The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is going online this year with the 2020 Virtual Art Fair on the Square, a two-day event where visitors can shop for art and fine crafts from artists in Madison and around the country. It will also support MMoCA with online donations, and purchase the official 2020 Virtual Art Fair on the Square T-shirt, caps and more.
The Virtual Art Fair goes live on the same weekend that the actual event was to take place — Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12 — and visitors can browse dozens of artists’ virtual booths, enjoy music by local performers, watch videos of visitors’ memories of Art Fairs gone by, download kids’ art activities, and buy fun Art Fair merchandise.
Late this spring, the museum made the difficult decision to cancel the actual 2020 Art Fair on the Square, due to the coronavirus. This beloved event is one of the largest outdoor art fairs in the Midwest. Typically the fair attracts 200,000 visitors to Madison’s Capitol Square, features some 500 artists, and is supported by 400 MMoCA volunteers.
“This is a challenging time for many people, including artists that earn a good part of their living from selling work at art fairs, MMoCA Director of Events and Volunteers Annik Dupaty said in a news release. “Though I do feel that we made the right decision to cancel the fair for public safety, I am also glad that we can still offer artists an opportunity to sell online while raising funds to help support the museum.”
Through Art Fair on the Square, MMoCA has helped thousands of professional artists sell and promote their work, and that remains a goal of this year’s event. Art Fair on the Square is also the museum’s largest annual fundraiser, supporting MMoCA’s free admission policy, as well as free art programs and exhibitions year-round. Any donations made during the virtual event are very much appreciated and will help sustain the museum during these difficult times.
This year, the virtual Art Fair on the Square website will showcase the work of over 400 artists who were originally scheduled for the live event. The artists will be offering fine art and crafts, original photography, jewelry and much more. Many of the artists who are selling their work on the virtual Art Fair on the Square webpages will also be featured in posts on MMoCA’s Art Fair on the Square Facebook event page, and buyers can purchase their work either by following a direct link to the artist’s website or by calling the artist’s studio.
For those who look forward to buying the official Art Fair on the Square T-shirt each year, Wildwood Productions will still be offering both collectible and practical merchandise, including the official Virtual Art Fair shirt, caps and — just for 2020 — a safety mask.
This year’s selected artists hail from over 40 states, including 14 up-and-coming emerging artists and a range of returning award-winning artists from 2019.