August is a month for fairs, music in the open air
Art's Corner by Miriam Pickens
Summers in the Copper Country are the best; loads of fresh berries for picking, beaches for swimming and watersports, and all sorts of outdoor art experiences. In July we had fun art explorations in the cities of Hancock with Key Ingredients and Calumet with the Chalk Drawing extravaganza, as well as Art on the Rocks in Marquette and the 44th Annual Maawanji’iding in Baraga. August is bringing us three weekends of art and music festivals close by in Keweenaw County.
August 5-7; happening this weekend is the famous Farm Block Fest, and you can buy tickets on-site. It’s mostly a music festival, with a wonderful list of performers such as May Erlewine from Big Rapids and Nashon Holloway from Kalamazoo. This festival is situated on the farm of John and Charmaine Parsons, and proceeds from the event are donated to the Dan Schmitt Gift of Music and Outdoor Education Fund.
This provides musical instruments for young people in Houghton County and the Kalamazoo area, as well as providing outdoor education with a focus on growing healthy produce. The location for this festival is 2239 N. Farmers Block Rd. in Allouez, Michigan. It’s a lovely venue with a main stage, a small pond, and about a dozen vendors including several artists, particularly t-shirt designs and tie-dye. The food is amazing, with homegrown ingredients and tasty vegan offerings. This is the first year back after cancellations due to COVID-19, and it will be a really enjoyable few days for relaxation in a beautiful setting. For more information check out the website at farmblock.com.
Eagle Harbor Fine Art Fair
Next weekend is the Eagle Harbor Fine Art Fair, sponsored by the Copper Country Associated Artists (CCAA), an art co-op located in downtown Calumet. This is the biggest summer art fair in the Copper Country, with over 60 regional artists. There will be everything from handmade jewelry to lawn ornaments, pottery, photography and more. Admission is free, and there is food and drink to purchase which goes to support the Eagle Harbor Fire Department and EMR. The fair is located between St. Peter’s by the Sea Church and the Keweenaw Historical Society Rathbone Schoolhouse in Eagle Harbor, Michigan. The Eagle Harbor Art Fair will take place Saturday, August 13, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, August 14 from 12 noon to 4 p.m., rain or shine
Tammy Gajewski is the featured artist this year. Retired from a position with the Michigan Department of Corrections, Tammy is a full-time artist. She volunteers at both the CCAA and the Arts Center in Hancock, where she runs the clay studio. Her work is in ceramics as well as watercolor, oil, and assemblages. The CCAA artists generally have work in the “undercroft” of the church, but this year Tammy’s work will be located just outside of the church.
I spoke to Linda Dodge, fair organizer, and she told me that there are eight artists new to the fair this year.
“Among them are Victoria Baker who will be bringing the handcrafting of the traditional wood snowshoes (Iverson), Sarah Healy who does fiber arts - wool needle felt and embroidery, Amanda Martin who does painting and printmaking, Kathryn Burns Oliver who does functional pottery, Clare Rosen who paints and has mixed media wall hangings, Jim Rule, an author and illustrator, Bobbi Shirey who paints with acrylic and chalk and Kalil Zender who makes jewelry and metalsmithing,” Dodge said.
There will also be the Welcome Tent, where Chuck Young and Clyde Mikkola traditionally play some folk music for a bit of a sing-along on Sunday afternoon.
Art in the Park
August 20 and 21 is the Fair in Copper Harbor known as “Art in the Park”. This event hosts over 60 regional artists and has a wonderful main stage in the center.
The 2XL Trio rock band will be performing on Saturday and Sunday and will feature our own Gail English and the Art in the Park Reunion Band. The Copper Harbor Fire station volunteers will be grilling burgers, bratwurst, and corn on the cob right near the stage, where you can enjoy the music and lunch at the picnic tables and additional seating.
The fair is in a large space with many different artist tents selling everything from crocheted baby clothes to local books and paintings. Plan for a full day, because not only will the fair be an art lover’s delight, but the town of Copper Harbor offers a wide selection of shops featuring local and regional art, as well as many other attractions such as Fort Wilkins.
I love going to all three of these fairs. The Farm Block Fest is a nice time to relax, soak in the music and enjoy the art and nature. The Eagle Harbor Fair is such a classic, and I am looking forward to seeing new work by Tammy Gajewski. And I love visiting the Copper Harbor Fair, and then checking out the cool shops and restaurants in the Harbor; such a sweet way to spend a day.