Art & Apples kicks off fall 2011

It just wouldn’t be September in Rochester without Art & Apples. 

Though beats and eats will be plentiful, it’s art that takes center stage at the annual fund-raiser for Rochester’s nonprofit Paint Creek Center for the Arts. Michigan’s second-largest juried fine-art fair, the festival was ranked in the top 20 fine-art festivals in the U.S. last year by Sunshine Artist magazine. 

Now in its 46th year, the festival will be held Sept. 9-11 in Rochester Municipal Park.

More than 285 artists from across the country will participate. Festival-goers will be entertained by live music, a free Kids Art Zone, an Activity Zone and three food courts.

Among the artists are 10 from greater Rochester and all the winners of last year’s jury awards, including cut-paper artist Marie-Helene Grabman of Alexandria, Virginia, who has won the jury’s Grand Award for the last five years in a row.

A native of Michigan, Grabman only travels to 12 shows a year. This is the one that takes her the furthest from home, but she wouldn’t miss it.

“I have great customers who come back year after year to see me,” she said. “I really try to choose shows based on the quality of the other exhibitors. … At Art and Apples the jury is very selective.”

She said the judges “stop in every booth and examine the work. … There are some shows I don’t even know if a judge has walked by.”

Another important factor is the availability of volunteers. “I need them to be able to be booth sitters,” she said. “They always have a great group of volunteers.”

And then there’s the food. “It’s more than just typical fair food,” she said. “The apple pies are to die for. I take one home every year.”

Kick-off party


The festival gets an early start on Thursday, Sept. 8 with a Charity VIP Kick-Off Party from 5-8 p.m. at the Rochester Community House on the edge of the park. Tickets are $35 and include live entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine and on-site parking. Proceeds benefit PCCA and the Rochester Community House.

In keeping with tradition, entertainment this year will include the marching bands of all three Rochester High Schools, each on a different day. Also back for their annual performance are the young dancers of Deborah’s Stage Door. Other entertainment includes the School of Rock and the Klezmaniacs.

Spotlights returns for 21st year


Sharing the weekend with Art & Apples once again this year is Spotlights Market. Sponsored by the nonprofit Meadow Brook Theatre Guild, it will feature 125 artisans along Walnut and Fourth streets in downtown Rochester. Proceeds benefit the Meadow Brook Theatre at Oakland University and its community outreach programs.

Apples, anyone?

Apple-related concessions are plentiful at both festivals this year. The Rochester Older Persons Commission will sell its popular apple pies at the Spotlights Market at the corner of Fourth and Walnut. Pies are $12 each or two for $20. The pies will also be sold at the OPC, where drive-up hours are available in the upper parking lot Wednesday through Saturday.

In the park, apple treats will include pies (whole or by the slice), cider, caramel apples and cake. Other food offerings from both restaurants and nonprofit groups will range from burgers and dogs to smoothies, Caribou coffee, ice cream, barbecue and Greek food.

For the fifth year, the festival will include an apple-baking contest. Bakers are invited to submit their own signature apple pie or any type of dessert, as long as the main ingredient is apples. On festival Saturday, a panel of judges will taste each entry and pick the winners.

This year’s judges include Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett and FOX 2 News personalities Jason Carr and Taryn Asher. The winning bakers will receive a handmade baking dish. To enter, download an application at The non-refundable application fee is $5 and must be submitted by September 6. All proceeds benefit PCCA.

Hours for Art & Apples are Friday, September 9 – 4 -7:30 p.m., Saturday, September 10, 9 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, September 11, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. By city ordinance, no dogs or other pets are allowed in the park during this event. The park is located at Sixth and Pine streets. A $5 donation is suggested. Handicap parking is available near the Duck Pond off Pine Street. For more information call (248) 651-4110 or e-mail For a complete list of artists and performers, visit

Hours for Spotlights Market are 4-7:30 p.m. Sept. 9, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Sept. 10 and 10 a.m-5 p.m. Sept. 11. For more information, visit or

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