The Guild of Artists and Artisans is a non-profit, membership association of independent artists, founded in 1970 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Its mission is to develop and present art fairs to provide marketing opportunities for its members which also serve as educational, cultural and entertaining events for the community. The Guild draws upon its talented, exclusive and diverse membership to exhibit and sell their work at these events. Each member artist is juried through The Guild’s rigorous standards process, which ensures excellence and distinction.
At Guild fairs, fairgoers have the opportunity to interact directly with the artists. Guild artists welcome fairgoers to their booths, and are available to discuss everything from their techniques to their inspirations. Featured work includes jewelry, ceramics, painting, sculpture, glass, photography, fiber, wood, leather and more.
Presently, The Guild conducts five fairs each year: Art Birmingham, The Crocker Park Fine Art Fair, Levis Commons Fine Art Fair, Common Ground’s Birmingham Street Art Fair and the world-renowned Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair – an event recognized for its unparalleled selection of exceptional artists and craftspeople.
The Guild has an intriguing history…
It all began in the spring of 1970, about ten years after the premiere of the original Ann Arbor Street Fair. A group of young artists from Ann Arbor began working on a separate art fair which would give emerging artists, craftspeople and art students a chance to “take to the streets.” Calling it the Free Arts Festival, they set up this “free fair” on the University of Michigan’s “Diag” on Central Campus. Funding and management for this new fair was provided by the participating artists themselves. As these young artists matured so did the Free Arts Festival, which became a recognized component of the official Ann Arbor Art Fairs and in the mid-70s was renamed the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair.
At the same time, this group of the emerging artists realized both the need for and the potential of a membership organization and established The Guild out of the loose-knit organization which had form to support the “free fair.” Today The Guild of Artists and Artisans is recognized as one of the largest membership organizations of professional artists in North America. Members of the organization continue to provide leadership for all Guild fairs and programs.
The Guild of Artists and Artisans
118 North Fourth Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1402