The Art Fair On Nepessing Street
I live in a very small city, so small that downtown spans one city block and about 25 minutes away is another small town. I am surrounded by small towns. This Saturday my daughter-in-law and took the day and made a trip to the art fair on Nepessing Street. This yearly event gives local artists the opportunity to display their work and people like me and my daughter-in-law can leisurely stroll around, shop and enjoy the works of the local talent. The weather wasn’t too hot or too cold for our adventure.
On a side note, I purchased a new camera and tried it out at the art fair hoping to capture some really good pictures of the local art. I stopped at most of the tents and spoke with the vendors, the majority of which were over the age of 65! It made me feel good knowing I wasn’t the only one looking for a hobby. I spoke with one vendor who came from the corporate world, another vendor, like me, had not retired yet but loves to create. Each vendor had a story so I thought I’d share their stories with LA65 readers.
Once we parked at the end of this very short street, we noticed a car being decorated by children. As you can see below, there definitely were some budding artists! A band was playing in the street and tired shoppers were beginning to gather and listen as they rested. Lapeer has the oldest courthouse in the area and is still in use every Wednesday for court. In the summer it can become quite hot and there are only fans to cool down everyone, so you won’t find many locals watching any proceedings. The local restaurants were open to everyone along the streets.
The first tent we stopped by was hosted by one Marlene Hemmerling owner of “Lovely Finds“. She is at 444 N. Court Street, Suite A, Lapeer, Michigan 48446 (in case you are interested in contacting her). Marlene hails from a corporate background and happens to be over the age of 65! Marlene makes the “Broochette” clasp, a handcrafted ornamental and functional beaded skewer (hatpin). It’s a modern-day keepsake inspired by the antique hatpin and vintage brooch and offers a smorgasbord of beautiful combinations of a beaded bliss on a kabob. The “Broochette” can be used in a variety of ways, such as a zipper pull, purse/bag adornment or a hanging ornament on any clasp-friendly item. It is made from natural stone, bone, shell, blast, paper, plastic, wood, crystal and/or pearls and gemstones to common minerals. Marlene and I had a wonderful conversation about the issues we face as baby boomers. She’s decided to open a brick and mortar shop and slowly make her way to the world of the internet. If you would like to contact her, she can be reached at Lovely Finds, (586) 556-7567.
After I left Marlene’s tent, I couldn’t help but notice the artist in the next tent, his work caught my eye immediately. His artwork was filled with vibrant colors! He hails from Grand Rapids, Michigan and his name is Brandon Carlson. His business is called Picassoul Art. He was actually painting when we walked up to admire his work. In fact, I couldn’t resist, I purchased a piece from him. You can find him on Facebook as well. Brandon uses spray paints to create works of art on canvas, motorbikes or I suppose anything than can be decorated. I took some photographs of his work and as you can see he’s quite talented. His Facebook page is full of different works of art he’s made.
Jewelry Art by Valerie
Our next visit was to Jewelry Art by Valerie. Val’s art is original, taking bits and pieces of jewelry and turning them into works of art so unique it cannot be replicated. I am commissioning Val to create a Tree of Life with my mother’s costume jewelry as a keepsake since I can’t bear to throw any of it away. Val takes old jewelry along with new and/or discarded jewelry and mixes it together creating artistic pieces to hang in your home. She is over the age of 65 and works but this is her passion as can be seen by the quality of work she puts into each creation. Valerie has a Facebook page where you can check out her custom pieces of work as well.
Crankshaft Coffee Co.
We decided to stop for a cup of coffee during our stroll and settled on the Crankshaft Coffee Co. at the corner of 193 W. Nepessing Street. The store setup display included memories from the past and different candies and foods, most gluten-free and healthy for you. We ordered Cafe Mocha and had a ringside seat to all of the activities. The Mochas were excellent, by the way! Every once in a while you have to indulge; right?
The Busker Festival
The Busker festival is next, it’s the weekend of June 15th. I had no idea what it was until I looked it up on Facebook. It’s a gathering of stage and strolling performers who will amaze, delight, and create a weekend to remember. I can’t wait to see in action all of the talent! I love the summer, there are so many events and places to visit. Some of us like the city where there are lots of people, but if you are like me, small town living offers quiet when you want it. If you are looking for more, jump in your car, there are plenty of places to see and activities to do that are not that far away.
We also stopped at the local Farmers Market which was full of new vendors this year. It’s hard not to be tempted to buy something even if you don’t need it because you know whatever you buy it is going to be one of a kind. So stay tuned, there’s more adventures ahead and more pictures and recipes on my agenda.