As I think I mentioned not too long ago, this year’s Shadow Art Fair will be taking place at Ypsilanti’s Corner Brewery between noon and midnight on Saturday, July 21. What I think I neglected to mention, though, is that vendor applications close on May 1. So, if you want to be a part of one of the year’s most mind-numbingly awesome cultural events known to man, be sure to fill out the online application and let us know what you have in mind… And I know that I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I think I speak for all of the folks on the judging panel, when I say that, generally speaking, we tend to favor projects that are participatory in some way. That’s not to say that we don’t also like straight-forward retail, which certainly has it’s place. I just know that we have a special place in our hearts for people that actually do work at the Shadow, and somehow include folks in their process… I’m thinking, for instance, of Reverand Aitor, who drew unflattering portraits of people as they sat with him in the corner that one year, or Amelia Marks, who operated her fortune telling machine machine, or Thomas Kula who wrote haikus to order, or me and my friends Melissa and Jennifer, who gave out free hugs and zines with the purchase of vegan gumbo, or Molly Mast, who took photos of people’s feet, or Ted Kennedy, who filmed people’s expressions as they listened to pre-recorded affirmations played to them over headphones… I certainly don’t mean to discourage you if you’ve got incredible figurines of famous scientists hand-carved from blocks of Irish Spring soap, or some such thing, as that’s really cool too. We just want as many opportunities as possible for people to interact. It’s what, in our opinion, makes the Shadow Art Fair so much better than every other so-called “art fair” on the planet, and, to be honest, it’s what keeps us doing it… I think you may already know this, but this isn’t about making money for us. (If it was, we would have sold out to Make Magazine, when they offered to buy us out years ago.) This is about creating a special, beautiful little space once a year in which people can hang out, drink good beer, meet people with incredible ideas, and engage in productive conversations about art and creativity… And, yes, we also have lots of cool stuff that you can buy… Anyway, if you want to experience the Shadow Art Fair from the other side of the table, here’s your chance. Just tell us your brilliant idea.
[If you’ve never been to the Shadow Art Fair, you can find some video here.]