When local artist and illustrator Shaun Watson had the idea to curate an art festival, he wanted to take anything but the typical route. “I have grown to love this city so much, but it often falls into the trap of only showcasing the same few artists,” Watson says. “I wanted to create an art show with local music, international art, and none of the stuffiness of a typical art gallery.”
And that is exactly what Watson will bring to the streets of Walker’s Point as he prepares for the kick-off Fitz and Friends Pop-Up Art Festival: A three-day pop-up art and music festival opening this Friday.
Fitz and Friends promises a local-meets-global experience where visitors will be able to browse unique pieces of art and collectibles made by international artisans, as well as listen to live Milwaukee music. They can even enjoy a cold brew. Besides Watson, participating artists include: Graeme Zirk, Zelda Galewsky, Kiki Ljung, Alex Despain, Marta Ryczko, Super Duper, Kristina Micotti, Knarly Gav, Elevator Teeth, Abby Galloway, Miro Denck, Life Wife Press, Liana Jegers, Lauren Zens, Amelia Giller, Lil Kool and Berto Fojo.
The full lineup of musical performances is below:
Friday, August 19
7:30 p.m.: Jay Anderson
8:30 p.m.: KJ Prodigy
9 p.m.: Abby Jeanne
10 p.m.: Bo Triplex and his Beautiful Band
11 p.m: Siren
Sunday, August 21
7:30 pm.: Anthony Deutsch
9:30 p.m: D’amato
As Watson put it, the pop-up fest will be “a creative celebration of illustrators and makers from around the world coming together to have a great time, with local music and drinks.” And if you’re wondering how Fitz and Friends got its name, Watson has an answer for you: “As an artist myself, I work under the name Fitz, which actually originated from my cat’s name. And this show is about me and all of my friends who have inspired me.”
Fitz and Friends Pop-Up Art Festival runs from August 19-21 at 131 W. Seeboth Street in Walker’s Point, from 6 p.m. until midnight.