Thousands pack downtown Madison for Art Fair on the Square - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Thousands pack downtown Madison for Art Fair on the Square


MADISON (WKOW)-- During the Summer a huge crowd in downtown Madison isn't rare, but rarely are the crowds this big. As an estimated 200,000 spectators head to downtown for the Art Fair on the Square.

"They have access to all kinds of amazing art that otherwise wouldn't be in the community," Madison Museum of Contemporary Art Communications Director Erica Monroe-Kane says.

Most Saturdays, it's farmers filling the capitol square, but for the past 55 years this one weekend each Summer has belonged to the artists.

"Some are new, the first time on the square. Some are established artists that people look forward to seeing every year," Monroe-Kane says.

More than 1,400 artists applied this year. They come from all across the country. Organizers say half of the 200,000 spectators are from out of town as well.

"This event puts $25 million into the Madison economy every single year," Monroe-Kane says.

Of the 450 artists that were accepted this year, Vincent Pompei is one of the few rookies on the roster.

"I was on the wait list and I stood around all day in the morning yesterday hoping to get in and now I've had an outstanding show and response," Pompei says.

He specializes in re-purposing old metal objects into useful household items like grandfather clocks.

"When I stated to make clocks again I wanted to make them look old and have that same sense of craftsmanship and style," Pompei says.

He was one of the more successful artists at the fair. Three hours into the first day of the fair he was nearly sold out. He's just one of the many undiscovered artists who have gained a following at the event.

"Our goal is to really just help connect people to art in the community and have people come out and enjoy art and engage with the artist," Monroe-Kane explains.

Art Fair on the Square will be open again Sunday from 10am-5pm. Be sure to stop by our booth for a free fan and a chance to win a year's supply of pizza from Papa Murphy's Pizza.



MADISON (WKOW)-- The 55th annual Art Fair on the Square enjoyed another successful year in terms of attendance. Organizers expect nearly 200,000 spectators to show up this weekend.

The art fair features more than 450 artists from around the world. Organizers say more than 1,400 artists applied to be in the fair this year. A panel of judges decides which artists will make the final cut. Judges try to pick artists that bring diverse and unique mediums to the fair. They also try to pick artists that people will enjoy the most.

The event is an annual fundraiser for the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Workers say the art fair not only helps them with their annual budget, but it also brings more than $25 million to the local economy each year. Nearly half of the spectators come from out of town.

Art Fair on the Square is held July 13th and 14th. The fair is open 9am-6pm on Saturday and 10am-5pm on Sunday.

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