Beat the Heat at the Ann Arbor Art Fair With These Six Tips From the UM Museum of Art

Beat the Heat at the Ann Arbor Art Fair With These Six Tips From the UM Museum of Art

The annual Ann Arbor Art Fair is here, and if you live in the region you know that usually means one thing: “the warmest stretch of weather so far this summer.” The reason why doesn’t really matter (heat waves, lake effects–whatever; we’re art people here at UMMA, not science people). The important thing is, if you’re at the Art Fair this year, where are you going to go to cool off?

Obviously, the answer should be UMMA. So as you step into our very precisely climate controlled building full of incredible art, here are six tips to make the most of your visit:

Outside of UMMA on a summer day during Ann Arbor Art Fair

  1. Stop in Watershed to see work from 15 contemporary artists. Check out Meghan Riepenhoff’s cyanotypes that she processed by dipping into Lake Ontario in the dead of winter, and you’ll almost be able to feel the icy wind whipping around you. Next, read Senghor Reid’s painted self-portrait/manifesto about how crucial water is to the human body–then go find a fountain and chug some. Your kidneys will thank you.
  2. Join our interactive FUN exhibition to help create massive sculptures designed by UM students. It’s in the Stenn Gallery, so you can look out the huge windows and feel sorry for all the tired, sweaty people out there–meanwhile, you’re getting blasted with air-conditioning while you add stripes to a giant papier-mache tiger. Ahhhh, nothing cools you off like paint dripping down your arms.
  3. If you’re still searching for the perfect piece to hang in your home, we have prints and posters for sale in the UMMA Shop. We also have umbrellas (the most fashionable form of sun protection), and t-shirts, in case you’ve sweat through yours.
  4. The UMMA Cafe will be open! You’ll be able to pick up salads, sandwiches, cookies, and a variety of ice-cold drinks. (Hot drinks too, if you’re into that for some reason.)
  5. Now that you’re rehydrated, better stop in our public restrooms. There’s cool art in there too (and decent lighting–we see all those mirror selfies, Instagrammers!).
  6. Don’t leave before taking a stroll around You Are Here. Check out all the funky sculptures, and Kehinde Wiley’s glorious painting, Saint Francis of Assissi. If you have headphones handy, scan each label’s QR codes to hear music chosen, composed, and performed by UM students. Before you trudge back out into the heat, take a breather on the comfy couches in our living rooms. As all the cool TikTokers say these days: “No thoughts, just vibes.” You are here–or at least, you will be soon, and we’ll be so glad to have you.

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