Hot cocoa, holiday lights, frigid weather- all warnings that the holiday season has arrived in full force. One more signifer? The annual Madison Museum of Contemporary Art Holiday Art Fair starts Friday.

In case you’re unfamiliar, this isn’t just an arts and crafts show for the meagerly talented. Artists who wished to partake in the traditional MMoCA had to go through a fierce judging process, according to MMoCA Marketing Assitant Terry Boehner.

“Four jurors evaluated digital images of artwork which were submitted for review online,” Boehner said. “Jurors think about originality, quality and how well the work has been executed. The artists had to receive a specific rating and ranking to be accepted for participation.”

Out of the 250 applicants only 90 were selected to partake in the festivities. With such a competitive elimination, it’s safe to assume the fair is worth stopping by. Artists are not purely native to Madison, but come from anywhere across the nation, which adds to the diversity of the art within the fair as a whole.

Art in this case is not just limited to paintings, sculptures, or drawings, in fact, one of the fairs most popular exhibits can be found within the Gourmet Gallery. This gallery showcases teas, toffees, chocolates, among other seasonal treats. It may not be grandma’s special holiday bars, but it’ll come close.

Music Performance groups from last year’s fair will be returning as well as a few new performances. Kanopy Dance, a contemporary dance company that puts on intriguing shows will preform Sunday morning. The performers move their body in artistic ways that correlate with music in order to tell a story and also use creative costumes and prop usages.

The Kanopy Dancer will also preform with Tangled Up in Blue, the a-capella chorus composed of UW women.

Attending these live performances and viewing the work of nearly 90 artists will be a memorable experience that can be taken home. The Rediscovered Art and Treasures Sale is another crowd pleaser that allows everyone to take a piece of the art fair home with them.

“This sale presents an array of vintage and once-prized possessions, including original art, jewelry, antiques, decorative art, cookbooks, fashion accessories, and collectibles,” Boehner said.

With Christmas just around the corner, this presents a perfect opportunity to buy loved ones unique gifts they will never forget. A jump start on shopping can be done from 4 to 5 p.m. on Friday, for those who can’t wait.

This 40th annual Holiday Art Fair has developed quite a reputation throughout the years. A favorite tradition of the fair is the count down to the lighting of the Overture Center’s Holiday display. The display, composed of seasonal decorations of lighting snowflakes, colors, and other cascading lights through the entire Overture center, is Madison’s own version of the magnificent Rockefeller Center tree lighting. If this isn’t enough to get you in the holly-jolly mood, check yourself, you may in a bit of a Scrooge mood.

The MMoCA Holiday Art Fair will run Friday, Nov. 19 through Sunday, Nov. 22 at the Overture Center for the Arts.

We're hiring! Check out our jobs page. Applications due April 27th. badgerherald.com/about/get-involved/hiring.