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.
Isabella Comai is a freshman in the University of Michigan's College of Literature, Science, and the Arts who is working to transfer to Stamps School of Art and Design before fall. She currently creates functional high fire ceramic vessels. Starting from a thrown form, she then carves away the surface to create designs that are inspired from nature.
Michelle Lan is an artist and designer currently based in Southeast Michigan. Guided by process, her work explores the colors and textures achieved through experimentation and gesture.
As a first-year illustration student at Kendall College of Art and Design, Kelsey Marino is mainly focused on developing technical skills through representational pieces. From graphite to oil painting, details and realism have been the main goal in approaching art. She looks to capture the idiosyncratic elements of the subject by paying attention to texture, color, and value. https://marinok3.wixsite.com/kmarinostudio
Margaret A. Miller is an MFA candidate at Eastern Michigan University and graduate of Aquinas College (2015). Her ceramic work focuses on the space between decorative and functional and how the idea of womanhood relates to craft and art. In addition to ceramics, Margaret is a printmaker, gardener and cat lover. Her work has been shown at the Clinton Arts Center, the Oliver Arts Center, the Diocese of Grand Rapids,
and at the Hotel Frankfort. After the completion of her Masters, Margaret plans on teaching and pursuing a PhD in Art History.
Kathie Murphy is from Westwood, Massachusetts and is a recent graduate of the Stamps School of Art and Design at U of M. Her paintings explore themes of home and memory through pattern, color, and collaged fabric elements. http://katiemurphyart.com
The Band 311 has a lyric I have lived by since I was seventeen...”Its One Thing To Make The Same Mistake Twice...Another Thing To Make It All Of Your Life”. Overcoming being a black gay male who suffered with addiction and mental health nightmares was an awakening in my soul. I use my photography as my therapy, so I shoot and edit according to how I'm feeling at the moment. The good, bad, and ugly experiences of life have molded me into the man I am today. I reflect on my past triumphs and challenges and what I learned during those times. These lessons keep me motivated to one day be a world-renown photographer. So I invite you to join me down the Rabbit Hole.. https://www.instagram.com/djinni_digital_art/
When Doug Stein was seven his father gave him a Kodak 126 Instamatic camera because he thought it would be beneficial for him to develop a hobby. Today that hobby has evolved into a full-blown passion for all things photographic. While Doug's main focus is fine art Landscape and Wildlife photography, he also possesses a keen interest in digital macro and film based Surealism. Doug continues to enrich his photographic skills, knowledge, and experience through the photography program at Washtenaw Community College as well independent study.
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.
"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!"
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 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 has stayed in the Ann Arbor Area and currently runs a photography studio in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
"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 has continued to create and has had his art displayed at Grand Rapids City Hall and the Charles H. Wright museum. He continues to show in gallery exhibitions and art fairs around Michigan.
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 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 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.
"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 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.