Press Releases

Date of Release: 
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Contact Info: 

Erika Monroe-Kane, Director of Communications
608.257.0158 x 237 or erika@mmoca.org

Art Fair on the Square Reveals New Details

Art Fair on the Square Reveals New Details

MMoCA’s Art Fair on the Square Expands onto State Street

Saturday, July 9 (9 am–6 pm) and Sunday, July 10 (10 am–5 pm)

MADISON, WI — Art Fair on the Square returns to the Capitol Square. This event buoys the economy of Madison; presents artists, both established and emerging; and supports one of the most dynamic cultural organizations in Wisconsin.

The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) presents this major event each year, which continues to be beloved by the Madison community, draw people from across the region, generate nearly $25 million for the local economy, and elevate fine art and craft.

This year, Art Fair on the Square will showcase the work of nearly 500 artists, displaying original fine art and craft, handmade clothing, original photography, jewelry, and much more.  Nearly 200,000 patrons are expected to visit the booths, and enjoy music, entertainment, international cuisine, and locally-sourced fare, all set against the lovely backdrop of the State Capitol.

Art Fair on the Square continues to be one of the largest art fairs in the Midwest, and is rated among the best fine art shows in North America by artists and by publications such as Sunshine Artist and Art Fair Source Book. The event was recently named as one of the top 10 fine art fairs in the country by ArtFairCalendar.com. Hours for this year’s fair are: Saturday, July 9 (9 am–6 pm) and Sunday, July 10 (10 am–5 pm).

As MMoCA’s most important annual fundraiser, Art Fair on the Square is the largest event produced by the museum and it generates financial support for the museum’s free exhibitions and education programs. MMoCA is the oldest cultural organization in Madison and has been presenting this event for 58 years.

Artists and Artworks / Participation in Art Fair on the Square is highly competitive. Nearly 1,500 artists applied for consideration by the jury and approximately one-in-four applicants were accepted. Selected artists mainly come from across the United States, yet two exhibitors hail from Canada and one is traveling from Argentina. More than 15 percent of participating artists will be exhibiting at the fair for the first time.

In addition to selecting participating artists for this year’s fair, jurors will review artists on-site during the fair to select Best of Show winners in each of thirteen categories.

Featured Artists / Mary Filapek and Lou Ann Townsend are a collaborative team of jewelry designers based in Concord, North Carolina. Filapek and Townsend create elegant, modern, botanical works that speak to their love of long walks in the woods, stone pathways, cultivated gardens, wild flowers and brambles. They’ve been inspired by, “dappled light slipping through canopies,” and flowers with “their precise architecture and complete organic chaos existing in perfect balance.”

Their choice of materials includes sterling silver, 24 carat gold, powder-coated base metals, semi-precious stones and anything else that catches their attention. They have been collaborating continuously for 20 years, and the resulting work has been shown in galleries, museum exhibitions, art festivals, craft shows, and exhibitions in print.

NEW THIS YEAR – the Emerge Block /MMoCA is creating a new way to support and encourage the next generation of artists. Launching at the 2016 Art Fair on the Square, the 100 block of State Street will be dedicated to emerging artists who have been selected by a jury process. The Emerge Block will give skilled, yet developing artists the much-needed experience of selling work at a major art fair, and will offer fairgoers a look at up-and-coming artists. This new section of Art Fair on the Square will also feature emerging businesses and a chance to sample new products.

Art Fair Extras /Art Fair on the Square truly offers something for everyone, with three performance stages; cuisines ranging from Asian dumplings, Greek gyros, and Mediterranean sandwiches, to Wisconsin brats and beer, as well as vegetarian and gluten-free specialties; and a weekend-long schedule of entertainment and art projects for kids. Shoppers can bid on works from hundreds of participating artists at the Silent Auction Tent.

Silent Auction Tent / Art Fair on the Square shoppers can bid on artworks donated by hundreds of the exhibiting artists at the Silent Auction Tent. Located at the Wisconsin Avenue intersection of the Capitol Square, and a long-standing project of MMoCA Volunteers, the tent features donated works from hundreds of exhibiting artists. All proceeds directly support MMoCA. By visiting the Silent Auction Tent, shoppers may get a sample the variety of works available at the fair and determine their personal list of must-see booths.

The Kids Area / MMoCA invites families to drop by and enjoy games and art projects galore. This year, activities will include jewelry making and bead art, a mixed media project, screen-printing, coloring, and much more. The Kids’ Area is located at the King Street corner of the Capitol Square,

A Weekend of Music and Performance / Fans of music and dance will find another reason to enjoy this year’s Art Fair on the Square. Thirty-one groups and individuals will perform, including a large array of diverse entertainment from both local artists and acts from out of town. Visitors can relax and watch performances while enjoying a meal at food courts on State Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, or at the seating area on the Capitol Steps at North Hamilton Street. The student stage at East Washington Avenue will showcase the talent of young classical musicians all weekend.

Sponsors / To date, generous support for Art Fair on the Square has been provided by MINI of Madison, Post Foods/Great Grains, American Transmission Company, Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.®, Pepsi Cola of Madison, Wildwood Productions, Artful Home, Associated Bank, Dines Incorporated, Ganser Company, Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison, The LUX, Wisconsin Lottery, Econoprint, Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau, Double Tree by Hilton of Madison, Madison Magazine, Isthmus, Magic 98, Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin State Journal, and WKOW TV.

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Art Fair on the Square is organized by, and benefits, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.

Housed in a soaring, Cesar Pelli-designed building, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art provides free exhibitions and education programs that engage people in modern and contemporary art. The three galleries offer changing exhibitions that feature established and emerging artists. The Rooftop Sculpture Garden provides an urban oasis with an incredible view. The museum is open: Tuesday-Thursday: noon – 5pm; Friday: noon – 8pm; Saturday: 10am – 8pm; Sunday: noon – 5pm; and is closed on Mondays.     

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