Hannah McCarthy
MAM’s Lakefront Festival of Art

Three days, hundreds of works

More than 170 juried artists will have their works on display at the museum this weekend, alongside a wine garden, sit-down dining and multimedia art demos.

By - Jun 21st, 2013 04:00 am

Setting Up for Artists’ Displays

It’s nearly the weekend, and that means another festival in downtown Milwaukee. However, this particular weekend is not a celebration of a specific ethnic heritage nor a Midwestern Woodstock. The Lakefront Festival of Art is one of the nation’s oldest festivals, and it’s all about art.

In its 51st year, the LFOA will host more than 170 juried artists from all over the country working in a wide variety of mediums. Those artists will spread across 60,000 square feet at the Milwaukee Art Museum for three days, from Friday, June 21, to Sunday, June 23.

It’s an event Milwaukee Art Museum director of special events Krista Renfrew believes stands out from the crowd of summer festivals in the city, or even other art festivals around the country. “We try to keep a high standard because we have great art in a beautiful setting,” Renfrew said. “It’s not just your stuffy art festival.”

The artists exhibiting work on the Museum’s front lawn this weekend have been chosen from over 1,100 worldwide applicants. They have works for purchase at all price points, so the causal collector need not be discouraged. According to Renfrew, an online silent auction will also be set up, featuring one donated work from each artist. She said the auction is one of the Museum’s primary funding methods, responsible for helping MAM acquire over 250 works since 1963.

While the featured art is the main focus of the this three day event, there is so much more to enjoy.

The well-loved wine garden located on the Museum’s patio overlooking the lake and front lawn is a staple, but there will be a new Blue Moon beer garden this year as well. Coquette Cafe is also hosting a new event this year – sit down dining by the lake. While enjoying the atmosphere and fine local dining, visitors will hear from several local bands, including I’m Not A Pilot, Jaill, and Boy Blue.

Families can enjoy interactive art demonstrations, drama performances, and giant sandbox complete with a safari themed sand sculpture weighing in at 50 tons. There is also a sculpture garden intertwined with the gardens and other art on display featuring work from visiting exhibitors.


Lakefront Festival of Art: A Three-Day Community Event.

The Lakefront Festival of Art, sponsored by Quad Graphics and Milwaukee Magazine, runs June 21 to 23. The festival opens at 10 a.m. all three days, closing at 10 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday. On-site admission is $15, but tickets can be purchased in advance online or at specific local retailers for $8. Weekend passes are also available for $20 and families can bring children under age 16 for free. Admission to the festival will also allow patrons access to the Art Museum’s permanent gallery and the new exhibition 30 Americans.

Categories: Art, Lifestyle

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