Your guide to Madison’s vibrant art scene

So much art to experience, so little time

· Jul 27, 2017 Tweet

Marissa Haegele/The Badger Herald

Madison is at the top of the game when it comes to its vibrant art scene. There is never a shortage of visual art to experience, and the isthmus constantly offers opportunities for all types of tastes and preferences.

Between these museums and local galleries, Madison caters to anyone with an affinity for visual art. So, let the Badger Herald be your guide!

Chazen Museum of Art

Nestled in between East Campus Mall and Memorial Union, the Chazen Museum of Art is home to a diverse selection of both historical and contemporary art, hosting temporary exhibitions to keep the museum’s selections fresh and exciting. Primarily serving as an educational outlet for UW students, the Chazen is a valuable asset to Madison’s art scene.

With a wide range of paintings, sculptures, photography, prints and more, the museum’s collection is a force to be reckoned with. According to the Chazen Museum of Art’s website, only 10 percent of its art is on display at one time, speaking to the museum’s massive collection. If that’s not enough to win you over, maybe the free admission will.

Marissa Haegele/The Badger Herald

Gallery Marzen

One of the newer galleries to join Madison’s art scene, Gallery Marzen showcases a variety of art and does not restrict itself to a single type or style. It presents a sleek, refined experience for art-seeking Madisonians, offering open studios led by professional artists and eight week long exhibitions.

Madison Children’s Museum

Despite Madison’s college town vibes, its Children’s Museum is a huge hit for not only the little ones, but residents and tourists in general. One of its most notable exhibitions is the Glow Show, an electrifying collaboration between children and UW students displayed for all year round on Capitol Square. 

Though the museum is not solely for art, it serves a special role in Madison’s art scene, offering opportunities for children to immerse themselves in the museum’s Bakke Art Studio, a program funded by the Wisconsin Arts Board.

Katie Cooney/The Badger Herald

Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art’s glass-faced building attracts countless sets of eyes on the corner of State and North Henry, and is known around town for not only its impressive collection of art, but for its rooftop restaurant Fresco.

Fine dining aside, MMoCA’s collection of modern art has grown over the years to include art from the 20th and 21st centurie —  a perfect spot for art lovers more fine-tuned to contemporary work. In addition to its own collections, MMoCA takes great pride in its exhibitions, including a rooftop sculpture garden.

Marissa Haegele/The Badger Herald

Milward Farrell Fine Art

For a more intimate art gallery experience, Madisonians can check out a gallery located on Monroe Street — Milward Farrell Fine Art. Owned by Gary Milward and Brian Farrell, the gallery dedicates its space to its valued local customer base. According to the gallery’s website, it stands out among others as an outlet for local jewelry and glassware artists, which is appropriate given the gallery’s warm, yet sophisticated interior, complete with open spaces, windows and a cozy carpeted floor. Venture to Milward Farrell Fine Art for a quiet, casual yet remarkable visual arts experience.


This article was published Jul 27, 2017 at 11:46 am and last updated Jul 27, 2017 at 11:58 am


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