and Cultural Arts Supervisor Rachel Timlin were incorrectly reported in the original version of this post.