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Transformation of the Local Art Market into ‘Collections’

CHELSEA, MICH   The Sounds & Sights Festival Art Market returns by popular demand with a hip, contemporary edge. Seize modern culture at this event featuring some of the region’s top makers, collectors, performers and creative boundary pushers.

The art market coincides with the 43rd Annual Sounds & Sights Festival, presented by Rick Taylor Real Estate.  The two day, three night festival features regional music acts, unique foods, a chalk art contest, classic car show and more activities for the entire family. The festival begins the evening of Thursday, July 25 with the Art Market running Friday and Saturday, July 26 and 27,from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.  

Crystal Scott took an innovative approach to the Art Market when she became the Visual Arts Coordinator for Chelsea Area Festivals and Events this year.

“Rather than a typical row of vendor tents, you will find ‘Art Market Collections’ with interactive elements throughout downtown Chelsea.  We are mixing progressive and affordable art from emerging artists and crafts persons with unique performance artists, chalk artists and musicians,” said Scott. 

Art Market Collections will be located on both East and West Middle Streets as well as at the Chelsea District Library on Main Street.  Each of the Collections incorporate ‘Featured Chalk Artists’, curated by Denise Cugliari, with craft demonstrators and art performances, which are free and open to the public.  

At the East Middle Street Collection, glass smith Justin Darling of Ari & Jeric Studios performs glass sculpture techniques, while AriWare demonstrates the skill of wire-wrapping.  Also watch the art of woodturning as members of the Huron Valley Woodturners create custom designs on site. This Collection features three regional chalk artists: Chris Monaghan, Alexis Kole and Leo Hernandez and art vendors include Atomic Roadrunner and Artistic Spider, J. Clint Carter, and MadMax MetalWorks.

On West Middle Street, Dougs Mugs demonstrates ceramic techniques as he adds details his unique ceramic wares and Hankrajewel American Jewelry Art creates metal wall art made with traditional methods. Brett Sauve Art invites the community to participate in “Carv-a-thons” by carving on a collaborative clay sculpture. Vendors also include The Kitsch Lab, IronStoneWood, Cutler Valley Photography, and Snares to Wares Initiative

Also part of the West Middle Street Collection, internationally renowned chalk artists Dave Brenner and Shelly Brenner, of A Pigment of Your Imagination, and professional portraitist and chalk artist Erika Thurkins, showcase their dynamic street art skills.

At the Chelsea District Library, Keith Coleman Weld Art performs a live fire show every hour on the hour with his Dragon Sculpture that weighs more than 2,000 pounds, and stands over 11 feet tall. Spectators can also watch as Evan StruckSpeed Painter creates music-themed portraits in under 15 minutes! 

Also at the library, Julies Ceramics demonstrates throwing on a potters wheel, and Mostly Maille shows the art of chainmaille-style jewelry making.  Chelsea artist, Lindsey Dahl, invites spectators to watch as her colorful paintings come to life. Jennifer Carson, The Dragon Charmer, offers a needle felting make and take! Watch as Father-daughter duo, Jeff and Jasmine Pilkinton create one-of-a-kind chalk art murals. Artists also include Laurie Tennent Botanicals, John Jurries Art, Barb Miller-Brief Photos, Birds of the Air Gifts, and Poison Ivy Designs.

Across from the library, spectators can watch chalk artist John Cugliari transform the sidewalk around Ugly Dog Distillery into art.

Performance artists, We Draw Together, will exhibit a giant roaming “Creature” on Friday and Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. All ages can interact with the giant mobile sculpture as it walks throughout downtown Chelsea.

In addition to vendors, performers, and chalk artists, the Art Market Collections will showcase live music on East Middle Street and at the Library.  

The Sounds & Sights Festival is possible thanks to generous community sponsors including Art Market sponsors The Rumpus Room – Chelsea and Devil’s Haircut Salon and Chalk Art sponsors Healthy Smiles Dental Care of Chelsea, H&R Block of Chelsea/Dexter/Stockbridge, and Riemco Building Company. 

For the full schedule of events, please visit www.chelseafestivals.com/artmarket.

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