Thursday, June 14, 2012

Art On the Lake: The Lakefront Festival of the Arts

This weekend, Milwaukee will be host to the largest art festival in the area this year, the Lakefront Festival of the Arts.  The festival is located on the grounds of the Milwaukee Art Museum, and it the best place to find (and buy) the widest array of paintings, photographs, ceramics, jewelry, hand-made furniture, glass and mixed-media items.  I go to this festival just about every year, and I love the diverse selection of art it presents.  It is truly inspirational for anyone who is in the arts or wants to be in the arts, and a lot of the same artists attend every year.

A few years ago, I brought my camera to the festival, and took some great photos (if I do say so myself) of some of the art that was available for sale (such as above).  The majority of the art for sale is located under two large tents that are located next to the art museum, but there is also a garden outside the tent that features fabulous art as well.  I took the three photos below in the garden:

The other photos above and below were taken in the tents, and truly show the diversity of art that you can find at the Lakefront Festival of the Arts.

For the price of admission, you not only get to see the great art for sale in the tents, you get free admission to the Milwaukee Art Museum (a $15 value).  For me, this is the one time of year I get to visit the art museum, but I did visit this past weekend, and saw some great sculptures in the lobby (also known as the Calatrava) such as below:

You can also see the permanent glass sculpture in the lobby, which is I believe from Murano glass, shown below:

When I visited the museum last weekend, many wedding photos were taken on the grounds, since it was so gorgeous weather-wise.  But there was also a wedding being set up in the Calatrava lobby, which I found fascinating, so I had to take a photo:

Also, if you visit the museum this weekend, you can see the featured exhibit, "Posters of Paris: Tolouse Lautrec & His Contemporaries" which I saw last weekend, and is really interesting.  I had no idea that the heyday of poster design was so short in Europe and that many of the famous prints we've seen, and bought, were produced in a 20-30 year time span.

If you visit Milwaukee the 3rd weekend of June and are looking for something interesting to do that's off the beaten path, you must check out the Lakefront Festival of the Arts.  You will not find the great quantity of art for sale in one place anywhere else in Wisconsin.   It's fun, fascinating, and, in my opinion, a great way to spend a day in Milwaukee.  For more information, go to

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