Press Releases

Date of Release: 
Monday, June 7, 2010
Contact Info: 

Katie Kazan, Director of Public Information
608.257.0158 x 237 or

Katie Hunter, Art Fair on the Square Director
608.257.0158 x 230 or

High-resolution images available upon request.

Art Fair on the Square 2010

Art Fair on the Square 2010
Saturday, July 10 · 9 am–6 pm 
Sunday, July 11 · 10 am–5 pm

MADISON, WI -- One of the Midwest’s most popular and highly regarded outdoor celebrations of the arts will return to the Capitol Square this summer as the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) presents the 52nd annual Art Fair on the Square. With its mix of music, entertainment, and outdoor dining, as well as more than 450 artists exhibiting paintings, prints, photographs, sculpture, jewelry, handmade clothing and accessories, and fine craft, the fair draws approximately 200,000 visitors to Madison’s Capitol Square each year. This year’s fair will take place on Saturday, July 10 (9 am–6 pm) and Sunday, July 11 (10 am–5 pm).

Art Fair on the Square truly offers something for everyone, with three performance stages; menus ranging from brats, gyros, and empanadas to root beer floats; and a weekend-long schedule of entertainment and art projects for kids. And as always, original artworks are the heart of the fair. 


Since its first incarnation as a sleepy sidewalk sale in 1959, MMoCA’s Art Fair on the Square has grown into one of the nation’s foremost art fairs, consistently appearing on Sunshine Artistmagazine’s top-twenty list. The application process is highly competitive, with approximately 450 artists chosen to participate this year from a pool of 1,650 applicants. Selected artists come from across the country, and nearly 30 percent will be exhibiting at the fair for the first time. 

Jurors for this year’s fair were Sally deBroux, lead merchant, Artful Home; Mario Quintana, instructor of photography, Madison Area Technical College; John Ribble, professor of art, Madison Area Technical College; and Christina Ruhaak, fiber artist. In addition to selecting artists who will participate in this year’s fair, jurors will review exhibiting artists on-site to select Best of Show winners in each of twelve categories.

All of the artists chosen for Best of Show awards in 2009 will be returning to this year’s fair. Returning Best of Show artists are: Roger Bulkley (Wood); John Charbonneau (Photography); Tony Cray (Glass); Amy Gillespie (2-D Mixed Media); Kathleen Green (Painting); Carrie Hoffnagle (Jewelry); Richard Judd (Furniture); Scott and Victoria LaCosse (Metal-Works); Clare Malloy (Printmaking, Graphics, and Drawing); Natalia Margulis (Fiber/Leather); Marc Sijan (Sculpture and 3-D Mixed Media); and Justin Teilhet (Ceramics).

Works by these and other participating artists may be viewed on the museum’s website, (click Events/Art Fair on the Square/Artists). Images are organized by medium and linked to artists’ websites, when available. The site also shows an Art Fair on the Square map that allows shoppers to locate their favorite artists’ booths in advance of the fair. As always, a program booklet listing participating artists and their locations on the Capitol Square will be bound into the July issue of Madison Magazine; copies of the booklet will also be available at the fair.


Ray Maseman, featured artist at this year’s Art Fair on the Square, says he uses imagery based in “myths, legends, children’s stories, and dreams” for his whimsical etchings. By blending sources, recasting them with non-human protagonists, and--in some cases--exchanging traditional elements for something that upends classical interpretations, Maseman says, he suggests “enigmatic tales of exploration, collaboration, and transformation.” Maseman uses centuries-old etching techniques in his Albuquerque, New Mexico, studio to create small editions of his prints. His multiple-plate etching titled Madison Chess is featured in this year’s Art Fair on the Square posters, t-shirts, and other event-related materials.


A signed and framed copy of Madison Chess will be among the items available to the highest bidder at the Silent Auction Tent. Located at the Wisconsin Avenue intersection of the Capitol Square, the tent features donated works from hundreds of exhibiting artists. Revenue supports the museum’s free exhibitions and education programs, so shoppers can support the museum--and perhaps find a bargain in the process. A visit to the Silent Auction Tent also lets shoppers sample the variety of works available at the fair and determine their personal list of must-see booths. The Silent Auction Tent is a project of the Art League and Edition MMoCA, the museum’s ancillary groups.


Edition MMoCA will host its third annual Art Fair on the Square “Collector’s Breakfast” on Saturday, July 10. Participants will meet at Fresco, the Museum’s rooftop restaurant, for a light breakfast and a presentation on strategies for building a personal art collection. Guests will be provided with illustrated “insiders’ guides” to the fair. Guides offer information about specific artists exhibiting at the fair, helpful hints on interacting with artists, and space for note-taking at the fair. The Collector’s Breakfast is free for Edition MMoCA members and $15 for the general public. For reservations, call the museum at 608.257.0158


Members of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art will have a new membership benefit at this year’s Art Fair on the Square. The MMoCA Member Oasis, located on Wisconsin Avenue adjacent to the Silent Auction Tent, provides a pleasant setting where members can relax away from the sun, enjoy a massage and a cool drink, and stow packages while they shop. Shoppers who are not museum members can join on the spot. Memberships support the museum’s free programs and exhibitions throughout the year.


Over the years, music and dance have become a major focus of Art Fair on the Square. This year’s event features performance stages at State Street (sponsored by Wisconsin Public Radio), Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (sponsored by Triple M), and North Hamilton Street (sponsored by Isthmus). Thirty groups and individuals will perform at this year’s fair, including out-of-town acts and home-town favorites like Lou and Peter Berryman and Natty Nation. Visitors can rest and watch performances while enjoying a meal at food courts on State Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.


Wisconsin Public Radio Stage
(State Street at the Capitol Square)
9:30–10:30 All That Jazz Big Band
11:00–12:00 The Paul LeFaber Band
12:30–1:30 Steve Suvada Finger Style Guitar
2:00–3:00 (This is the) Squirrel Hunters
3:30–4:30 Abstract Giants 

Triple M Music Stage 
(Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard)
9:30–10:30 Steve Doiel
11:00–12:00 Ryan Mauer Band
12:30–1:30 Mark Croft
2:00–3:00 Tim Hort and the Radio Hour
3:30–4:30 The Locals
5:00–6:00 Silent Agency

Isthmus Performance Stage 
(Capitol Steps at North Hamilton Street)
9:30–10:30 Italian Folk Dancers of Madison
11:00–12:00 Madison Professional Dance Center
12:30–1:30 Kehl School of Dance
2:00–3:00 Tania Tandias Flamenco and Spanish Dance
3:30–4:30 Trinity Irish Dancers


Wisconsin Public Radio Stage 
(State Street at the Capitol Square)
10:00–11:00 Mindy Hester
11:30–12:30 Salaam Shalom
1:00–2:00 Lou and Peter Berryman
2:30–3:30 Down from the Hills
4:00–5:00 Cait and the Girls

Triple M Music Stage 
(Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard)
10:00–11:00 The Bower City Lights
11:30–12:30 Patchouli
1:00–2:00 Natty Nation
2:30–3:30 The Selfish Gene
4:00–5:00 Whish

Isthmus Performance Stage 
(Capitol Steps at North Hamilton Street)
10:00–11:00 MadCity Tango 
11:30–12:30 Monona Academy of Dance / Dance Wisconsin
1:00–2:00 Kanopy Dance Company


Kids are front and center at Art Fair on the Square’s “Kids' Area,” located at the King Street corner of the Capitol Square. Games, contests, and art projects galore include: an Art Project Tent featuring make-your-own picture frames and art fair coloring sheets; face painting; a Hula Hoop contests; a toddler area featuring a rubber duck pond and parachute play; and an inflatable bouncer provided by Bounce U. 


Generous support for Art Fair on the Square has been provided by Kashi Day of Change with Burt’s Bees; Johnson Bank; Pepsi; MGE; Associated Bank; Wildwood Productions; The Evjue Foundation, Inc., the charitable arm of The Capital Times; Dines Incorporated; Wisconsin Lottery;; Rejuvenation Spa; The Century House; Bounce U; Stoddard’s Meat Market; Whole Foods; Madison Magazine; Triple M; Wisconsin Public Radio; Isthmus; and WKOW Madison.

Art Fair on the Square is organized by the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and is the museum’s most important annual fundraiser. Revenue from the fair supports the museum’s free exhibitions and education programs year round.

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