Press Releases

Date of Release: 
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Contact Info: 

Katie Kazan, Director of Public Information
608.257.0158 x 237 or

Annik Dupaty, Director of Events
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
608.257.0158 x 230 or

Robert Chappell, Publicist
Overture Center for the Arts
608.258.4438 or

Images available upon request; please

40th Annual Holiday Art Fair

40th Annual Holiday Art Fair Expands at the
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and Overture Center for the Arts

Friday, November 19 · 5–8 pm
Saturday, November 20 · 10 am–5 pm
Sunday, November 21 · 10 am–3 pm

MADISON--The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and Overture Center for the Arts have again joined forces to present an expanded Holiday Art Fair. The two organizations will celebrate the fair’s 40th anniversary with an increased number of exhibitors; new features, including Friday evening shopping hours and a Patron Reception with signature drinks and hors d’oeuvres; and a revived silent auction. The fair’s favorite traditions will also return this year, including the Gourmet Gallery, the Rediscovered Art & Treasures Sale, holiday refreshments, and music performed by local arts organizations.

Then and Now
The 2010 Holiday Art Fair, like earlier fairs, is organized in conjunction with the Art League of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. The first “Holiday Open House” took place in 1971 in the gymnasium of the former Lincoln School (720 East Gorham Street), which was then the home of the museum. Early versions of the fair featured small numbers of local artists, as well as fashion shows, rug and antique dealers, and book sales. In addition to artworks, shoppers were able to purchase holiday ornaments, holly, and poinsettias.

In contrast, this year’s fair will take place throughout the beautiful architectural spaces of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and Overture Center for the Arts. Nearly 100 exhibitors will participate, including 89 artists and 9 gourmet food vendors. Artists hail from as far away as Arizona. 

Exhibiting artists at the 2010 fair were chosen from among 250 applicants through a jury process. Artists will offer jewelry, baskets, holiday decorations, clothing, and fine craft, as well as paintings, prints and photographs. Art lovers can preview works by participating artists—and create their own can’t-miss-it list in advance of the fair—at; click Events/Holiday Art Fair/Artists.

Hours for the 2010 Holiday Art Fair are:

Friday, November 19 · 5–8 pm
Saturday, November 20 · 10 am–5 pm
Sunday, November 21 · 10 am–3 pm

Treats and Treasures
One of the fair’s most popular features, the Gourmet Gallery, will return with teas, toffees, chocolates, and other holiday treats for every taste. Also back by popular demand, the Rediscovered Art & Treasures Sale will offer vintage jewelry, framed and unframed paintings and prints, books, and many other “pre-loved” items. 

Treasures of a different order will be featured in the Art League Raffle. Prizes include overnight stays and spa services at Sundara Inn & Spa and a growler-a-month package from The Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company. 

Patron Shopping and Reception 
The 2010 fair will feature preview shopping and a reception for Holiday Art Fair Patrons. Exclusive preview shopping will be offered from 4 to 5 pm on Friday, November 19, followed by a Patron Reception from 5 to 7 pm. Reception guest may join the holiday festivities with hors d’oeuvres and drinks in Overture’s spectacular Promenade Lobby, and count down to the annual lighting of Overture Center’s holiday display of cascading lights, snowflakes, and colors, throughout the complex.

Patron tickets to the 2010 Holiday Art Fair cost $30; and may be purchased online or by calling the museum at 608.257.0158 x 221 through November 8. For additional information about Patron Shopping and Reception, visit; click Events/Holiday Art Fair/Patron Preview. 

Holiday Art Fair Entertainment

Shoppers at this year’s fair will enjoy entertainment from some of Madison’s finest performing-arts organizations. Performances will take place in various locations throughout the fair. A schedule follows:

Saturday, November 20
11:30 am Capitol Chordsmen
1 pm        Music Makers
1:30 pm   Steven Meyer Acoustic Guitar
2 pm        Perfect Harmony

Sunday, November 21
11 am     Kanopy Dance
12 pm     Tangled Up In Blue
1 pm       Wisconsin Youth Symphony String Quartet
1:30 pm   Madison Youth Choir 

Catering a Fresco Presents the Holiday Art Fair Café
Overture’s in-house caterers, Catering a Fresco, will sell treats and light lunches during fair hours on Saturday and Sunday—and beverages on Friday evening—in the Holiday Art Fair Café, located on the second floor of Overture Center. The menu includes muffins, chicken noodle soup, wraps and sandwiches, assorted chips, and fruit-and-cheese plates.

Admission, Support, and Sponsorships
Admission to the 2010 Holiday Art Fair costs $5; children under 12 are free. Funds raised support the museum’s year-round exhibition and education programs and Overture’s free and low-cost community and education programming.

The 2010 Holiday Art Fair is sponsored by Wells Fargo, the MGE Foundation, Yahara Bay Distillers, Think Ink & Design, Magic 98, and Madison Originals Magazine.

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