New Art, New Artists




New Art, New Artists
Application period: March 16 - April 10, 2017

Are you a Michigan college student who would like to gain professional Art Fair knowledge and experience, for free?

One of the special programs of the Original Ann Arbor Art Fair is our New Art, New Artists (NANA) College Student Mentoring Program. The goal of this program is to nurture young artists who wish to establish themselves in a professional visual arts career. After submitting work and being selected through a jury process, seven to eight college artists are selected to participate in the Art Fair each year. We are proud to showcase the work of some of Michigan’s most talented college artists.

The selected NANA artists begin working together as they design a shared booth and support one another in successful sales. Our NANA college students are involved in one-on-one mentoring from the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Original staff from the time of acceptance in April until the Fair in July. Our student artists participate in meetings where they learn to present their artwork in an aesthetic manner, write a successful Artist Statement, how to design an art fair booth and tips in interacting with the public in selling their artwork. Each student is also paired with an experienced Art Fair Artist Mentor to whom they have the availability to learn from. These mentors have years of experience and have the ability to answer questions about art, (pricing work, how much work to make, hanging and framing details) logistics, (eye catching displays, how many extension cords to bring, where I park) and even how to support yourself as an Art Fair Artist. Many of these relationships turn into year-long mentorships as they help these young artists break into their artist ventures. The eight NANA artists work together as they design their shared booth and support one another in successful sales.

Every year the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair is pleased with the exceptional young artists that have taken advantage of this wonderful program. We have had many students move on to become professional Art Fair Artists and watching their success makes us very proud.

Make sure you visit our NANA booth (A100) located on East Washington.


Samantha Allen

Michigan State University


Samantha’s current work reacts to images of the female figure as presented in popular culture as well as mass culture. She has been focusing on the ideas associated with domestic assault, particularly the powerlessness of the victim. She often uses expressive, gestural, almost violent brush strokes with heavily applied paint. The images of the women are then twisting out of these expressive backgrounds.


Margo Butler

College for Creative Studies


Margo Butler is an artist based out of Hamtramck, MI. She recently received a BFA with a focus in Ceramics from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI. She creates bright, colorful, and functional work that contrasts the dull grey of city life.


John Dykstra

Washtenaw Community College


John Dykstra is an upcoming fine artist from Michigan. Exploring themes of introspection, revelation, and transformation, John’s beautifully inventive minimalist portraiture reflects on the persistence of the inquisitive human spirit to make sense of life. He employs a range of techniques, including anamorphic painting, to investigate the impact that perspective holds within our lives.


Casey Newberg

Kendall College of Art and Design


Casey Newberg is an undergraduate Jewelry and Metal Design student at Kendall College of Art and Design. Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Casey looks to logic and mathematical consistencies in her work. Based on a minimalist aesthetic, she believes that jewelry comes to life when it is placed on the body and is able to respond to the everyday behaviors we encounter. She expects to graduate in the spring of 2018 with a minor in Art History.


Jack White

Washtenaw Community College


Jack is a retired engineer who now devotes all his time to fine art photography. He works primarily in black and white using both digital and large-format film cameras and produces archival images on an ink-jet printer. He is currently enrolled in the Washtenaw Community College program in photography.


Hedy Yang

Washtenaw Community College


Hedy is an amateur ceramic artist. Her interest in ceramics began in her freshman year of high school. Much of her work has a unique faceted look or has a marbled texture. Her work has won many awards and has been featured in local shows and stores as well as on TV. Hedy is currently working towards her college degree and making art in her spare time.


Michelina Risbeck

University of Michigan

2D Mixed Media

Michelina’s artwork looks at objects not for what they are, but for what they can become by altering the typical use of household paint and joint compound on Plexiglas. Through her process, she’s exploring their textural significance through an artistic perspective on these otherwise practical materials. These recreations are a reminder to look beyond the practical to discover the possible.



NANA artists from every year have gone on to have extremely successful careers in the Arts! We are so honored to have been part of these young artists paths.


Amber Harrison

Artist, Craftsman, Designer, Sculptor, Jeweler

"I was lucky enough to be part of the New Art, New Artist group right after graduation from the University of Michigan, School of Art and Design. The AASAF was the launching pad that helped my fine arts career begin. I gained access to mentors, resources, and an education in a field that doesn’t have many open doors. Because of the experience with AASAF I exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show in 2014. I am proud and so happy to be part of the AASAF because of their standards in selection of talent and quality in the work that is displayed every year. The group of artists that frequent the AASAF, who I get to now call my friends, are truly some of the best in the country, and the reason I keep coming back!"


Jake Blok

After participating in the New Art, New Artist program, Jake applied to the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Original and was accepted his first year.  Jake has successfully participated each year since and has grown his furniture business.


Taylor Mazer

Taylor Mazer graduated Kendall College of Art and Design in 2012 with a BFA in illustration and has gone on to win various awards such as Best of Show at the Rockford Art Museum Greenwich Village Art Fair and Best in Show and the Mayor’s Award at the Penrod Arts Fair.


Tefari Stevenson-Howard

Tefari has stayed in the Ann Arbor Area and currently runs a photography studio in Ypsilanti, Michigan.



Ruth Marks

Non-profit Housing Executive Assistant, Artist, Founding Director of FLY Children’s Art Center

"I really really loved being in the Emerging artists group at the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair. It was an amazing way to learn the skills needed to run my own booth the following year as an actual artist in the same fair. I learned how to interact with guests in the booth and I got to meet other artists participating in the fair. My current career does not really reflect my experience in the fair, however, I am still very grateful for my experience as an Emerging Artist."


Austen Brantley

Austen has continued to create and has had his art displayed at Grand Rapids City Hall and the Charles H. Wright museum. He continues to attend art fairs will be returning to the Ann Arbor Art Fair this year in booth A114.


Janelle Songer

Janelle graduated from the College for Creative Studies in 2008 with a Bachelor of Fine Art. She continues to attend various art fairs and has her work for sale in a number of different galleries.


Cody Erickson

Cody has both a bachelor’s degree in illustration from the College for Creative Studies and a Master of Fine Arts from the Kendall College of Art and Design and is now a full time painter.


Sophia Zhou

Sophia has a background in architecture and graphic design and currently specializes in fine art photography and mixed media artwork, which she sells on her etsy shop. She also was a part of PowerArt! in 2015, an Ann Arbor program to cover traffic signal utility boxes with artwork created by the participants.


Alex Jacque


"So far in my career I’ve worn many hats, and currently my title is simply "Designer." More specifically though I’m a Product Designer. Generally, that means that I design interfaces and user flows for apps. While I didn’t launch into a fine arts career, and while the art fair circuit isn’t necessarily for me, AASAF helped me realize that I still do quite enjoy making, talking about, and selling my work in a capacity other than as just a freelance designer. There’s something really enjoyable about seeing someone use or appreciate something that I’ve produced—be it photograph, typeface, app, or screen print—and AASAF was where I got that first taste."


Stephanie Bracciano

Stephanie graduated in 2007 with her A.A.S. in Photographic Technology from Washtenaw Community College. She went on to receive the Presidential Scholarship to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design. She graduated with high honors and her BFA in photography in 2010.