Tag Archives: ann arbor

Springing Into Summer: Show Recap & Announcements

Thank you to everyone who came to my spring shows. Whether you bought one of my pieces or simply stopped in to chat, it was a pleasure sharing my art with so many visitors and meeting several of my online customers in person. I think that is the real magic of an art show – the chance to speak directly to the artists and they with their patrons.


Despite a few bouts of poor weather, the spring shows were wonderful. It was exciting to break in my new tent at Art Birmingham and the East Lansing Art Festival and I was delighted to be invited to share the story behind my work with Fox 2’s Robin Murdock, the Dearborn Press & Guide, and WKAR.


Perhaps the most exciting thing took place at Art on the Grand in Farmington where I was awarded “Best in Show.” There were so many talented artists in attendance, the honor came as a surprise.

With the spring shows behind me, it’s time to announce my summer schedule. I invite you to visit me at any of the following events…


JULY 15-18
I kick off the summer season with a big one, the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair. With more than 500,000 people attending each year, this four-day show is by far the largest around and I am very excited to participate in this event as a member of The Guild of Artists and Artisans. I can be found on Liberty just East of Main in BOOTH #258.



JULY 25-26
Less than a week after striking my tent in A2, I’ll be setting up shop in the heart of West Bloomfield, MI, for the Orchard Lake Fine Art Show. This show has ranked in the top 100 shows in the nation for eight straight years with a strong emphasis on artistic quality and originality. I can be found on Daly road near the parking lot for Beaumont Medical Center in BOOTH #108. The fair itself can be found just West of Orchard Lake rd between 14 mile and Maple roads.


1j-art-and-applesSEPTEMBER 11-13
Nestled in a beautiful 30-acre wooded park, the Art and Apples Festival is a joy to walk through, divided in two by a winding stream. Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, it consistently ranks among the top 30 fairs in the country with 290 artists engaging with 200,000 visitors. I’ve walked this fair as a visitor and am overjoyed to be participating this year as one of its artists. (You can find me in BOOTH #107.)



I’ll wrap up my summer show schedule with Common Ground’s Birmingham Street Art Fair. Celebrating it’s 41st anniversary, this show (along with the Ann Arbor Street Fair) is of special personal significance because it is one of the shows I grew up attending when my mother was active as a fiber artist. Now, as an adult and working artist in my own right, it is wonderful to find myself doing the very same shows I remember from my childhood. (You can find me in BOOTH #101.)

Thank you once again to everyone who stopped by my booth this spring – both for your interest and your support. This has been quite an adventure and I hope to see many of you again this summer.

~Aric Jorn

Jivotica in Autumn

It is nearly impossible for me to believe that fall is officially upon us. Like most of the summer, August and September have been a whirlwind – art shows, filling online orders (I must confess the shear number of which took me by surprise), working at The Henry Ford and preparing to direct my fall theater programs dominated my time and obliged me to put several projects on hold. It was great fun but I am happy to return my focus to sculpting.

That said, there are a few dates that I would like to share with you all…

I have confirmed two more Sundays at the Ann Arbor Artisan Market – September  28 (11am – 7pm) and October 19 (11am – 4pm).

I’ve also been informed that the interview PBS conducted with me in July for Detroit Performs will be broken up into two episodes. I had pitched them on the idea of dedicating an entire 4-segment episode to the Liberty Crafts Works at The Henry Ford and they decided to do just that. So, the portion of my interview that took place at the pottery shop will now be included in the Liberty Crafts Work episode of Detroit Performs that is scheduled to air on October 14 at 7:30pm. The bulk of my interview (shot in my studio) will be a separate segment airing sometime in November.

Many announcements coming soon. Thank you as always for your interest in my work.
~Aric Jorn

Brighton behind me and Ann Arbor ahead

Thanks to all those who stopped by my booth at the Brighton Fine Arts and Acoustic Music Festival this past weekend. Uncertain whether my work would be a good fit for this show, I was very pleased at the response it received. I was fortunate in other areas as well…

Despite a forecast that included daily showers and a possible thunder storm, not a single drop fell on my tent the entire weekend. Following a celebratory dinner at Stout’s Irish Pub Sunday evening, we packed up, drove back to the studio, unpacked everything and closed the door. Not even a minute later, as though the heavens had been waiting for us to finish, there was a torrential downpour.

Looking forward, and for those who didn’t make it to Brighton, I will be setting up shop at the Ann Arbor Artisan Market for the balance of August. Confirmed dates are August 10, 17, 24 and 31 (weather permitting). Additional dates will be added in September and October as I can fit them in.


One of the best things about the A2 Artisan Market is that the roster changes from week to week, so there are always new artists to discover.


The Artisan Market is located at 315 Detroit Street in the heart of Ann Arbor’s historic Kerrytown shopping district at the intersection of Detroit Street and 5th Avenue. An outdoor show, it runs Sundays from 11am to 4pm April through December.

I hope to see many of you there!

Inspiration From Without

My annual midsummer hiatus now passed, I have returned to my studio with fresh ideas and renewed ambition. So today I offer my first Artistic Journey post, a category wherein I share my creative life and that of other artists I have met along the way, as well as stories I hope you will find inspirational on your own creative journey.

As the eldest son of two artists who met while attending Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, I am no stranger to art shows. My mother, Helen Liljegren, showed as a fiber artist at a variety of juried art fairs throughout my childhood – Ann Arbor and Birmingham in Michigan; LakeFront in Wisconsin; and Oakbrook in Illinois are the ones that most stick in my memory but there were many others.

When not helping to watch her booth, I was allowed to venture down the rows of bleach white tents, meeting the neighboring artists who would do their best to entertain a young boy who wasn’t very fond of sitting still for any length of time. I loved the whole atmosphere of those shows – the smell of the food (mostly fried), the steady stream of people coming in to admire my mother’s work, and the seemingly endless variety of art I found all around me.

One of the people I was most drawn to was a ceramic artist named Todd Warner, who created comical hand-built animals with buggy eyes, spindly legs and big feet.


Another favorite stop was the booth of Madeline Kaczmarczyk and Jerry Berta who made whimsical pottery and ceramic car-related sculptures respectively.


I also remember a metal artist named Dempsey Calhoun – for his artwork, yes, but also for his habit of hunting flies that made the fatal mistake of entering his booth. Like some miniature big game hunter on safari, he would shoot them with giant rubber bands from across his booth to both applause and odd looks from passersby. I’m not sure whether this helped or hurt his sales but it certainly made an impression.


I remember being very inspired by these early encounters – especially the sculptors. I made a number of clay dinosaurs back then that sadly, like the things they represented, have since been lost to time. My love of three-dimensional art took root during those years and when I sat down to write this post, I was delighted to discover all these artists are still thriving nearly thirty years later.

I share this story because I have come to recognize the importance of recharging my creative batteries by looking outside my own work. I find time spent looking at what others have done – especially (and perhaps ironically) work that is in no way connected to my own – is worth twice the number of hours spent sitting alone attempting to force inspiration out of the void. It is for this reason I devoted an entire weekend to the Ann Arbor Art Fair shortly after my last post in mid-July. A great deal had changed since I was there as a child, and a lot had remained the same.

As a general rule, I deem a show “good” if one out of ten booths earn more than a casual glance and one out of 100 stop me in my tracks and make me want to reach for my wallet. The A2 fair (which actually consists of four shows all connected into one long winding path I would guess to be about two miles in total length) is such a place and I recommend it for its size, variety and quality not to mention its scenic beauty being nestled in and around the beautiful U of M campus.

There are things I found to be lacking or at least underrepresented. There were no fiber artists to speak of – at least not of the decorative, wall-hanging variety like my mother used to make. There were a couple of ceramic artists making hand-built animals and figures (including Alan Paulson who I came to know from my days at the Michigan Renaissance Festival) but there seemed to be room for far more to help break up the monotony of jewelers, potters and painters.

On balance it remains a wonderfully rewarding experience and just what I needed – an artistic environment that recharged my batteries, opening my mind to new techniques and making me hungry for time in my own studio.

~Aric Jorn