For 46 years the Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts has been a destination attraction for visitors, as well as talented artists from all over the country. This year, the juried art festival will feature the original works of 135 artists.
Admission is free for the event that will take place rain or shine from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 20 and 21, at Fowler Park along the shores of Fowler Lake in the heart of Oconomowoc.
Sponsored by the Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts Ltd., a non-profit, all volunteer community organization, the festival has been lauded as one of the 100 best art fairs in the country by Sunshine Artist magazine. More than 500 community volunteers gather each summer to ensure the success of the long-standing art festival.
The event also includes a variety of live music entertainment and demonstrations on three different stages, a children’s arts and crafts tent, food concessions provided by local community organizations and a silent auction of donated art from festival artists.
This year’s featured artist is award-winning artist, jazz musician and children’s book “imaginator,” Don Nedobeck. For more information, visit www.nedobeck.com.
Focus on the arts
Through its mission to ensure future generations will continue a legacy of love for the world of fine arts, each year the Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts awards scholarships to Oconomowoc High School students who are pursuing a college major in visual or performance arts. Over the years, the organization has offered more than $60,000 in scholarships to local students.
Since 2011, the Virginia Harris scholarship has been awarded to a student in honor of the watercolor artist and Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts founder.
The third annual Mindful Mixed Mediums exhibit featuring the collaborative artistic talents of local middle school students will also be showcased during the event. Sponsored by the festival’s Kathy Boritzke Memorial Fund, a grant from the UW-Extension 4-H Special Interest Club and the Oconomowoc Public Library, this year’s exhibit focuses on "Monarch Butterfly Habits & Habitats" and will be included in the International Interdependence Hexagon Project.
The art festival rounds out a week full of free outdoor festivities happening throughout Oconomowoc, including Kids Fest, Kids Day, Oconomowoc Legion Band Concert, Moonlit Movies, Yoga on the Green, farmer’s markets, Bands on the Beach, Light Up the Lake Boat Parade, fireworks and more.
For more information about activities held during Oconomowoc’s Festival Week, visit the Oconomowoc Area Chamber of Commerce at www.oconomowoc.org.
Donna Lexa Memorial Art Fair
Celebrating its 20th year, the annual Donna Lexa Memorial Art Fair will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, along the Glacial Drumlin State Bike Trail in the Village of Wales. The juried art fair features more than 50 local artists and is a celebration of fine arts and crafts including paintings, photography, pottery, glass, wood, jewelry, metal, mixed media, drawings and fiber art.
There will also be live music entertainment, children's area, food and beverages for sale, used book sale benefiting Grandmothers Beyond Borders and more.
Sponsored by Jerusalem Presbyterian Church of Wales, proceeds from the art fair are donated to nonprofit organizations in Waukesha County. Last year, the church donated $7,000 to the Kettle Moraine Food Pantry, Donna Lexa Art Centers, Hope Center, and Safe Babies, Healthy Families. The art fair also helps to fund two scholarships for fine arts students graduating from Kettle Moraine High School.
For more information about the Donna Lexa Memorial Art Fair, visit www.donnalexamemorialartfair.org.