Press Releases

Date of Release: 
Thursday, November 2, 2017
Contact Info: 

Erika Monroe-Kane, Director of Communications
608.257.0158 x 237 or

MMoCA Art & Gift Fair

Original Art and Fine Craft, Gourmet and Locavore Gifts, Entertainment, and Design Inspiration

Saturday, November 18, 2017 (10 am–8 pm)
Sunday, November 19, 2017 (10 am–4 pm)

MADISON, WI –This November 18 and 19, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) will present a dazzling and delicious experience where holiday shoppers can embrace the coming holiday season. Taking place the weekend before Thanksgiving, the 47th annual MMoCA Art & Gift Fair (formerly known as the Holiday Art Fair) will inspire shoppers with artwork, craft, and gifts by skilled artists, local craftspeople, and purveyors of epicurean delights. Over 90 exhibitors will participate, including more than 70 artists traveling from across North America—30 of which are new to the fair—and a number of Wisconsin’s best gourmet food vendors

This year for the first time, the MMoCA Art & Gift Fair will kick off the festivities of Shine on Madison, acelebration of winter and the holidays in downtown Madison (focused on State Street and the Capitol Square). Attendees can enjoy the MMoCA Art & Gift Fair from the warmth and comfort of the museum spaces, then pop outside for Shine on Madison’s winter carnival, from 2-8 pm on Saturday. A special seasonal lighting ceremony with surprise guests will take place at 6:08 pm.

Also new to the fair is a special reception for those who want to elevate their experience, taking place Saturday, November 18. In addition to shopping the fair, reception guests will view the lighting of the iconic MMoCA lobby, as well as enjoy an incredible view onto the holiday lights of State Street. Special sweet and savory fare by Fresco Rooftop Restaurant add to the VIP experience.

MMoCA Art & Gift Fair takes place throughout the gorgeous spaces of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and Overture Center for the Arts. Favorite traditions return such as the Silent Auction, Gourmet Galleries, and the Rediscovered Treasures & Art Sale. Also included in this year’s fair are a designer vignette, holiday selfie booths, and more seasonal inspiration and ideas than ever before.

As MMoCA Art & Gift Fair shoppers find one-of-a-kind pieces to adorn and delight their loved ones, enjoy indulging in gourmet samples and performances, and select original, gift-sized artworks; they will be helping the arts in our community thrive. A signature fundraiser for the museum, this event helps keep admission to MMoCA free, supports the museum’s education programs, and creates a marketplace for the work of artists and craftspeople. MMoCA Art & Gift Fair is also a driver of the local economy, drawing people to downtown Madison for shopping and dining.



Hours and Admission
Saturday, November 18 ∙ 10 am–8 pm
Sunday, November 19 ∙ 10 am–4 pm

General admission at the door is $6; children under 12 are free.
General admission tickets purchased in advanced of the fair are available at a discounted rate ($5) at

Artists: the Heart of the Fair

To ensure a range of high quality art and craft, artists selected for the 2017 MMoCA Art & Gift Fair were jury-chosen from nearly 200 applicants. Among the works available to shoppers are jewelry, clothing and accessories, sculpture, paintings, prints, photographs, and fine craft objects. Participating artists demonstrate sophisticated skill across a variety of media. 

  • Ceramist Erin Carpenter’s vessels and vases feature intricately cut and carved patterns. Carpenter was selected as the 2017 MMoCA Art & Gift Fair’s Featured Artist.

  • Fourteen jewelers, including Chicago-based artist Deborah Kerr, whose brightly-colored necklaces include seeds, pods, nuts, tree bark, horn, and bone.

  • 2D mixed media works from Connie Morrison, who pieces together various found papers that she paints, cuts, and adheres to birch panels.

  • Barbara Westfall will showcase unique dimensional glass reliefs, which begin as hand-cut pieces of colored sheet glass, which were layered and fused in a kiln.

  • Renee Roder Earley’s booth will feature her fun and fanciful hand-sewn hats and clever wool felt brooches.

  • Carmen Zajicek of DeForst, WI, will offer sculptural mixed media works with unique inlaid materials including grapevine, bark, glass, ceramic pieces, rare earth stones, and copper.

Art and craft lovers can also preview works by all of the participating artists and create their own must-have lists in advance of the fair at, under MMoCA Art & Gift Fair. 

Featured Artist

Iowa-based ceramist Erin Carpenter, has been named the 2017 MMoCA Art & Gift Fair’s Featured Artist. Carpenter works with clay to create finely crafted wheel-thrown vessels, which feature intricately cut and carved patterns. Carpenter says that, “Objects reflect ourselves. My work captures the paradoxical delicacy and strength of porcelain. The play of positive and negative space draws the viewer deep into the piece. The conversation between strength and delicacy, tension and depth, imperfection and beauty all resonate with my own humanity.”

The featured artwork, Double-Walled White Vase, will be on view and open for bidding in the MMoCA Art & Gift Fair’s Silent Auction beginning November 18.

Gourmet Food and Specialty Vendors

The 2017 MMoCA Art & Gift Fair will feature 18 Gourmet Gallery and specialty product makers with a wide selection of delicacies and indulgent treats, including Chef K. Clark Pickles & Preserves, artisan cheeses from Fromagination; and sweets from Chocolaterian and Wm. Chocolates. The galleries also include specialty items like Perfect Imperfections natural body care products from local maker Jasmine Banks, and humorous, eco-friendly soy candles from Reek Havoc. This is a can’t-miss opportunity to sample and purchase gifts for all of the locavores and gourmands on your holiday list.

Designer Vignette and Photo Booths

MMoCA Art & Gift Fair shoppers can borrow ideas for making their homes more artful by viewing a styled vignette, which will feature art for sale by exhibiting artists along with contemporary furnishings and more. Fairgoers will also enjoy an opportunity to take selfies or snap a fun family picture for holiday cards in two holiday-themed photo booths.

Silent Auction and the Rediscovered Treasures & Art Sale

MMoCA Art & Gift Fair shoppers can bid on artworks from some of the exhibiting artists in the Silent Auction room, or unearth great finds in the Rediscovered Treasures & Art Sale. Located on the lower level of the Overture Center for the Arts, the silent auction features donated works from dozens of participating artists and vendors. In the always popular Rediscovered Treasures & Art Sale, shoppers will find a treasure trove of preowned original art, jewelry, small antiques, decorative art, prized collectibles, books, and other artful items. Proceeds from the auction and the sale directly support MMoCA.


The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra adds to the MMoCA Art & Gift Fair ambiance on Saturday, November 18. Children and families will enjoy creating artful musical instruments from 10 am–12 pm and listening to Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra musicians perform on the Rotunda Stage from 11:30 am–12 pm.

Madison Ballet's delightful Nutcracker characters will visit MMoCA Art & Gift Fair to welcome families and pose for a photos. Visit them near the Henry Street entrance on Saturday from 10:30–11 am.

Additionally, downtown shoppers will find many fun activities taking place on Saturday, November 18 from 2–8 pm for Shine on Madison, a day-long celebration organized by Madison's Central Downtown Business Improvement District. Downtown holiday lighting flips on at 6:08 pm.

Exclusive Reception – Saturday November 18, 2017, 4–8 pm

A special MMoCA Art & Gift Fair reception a treat all the senses. A fundraiser in support of MMoCA's year-round free exhibitions and education programs, this special experience is open to all who want to usher in the holidays with the sights, smells, sounds, and flavors that bring cheer. The enhanced fair experience includes sweet and savory fare from Fresco Rooftop Restaurant and shopping of the entire MMoCA Art & Gift Fair. Finally, reception guests will enjoy a round of hors d’oeuvres at 6pm while counting down to the lighting of the MMoCA Lobby and a view of lighting along State Street.

Reservations are $25. Guest names will be held at the MMoCA Lobby, 227 State Street.

  • Tickets may be purchased on or before November 9. Visit or call 257-0158 x230 or x229. Reservations will be held in the MMoCA Lobby at 227 State Street, Madison, WI, 53703.

  • Reception Schedule:

    • 4 pm Admission begins for reception guests

    • 4–4:45 pm Sweet and savory treats and libations at Fresco

Rooftop Restaurant

  • 4:45–6 pm Shop 100 booths of the MMoCA Art & Gift Fair!

  • 6–6:30 pm Lobby reception with lighting at 6:08 pm and


  • 6:30–8 pm Continue shopping the MMoCA Art & Gift Fair!


Shoppers will enjoy lively entertainment from area arts organizations and musicians throughout MMoCA and Overture Center spaces.

Saturday, November 18

  • 10:15–11 am: All That Jazz Quintet, Rotunda Lobby

  • 10:30–11:30 am:  Photos with characters from The Nutcracker

  • 11:30–12 pm: Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Mini Concert, Rotunda Stage

  • 12–1:45 pm: No Name String Band, Rotunda Lobby

  • 2–2:45 pm: Very Special Arts Choir of Madison and Stoughton, Rotunda Lobby

  • 2–3:45 pm: Matt Hannah, MMoCA Lobby Stairs

  • 3–3:45 pm: All Night Kitchen, Rotunda Lobby

  • 4–5:30 pm: Toco Beach Steelpan Duo, Rotunda Lobby

  • 5–7:15 pm: Stone Barone and the Mad Tones, MMoCA Lecture Hall

Sunday, November 19

  • 10:15–10:45 am: WYSO Chamber Music Program, Rotunda Lobby

  • 11–11:45 am: Kanopy Dance, Rotunda Stage

  • 11–11:45 am: Midwest Performing Arts, MMoCA Lecture Hall

  • 12–12:45 pm: WYSO Chamber Music Program, Rotunda Lobby

  • 12–12:45 pm: Kehl School of Dance, MMoCA Lecture Hall

  • 12–2:45 pm: Jason Pettit, MMoCA Lobby Stairs (3 sets in row)

  • 1–2:45 pm: All That Jazz Quintet, Rotunda Lobby (2 sets in a row)

  • 1–2:45 pm: Late Harvest, MMoCA Lecture Hall (2 sets in a row)

  • 3–3:45 pm: No Name String Band, Rotunda Lobby


To date, the 2017 MMoCA Art & Gift Fair is generously sponsored by Custer Plumb Financial Services; Fresco Rooftop Restaurant; Think Ink & Design; with additional media support from Isthmus; Magic 98; Wisconsin Public Radio; and Yelp.


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 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–5 pm; Friday: noon–8 pm; Saturday: 10 am–8 pm; Sunday: noon–5 pm; and is closed on Mondays.  


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