Six Reasons to Explore Art In The City Plein Air MKE and the Milwaukee Museum Mile

Apr. 28, 2017
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There are places you discover that surprise. Art In The City Plein Air MKE 2017 is a great way to explore places you’ve never been to before and experience the cultural diversity of Milwaukee’s East Side with friends and family.

From May 11-21, more than 60 acclaimed artists from Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri will paint along the Milwaukee Museum Mile on the historic East Side, from Juneau Park on the south to Lake Park on the North, and compete for over $6,000 in prizes. Artwork will be available for purchase at our soirée and public art sale.

Last year’s inaugural event brought thousands of people to the Mile, showcasing some of the best painters from around the Midwest, and introducing new audiences to the museums.

What’s New in 2017?

There is an increased number of days of competition from five to eleven, expanded completion boundaries and a second Quick Paint competition that now includes the Brady Street and East North Avenue neighborhoods.

Learn more at

Here is why you should check out this fun and festive gathering of artists, art lovers and collectors:

1. Explore museums you’ve never been to before.

Everyone knows about Milwaukee’s Art Museum and Public Museum. But have you climbed the North Point Lighthouse tower in Lake Park? Or explored the gardens of Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum? Or visited the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, the Charles Allis Art Museum and the MOWA gallery at Saint John’s On The Lake?

Plein Air MKE is your opportunity to discover Milwaukee’s unique museum treasures conveniently located within walking distance of each other, and experience the rich concentration of history, architecture, culture and art that defines our city. 

2. Purchase one-of-a-kind artwork by exceptional artists.

Artwork created during the plein air competition is for sale! These unique paintings by exceptional artists are perfect for your home, office and as a gift. Come to the soiree on May 18 to view art, enjoy the festivities and buy.

3. Discover fun East Side neighborhoods, stores and restaurants.

Take a short trip by foot or bike along Prospect Avenue to Lake Park and discover museums, historic houses and buildings, and unique neighborhoods. Explore Brady Street and North Avenue during the two Plein Air Quick Paint competitions on May 13 and 14, and watch as artists paint what they see along the streets while enjoying lunch and drinks.

4. It’s Milwaukee Museum Mile Day…on Mothers Day!

On Sunday, May 14, all five MMM museums will offer free/reduced admission, free, guided tours, refreshments and kids’ activities. Treat Mom on Mother's Day to brunch and then take her and the family on a tour of the unique museums. It’s pretty cool!

5. Attend the Art In The City Soirée on May 18th.

Enjoy art, live music, hors d'oeuvres and champagne at our gala art sale from 6pm-8:30pm at Saint John’s On The Lake. We’ll showcase artwork created throughout the week and announce the winners chosen by nationally renowned artists, Bill Suys and Shelby Keefe. Best of all, the art will be for sale! 

6. Support local museums and your community.

Our one-of-a-kind museums are an integral part of the distinctive character of Milwaukee. A portion of the proceeds from art sales benefits the Milwaukee Museum Mile museums.

The Milwaukee Museum Mile is a consortium of beautiful, unique museums that share Milwaukee’s East Side nestled along Lake Michigan. Museums include the Charles Allis Art Museum, Jewish Museum Milwaukee, North Point Lighthouse, Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum and the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) at Saint John’s On The Lake.

Learn more at


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