608 New York Avenue
Sheboygan, WI 53081
Learn more at: jmkac.org/engage-events/midsummer-festival-of-the-arts
Saturday, July 17, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, July 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
70+ Artist Booths • Music • Exhibitions • Demonstrations • Art Making • Food Trucks
Midsummer Festival of the Arts offers a unique, family friendly blend of fine art, handcrafted goods, music, food, and fun on the grounds of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center and Sheboygan’s City Green.
For more than five decades, this festival has been a Sheboygan tradition for family outings and for finding special works of art. Seventy-three artist booths lining the tree-lined streets will feature paintings, photographs, furniture, jewelry, wearables, wood carvings, ceramics, glass, leather goods, textiles, and more.
This year, the festival is dedicated to the late Ruth DeYoung Kohler II, who founded the annual event more than 50 years ago. Inside the Arts Center, a special exhibition titled Detours and Side Roads: A Tribute to Ruth DeYoung Kohler II explores Kohler’s life and legacy through objects and art from her personal collection. The show illustrates Kohler’s passion for and commitment to the Arts Center, visual and performing arts and artists, and the Sheboygan community.
Free Art Making
Three free art-making activities for all ages include Poetry is a “SNAP” on a Cap! Join Sheboygan’s poet laureate Lisa Vihos in creating a collaborative poem using Snapple caps and honoring Ruth Kohler’s love of words and her favorite beverage, a peach Snapple!
Festivalgoers can also make a one-of-a-kind fabric canvas painting inspired by artwork in the Arts Center’s High Touch exhibition and design a plaster medallion mold using clay, texture tools, colored sand, and more.
From 1 to 4 p.m. each day, stroll over to the City Green stage to enjoy free performances by local and regional bands. These concerts are part of the Return to the Real Music Series, which continues into September.
Watch artists Pat Robison, Karen Robison, Patty Aker, and plein-aire painters demonstrate their techniques. Demonstrations will take place Saturday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Sunday between noon and 2 p.m.
Food and Drink
A variety of delicious foods, water, and soft drinks will be available for purchase from the Arts Center’s own Culinary Art Car, Gyros, Asia’s Finest, Flecks, and Nutman. A bar area will offer canned beer and beverages.
Inside the Arts Center, exhibitions of contemporary art explore the theme of Return to the Real. On view in the series are a group exhibition titled High Touch, a solo exhibition of works by artist Annabeth Marks titled Extender, and Flavia D’Urso’s multichannel video installation Who Do You Think I Am?!
Additional exhibitions in the JMKAC galleries include Bernard Langlais: Live and Let Live, presenting works spanning the artist’s thirty-year career, and SPACES Spotlight: Gregg Blasdel + Clarence Schmidt, featuring Blasdel’s photographs of the art environment Clarence Schmidt created in Woodstock, NY; and Communities in Conversation, an Arts Center collaboration with Green Bicycle Co. and the City of Sheboygan to map the cultural assets that make Sheboygan, Sheboygan.
Image: Midsummer Festival of the Arts, July 15, 2017. Photo courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center.