3 New Art Galleries to Check Out in Milwaukee

With Gallery Night MKE this weekend, we rounded up some of the the city’s newest art spaces.

Milwaukee’s art scene is expanding. Already this year, not one, not two, but three new galleries have opened around the city.  

The James May Gallery (2201 N. Farwell Ave.) came to the East Side all the way from the Door Peninsula, where artist and director/curator Kendra Bulgrin had been showcasing art since 2015. The gallery, named after her two sons, features her paintings as well as work from emerging and established artists. “This is my passion … and it has been missing from my life [since the pandemic]. I’m so thrilled it all came together,” says Bulgrin.

Photo courtesy of James May Gallery

Just a few blocks away, sibling duo Olivia and Marisa Camacho opened La Gente Art Gallery (2478 N. Murray Ave.). The proudly queer-owned space is a celebration of all things art, with a makerspace in the front and exhibition gallery in the back. The duo even hosts “Sh**ty Art Nights” once a month to inspire people to create.


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Photo courtesy of La Gente Art Gallery

“My sibling and I have a really strong bond, and we hope that shows through our gallery,” Olivia says. “I like that people say they feel creative and comfortable here.” 

After some delays, the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design opened MIAD Gallery at The Ave (301 W. Wisconsin Ave.) in April. The space showcases work from students, alumni and staff at MIAD. “[When] I saw our first group of students come in, it was just an incredible moment,” gallery manager Monica Miller says. “You could see the look on their faces, like ‘Wow, this is a space that we have – this is our space.’” 

Both MIAD Gallery at The Ave and James May Gallery are participating in this summer’s Gallery Night MKE on July 21-22.

Learn more about Gallery Night at gallerynightmke.com. 


This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine’s July issue.

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Alli Watters is the digital and culture editor at Milwaukee Magazine. That means that in addition to running this website, she covers art, entertainment, style, home and more for the magazine. It also means she doesn't sleep much.