Press Releases

Date of Release: 
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Contact Info: 

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

Art Fair on the Square - Returns July 13 and 14

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 25, 2013

High-resolution images available upon request.


Art Fair on the Square 2013

Saturday, July 13 (9 am–6 pm)

Sunday, July 14 (10 am–5 pm)

MADISON, WI —Beloved by the Madison community, drawing people from across the region, generating nearly $25 million for the local economy and elevating art; Art Fair on the Square will return to the Capitol Square this summer. The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) will present this major event on July 13 and 14, with more than 450 artists displaying original fine art and craft, handmade clothing, original photography, jewelry, and much more.

More than 150,000 patrons are expected to visit the booths, as well as the additional attractions of music, entertainment, international cuisine and locally-sourced fare, set against the lovely backdrop of the State Capitol.

Art Fair on the Square continues to be one of the largest art fairs in the Midwest, and is rated among the best fine art shows in North America by artists and by publications such as Sunshine Artist and Art Fair Source Book. Hours for this year’s fair are: Saturday, July 13 (9 am-6 pm) and Sunday, July 14 (10 am-5 pm).

As MMoCA’s most important annual fundraiser, Art Fair on the Square is the largest event produced by the museum and it generates financial support for the museum’s free exhibitions and education programs. MMoCA is the oldest cultural organization in Madison and this event has been enjoyed for 55 years.

Artists and Artworks

Participation in Art Fair on the Square is highly competitive, with approximately one-in-four applicants accepted through a jury process. Selected artists come from across the country, and several exhibitors hail from Canada. Nearly 20 percent of participating artists will be exhibiting at the fair for the first time.

Jurors for this year’s fair are Jerry Jordan (Artist and 2012 City of Madison’s Minority Affairs Committee featured artist); Amy Lambright Murphy (Director of Artist Marketing for; Susan Johnson White (Mixed-media artist and arts educator); and Hiroko Yamada (Studio artist and owner of HYART Gallery in Madison, WI).

In addition to selecting participating artists for this year’s fair, jurors will review artists on-site during the fair to select Best of Show winners in each of thirteen categories. This includes a Digital Art category featuring signed, limited-edition works created with the use of a computer and printed on archival materials, a category which debuted at last year’s fair.

Among the artists who will return to this year’s fair are 2012 Best of Show winners in eight categories: Michael Brown (photography); Ron Dekok (furniture); Matthew Hatala (wood); Joachim Knill (painting); John Ruff (jewelry); Michael Schwegmann (ceramics); Elaine Unzicker (metal-works); and Verne Jidong Yan (fiber).

Featured Artwork

Featuring a badger gazing over the Wisconsin State Capitol, James Madison Badger by South Carolina-based printmaker Kent Ambler, is the featured artwork of Art Fair on the Square 2013. The artist earned his degree from Ball State University in painting, though Ambler now prefers printmaking and uses moments from his daily life as inspiration for his subjects. His process begins with sketching and he later evolves the piece into a layered wood cut. James Madison Badger is featured on this year’s Art Fair on the Square posters, t-shirts, and other event-related materials.

Works by Kent Ambler and all participating artists may be viewed on the museum’s website,; click events/art fair on the square/participatingartists. 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.

Art Fair Extras

Art Fair on the Square truly offers something for everyone, with four performance stages; cuisines ranging from Asian, Greek, and Cajun, to brats and root beer, to vegetarian specialties; and a weekend-long schedule of entertainment and art projects for kids. Shoppers can bid on works from hundreds of participating artists at the Silent Auction Tent, and MMoCA members can pause for a cool drink and a massage at the MMoCA Member Oasis.

Silent Auction Tent / Art Fair on the Square shoppers can bid on Kent Ambler’s James Madison Badger and 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 hundreds of 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.

MMoCA Member Oasis / Members of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art will enjoy a special membership benefit at Art Fair on the Square. The MMoCA Member Oasis, located on East Mifflin Street adjacent to the Silent Auction Tent on Wisconsin Avenue, provides refreshment and relaxation in a stylish setting where members can rest out of the sun, enjoy a massage and a cool drink, and check 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. The Oasis is sponsored by The Century House and Dr. Zhou’s Acupuncture, Pain Management and Natural Wellness Clinic.

The Kids Area, located at the King Street corner of the Capitol Square, invites families to drop by and enjoy games and art projects galore. Last year, activities included make-your-own picture frames, screen-printing, art fair coloring sheets, face painting, and temporary tattoos.

A related note: While kids are quite welcome at Art Fair on the Square, the Madison Common Council bans dogs at the fair and at the city’s other major street events.

A Weekend of Music and Performance / Fans of music and dance will find another reason to enjoy this year’s Art Fair on the Square. Thirty groups and individuals will perform at this year’s fair, including out-of-town acts and home-town favorites. Visitors can rest and watch performances while enjoying a meal at food courts on State Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, or at the seating area on the Capitol Steps at North Hamilton Street. The new student stage at East Washington Avenue will showcase the talent of musicians from around the world all day Saturday and Sunday.


Performances / Saturday, July 13

Wisconsin Public Radio Stage

(State Street and the Capitol Square)

9:30 - 10:30   Sweet Potato Band

11:00 - 12:00   Steve & Teresa Doiel

12:30 - 1:30     Catch Kid

2:00 - 3:00       Elias Tryon

3:30 - 4:30       Clocks in Motion

5:00 - 6:00       Rubyx Cube


Mad Mix 105.1 Stage

(Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard)

9:30 - 10:30     The Mad City Jug Band

11:00 - 12:00   The Druther’s

12:30 - 1:30     The Smoking Section

2:00 - 3:00       Silent Agency

3:30 - 4:30       After the Rain

5:00 - 6:00       Mideast by Midwest


Performing Arts Stage

(Capitol Steps at North Hamilton Street)

9:30 - 10:30     Madison Contemporary Vision Dance

11:00 - 12:00   Trinity Irish Dancers

12:30 - 1:30     The Madison Professional Dance Center

2:00 - 3:00       Kehl School of Dance

3:30 - 4:30       Move Out Loud

5:00 - 6:00       Midwest Performing Arts


Student Stage

(East Washington Avenue and the Capitol Square)

9:30 - 6:00     Classical Oasis


Performances / Sunday, July 15

Wisconsin Public Radio Stage

(State Street and the Capitol Square)

10:00 - 11:00   All That Jazz Big Band

11:30 - 12:30   The Earthlings

1:00 - 2:00       The Nefrons

2:30 - 3:30       Greg Herriges

4:00 - 5:00       Michelle Lynn


Mad Mix 105.1 Stage

(Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard)

10:00 - 11:00   Cajun Strangers

11:30 - 12:30   DNA

1:00 - 2:00       Scott Wilcox

2:30 - 3:30       Patchouli

4:00 - 5:00       Roots Collective


Performing Arts Stage

(Capitol Steps at North Hamilton Street)

10:00 - 11:00   Accompany of Kids

11:30 - 12:30   Dance Wisconsin

1:00 - 2:00       X-Tension Dance Company

2:30 - 3:30       Tania Tandias Flamenco

4:00 – 5:00       Kanopy and Friends


Student Stage

(East Washington Avenue and the Capitol Square)

9:30 - 6:00     Classical Oasis



To date, generous support for the 2013 Art Fair on the Square has been provided by American Transmission Company; MGE Foundation; On the Avenue Marketing; Pepsi Cola of Madison; Wildwood Productions; The Wall Street Journal; Ho-Chunk Nation; Associated Bank; The Century House; Dines Incorporated; Whole Foods Market; Wisconsin Lottery; Stoddard’s Meat Market & Catering; Dr. Zhou’s Acupuncture, Pain Management and Natural Wellness Clinic, Madison Magazine; Capital Newspapers; Entercom Madison; Isthmus Publishing Company; Wisconsin Public Radio; and WKOW-TV 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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