letters from the north



The Ann Arbor Arts Festival is in its final 1 1/2 hours. After 4 days of Val Cushing ceramic vessel look alikes, easter colored pastel landscapes, home address painted tiles, ribbon and streamer crowns, and arm thick glass 'things' all on hyper-drive, I have to say that bottled water is probably in the lead in terms of 'Art & Crafts vs. ________'. If I had sold bottled water for 75cents instead of $1 (at all the consession stands), I would have pulled the rug out from under the stock market and the local boyscout troop. Next year...

Besides being almost taken out on my bike by a craft-blinded pedestrian, I fully support the festival. Seeing so many people walking! All day! and not just from their car to the grocery store or the car to their house or around their house on the way to their fridge. Walking and looking like they enjoyed it. People actually took advantage of the Ann Arbor bus system, who did an excellent job of shipping them in and out of the downtown area from the various outer areas. For many children, it may have been the first time they rode a bus. New experiences, exercise, and people trying to sell the outcome of one of their most primal human instincts that is always surpressed in the U.S. past the age of 8: the act of creating and making. Despite not being thrilled about much of the work I saw, I respect and am humbled at the shear magnitude of booth after booth of people (unknowingly?) beating our American educational system, government, and mainstream society telling them not to 'make' but to 'buy'. Though many were buying, it sure beats framed art from Ikea.