By Angela Damiani Special to Published Nov 30, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Inspired by two distinct passions, art and nightlife, the founders of Art Milwaukee have taken on a new challenge of exposing art to the masses. With the intention of expanding the traditional perception of what art is, this collective of artists hosts an event called Art Jamboree on the first Thursday of every month to showcase local art in an unconventional forum.

I attended the Art of Beer event in November at Stubby’s Pub and Grub located at 2060 N. Humboldt Ave. Since its recent opening, Stubby’s has quickly created a name for itself due to its vast selection of tap beer. The venue itself looks out over the Milwaukee River and with warmer weather the expansive deck is an excellent vantage point to enjoy the downtown skyline.

Inside the large circular bar overwhelms patrons with its more than 50 varieties of beer. Luckily, the staff is well-versed in the language of beer and gladly makes suggestions based on your palatal preferences. The event encouraged guests to explore beer and the nature of its craftsmanship as an art form.

Originally, I had assumed that the Art Jamboree would simply be an exhibition of local artwork for purchase in a bar setting. While several artists do have their work on display and for sale, the organizers take all forms of art into account. Throughout the night, live local talent played music. In one corner of the room, small cakes could be decorated reminding guests that the culinary arts require extreme precision and skill. I tried my hand at frosting and sprinkling a small chocolate torte, but it tasted much better than it looked.

Mid-way through the night, despite the coolness of the evening, a group of people gathered onto the patio to watch a fire dancer twirl flames effortlessly around her body. Her two performances shocked an awed the crowd. Without any fear, the dancer twisted and spun flaming batons to the rhythm of the music.

Prior to arriving, I had secretly feared that perhaps I was not "artsy" enough to fully comprehend or appreciate the art that I would discover. But the easy-going nature of everyone I encountered and the inclusion of so many different forms of art left me feeling inspired to run home and dig through the boxes in my basement for my paint brushes.

The next Art Jamboree called Art of Salsa is this Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010 at 7 p.m. at BYO Studio located at 2246 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. This time around, salsa in both its dance and food form will be exposed with live dance lessons and tasting from local vendors. All Art Milwaukee events are free and open to the public. 

Angela Damiani Special to

Angela returned to Milwaukee after living on both coasts and overseas. Filled with uncertainty about the move, she quickly discovered the hidden gem that is Milwaukee. The caliber of arts, music and culture as well as the ease of accessibility to it all, make Milwaukee one of a kind.

After a year of acclimating to life in Milwaukee, she is now surprised she ever doubted the return home in the first place. Exploring the different facets of Milwaukee has been an adventure she never expected and is what you'll mostly read about in this blog.