Museum Director Marcelle Giving a Press Preview

Popular Lakefront Festival of Art Returns to the Milwaukee Art Museum in June

Posted on April 20th, 2023

Guests are invited to browse the work of over 120 jury-selected artists from across the nation and enjoy local food, lively music, and art activities for the whole family for the first time since 2019.

Milwaukee, Wis. – April 20, 2023 – The Milwaukee Art Museum is excited to announce the return of Lakefront Festival of Art to the Museum’s grounds June 16–18, 2023. Named one of the top twenty-five art festivals in the country, this highly anticipated event showcases the work of 120 artists from across the nation selected by an expert jury that evaluated the beauty, creativity, and technical virtuosity of their paintings, ceramics, textiles, metalwork, jewelry, sculpture, and more.

Founded in 1963, Lakefront Festival of Art is organized by Friends of Art, the longest-running volunteer support organization of the Milwaukee Art Museum. During its tenure, Friends of Art has raised funds for art exhibitions and the acquisition of works in the Museum’s collection. Works that have been gifted by Friends of Art include visitor favorites such as Duane Hanson’s realistic sculpture Janitor; Tom Wesselmann’s Still Life #51, a large-scale, Pop art–inspired still life of a Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer; and Sam Gilliam’s monumental draped canvas painting Carousel Merge 2. During the festival, docents will lead free drop-in tours, illuminating the dynamic stories behind acquisitions Friends of Art made possible.

“After a three-year pause due to the pandemic, we are thrilled to bring Lakefront Festival of Art back to the Milwaukee Art Museum,” said Will Belke, President, Friends of Art. “The jury has worked tirelessly to discover the most talented and exciting artists working in every region of the country and are bringing them to Milwaukee to restart this great summer tradition. We look forward to seeing festivalgoers once again browsing artist booths, gaining an appreciation of the visual arts, all while enjoying the views of Milwaukee’s iconic lakefront.”

In addition to spotlighting artists, this fun-filled summer tradition offers guests the chance to sample local food, lounge in the beer garden, sip a glass of wine, participate in family-friendly hands-on art projects inspired by the Museum’s collection, and visit current exhibitions, including Scandinavian Design and the United States, 1890–1980, and Native America: In Translation. Festival tickets include admission to the Museum.

“A celebration of artistic creativity and the breathtaking natural beauty of our region, Lakefront Festival of Art has been missed by our visitors, and we are delighted to bring it back for everyone to enjoy,” said Courtney Kihslinger, Director of Stewardship & Events at the Milwaukee Art Museum. “We are tremendously grateful to Friends of Art for making this invigorating event possible once again.”

For more information, please visit

Festival Information:

Friday, June 1610 a.m.–7 p.m.
Saturday, June 1710 a.m.–5 p.m.
Sunday, June 1810 a.m.–5 p.m.

Buy tickets online

Advance Ticket$17
3-Day Pass$25

Or at the entrance gate

3-Day Pass$30
General Admission$22
Member kids 17 and underFree
Students and seniors (65+)$17
Kids 12 and under, Military, Veterans, WI K–12 TeachersFree

The Calatrava underground parking garage will be closed during Lakefront Festival of Art. The Museum Center Park garage will be open and is located on Lincoln Memorial Drive, directly west of the Museum. Bike parking is always free on the festival grounds and bike racks are located near the south entrance. Street parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and fees may apply. Please observe all City of Milwaukee parking signs in areas surrounding the festival.

Thanks to the Contributing Sponsors of Lakefront Festival of Art, Molson Coors Beverage Company and The PNC Financial Services Group. Thanks to the Media Sponsor, MKE Lifestyle.

About the Milwaukee Art Museum

The Milwaukee Art Museum is an essential destination for art and architecture and a vital cultural resource that connects visitors to dynamic art experiences and one another. Housed in iconic buildings by Santiago Calatrava, Eero Saarinen, and David Kahler on a 24-acre lakefront campus, the Museum is Wisconsin’s largest art institution and home to a collection spanning from antiquity to the present. A bold symbol of Milwaukee’s ambition and forward-thinking vision, the Museum is a place for community building, education, and celebration, that fosters creativity and critical discourse for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. For more information, visit

Media Contact:

Cortney Heimerl