“The Arts Mean Business”

Did you know that Lee County’s non-profit arts organizations create 2,038 full-time jobs and $68 million in economic activity? (That’s more than the Red Sox and Twins combined!)

Those are some of the eye-opening numbers in “Arts & Economic Prosperity IV,” just released by Americans for the Arts in partnership with Lee County Alliance for the Arts.

It’s true! “The arts mean business.”

The findings from Arts & Economic Prosperity IV send a clear and welcome message: leaders who care about community and economic vitality can feel good about choosing to invest in the arts.
~ Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO, American for the Arts

Click here to download the full report (PDF).

Poster Competition for ArtFest 2017 Opens

ArtFest Fort Myers, Southwest Florida’s premier fine art festival, is pleased to announce the opening of the Poster/T-shirt Competition for the 2017 festival!  “We hope that all professional artists will submit artwork that speaks to Southwest Florida,” explains Sharon McAllister, Executive Director.  “Our Commemorative Poster and T-Shirt always feature inspiring original artwork and we encourage any artist, not just those applying to participate in ArtFest Fort Myers 2017, to submit their artwork for consideration.

“I loved LOVED being the featured poster artist for ArtFest Fort Myers,” said Leoma Lovegrove about her 2016 experience. “The media whirlwind began with the Poster Unveiling Party in early January-such an honor to meet the dedicated community of art buyers who support the art festival! In the weeks preceding ArtFest, my work and my story were promoted everywhere and my festival weekend was a marvelous success!”

The artist whose work is selected for the Poster/T-shirt will be featured in a broad range of print, on line and VIP promotions preceding festival weekend, and continuing throughout the year. The selected artist also receives a free booth space at ArtFest Fort Myers 2017, a complimentary three night stay at our host hotel, plus an invitation to join us at ArtFest Fort Myers 2018 and much more!

Submissions for this contest must represent original artwork, in a theme that reflects Southwest Florida and is appealing to a broad audience. Entries are being accepted from May 20, 2016 through August 19, 2016 and images can be submitted by email.  For more information, visit our web site ArtFestFortMyers.com and click on Poster Contest or call 239-768-3602.

Proceeds from the sales of the Commemorative Poster and T-Shirt help to support a variety of ArtFest Fort Myers’ art education outreach programs and the Newspaper in Education Program at The News-Press.

ArtFest Fort Myers, the annual juried fine art festival, takes place February 3, 4 & 5, 2017 in the Fort Myers River District. Join the experience with 200 professional artists from across the county and around the world; the largest high school art exhibit and competition in south Florida and free interactive art experiences for children of all ages.  For more information, visit ArtFestFortMyers.com

Call for Artists – ArtFest Fort Myers 2017

ArtFest Fort Myers Crowd

ArtFest Fort Myers, Southwest Florida’s premier fine art festival, is currently accepting applications from professional artists for participation in our 2017 juried show. Featuring the work of 200 artists, ArtFest Fort Myers will bring 85,000 art lovers and collectors to the largest outdoor gallery in Southwest Florida on the first weekend in February!

Why apply to participate at ArtFest Fort Myers? Creating an artwork-selling festival for artists is the focus of our year-round professional staff, with 17 years of consistent management. Targeting art buyers throughout Southwest Florida and beyond – from Marco Island to Sarasota and east to West Palm Beach – our promotional campaign includes all forms of media. We also understand the importance of providing great artist amenities over festival weekend, to ensure that our artists are stress free and ready to share their work with our dedicated attendees.

How are festival artists chosen? Each October ArtFest Fort Myers brings together a panel of professional artists who view submitted images and score each applying artist on a range of 1 – 7 points. The artists with the highest scores are then invited to participate in ArtFest. Our Jury Panel varies each year but always represents a broad base of expertise with regard to artistic mediums – theirs is the difficult task of evaluating who is the “best-of–the-best” from the hundreds of artists who wish to join ArtFest Fort Myers! (Our jury process is open to artists and patrons – please contact us for more information.)

ArtFest Fort Myers works year-round to produce a creative community celebration that also includes:

  • Publix Art Yard, an interactive arts/crafts area for children, including a “children only” shopping gallery and youth stage performances (sponsored by Publix Super Markets)
  • Art Under 20, an exhibition and competition for Lee County high school students, offering cash awards (sponsored by Suncoast Credit Union)
  • Chalk Block, a weekend high school sidewalk chalk competition mentored by professional chalk artists (sponsored by Truly Nolen Pest Control)
  • VIP Experience for loyal art patrons who wait all year to make art purchases with us (sponsored by Ron Bucher, Raymond James)

For Artist Application information, contact ArtFest Fort Myers at 239-768-3602, email info@ArtFestFortMyers.com or visit our website at ArtFestFortMyers.com.