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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

'Art Comes to Life' on Milwaukee's Lakefront

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Over time, volunteers can transform a city's creative footprint. Each year since 1962, the Milwaukee Art Museum's Friends of Art has sponsored the annual Lakefront Festival of Arts. The festival marks its 50th anniversary June 15-17 with “Art Comes to Life.”

A small circle of enthusiasts created the initial one-day event. In 2012, the festival requires more than 100 year-round committee members supervising approximately 500 volunteers working around the clock for three days. Over the past 50 years, Friends of Art has raised more than $7 million for museum acquisitions and exhibitions, including “Treasures from the Forbidden City” and the current “Posters of Paris.”

A French theme will influence numerous programs at this year's festival. Acclaimed sculptor Ted Siebert will import 50 tons of sand and construct an Eiffel Tower on the grassy grounds. Members of Alliance Française will teach French lessons throughout the weekend at the PNC Children's Experience.

Art will still be the major draw at the lakefront, as more than 175 nationally known artists will exhibit works under tents and inside the Calatrava's Windhover Hall. This impressive group features a number of Wisconsin artists, including Michael Bond, Andy Fletcher, Shelby Keefe, Katie Musolff, Bruce Niemi, Lori Pruessing, Julie Seymour and C.T. Whitehouse. Jurors will select 10 award-winners and 10 honorable mentions.

To celebrate an outstanding 50 years, the festival hosts a Lakefront Late Night at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 15. A birthday cake will salute the anniversary amid an evening of live music. Artists' booths, the “Posters of Paris” exhibition and a wine garden will remain open until 11 p.m.

This weekend festival is geared for families, serious collectors and casual window shoppers who want to contribute to the future of the world-class Milwaukee Art Museum.

For a complete listing of events, programs and ticket prices, visit www.mam.org.

Art Happenings


A Fop's Banquet: An Exhibition in Three Acts

Portrait Society Gallery

Fifth Floor, Marshall Building, 207 E. Buffalo St.

Three new exhibitions—“Destruction: Michael Davidson,” “Reconfiguration: Ashley Morgan” and “Growth: Lynn Tomaszewski, Will Pergl”—precede the gallery's July 28 closing. (A grand reopening will take place this fall.) An opening reception occurs 6-9 p.m. June 14.

“To Become Day”

Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum

2220 N. Terrace Ave.

Madison artist Michael Velliquette's colorful paper-cut sculptures explore formal design. San Antonio artist Joey Fauerso paints over grand-scale historical wallpaper to investigate nature, culture and the human body. The museum hosts an opening reception for these artists' new works 5:30-8:30 p.m. June 15.