At Monona Terrace, the Winter Art Fair Off the Square provided community members with a lively and intimate way to purchase art before the holiday season.

The fair, which ran from Saturday to Sunday, was home to 135 artists for the weekend. The art varied from traditional canvas paintings to wooden sculptures and just about everything in between.

When guests of the fair arrived, they were instantly able to get a sense of the lively ambiance of the fair. There was music playing throughout and shoppers everywhere.

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Each hour a new music group performed. During my visit, a group called the Ukulele Initiative performed several songs while accompanying themselves on the ukulele, wearing Hawaiian shirts and sporting flower leis.

The group energetically played songs like “Teenager in Love” — though the average age of the group’s members was around 70 — while guests stood around to watch, listen and cheer them on.

As guests moved through the many aisles of the fair, they were met with numerous different booths and kinds of art. All of the artists were at their booths, which made for an intimate shopping experience and a chance to understand the art they were seeing.

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While walking through the aisles of booths, one that struck me showcased paintings of animals with funny captions. I was able to ask the artist, Waukesha resident Chuck Webber, what his thoughts behind his art were.

“This is just my inner child off meds,” Webber said.

Additionally, I was able to talk to multiple artists about their artistic processes and really understand how their art came to be.

Many of the artists selling their work were not rookies. Karen Williams-Brusbardis, an artist out of Milwaukee, is in her third year at the fair. She participates in the winter and summer fairs, as well as others throughout Wisconsin. She said she likes that she is able to see familiar faces at every fair, along with new ones.

“It is a fun environment and has been a wonderful experience,” Webber said. I think that most visitors at the fair would agree.