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The Starving Artist Fair returns to the DeKoven Center, 600 Caron Butler Drive, on Aug. 7. The outdoor event features the work of over 120 artists, who will display and showcase various mediums including painting, photography, ceramics, glass, mixed media, metalwork, fine jewelry making, woodworking, graphic arts, and more. All pieces of art are priced under $300 at this fair.

In addition to art, there are various entertainment opportunities including music, food vendors, activities for children, and more. The event hosted along Lake Michigan is free, open to the public, and will take place rain or shine.

Starving Artist Fair Gives Back

The event is supported and made possible by the Racine Art Guild. Proceeds from the fair contribute to the Racine Art Guild College Scholarship Fund. The organization is able to fundraise through the fees from vendor booths, silent auctions, and raffles.

Bloom Block Prints – Credit: Racine Art Guild
Sugar Creek Company & Works – Credit: Racine Art Guild

Each year, four $1,000 scholarships are provided to local artists pursuing a degree in fine art. A collaboration between Carthage College, UW-Parkside, UW-Milwaukee, and the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) helps select the award recipients.

Jayne Herring, Coordinator of the Racine Starving Artist Fair, acknowledges the financial burden of beginning a career in the visual arts.

“Fine art students have a lot of different art supplies to pay for,” says Herring. “In painting, all the brushes, the paint, the canvases… We’re glad we’re able to help support.”

Other sponsors of the Starving Artist Fair include RealRacine, Johnson Finacial Group, Educators Credit Union, Festival Foods, O&H Danish Bakery, Enjoy Mount Pleasant, and the Midwest Mountain Lions.

What’s in store?

This year’s event provides Racine with the opportunity to connect with the art scene. Except to see various art forms including the following vendors: Bloom Block Prints, Sugar Creek Company & Works, Art by Charmaine, North + Manor, Wildflower Fields Forever, and many more.

According to the coordinator, the Racine Starving Artist Fair consists of 28% of vendors from Racine County, 65% of vendors from other Wisconsin counties, and 7% of vendors from Illinois.

North + Manor – Credit: Racine Art Guild

Nearly, 150 vendors were juried and about 100 artists are setting up shop for Sunday’s event.

Wildflower Fields Forever – Credit: Racine Art Guild

This year also offers an expansion for food and drinks. The fair will feature 2 food courts. The vendors providing food and drinks are from the Racine and Kenosha area.

The event coordinator shares that this year they are excited to have Cut Stone Pizza attending the event, dishing out wood-fired pizzas that are made from inside a firetruck. As well, St. Mesrob Armenian Church will be there serving traditional Armenian bites to eat.

Glittery Tattoos at Kidz Korner, music, and other activities make the event appealing to all walks of life.

Participating Vendors

To view a list of current vendors participating in the 2022 Racine Starving Artist Fair, view the PDF below. Please note that this list is subject to change due to COVID-19.

Impact on Racine

The coordinator exclaims, “we’re a way of framing Racine’s story.”

The Racine Starving Artist Fair helps draw in nearly 4,000 visitors each year, according to the organizers. What most don’t understand is that this event and the arts, impact Racine’s economy in positive ways.

“It’s not only our local artists who are so important to the economy but also attracting artists outside the community, to bring them here, to understand, how much we support the art, it’s hugely important,” expresses Herring.

The fair allows people to explore Racine. It increases tourism when the event-goers stay in hotels, dine at restaurants and drink at local bars. In addition, to being able to enjoy the beautiful scenery along Lake Michigan’s shoreline and shopping at the fair.

“Then they come back for more another day. We’ve heard that a lot,” shares the organizer.

Getting Around

Once you’re here, there is no denying that it will be busy. To help ease your experience, a shuttle will be available to bring people to and from the Starving Artist Fair. Use the map provided here for the shuttle service route.

The shuttle will be traveling on a loop. From the Dekoven Center, it will head south on Wisconsin Avenue to 21st Street/Caron Butler Drive. From there it will head south to the Racine Montessori School area and then back up to 21st where it will continue to Grand Avenue. It will head north to DeKoven Avenue, and from there it will head back to Wisconsin Avenue and the DeKoven Center to complete the loop.

Stay connected

Find more information about the Racine Art Guild on their website. See a list of updates and sneak peeks at more works of art that will be available by visiting their Facebook page.

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