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Annual art festival brings creative experiences to Milwaukee’s lakefront for the 57th year

Held on the grounds of the Milwaukee Art Museum, Lakefront Festival of Art celebrates its 57th year from June 21 to 23. The weekend-long festival features 180 national artists, hands-on activities, food and live entertainment along the shore of Lake Michigan.

Lakefront Festival of Art (LFoA) is organized by Friends of Art, the longest-running volunteer support organization of the Milwaukee Art Museum, as a fundraiser for art exhibitions and the acquisition of works for the Museum’s Collection.

“We are so proud to support the Museum and working artists from all over the region with this wonderful festival,” said Annette Melcher, Friends of Art President. “It has evolved to become one of the premier art festivals in the nation, with activities for all ages and backgrounds, set against an iconic and beautiful setting.”

Among the artist booths featured this year will be jewelers, painters, sculptors, photographers, and printmakers. Visitors can also browse pottery, drawings, digital art and works made from wood, glass and ceramics, metalwork and photography, all available for purchase.

The Children’s Stage will host theatre performances, singing, live music, and dance. At the Friends of Art Children’s Tent, kids of all ages will be able to create art inspired by 2019 Festival Poster Artist Nha Vuu. The PNC Children’s Experience tent will have additional hands-on projects, and at Kohl’s Color Wheels, families can make take-home art inspired by the exhibitions on view in the Museum.

“This is one of the most popular events at the Museum throughout the year, rain or shine,” said Krista Renfrew, Director of Special Events for the Milwaukee Art Museum. “Visitors will find something to ‘wow’ them—artists’ booths, kids’ activities, the after-hours party, and full access to everything within the Museum.”

LFoA will feature multiple food and beverage options, including booths operated by local restaurants, the Marietta Wine Garden with views overlooking Lake Michigan, and the lakeside Peroni Beer Garden. The popular giant, person-sized gilded picture picture frame will be located next to the Hawks Sculpture Garden.

At Lakefront After Dark on the evening of June 21, festival-goers can party under the glow of the Museum’s wings with live music, the beer garden, and access to the artist booths. Festival tickets also include admission to the Museum, with access to special temporary exhibitions including Nares: Moves, Sara Cwynar: Image Model Muse and Charles Radtke: Contained, featuring the Cedarburg-based artist who won multiple Best of Show Awards at LFoA during the 1990s.

The Under the Wings mentoring program continues again this year. After shadowing LFoA artists at previous festivals and attending education programming throughout the year, the selected college-student artists will gain the hands-on experience of selling their own artwork to festival visitors.

The Lakefront Festival of Art is one of the premier art festivals in the country, featuring artists from across the nation with art for sale in a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, jewelry, photography, printmaking, wood, ceramics, fiber, and more. Since 1963, LFOA has been a primary fundraiser for the Milwaukee Art Museum and organized with the help of Friends of Art volunteers.

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