Visit Milwaukee

Free Art in Milwaukee

the calling
The Calling by Mark di Suervo in front of the Milwaukee Art Museum

Not all art lives tucked away behind an admission desk! Milwaukee is home to amazing art museums, but there are also many free ways to experience art in the city. If you love art and are looking for free things to do in Milwaukee, check out one of these events

Sculpture Milwaukee Wisconsin Avenue transforms from a downtown thoroughfare to the world’s grandest outdoor gallery from June 1 – October 22, 2017. A curated exhibition of 22 museum-quality sculptures can be found along the avenue from 6th Street to O’Donnell Park, bringing culture and life to what’s been called Milwaukee’s historic main street.

This year’s exhibition features internationally-known artists like Tony Cragg, Santiago Calatrava, Joel Shapiro, Sol LeWitt, and more. Grab a photo of the towering silver Vortex or pose with the rainbow totem of smiley faces, Mood Sculpture. Local businesses are getting in on the fun with events and special offers for sculpture fans.

Milwaukee Art Museum The museum’s Calatrava-designed Quadracci Pavilion is a work of art in itself, and there’s no admission necessary to admire the ultra-modern white lines and the sweeping steel “wings” of the Burke Brise Soleil sunscreen. (Tip: Weather permitting, you can see the sunscreen open at 10 a.m., flap at noon, and close at 5 p.m. when the museum closes.) The whole collection can be enjoyed for free on the first Thursday of every month.

Black Cat Alley Fans of street art will love the murals in this alleyway turned open air gallery. Muralists from all over the world made their mark on these city walls, including internationally-renowned MTO who created one of his only murals in the United States here at Black Cat Alley in Milwaukee.

Haggerty Museum of Art Located on the Marquette University campus, this free museum features an ever-changing array of exhibitions and a full calendar of free performances, gallery talks, workshops, and more!

RiverScuplture! The 3-mile Milwaukee RiverWalk isn’t just a scenic way to get from one end of the downtown to the other on a nice stroll along the Milwaukee River. It’s also home to RiverSculpture!, a changing outdoor gallery that features around twenty pieces of public art.

Murals in every neighborhood you explore, you’re sure to find stunning wall murals. The Milwaukee Mural Map is an interactive map dedicated to documenting the city’s art, and even features a recommended bike route for taking in the murals.

Gallery Night & Day The doors of galleries, restaurants, and more fling open on Gallery Night & Day to welcome art lovers. This quarterly event is based in the Historic Third Ward neighborhood, but venues have spread throughout downtown. (It’s such a popular event that another local organization has launched Bay View Gallery Night, bringing the same artsy energy to Milwaukee’s south side.)


Print Friendly and PDF