This press release is just in from the
Ann Arbor Street Art Fair
The Board of Directors of the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair has announced that long time Executive Director, Shary Brown, will be retiring in September of 2009 following the 50th Anniversary of the Original of the Ann Arbor Art Fairs. A lifelong resident of Ann Arbor, Brown, the granddaughter of Mayor William Brown, Jr, led the Street Art Fair organization for the past eleven years. During her tenure she helped relocate the Original Fair to a new location around the Burton Carillon Tower, developed many innovative community partnerships and new activities for the Fair, while continuing to build on the Fair’s many strong traditions. With the board of directors of the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair she launched the popular Townie Street Party, a kick off to the Art Fairs. On a national level, she helped create ZAPPlication, an online artist registration and digital jurying process. Four years later the system is used by more than 40,000 artists and nearly 300 art fairs. She has been consulted by many of the major art fairs and events across the country, is often called upon by new shows seeking to emulate the Street Art Fair’s success, and served as a juror for a number of top art fairs and exhibitions, including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and the Old Town Art Fair in Chicago. On a state level, she most recently worked with the Michigan Festivals and Events Association to host the 2008 spring seminar in Ann Arbor, and over the past year helped develop the recently launched festivals economic impact survey with Michigan State University and the State Department of History Arts and Library. Locally, Brown is a founding member of Arts Alliance, the Cultural Leaders Forum, served on the board of the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival, the Main Street Area Association and is currently a member of the Washtenaw County Accommodations Ordinance Commission. She started her work at the art fairs more than twenty years ago as the Art Fair Director at the Guild of Artists and Artisans, producing annually the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair, developed the Greektown Art Fair and the Holiday Art Fair in Farmington Hills. “I have learned so much about art and the creative process over the years,” says Brown. “But the greatest pleasure of my work at the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair has been building friendships with artists. Working to connect them with our community has been a truly rewarding experience.” Shary Brown will complete her tenure at the Street Art Fair this fall following the 50th anniversary Fair, July 15 – 18th, 2009, and fifth ever Townie Street Party, July 13th, 2009.
Here is Shary as the Art Fairy. Shary and her staff welcomed and dismissed the artists each year "en costume." I've known Shary since her days with the Michigan Guild and stood back while she led the Street Art Fair through its huge wrangles with the South University Association. What a situation she stepped into there! With great tact and persistence she prevailed, with wonderful results. The Street Art Fair now has a beautiful site on the U-M campus where the fine art gathered there can be shown off appropriately. Has it only been eleven years, Shary? You have done a terrific job with the premier art fair in the country and you will surely be missed. Thanks so much for all your services to the artists. You are greatly admired by them and also for other art fair professionals around the country. Can't wait to see what you do next. Many, many people will miss you.