Now in its fourth year, Buckham Alley Fest has quickly become one of the most interesting and anticipated events in all of Flint. Sure, there are the stalwarts downtown – Back To The Bricks, The Crim, and Bikes On The Bricks – which all draw thousands and thousands of people to the area but none of those events feel as Flint as BAF does. What those other events, great as they are, don’t do is embrace some of the things that make this modern Flint what it is – the art, the music, and the food. The event uses an alley in Flint where several local businesses reside – Pages Bookstore, The Torch Bar & Grill, The Loft, and 501 as well as some smaller businesses – with the small side street transformed into a music venue, an art showcase, and an area of outdoor seating and eating as thousands come out to this free festival. Beginning at 4 p.m. this Saturday the festival fills not just Buckham Alley (which is in between First Street and Second Street downtown) but will spill into First Street and will fill the entirety of the alley itself. With two stages set up there will be ten music acts with different styles and from different genres playing through the evening which will set the soundtrack as people check out the dozens upon dozens of vendors selling food, clothing, crafts, and jewelry. In their own area will be local artists showing and selling their work. Since its inception the festival has become an amazing showcase for local artists and performers and this year will be no different with demonstrations and art performances slated for the evening as well.
With an event that’s still relatively ‘new’ Buckham Alley Fest has become an event that people look forward to all year and with great reason – this is a festival for and about Flint and which looks to add to the already busy summer calendar. If you have never made it to a Buckham Alley Festival then this is a great time to change that. There are a lot of wonderful events centered on Flint during the year but few of them are made from the fabric of the city and woven back into its eclectic tapestry highlighting the many things that that make the city so special.
This Friday marks another Art Walk in Downtown Flint and it also marks the tenth anniversary of the Creative Alliance’s Juneboree, a celebration of all things weird and wonderful. The Creative Alliance is a a collective of artists, writers, and musicians who work together to create art and outreach events in and around the city of Flint and who work together to support each other’s emerging skills and careers. Juneboree is a fun music and art show that embraces the spirit of the carnival and the atmosphere of a street fair. This year there will be live music, visual art, street performers and more. The event will run during and after the Art Walk and will feature over fifteen artists and four bands will be rocking the night away. The event will be held at Churchill’s Food & Spirits right on Saginaw Street across from the University Pavilion and the fun will be plentiful.
This Saturday will mark the five year anniversary for the Downtown Flint Comix Con, the one day comic convention put together by Mid-Michigan’s only comic newspaper Flint Comix. When it first began the notion of a comic convention in Downtown Flint was not something everyone thought would work. Over the last decade there had been two pop-culture conventions held in the Flint area that had comic creators involved and which were both well attended but part of the draw each year was the pop-culture aspect which brought in television and movie celebrities along with everyone else. For many people the notion of a comics focused convention seemed too niche to do well in an area not known for its comics culture. The Flint Comix folks saw that as a challenge though and not a limitation. With the creation of a free monthly comics paper Flint Comix was able to begin building a base of support that only grew as the paper itself grew. Focusing on many local and regional writers, artists, and comic creators the paper invested into the area they were from and they are continuing to do that with their conventions.
For those that have never attended a Downtown Flint Comix Con you have a very fun day ahead of you. For just five dollars for adult admissions guests will be treated to dozens of vendors selling everything from comic books, art, crafts, books, and more. Along with the vendors there will be an appearance made by the 501st Legion, a fan group that has a local chapter that dresses as Stormtroopers from the Star Wars films and who do appearances and charity events. Fans of Star Wars will also have a chance to have their picture taken with R2-D2, who will be making an appearance as well. Also during the show there will be a costume contest at 1:30PM and an art contest at 3:30PM to keep everyone busy as they browse and people watch.
With free admission offered to kids under twelve this is a wonderful opportunity for the entire family to have a fun day together and a great way for kids and young adults to speak to people who are working in the arts. While there are bigger conventions in the region the charm of a show like the Downtown Flint Comix Con is that fans have the opportunity to actually spend a few minutes speaking with artists and comic creators and we are very lucky to have such a passionate group of people in our area and a showcase like this convention for them to gather at.
This Saturday marks the 9th Annual VOICES literary exhibition and visual art collaborative. For nine years The Greater Flint Creative Alliance has presented this unique free event in Flint that pairs artists and writers together to create collaborative works that explore both art forms. The pairings could be a painter and a fiction writer and from that pairing a painter could take inspiration from the written word and translate it to a painting OR the author can take inspiration from a painting and pair it with a story or there could be a third route taken where the two collaborate on a piece from the beginning and create something new that each has a voice in making. The event is being held at the Greater Flint Arts Council in Downtown Flint on Saturday, November 2 and this venue will be a wonderful backdrop for the many pieces of art that will be displayed. This is truly an event that is months in the making as the pairings are made many, many weeks before the event to give the artists time to work together and discuss what they’d like to do and how they’d like to do it. During the event there will be Open Mic opportunities for performers to come up on stage and share their poems, stories, and songs with the audience.
Too often the written word and spoken word are not added into the conversation of art but with VOICES there is no denying the art and power of these things as they are paired with other works to create pieces that not only speak of the creators but to the viewers as well.
Back to the Bricks is adding a new wrinkle to this year’s event with the addition of Artomotive – Raise the Hood, an art competition based around car hoods. Artists are asked to use a car hood as an integral part of their artwork and this is the only requirement of the piece that honors the automotive background of our region. Artists will be able to let their imaginations and talents run wild as they create their pieces and in the end there should be some wild and wonderful creations. There are two different ‘divisions’ to the judging, one where the artwork will be created, judged, and awarded on the spot and another where artists will have time to create their work in their own work spaces. There will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places awarded as well as a People’s Choice award with prizes for each place. When the artwork is completed and turned in all entries will be auctioned off during Back to the Bricks to raise money to benefit the Automotive Pioneers Statue Fund, a project which pays tribute to this area’s many legends of the industry. Artomotive is possible through a partnership between the Back to the Bricks Statue Committee, the Greater Flint Arts Council, and the Flint & Genesee Convention and Visitors Bureau, which have all worked tirelessly to make this event happen. On Site artwork will be displayed at selected locations throughout Downtown Flint and entries for both divisions will be featured during the August Art Walk at the GFAC. Artomotive is yet another exciting twist to an event that has become a tradition in Downtown Flint and the areas beyond and it should really be a great addition to the show. Participants must be 18 or older and applications are due on or before July 31. There is a $50 entry fee as well.
For more information on Artomotive please visit the following link –
This weekend marks the 46th Annual Flint Art Fair which means it will be a great chance to see the works of artists and crafters from all around the state. Flint’s premiere art fair has become a wonderful place to find art for the home and office and where you might just find that once piece that absolutely steals your heart. This is not just an event for browsing art though as there is music planned for both Saturday and Sunday that will give everyone a chance to sample some of the other talented artists of the area. Along with all the music and art there will be plenty to snack on and refreshment for all ages from the kids to more adult fare to quench the thirst. Admission to the fair is $5 for adults, $3 for teens and seniors, and it is free for children twelve and under to attend. This is truly one of Flint’s most cherished and longest standing events and really proves that the arts are alive and well in Genesee County.
46th Annual Flint Art Fair
Saturday, June 8, 2013 • 10am to 6pm
Sunday, June 9, 2013 • 11am to 5pm
The Art Fair is on the grounds of the Flint Institute of Arts at 1120 E Kearsley
Art is in the air! Local young people will get their moment to shine this week as ArtQuest 2013 gets underway in Flint. This annual event presented by the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce’s YouthQuest afterschool program allows students participating in the program a chance to showcase their drawings, paintings, sculptures and performance art during a two day art show at the Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy building. The show runs May 15 and 16 from 3PM – 6:30PM and is free for the public to attend. The event features work from more than 2,000 YouthQuest students, many who collaborated on works together to create over a thousand pieces of art. This isn’t just a stuffy art show though as the students will also be presenting skits, videos, a musical petting zoo and more to make the show truly come alive. ArtQuest really showcases the talent we have right here in Genesee County and gives us a preview of young artists whose work we should expect to see during downtown Flint’s Art Walk in the future. The two day art show has works from 15 YouthQuest schools and really shows the power of art and importance of art programs like this.
Art Quest 2013
Wednesday, May 15 – Thursday, May 16
Atrium of the Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy Building