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Michigan Artists Bring Talent to Dexter for 38th Annual Pioneer Arts Fair

The event will showcase 53 artists from around the state at Creekside Intermediate School in Dexter.

Artists from across Michigan will pack up their tools and head to Dexter on March 17 for the 38th annual Pioneer Arts Fair.

The event has become an annual tradition for the Dexter Area Historical Society, and serves as the group's main fundraiser benefiting the Dexter Area Museum.

"It's a lot of fun and it's also an educational experience," event chairwoman Virginia Ryan said. "People look forward to it every year."

Fifty-three artists will demonstrate their skills during the show, as well as sell their work to those who attend. A wide variety of art will be represented, from loom weaving, spinning, and painting to pottery, jewelry, and woodcarving.

"We have a guy who is traveling all the way from Gaylord to be here because people want to buy his brooms," Ryan said.

Other artists from Jackson, Chelsea, Dexter, Pinckney, Hillsdale and Grass Lake are also expected at the show.

She said close to 900 people attend the event, which is held in the gymnasium at .

"We've done pretty well raising money," Ryan said. "Last year we made roughly $4,000 minus the school rental fee."

The event is very popular for children and families due to the hands-on nature of the demonstrations, she said.

"Demonstrating your craft is a requirement for being at the fair," Ryan said. "This year we have two areas set up that cater to children. We want this to be a fun day for people but also an educational experience as well."

Tammy Braunscheidel of BET Baskets in Ann Arbor is a regular artist at the event.

"I've been coming to the Pioneer Arts Fair for six years, and I enjoy showing people how to weave, especially the kids," she said.

Fellow artist Karen Cram of Parma, who has demonstrated clay pottery at past shows, said the fair is one of the nicer events she attends.

"I like the atmosphere and the people who come here," she said.

In addition to the fair, there will also be a bake sale throughout the day as well as various drawings for handmade prizes. The prizes include a hearth broom, wooden bowl, pottery from Pam O'Hara, co-owner of in Dexter, and a basket of handmade soaps and oils. Tickets for the drawings are $1.

The cost to attend the fair is $3 for adults, and 50 cents for kids from kindergarten through 12th grade.

For more information about the event, visit the Dexter Area Historical Society's website.

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