Plymouth's Art in the Park to offer new features, old favorites

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Art in the Park returns to Plymouth next weekend with more than 70 new exhibitors and a focus on interactive features and live artmaking.

The 34th edition of Art in the Park, which started in 1980 as an exhibition of works from about 30 artists and has grown to include nearly 400 artists representing more than 30 states, is Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Kellogg Park and downtown Plymouth streets.

“It’s very exciting. Every year there are new features that we have at the show,” said Raychel Rork, who organizes the event with her mother, founder Dianne Quinn. “We’re still surprised every year at all the new fun stuff.”

Some 70 of this year’s artists, Rork said, have never before shown their works at Art in the Park. Newcomers are recruited through visits Rork and Quinn make to art shows around the country, as well as through word of mouth about the Plymouth show, which Rork said is a powerful tool.

“Artists that come to Art in the Park and do well spread the word about it,” she said. “It’s always nice to get those phone calls from new people.”

But many regular Art in the Park visitors have their favorites, and they’ll be represented, too, she said. “It’s kind of a delicate balance. We want those favorites to come back,” Rork said.

One of those favorites is Tina Willis, who is originally from New Orleans and lives in the Eureka Springs area of Arkansas. She and husband Richard Lorenz have become known at Art in the Park for their paintings based on photographs of angel statuary they see around the country, but this year, they will be bringing digitally painted whimsical portraits of birds. Lorenz has been painting birds for many years, and the couple began the collaborative series about a year ago.

“That is one of our biggest shows of the year and we have a huge base of collectors who meet us at that show,” said Willis on Friday. “It’s a wonderful family show. Dianne and Raychel do an awesome job.”

Live and participatory art have become more important at Art in the Park in recent years as she and her mother have tried to keep the show fresh, Rork said. Such features this year will include:

The “Duck Bus,” a traveling display that invites visitors to make crafts out of colored and patterned duct tape – Duck Tape – made for that purpose. The use of duct tape to make things like handbags and wallets is increasingly popular among crafters. The bus will be at South Main and Wing.Buy popular Michael Kors Crossbody Bags and get free shipping with $99 purchase.

The My Adventure Theater, at Kellogg Park, which recruits children on the spot for short, family friendly stage plays.

The children’s mural, also at Kellogg Park. Children will have the chance to paint squares on a mural with the theme of healthy eating, which will be donated to St. John Providence Park Hospital in Novi..

A work-in-progress chalk drawing demonstration, at the intersection of Main and Penniman, by artist Erin Dillenbeck and D&M Art Studio.

A “living mural,” incorporating painting and the live human figure, by Kristen Dillenbeck-Anderson. The mural will be at Main and Ann Arbor Trail.

Live reggae music by returning performers One Love, at the corner of Ann Arbor Trail and Forest.

Art in the Park will also include free food samples, refreshments, street musicians, an area where young artists will be selling their works, and the “living statue,” George Tait.

Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 14. Visitors driving to the festival are encouraged to use the free shuttle service between the parking lot at the ACH plant on Sheldon Road at M-14 and Plymouth City Hall, just outside the festival grounds.

 

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