Why a Shadow Art Fair?

Because when local artists come out and meet each other, good things happen. Because the work of local artists needs to be seen by more people. Because it supports the local economy and the arts community.

What is the Shadow Art Fair like?

Check out our press page to get a feel for what others have had to say about the Shadow Art Fair. Our friend Mike also put this spectacular video together — you should watch it.

Who organizes the Shadow Art Fair?

The Michigan Design Militia.

When is the next event?

The vendor-based Shadow Art Fair happens once a year in July. Please join the mailing list to receive any updates about event dates, application deadlines, and other Shadow Art Fair news.

The Krampus Costume Ball has replaced the Winter version of the vendor-based event. We had our first Costume Ball in December 2010, which was very successful and met with much enthusiasm.

How can I be a part of it?

Just show up and see what your neighbors are up to. Apply to be a vendor in the Shadow Art Fair, or to receive grant money for a big idea. Enter our biannual poster design contest. Volunteer to work the official SAF table for an hour, or help us promote the SAF in some way, or help set up and take down before and after the SAF (we are always looking for volunteers — contact us for details on volunteering).


Where is the Corner Brewery located?

The Corner Brewery is located at 720 Norris Street in Ypsilanti, MI, at the corner of Forest and Norris and between River and Huron — 2 blocks north of Cross Street. Here’s a Google map for reference.


What do you look for in vendors? Should I apply?

Original work. Work that compliments what is already represented in current or past fairs. Work that can be displayed on a six-foot banquet table — or a small rack beside it or a wall behind it. Work from Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Detroit, southeast Michigan, or nearby.

We encourage anyone that wants to be involved to apply. However, we strongly encourage applications that propose imaginative or non-traditional use of our event. In past fairs, we’ve had a shadow puppet show, a monster full of surprises, pictures with a creepy Santa, a hair-do station, a foot foto booth, and a giant pooping cat. Anything that can fit into the space that a 6’ table would take up or be integrated unobtrusively into the architecture of the Brewery. Think of the most outlandish idea you’ve had for an installation or performance that doesn’t quite fit anywhere. The Shadow Art Fair is the place to give it a try.

MIDMI-member Mark wrote this post-event brief, in which he talks about why we organize the Shadow Art Fair and where we’d like to see it go.

Vendors who have been in past Shadow Art Fairs are sometimes rotated out to make room for new vendors.


How much does it cost to be a vendor?

Accepted vendors are expected to pay a $50 full table // $40 half table vendor fee, which includes the cost for one 6’ table. Payments are made by PayPal only — further payment details are sent to accepted vendors by e-mail.

I was accepted into the event, but now I can’t make it. Can my friend represent me and my goods that day?

Because connecting artists to each other and the community is a large reason why we started organizing the Shadow Art Fair, we ask that you be in attendance to represent your work at the event.


Do you have plans to grow the event?

We don’t currently.


What do you do with the money you raise?

Most of the money goes back into producing the Shadow Art Fair — table rental, promotional costs, food, etc. After those costs are covered, any leftover money goes straight to our grants fund to support local art initiatives.

Why have it at a brewery?

Having The Shadow Art Fair at a brewery gives it a totally different feel than a typical art/craft fair. More relaxed and informal. We feel the brewery environment makes it easier for guests and vendors to hang out, have conversations, and to spend a leisurely time there. Besides, the kind of art we offer is different than your typical art fair, so we want the experience to be different too. Beer + art = fun.

I’m under 21 and would like to attend or participate. Is that a problem?

The Corner Brewery requires that anyone under 21 be accompanied by a parent until 9pm. After 9pm, no one under 21 is allowed in the brewery.

What if I don’t like crowds?

There is an entire wing of the Corner Brewery that has tucked-away booths, and there is a huge beer garden outside with picnic tables and open space, just for you. That’s where you can go to have some privacy and escape the most crowded part of the event. But friends of ours — and some of us! — who don’t like crowds have reported pleasant experiences at the Shadow, so you might come and be pleasantly surprised, too.

I really want one of the Shadow t-shirts/posters but didn’t get one at the last Shadow Art Fair. Can I still get one?

Sorry, for now we are only printing up enough t-shirts and posters to sell at the event itself.