Thursday, July 28, 2016

Ann Arbor Art Fair statistics

The Ann Arbor Art Fair, with 1,000+ exhibiting artists and an estimated 400,000 visitors during its four days, is one of the largest street art fairs in the United States. These are some statistics from the 2016 art fair, which I put together based on information in the "Ann Arbor Art Fair Official Guide July 21-24, 2016". I calculated fine arts vs. crafts, top media, gender representation, and local vs. out-of-state artists. Since I also did these calculations in 2008 and 2009, I will compare this year's numbers with those of 2009.

View at the Ann Arbor Art Fair
© 2016 Anna C./See. Be. Draw.

The Ann Arbor Art Fair is actually a group of four art fairs held concurrently in mid-July every year in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The four art fairs are:

Fine arts vs. crafts


First, let's take a look at the ratio of fine artists vs. craft artists represented. Using the U.S. Department of Labor's definition of fine artists and craft artists, I included the following media in fine arts: Digital Art, Drawing, Mixed Media 2D, Mixed Media 3D, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, and Sculpture. In crafts the following were included: Ceramics, Fiber, Furniture, Glass, Jewelry, Leather, Metal, and Wood. Note that the boundaries between media are somewhat indistinct, causing an error margin such that the fine arts numbers may be on the low side.

Keeping this in mind, in 2016, taking the Ann Arbor Art Fair as a whole, there were 43% fine artists and 57% craft artists represented. In both 2008 and 2009, this ratio was 40-60, so the ratio has remained close to the same.

Seen fair by fair, the ratio varied as follows:
  • The Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Original had the most fine arts with 52% fine artists and 48% craft artists. In 2009, they had about 40% fine artists.
  • Ann Arbor's South University Art Fair had the second most fine arts with 46% fine artists and 54% craft artists. In 2009, they had about 50% fine artists. 
  • The Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair and the State Street Art Fair both had about 40% fine artists and 60% craft artists (Summer 41/59, State Street 39/61). For the State Street Art Fair, this was similar to 2009, whereas the Summer Art Fair only had about 30% fine artists in 2009.

Interestingly, since the total number of artists vary between the fairs, despite the fact that the Original and the South University Art Fairs had the highest ratio of fine artists, they did not have the highest number of fine artists! The Summer Art Fair had 153 fine artists and the State Street Art Fair 136 fine artists, whereas the Original Art Fair had 120 fine artists and the South University Art Fair 74 fine artists.


Top media


Taking the Ann Arbor Art Fair as a whole, the media with the most artists represented were:
  • Jewelry, 22% - up from 19% in 2009
  • Painting, 12% - up from 9% in 2009
  • Ceramics, 11% - down from 15% in 2009
  • Photography, 9% - same as 2009
  • Mixed Media 2D and Fiber, 8%

Seen fair by fair, the percentages varied as follows:
  • The Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Original - Ceramics (16%), Jewelry (14%), and Mixed Media 2D (13%) were the top media, followed by Painting (11%).
  • Ann Arbor's South University Art Fair - Jewelry (21%) and Painting (16%) were the top media, followed by Mixed Media 2D and Photography (10% each). 
  • The Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair - Jewelry (22%) and Ceramics (13%) were the top media, followed by Painting and Photography (10% each).
  • The State Street Art Fair - Jewelry (27%) was the top media followed by Fiber, Painting (12% each) and Photography (9%). 


Painting, Drawing, Mixed Media 2D, and Printmaking


Being a painter myself, I enjoy looking at two-dimensional art, such as painting, drawing, mixed media 2D, and printmaking. Thus I decided to take a look at what proportion of the art fair these media represented. At the art fair as a whole, these media represented 24% of the artists. The Street/Original and South University Art Fairs each had about 30% of these media whereas the Summer and State Street Art Fairs each had about 20% of these media.


    Gender representation


    Gender representation was more difficult to calculate since it can be hard to tell if a name is female or male. When in doubt, I left it as male. Couples were also counted as male unless consisting of two females. Note that this may cause the numbers for female artists to be slightly lower than in reality. I did not calculate gender representation per fair.

    Taking the Ann Arbor Art Fair as a whole, there were 42% women and 58% men exhibiting, numbers similar to 2009. Comparing fine arts and crafts, there were 36% women fine artists, most in Painting and Mixed Media 2D. There were 47% women craft artists, most in Jewelry, Fiber, and Ceramics. Notably, there were no women at all represented in Furniture and only a handful each in Digital Art, Sculpture, Wood, Leather, and Metal. I was also surprised to see that there were only 20 women out of a total of about 100 in Photography.


    Local vs. out-of-state artists


    Taking the Ann Arbor Art Fair as a whole, 24% of the artists were local (from Michigan) and 76% from other states (or, in a few cases, other countries). The out-of-state numbers were up from 70% in 2009.


    In terms of which states were the most represented, here is the shortlist:
    • Florida, 109 artists or 10%
    • Ohio, 93 artists or 8%
    • Illinois, 73 artists or 7%
    • California, Georgia, New York, Pennsylvania, approx. 45 artists each or 4%  

    Only five states were not represented at all: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, West Virginia, and Wyoming.


    A few other countries were also represented:
    • Canada, 9 artists
    • Colombia, 2 artists
    • Israel, 1 artist

      The media with the most out-of-state artists were Jewelry (about 200), Painting (over 100), Photography, Ceramics, Mixed Media 2D (about 75 each), and Fiber (about 60 artists).

      It is worth noting is that 19 painters came from Florida and 11 from Georgia. 12 mixed media 2D artists came from Florida, as did 10 photographers. 27 jewelers came from Florida and Illinois each, 19 from California, 17 from Ohio, 16 from Pennsylvania, and 10 from New York.


      U.S. regions


      Seen in terms of U.S. regions, 51% of the total number of artists came from the midwest region, 27% from the south region, 13% from the northeast region, and 8% from the west region.


      Artists from moderate, liberal, and conservative states


        In 2014, Gallup surveyed ideology by state by interviewing 177,034 adults and their political views, noting certain states as more liberal, moderate, or conservative. The liberal states were for the most part located in the northeast and west regions, with a few in the south and Illinois representing the midwest region. The conservative states were for the most part located in the south and west regions, whereas the moderate states (including Michigan) were located in the midwest region as well as sprinkled thoughout the other regions.

        The 2011 report Artists and Arts Workers in the United States presents numbers for artists as a percentage or quota of each state's labor force, based on information from the 2005-2009 American Community Survey and the 2010 Quarterly Census on Employment and Wages (fine artists are estimated to constitute 10% of all artists included). Interestingly, the states with the most artists loosely correlate with the most liberal states.

        When I then in turn correlate this information with the art fair numbers, I find that for the Ann Arbor Art Fair, most artists, 60%, come from the moderate states (which include Michigan). 23% come from the more liberal states and 17% from the more conservative states (and 1% from abroad). This is interesting because it tells us that the majority of the artists come from states with a similar ideology, as opposed to more diversified ideologies being represented.


        Applications and fees (2016)


        And lastly, what does it take to be an exhibiting artist in the art fair? Here is a short compilation of application information for 2016 (and in one case for 2015). See the website for each art fair for details and current information.

        The Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Original

        • Application: Submit 5 images of your artwork and one booth image online. Juried process based on originality, creativity, design, technique, craftsmanship, and production methodology
        • Application fee: $35-40
        • Application deadline: Jan 13, 2016. Notification by Feb 19, 2016
        • Location: On the University of Michigan campus by the Burton Carillon Tower, no sidewalk sales or vendor booths (although in 2016 there was a food court here)
        • Number of artists: Approx. 200, 70 are re-invited
        • Booth fee: $650 for a 10'x10' booth. Additional fees for larger booth, electrical, parking
        • Artist awards available: $7,500
        • Reproductions: All work must be original, no reproductions or commercial products (see prospectus)

        Ann Arbor's South University Art Fair (2015 info)

        • Application: Submit 4 images of your artwork and one booth image online. Juried process
        • Application fee: $50
        • Application deadline: Jan 23, 2015. Notification by Feb 27, 2015
        • Location: South University area
        • Number of artists: Approx. 200, some are re-invited
        • Booth fee: $700 for a 10'x10' booth. Additional fees for larger booth, electrical(?), parking
        • Artist awards available: A fee-free invitation to the 2016 art fair
        • Reproductions: Artists in the painting/drawing categories may have one bin with reproductions of their work in limited editions of 250, signed and numbered. Printmakers and photographers may also have limited editions available (see prospectus)

        The Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair

        • Application: Submit 4 images of your artwork and one booth image online. Juried process
        • Application fee: $45 for non-Guild members (membership fee)
        • Application deadline: Feb 1, 2016. Notification by Feb 15, 2016
        • Location: Main Street, Liberty, and State Street
        • Number of artists: Approx. 375
        • Booth fee: $675-700 for a 10'x10' booth. Additional fees for larger booth, parking
        • Reproductions: No more than 25% of the work may be reproductions (see prospectus)

        The State Street Art Fair

        • Application: Submit 5 images of your artwork online. Juried process based on creativity, technical skill, presentation, and adherence to fair rules
        • Application fee: $50-75
        • Application deadline: March 1, 2016. Notification by March 25, 2016
        • Location: State Street district
        • Number of artists: Approx. 325, some artists are re-invited
        • Booth fee: $675-825 for a 10'x10' booth. Additional fees for larger booth, electrical, parking
        • Artist awards available: $13,800
        • Reproductions: All work must be original, no reproductions or commercial products. However, each 2D artist may have one bin with reproductions; printmakers, photographers, and digital artists may have limited editions of 250, signed and numbered (see prospectus)

        For a very different type of fair, you may enjoy reading about this book fair!



        Översättning: Ann Arbor Art Fair är, med över 1000 konstnärer och 400,000 besökare över fyra dagar, en av USAs största konstmässor. Den består egentligen av fyra olika konstmässor som äger rum årligen i centrum av Ann Arbor i delstaten Michigan. Med hjälp av 2016 års katalog har jag beräknat lite statistik för årets konstmässa. Följande media deltog: (konst) digital konst, teckning, mixed media 2D, mixed media 3D, måleri, fotografi, tryck och skulptur, samt (konsthantverk) keramik, textil, möbler, glas, smycken, läder metall och trä. Allt är handgjort.

        Under 2016 års mässa utgjordes 43% av konst och 57% av konsthantverk. Flest utställare fanns inom smycken (22%), måleri (12%) och keramik (11%). De fyra delmässorna har lite olika profil. Ann Arbor Art Fair, the Original hade mest konst, 52% och Ann Arbor's South University Art Fair kom tvåa med 46% konst. The State Street Art Fair och the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair dominerades båda av konsthantverk, 60%. Vad gäller ren tvådimensionell konst som teckning, måleri, mixed media 2D och tryck så utgjorde dessa bara 24% totalt sett.

        Av utställarna så var 42% kvinnor och 58% män, bara 36% kvinnor inom konst och 47% inom konsthantverk. Minst kvinnor hade digital konst, skulptur, trä och läder, men även i t.ex. foto fanns det bara 20 kvinnor av 100 utställare.

        24% av utställarna kom från Michigan och 76% från andra delstater, främst från mellanvästern men även från södern samt en del från nordöst samt väst. Bara 5 delstater saknades helt. Där fanns även ett par konstnärer från Canada, Columbia och Israel.

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