MMoCA’s Annual Art Fair on the Square Returns July 9–10, 2022
Saturday, July 9 • 9 AM–6 PM & Sunday, July 10 • 10 AM–5 PM
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art’s Annual Art Fair on the Square Returns July 9–10, 2022 Press Release
Art Fair on the Square is an admission-free visual arts showcase in Downtown Madison, Wisconsin.
MADISON, WI—The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) will host the 64th annual Art Fair on the Square around the city’s Capitol Square, returning to its traditional summer weekend July 9–10, 2022. The Art Fair showcases the work of nearly 500 artists in 485 booths, featuring everything from grand sculptures to delicate contemporary jewelry, handmade furniture, inspired ceramics, and vibrant works for the wall.
For the last six decades, Wisconsin residents and people throughout the Midwest have flocked to Art Fair on the Square, MMoCA’s biggest annual fundraising event. The funds raised through the fair support MMoCA’s operations and help keep the Museum admission free. Funds raised at the event also support art programs for kids, teens, and adults year round. Through the Art Fair, MMoCA has helped thousands of professional artists sell and promote their work.
The event draws some 200,000 patrons from around the region and beyond. Live music will be featured on three stages all weekend, and visitors can enjoy international cuisine, and locally-sourced fare at booths around the Square.
Artists and Artworks
Participation in Art Fair on the Square is competitive, and finalists are accepted through a jury process. Artists selected for the 2022 Art Fair hail from nearly 40 US states. Many of the participating artists will be exhibiting at the fair for the first time.
In addition to selecting participating artists for the 2022 fair, jurors will review the artists on-site during the fair to select Best of Show winners in each of the thirteen categories. The award winning artists will be invited back to exhibit at the 2023 fair.
MMoCA named Michael Rohner the 2022 Art Fair on the Square Featured Artist. Rohner, who is based in Berkeley, California, is influenced by his unique background; his parents and stepfather are all from different countries, and his three older sisters played a major role in his upbringing. He works as an illustrator who sees beauty everywhere, and uses his work to express on paper what he finds difficult to explain in words.
The 2022 featured artwork, which graces the cover of the Art Fair on the Square program and the collectible T-shirts produced by Wildwood Productions, is titled Milk and Honey. The work illustrates elements of Rohner’s California roots, along with Kenyan pattern work that pay homage to a close friend. The piece reflects themes of rebirth, life cycles, innocence, beauty, new beginnings, and persistent optimism.
A limited edition giclée reproduction of Milk and Honey will be on display and available for bidding in the Art Fair’s silent auction tent located on Wisconsin Avenue at the Capitol Square during the fair.
Art Fair Extras
Art Fair on the Square truly offers something for everyone, with an emerging artist block; three performance stages; foods ranging from empanadas, fresh salads, and tacos, to cheese curds, brats and beer, fresh squeezed juices and smoothies, as well as vegetarian and gluten-free specialties. There is a weekend-long schedule of entertainment (see the lineup here) and an art projects area for kids. Shoppers can bid on works from hundreds of participating artists at the Silent Auction Tent, or stop by the Artist & Craftsman Supply tent on State Street to get inspired with art making supplies.
Emerging Artists, Local Businesses, and Art Demonstrations
The 100 block of State Street will be dedicated to emerging artists who have been selected to exhibit in the fair by a jury process. The Emerge Block gives skilled, yet developing, artists the much-needed experience of selling and promoting their work to potential lifelong customers.
Silent Auction Tent
Art Fair on the Square shoppers can bid on a limited edition framed giclée of the 2022 featured artwork Milk and Honey, and dozens of other works 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 many of the exhibiting artists and all proceeds directly support MMoCA. 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 Kids Area
Located at the King Street corner of the walkway leading to the Capitol Building, MMoCA invites families to drop by the Kids Area to enjoy free art and craft projects for children of all ages. This year, activities will include mini collage, beading, screen-printing, coloring, jewelry making, and more. The Kids Area will be active on Saturday, July 9, 9:15 AM–6 PM and Sunday, July 10, 10:15 AM–5 PM.
A Weekend of Music and Performances
Fans of music and dance will find another reason to enjoy this year’s Art Fair on the Square. Fairgoers can rest and watch performances while enjoying a meal at the food court on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, in the seating area at the top of State Street, and on the Capitol Steps at North Hamilton Street.
Find the full lineup of events at mmoca.org/artfair.
The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art’s galleries are always admission-free. Its vision is to be an organization that fosters the exchange of ideas and creates experiences that will inspire a wide audience; be a nexus for the work of emerging and established regional, national, and international artists; serve as a catalyst for the continued development of a vigorous community of artists; and provide a forum that will encourage people to be challenged by, reflect on, and make connections between art and the world around them.
The Museum includes four galleries and The Shop, a space to provide interactive contemporary art experiences and educational workshops to the community. The Museum’s Rooftop Sculpture Garden provides an urban oasis with an incredible view, making it a lovely setting for cinema, weddings and milestone events, and more. Please visit mmoca.org to learn more.