The Milwaukee Museum Mile (MMM) will host its Second Annual Art in the City: Plein Air MKE outdoor painting competition from May 11 through May 21 on Milwaukee’s historic East Side.

One hundred plein air artists from Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana and elsewhere will paint along the Milwaukee Museum Mile for eleven days and compete for $6,000 in awards.

This colorful, week-long gathering of artists, art lovers and collectors will culminate with the Art in the City Soirée on Thursday, May 18 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Saint John’s On The Lake, when prizes will be awarded to winning artists and all paintings will be offered for sale. Art In The City Soirée is a Milwaukee Museum Mile member/donor event. The general public is welcome to attend and purchase art for a $10 admission. There will also be a public art sale on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 19 through May 21, also at Saint John’s On The Lake.

“Building off of last year’s success we are planning an expanded event that is already becoming one the community looks forward to,” says John Sterr, Executive Director of the Charles Allis and Villa Terrace Art Museums. “While the Milwaukee Museum Mile is the focal point of Plein Air MKE, it is the East Side of Milwaukee that we are celebrating.”

New for 2017, Plein Air MKE includes expanded painting boundaries and two quick paint competitions. The main competition will kick off on Thursday, May 11 with artists painting within an expanded specified boundary, which includes Prospect and Juneau Avenues north to Lake Park, Farwell Avenue south to Juneau Avenue and North Avenue from Oakland Avenue to Lake Park.

In addition, two quick-paint competitions will be held on Saturday, May 13 and Sunday, May 14. Quick-paints are timed competitions within the larger competition. From 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. artists will have two and a half hours to paint along Brady Street on Saturday and along Prospect and North Avenues on Sunday. These paintings will also be judged and offered for sale during the Art in the City Soirée and public art sale.

The nationally-known and respected Wisconsin plein air artist Shelby Keefe and Bill Suys will judge both the main and quick paint events. Milwaukee Museum Mile Art In The City Plein Air MKE Competition Schedule:

  • Thursday, May 11 through Sunday, May 21 – Main Event, Soirée and Art Sale
  • Saturday, May 13 – Brady Street Quick Paint Competition
  • Sunday, May 14 – Prospect Avenue Quick Paint Competition
  • Thursday, May 11 through Wednesday, May 17 – Artists paint along the Milwaukee Museum Mile
  • Thursday, May 18 – Art in the City Soirée at Saint John’s On The Lake – Prizes awarded / Paintings for sale
  • Friday, May 19 through Sunday, May 21 – Paintings for sale to the public at Saint John’s On The Lake

This year, Art in the City: Plein Air MKE will be held during our annual Milwaukee Museum Mile Day, which takes place on Sunday, May 14. Member museums will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and offer free or reduced admissions. Activities for children and the young at heart will be offered at each location.

This will be the seventh Museum Mile Day since the MMM was first formed in 2010. The event attracts hundreds of visitors from Southeastern Wisconsin and beyond, and offers museumgoers, first-time visitors and their families and friends an opportunity to discover five of Milwaukee’s unique museum gems. Milwaukee Museum Mile Day admission discounts follow each member museum:

  • Jewish Museum Milwaukee, 1360 N. Prospect Avenue (414-390-5730) – Free Admission
  • Charles Allis Art Museum, 1801 N. Prospect Avenue (414-278-8295) – Free Admission
  • Museum of Wisconsin Art at Saint John’s On The Lake, 1800 N. Prospect Avenue (414-831-6875) – Free
  • Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, 2220 N. Terrace Avenue (414-271-3656) – Free Admission
  • North Point Lighthouse, 2650 N. Wahl Avenue (414-332-6754) – Reduced Admission
Five small and medium sized arts and culture museums, located on Milwaukee’s historic East Side along the Lake Michigan shoreline, have created the Milwaukee Museum Mile. This joint effort among the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, The Charles Allis Art Museum, Museum of Wisconsin Art at Saint John’s On The Lake, The Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, and the North Point Lighthouse at Lake Park, creates a simple and more affordable way for visitors to access and enjoy multiple museum experiences, while promoting the area as a destination to Milwaukee residents and visitors to our city. The museums are located in close proximity to one another, along N. Prospect Avenue and on N. Wahl and N. Terrace Avenues, creating a comfortable stroll for visitors, who can choose the sites most interesting to them and divide their time as they prefer.