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32nd Annual Firefly Art Fair

Event to raise funds for the Wauwatosa Historical Society featured eighty-five juried artists.

By - Aug 8th, 2018 11:12 am
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The Wauwatosa Historical Society's 32nd Annual Firefly Art Fair held at the Kneeland-Walker House and Grounds on August 4 & 5, 2018. Photo by Erol Reyal.

The Wauwatosa Historical Society’s 32nd Annual Firefly Art Fair held at the Kneeland-Walker House and Grounds on August 4 & 5, 2018. Photo by Erol Reyal.

The 32nd Annual Firefly Art Fair took place on August 4-5 on the 1.5 acre Victorian Garden grounds of the Kneeland-Walker House in Wauwatosa. Eighty-five juried artists from several states exhibited, working in media ranging from jewelry and pottery, to basketry, leather, fiber, photography, watercolors, sculpture and more. This highly anticipated art event is sponsored by the nonprofit Wauwatosa Historical Society (WHS), and proceeds benefit its mission to share the history of the city.

In conjunction with the fair, WHS presented an educational exhibit inside the mansion, which was built in 1890. This year’s exhibit, titled “Tosa Goes to War,” commemorates the centennial of the end of World War I and teaches about how wartime life was in Wauwatosa. Students from local middle schools worked on some of the exhibits.

The Firefly Art Fair offered interactive fun for visitors of all ages. For the second year, students and alumni from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Print Club were on hand to help people silkscreen posters or t-shirts. UWM Chair of Art and Design Jessica Meuninck-Ganger created three unique designs tied in to the WWI theme to choose from, and encouraged everyone to give it a try. Booths sponsored by Ruckus & Glee and Mathnasium also offered activities for kids.

Bands played throughout the afternoon on both days, including Music From The Hart, a group comprised of musicians from the Wauwatosa Senior Center at Hart Park. Food was also a big draw, with grilled favorites like burgers, brats and hot dogs, plus homemade pies and Sprecher root beer floats. A new picnic area was added to the garden this year, and many people enjoyed a cold beer on a hot day.

Natalie Wysong, executive director of the Wauwatosa Historical Society, commented, “The Firefly Art Fair is a beloved tradition in our community. It would not be possible without our dedicated army of volunteers. More than 100 people pitch in over the weekend, from set-up to tear down. It’s a labor of love that takes about six months to pull together.”

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