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Art lovers, this one’s for you. Wauwatosa’s art comes in many shapes and forms here in our charming city — it’s something that brings that extra touch of magic to our community.
What makes Wauwatosa the perfect place for art lovers?
Wauwatosa is an ideal destination for art tourism! The city’s vibrant art scene provides a rich tapestry of artistic expression. From local galleries to annual art fairs, there are abundant opportunities to engage with diverse art forms and connect with talented artists. Wauwatosa’s commitment to preserving its historical and cultural heritage is evident in its well-maintained art museums and architectural gems that house various art collections. The city’s picturesque landscapes serve as inspiring backdrops for artistic exploration. Wauwatosa’s proximity to Milwaukee expands the horizons for art enthusiasts, granting easy access to renowned museums, galleries, and cultural events. Whether it’s appreciating local talent or immersing oneself in the broader artistic landscape, Wauwatosa offers an enriching and fulfilling experience for art lovers.
Throughout our dynamic districts, you can find the work of artists from near and far who have all left their mark on Tosa. From East Tosa’s magical murals to street art around Tosa Village, the vibrant colors and patterns are something you just can’t miss.
We’ve put together the perfect weekend guide for art lovers to tap into the beauty that surrounds Tosa.
What to Do
Whether you’re an art-lover or not, you’ll see that Wauwatosa’s East Tosa murals are truly something magical.
In 2019, artists from around the globe came to Tosa to help make it that much more vibrant. From the brick walls of Cranky Al’s to those of BelAir Cantina, admire the larger-than-life artwork displayed throughout our East Tosa district. And the best part about this art, it’s completely free to enjoy!
In need of inspiration for one of your own projects? A walk through Tosa Village should do the trick.
The Village is filled with beautiful historic buildings for those into architecture and sparkling string lights that connect one side of the street to the other. This charming district essentially looks like a painting that came to life and should not be missed during your visit.
The perfect place to sip, shop, and create, the Grey House is a one-of-a-kind bar and boutique DIY store.
Put your creative cap on and create a fun keepsake from your visit to Wauwatosa. Be sure to check out their website for the full workshop schedule and make a reservation before you visit.
Whether you’re in it for the wine or for the painting, Arté Wine & Painting Studio is the perfect evening activity in Wauwatosa.
Located in Tosa Village, sign up for any of their instructor-led classes or paint your own masterpiece in an open canvas painting session. They even have an outdoor patio for you to take your skills outside on a warm day!
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind piece to bring home with you, look no further than Magpie.
Located in Tosa Village, this unique shop is a gallery, retail shop, and creative studio all in one. In addition to the pieces they create in-house, Magpie also shows the work of over two dozen jewelers and a rotating number of painters, sculptures, photographers, and functional craftspeople.
Where to eat:
Kin by Rice N Roll is family-owned, and everyone there is passionate about making varieties of Asian food and sushi with an authentic taste and modernized look.
Known for its beautiful sushi, the restaurant truly creates some masterful pieces of (food) art. We know you’ll want to post this Insta-worthy creation on social media, so be sure to tag us and mention #DiscoverTosa!
This woman-owned restaurant provides a modern twist on classic comfort food and libations with a focus on great taste and creativity.
Firefly Tosa is known for its scratch-made plates in a lively, warm atmosphere, and even has some artwork scattered throughout the restaurant.
Rocket Baby Bakery is known for its artisan bread, pastries, coffee, espresso, and sandwiches. Made from scratch daily, they use local sources as often as possible, too!
From bread to pastries to breakfast and lunch items, prepare to be amazed by the love and attention that is put into these gorgeous (and tasty!) bites each and every day.
Where to stay:
From special surprises in each elevator (in the form of animal photos on the walls!) to stunning artwork in each and every guest room, expect to see awe-inspired pieces throughout Renaissance Milwaukee West that showcase ‘The Tailor and The Seamstress’ hotel theme.
Another excellent art-inspired hotel for your art vacation is the Radisson Hotel Milwaukee West. Get lost in corridors filled with hand-painted scenes of Milwaukee, WI, and enjoy their many amenities while you visit.
Events to Attend:
ART 64 stands as a unique, two-day painting tournament that follows a bracket-style format, unfolding in the vibrant center of our delightful city, Tosa Village. This weekend art extravaganza offers numerous chances to fully immerse yourself in Wauwatosa’s local eateries and charming boutiques.
Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Kneeland-Walker House, adorned with lush lawns and enchanting Victorian gardens, serving as the residence of the esteemed Wauwatosa Historical Society. Experience the arts in all their glory during the inaugural weekend of August. The Firefly Art Fair, a renowned event within the arts community, takes place in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. This yearly extravaganza proudly presents a curated collection of artwork from talented local and national artists. Visitors are treated to an exceptional opportunity to acquire one-of-a-kind, handmade treasures directly from the artists, adding a personal touch to their artful purchases.
For art enthusiasts visiting Wauwatosa, there are several notable art museums worth exploring. The Milwaukee Art Museum, located nearby, is a must-visit destination boasting a vast collection spanning centuries and encompassing various artistic styles. With its iconic Quadracci Pavilion and stunning lakefront location, the museum offers a visually captivating experience. Additionally, the Charles Allis Art Museum, housed in a historic Tudor-style mansion, showcases a diverse range of artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. Its intimate setting provides a unique opportunity to appreciate art within an enchanting architectural gem.
For those with an appreciation for sculptures, there are captivating artistic installations to explore. The Lynden Sculpture Garden offers an immersive experience with its expansive outdoor collection of sculptures set amidst beautiful gardens and natural surroundings. From abstract forms to figurative pieces, the sculptures here engage with the landscape, creating a harmonious blend of art and nature. Wauwatosa offers a rich and inspiring sculptural landscape to explore.
Header photo courtesy of @roostmke