Press Releases

Date of Release: 
Friday, October 26, 2012
Contact Info: 

Katie Kazan, Director of Public Information
608.257.0158 x 237 or

MMoCA’s 42nd Annual Holiday Art Fair Offers Original Art, Gourmet Gifts, and Entertainment

MADISON, WI --The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art will present the 42nd annual Holiday Art Fair from November 16 to 18, 2012. With new and returning exhibitors, features, and entertainers--including hand-crafted apparel from Beauxchênes Fibre Arts, confections from Door County Wildwood Market, and performances by Quartessence String Quartet--this year’s fair promises to engage all of the senses. Shoppers will also enjoy the return of favorite traditions such as the Friday preview luncheon, silent auction, Gourmet Gallery, Rediscovered Art & Treasures Sale, and performances by local arts organizations.

A celebrated Madison tradition, the fair offers a festive shopping experience with a unique selection of artworks perfect for gift-giving this holiday season. This year’s fair will again take place throughout the beautiful architectural spaces of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and OvertureCenter for the Arts. Over 80 exhibitors will participate, including more than 70 artists and a number of gourmet food vendors from Wisconsin. Exhibiting artists will travel to the fair from throughout the Midwest.

Hours and Admission
Doors to the 2012 Holiday Art Fair open to the public at 2:30 pm on Friday, November 16. Fair hours are:

Friday, November 16  (2:30–8 pm)
Saturday, November 17  (10 am–5 pm)
Sunday, November 18  (10 am–3 pm)

Admission to the fair costs $5; children under 12 are free. A key fundraiser for the museum, the fair supports MMoCA’s free exhibitions and education programs year-round.

Artists: the Heart of the Fair
Artists exhibiting at the 2012 Holiday Art Fair were chosen through a jury process from over 200 applicants. Among the works available to shoppers are jewelry, baskets, holiday decorations, clothing, and fine craft objects, as well as paintings, prints, and photographs.

Participating artists demonstrate sophisticated skill with a variety of materials. 

  • Ray Lapsys uses diamond laps and stone wheels to create faceted crystal sculptures and functional pieces. His highly polished works capture light and reflect a full spectrum of colors.
  • Ana Petercic uses paint, fiber-reactive dyes, and resist to create one-of-a-kind silk garments and accessories.
  • Elisabeth Maurland’s wheel-thrown mugs, plates, and bowls are decorated with boldly colored slips and incised designs featuring stylized animal motifs.
  • Phyllis Bankier says her photographs “capture moments and freeze time. Whether photographing flower, food, or landscape portraits . . . I use photography to share color, action, and excitement as I connect with my images.”

Art lovers can preview works by these and other participating artists--and create their own must-have list in advance of the fair--by visiting the museum’s website at; click Events/Holiday Art Fair/Participating Artists.

Two Gourmet Food Galleries
This year’s fair will offer two Gourmet Galleries with a wide selection of special foods from local vendors. Among the items available to this year’s shoppers are fruit preserves from Sylvan Meadows Farm, honey from Mad Urban Bees, and indulgent treats from Maurie’s Fine Chocolates. This is a can’t-miss opportunity to sample delectable treats and purchase gifts for all of the locavores and foodies on your holiday list.

Silent Auction and Once Loved Treasures
Shoppers at the Holiday Art Fair can bid on donated works from exhibiting artists, and perhaps find a bargain in the process, at the fair’s annual silent auction. A visit to the silent auction is also a great way to preview works and determine a personal list of must-see booths at the fair. Auction revenue supports the museum’s free community programs.

Tiffany sterling silver napkin rings, hand-carved Indonesian puppets, Bing and Grondahl figurines, wildlife prints by Owen Gromme. These are a few of the items that will be available at this year’s Rediscovered Art & Treasures Sale. Back by popular demand, the sale offers a treasure–trove of donated original art, jewelry, small antiques, decorative art, prized collectibles, books, and other “pre-loved” items.

Preview Luncheon
Shoppers who purchase tickets to the fair’s preview luncheon from 12 to 2 pm will enjoy a private tour of the Leo Villareal exhibition with MMoCA director, Stephen Fleischman. Guests will gather in Fresco Rooftop Restaurant for contemporary American cuisine made with fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients. Signature spirits from Yahara Bay Distillers will be served and a holiday program will be performed by actors from Forward Theater Company. Exclusive preview shopping will be offered to luncheon guests throughout MMoCA and OvertureCenter for the Arts from 2 to 2:30 pm.

Preview luncheon tickets cost $50 and may be purchased through November 9 online or by calling the museum at 608.257.0158. For additional information, visit; click Events/Holiday Art Fair/Preview Luncheon.

Holiday Art Fair Entertainment
Shoppers at this year’s fair will enjoy entertainment from some of Madison’s finest performing arts organizations. Kanopy Dance Company will perform on the Rotunda Stage on Friday at 5 pm. Madison Youth Choirs will perform their annual concert on the Rotunda Stage from 11 am to 4 pm on the Saturday of the fair. Quartessence String Quartet will fill the main level hallway with delightful sounds on Saturday at 11 am and 12 pm. Other performances will take place in various locations throughout the fair weekend.

The 2012 Holiday Art Fair is generously sponsored by Potter Lawson, Inc.; J.P. Cullen & Sons, Inc.; Custer Financial Services/LFA; Summit Credit Union; The Century House; Think Ink & Design; Yahara Bay Distillers; and media sponsors Madison Magazine; Magic 98; and Wisconsin Public Radio.

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