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SCHNEIDER: Local art festival elicited intriguing atmosphere

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SCHNEIDER: Local art festival elicited intriguing atmosphere

Inspired visitors were encouraged to create their own art in a variety of mediums at the Third Ward Art Festival last Saturday.

Inspired visitors were encouraged to create their own art in a variety of mediums at the Third Ward Art Festival last Saturday.

Photo by Photo by Meredith Gillespie

Inspired visitors were encouraged to create their own art in a variety of mediums at the Third Ward Art Festival last Saturday.

Photo by Photo by Meredith Gillespie

Photo by Photo by Meredith Gillespie

Inspired visitors were encouraged to create their own art in a variety of mediums at the Third Ward Art Festival last Saturday.

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Last weekend, I planned to go to the Public Market for the weekly farmer’s market, but it had something special in store: the Third Ward Art Festival.

Artists from around the U.S., and some from around the globe, were gathered to sell their wares for art enthusiasts and curious passersby. For two days only, North Broadway was to become a hotspot for modern art in Milwaukee to raise money for the Wisconsin Humane Society, an animal rescue and rehabilitation company. I went in with no expectations.

I arrived at the Public Market to find the streets packed with people. Some were holding beers and laughing, others carried bits and pieces of abstract art, while others lugged around huge paintings purchased on the spot.

I walked through the many different tents, each housing an artist advertising his or her works of art. One was selling acrylic paintings of idyllic landscapes. Another had glass bowls, hanging pieces and strange sculptures with bow ties. I was astonished at the sheer amount of quality pieces that were on sale. There were over 140 artists all squashed together on North Broadway, each with their own tent to protect their art from strong winds and heat.

The first tent I stopped by was a man selling interesting pictures of famous cartoons. He had Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Wonder Woman and the Hulk on display. Each character’s design was altered to give them a punk style. Belle sported tattoos of the Beast, while Jayna of the Wonder Twins had a tattoo of her brother Zan and a stylishly ripped up costume. Each of these pictures was set against a background of newspaper.

The next tent I visited sold hanging figurines. Some were of women dancing with feathers and they twirled from invisible strings above my head. Hundreds of these little figures floated around, while the artist explained to passersby what her art meant to her and how she created it.

As I walked down the street, it became clear that it was not only the professionals who were showing off their skills, but the amateurs as well. I stopped at a chalk board where visitors could draw to their heart’s content. Nearby, some patrons played with spin art. All the while, various bands crooned from a small stage in the middle of the street, playing for attendees sipping free beer and wine.

While the art festival may be over for this year, I heard many comment on how much they enjoyed the festivities. This annual event will remain a fixture for artists and area enthusiasts alike, coming together to support a worthy cause.

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