History

The Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts is sponsored by the Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts, Ltd. an all volunteer community organization. Now in its {festival-ordinal} year, it is a juried art festival enjoyed by artists and visitors alike. It has often been named one of the 100 best art fairs in the country by Sunshine Magazine, all the while maintaining an intimate park setting. For over a third of a century, the festival has been held on the third weekend in August in beautiful Fowler Park on the shores of Fowler Lake in the heart of Oconomowoc. Situated roughly halfway between Milwaukee and Madison, the festival sees patrons from as far away as both large cities.

Patrons can enjoy various musical groups on three stages scattered throughout the park. Families are encouraged to create their own works of art in the Children’s Area adjacent to the Children’s Stage. Everyone will find delicious treats provided by local community organizations at the Food Pavilion.

So come to Oconomowoc --Where the Waters Meet-- to leisurely shop for quality artwork in all media: photography, painting, drawing, fiber, jewelry, wood, metal, glass, stone… the artistic choices are as exquisite as the scenery.

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The Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts began in 1970 inspired by Virginia Harris and supported by the Oconomowoc Junior Woman’s Club and the Oconomowoc Woman’s Club. From 1970-1973, the annual festival was held at Zion Episcopal Church.

In 1974, the event moved to Fowler Park to have space for creative layout and to celebrate the park and lake. It continued to flourish each year, adding more artists, exhibits, entertainment, and concessions. It is funded by artists, individual donors, the clubs, and community leaders.

Due to its success in the last 45+ years, the Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts fosters public awareness of the arts through the annual festival, scholarships, sculptures, and youth programs.

The griffin has been the logo from the beginning in honor of the two griffins displayed in front of the Oconomowoc Public Library.

The festival T-shirts have featured paintings by these artists: Virginia Harris, Winn Jones, Hazel Adams, Lynn Casper, Don Nedobeck, Charlotte Fung Miller, and the sculpture Melody by Tuan.

Giving Back

Sculpture

Several sculptures were purchased by the Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts Committee and installed around the City of Oconomowoc in recent years. These gifts are in keeping with the Festival’s mission to bring fine art to the community.  Enjoy!

The sculpture will show the impact the lakes have on the community, and the sails will represent the teams of regattas that used to paint the landscape of Lac La Belle. It was designed by local artist Terri Field.

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John Rawlins created his artwork to reflect the beauty that surrounds us in our natural world.  "The Spirit of Oconomowoc" sculpture was purchased by the Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts for the city of Oconomowoc in 2016 and relocated across from Veterans Park, overlooking Fowler Park. 

John was an international wildlife artist and instructor whose media included oil painting, bronze sculpture, and wood carvings. His work can be found in local, national, and international collections.

The bronze sculpture “Melody” was installed on November 14, 2008 in front of the new Oconomowoc Arts Center, as a gift from the Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts.

The sculpture was created by California artist, Tuan, who was born in Vietnam.  His work radiates peacefulness and serenity through graceful lines and rhythmic compositions.  

Scholarships

Since 1983, the Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts has offered scholarships to young artists and musicians majoring in the fine arts.

The Festival of the Arts awards scholarships to students who are pursuing a college major in visual or performance arts. It is our way of ensuring that future generations will continue our legacy of love for the world of fine arts. We are proud to be able to support these young artists and students in the pursuit of their artistic, academic and career goals.

If you know of student from the Oconomowoc area who intends to pursue a career in the arts, please encourage them to apply for an OFA Scholarship for {year}.

The deadline to apply for {festival-year} is {scholarship-deadline}, no exceptions.

**Please pay close attention to the submission methods listed especially if using a phone to complete the form: Adobe Acrobat must be downloaded on any device including mobile. See below or pdf form for details.

Submission Methods:
  • Via Digital Form - Download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader 8.0 or later for desktop to fill and submit. Same with mobile except you'll need to enter email address ofascholarship@gmail.com when submitting form. *Reset button is functional, Print button is not with mobile access. You may use your own phone features with doc for printing.
  • Via Email - ofascholarship@gmail.com All entries must be received by mid-night on the due date. Please also attach personal statement, letter of reference and transcripts.
  • Via US Postal Service - Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts Scholarship 1188 Lowell Drive Apt 1, Oconomowoc, WI 53066

Youth Art Programs

The Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts showcased a new exhibit at the 44th annual art festival called Mindful Mixed Mediums. The exhibit featured a playful fusion of poetry, sculpture, and musical composition created by local students sponsored by the Kathy Boritzke Memorial Fund.

Kathy Boritzke was a local artist and long time member of the Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts. She was of inspiring character and full of passion and selfless giving. Her dynamic appearance in the 2011 One Vision: A Fusion of Art & Poetry held at the Oconomowoc Arts Center was the inspiration for 2014’s new exhibit.

Local students grades 5-8 had the opportunity to work with ekphrastic poet, Cristina Norcross, and sculpture artist, Layl McDill, to fuse the literary and visual arts. Torrin Hallet, the Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts Virginia Harris 2013 Scholarship winner worked with Dave Reul, advisor/coordinator for the music portion of the project, to provide an original composition to accompany the exhibit (view video production below). The mediums were fused together and presented by local artist, Amy Kavelaris, downtown business owner of the Bloom Prints Studio, for the public exhibition held August 16th-17th at Fowler Park.

In 2015 and 2016 the middle school Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts project integrated science, math and art for a dynamic national exhibition as well as a local exhibition for the Festival of the Arts.

Contact

Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts
PO Box 651
Oconomowoc, WI 53066

Thank you for visiting the Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts website. If you have any questions about the festival or the artists, please feel free to contact us by email (using the form below). We're always happy to hear from you.