Starving Artists' Show a longtime love affair for art enthusiasts and artists alike

The show, now in its 48th year, features over 200 local and national artists specializing in ceramics, fiber art, glass work, jewelry, painting, sculpture and more. It is sponsored by the Mount Mary University Alumnae Association, with proceeds used to help support student scholarships. For more information, visit

The Starving Artists' Show is a beloved tradition - for Mount Mary's Alumnae Association, for the thousands of patrons who attend with family and friends - and for the artists who draw in an enthusiastic following.

Miranda Orlove of Milwaukee has attended with her mother, Kelly, and grandmother, Lauren Lenz, for too many years to count; some of their most cherished pieces in their homes - art glass and paintings - have been purchased at the show.

"My house is full of art, mostly from here," said Lenz. They were among the first in line to get into the show, and took the time to determine their shopping strategy. First on their list? Aluminum art prints.

"It's spectacular," Lenz said. "It's exciting to see these new and evolving art forms." Patrons such as this three-generation family continue to revisit the fair because of the breadth of the type of artwork and the affordability factor, as all artwork is priced $100 or less.

Scott Jones, a contemporary painter from Bay View, said he "sells out every year," and said the fair patrons appreciate his locally inspired landscapes, such as harbor images near his home in Bay View, landscapes of birch trees in Door County and forests in Northern Wisconsin.

Aleisha Rice '09, general chair of the Starving Artists' Show, said the gorgeous weather and general enthusiasm combined to make this year's event particularly successful.

"We had a beautiful day for it and as usual we had patrons lined up ahead of time," she said. "There's a great rush of people in the morning and excitement all throughout the day."



[PHOTO, left] Tailgating at an art show

A mid-September Sunday morning is a lovely time for a brunch and an art show, and four longtime patrons manage to do both. Early morning, long before the show starts, Natalie Longworth, Michelle Nate, Cathie Anderson and Lynn Ruhl, all of Milwaukee, set up their repast - brie, crackers, fruit, banana bread and croissants laced with cinnamon – on a tablecloth-covered table.

They pour mimosas and enjoy the early morning sunshine, and one another. The group worked together for many years in finance and operations at MPS and reunites annually for this event. As the morning progresses, other friends come to join them, too.

“We love coming here, the artists and the prices are really good,” said Ruhl. None of them said they were looking for anything in particular. They were here to be together, to enjoy the day. They would, said Ruhl, let inspiration strike. “None of us has a plan,” she said. “That makes us dangerous because it means we might buy more.”