Thousands of visitors scores of artists expected at MAM festival

By: TOM JOZWIK - Special to TimeOut

June 16, 2016


 Submitted photo
The Lakefront Festival of Art kicks off at 10 a.m. Friday and runs through the weekend.

MILWAUKEE - Some 30,000 attendees are expected, while more than 175 artists from around the country - among them painters and printmakers, sculptors and ceramicists - will be represented at this weekend’s Lakefront Festival of Art in Milwaukee.

The LFOA, on the grounds of the Milwaukee Art Museum, 700 N. Art Museum Drive, has been ranked among America’s top 20 art fests. Begun in 1963, the LFOA is a fundraiser for the MAM. The 2016 edition, organized by the MAM volunteer support group Friends of Art and involving hundreds of volunteers, runs Friday through Sunday. Friday hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday hours 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Krista Renfrew, director of MAM special events, said the “LFOA cultivates a memorable connection between the community and art, whether you are a first-time buyer or someone who has attended the festival since the beginning. We look forward to strengthening art appreciation each year under the familiar white tents and also through activities that speak to all ages.”

One 2016 patron will be the millionth person in the event’s 54-year history to attend a Lakefront Festival. The millionth visitor is expected to arrive Saturday and, according to Renfrew, “will be in for a surprise. This is a special occasion, solidifying LFOA’s place as one of the great art festivals in the country, and we’re going to make sure it’s a memorable experience for our honored guest.” The guest will be given a lifetime LFOA pass, for one thing.

Food (some of it of the gourmet variety) and beverages will be available at the festival. The event will boast sculpture and wine gardens, a silent auction, live bands and a children’s area. A rock climbing wall, hands-on painting activities and a Father’s Day scavenger hunt are among the offerings.

Access inside the recently renovated MAM, including to the new Thomas Hart Benton exhibition (see separate story), will be available via one’s LFOA ticket.

For ticket information, and additional information, go to