East Lansing Art Fest Preparations

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

Transforming downtown East Lansing into an art mecca happens, well, overnight.

"Saturday morning we'll close the streets at 3 a.m., and the artists can set up anywhere from 5 to 9 a.m.," says East Lansing Arts Program Coordinator Sharon Radtke.

But with 230 artists, 20 musicians and 12 food vendors scheduled for the East Lansing Art Festival, setting up is no small task. And even though this is the festival's 44th year, preparing for the event isn't second nature for everyone.

"We have quite a few new artists," Radtke says. "One-third of the artists are new."

Artists like 13-year-old Adam Gayer from Ft. Wayne, Indiana. It's the young painter's first time at the festival. He's charging anywhere from $200 to $1,000 for his acrylic and oil paintings.

He says the money he makes goes towards his college tuition.

Organizers are expecting about 80,000 to attend throughout the two days.

The festival's hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday.

You can find out more about the activites by visiting http://www.elartfest.com/

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  • by Don Location: Michigan/Georgia on May 20, 2007 at 10:26 AM
    Thank you for your story. I'm a fulltime studio artist into my 35th year. I have never done better work,,,,but I've never had a harder time selling it! As Sally Austin said,"We have to be creative",,,I just hope that the show officials and the powers that be don't ask the artists to cover the cut backs. I hope they can live with a little less. Cut back on some "extras"or perks, because most artists are at the breaking point finacially. It's not because we haven't changed. We've trimmed back to the bone. So asking for another $50 toward a booth fee is huge along with gas, hotel(make that motel-and make that Motel6)or even as some already do-sleep in the vehicle... Another consequence is the decline in quality of the art,,because if the individual studio artist can't make it, only hobbiests and production work will be left, which means the basis for all art shows will be lost and slowly they will devolve into flea markets. So please continue to take every chance possible to encourage individual artist appreciation. What we do is valuable to a society..If we don't think so,,,we'll all be conforming to powers already controlling too much of our lives..If you think that statement is "over the top",,just look at your own situation(if you're over 25)..Do you feel as comfortable as you did a few years ago?.Thanks again for your story and I wish you well in all your creative endeavors .Sincerely, Don
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