How to Apply

On this page:

COVID concerns? We’ve got you covered.

Our message to artists: We value the safety and success of all artists who participate in ArtFest Fort Myers.

It is our pledge to artists to be totally transparent to you – please monitor our eNewsletters for up-to-date information.

We are always available and eager to talk with artists so please call us anytime with questions, suggestions or just to chat.

At this time we are juggling multiple scenarios to maximize both safety and success for you – they will evolve as CDC guidance continues to evolve. As the scenario becomes “more known” we will adjust the information on our website and ZAPP listing.

In-person Art Festival

We all love the in-person festival – entering our 3rd decade in 2021. Our staff is deeply into planning and eagerly looking forward to ArtFest Fort Myers 2021 and beyond.

Because we value your safety and success, multiple new safety protocols to maximize both safety and success for artists, attendees and volunteers/staff are being implemented. Our Site Plan is not yet finalized as we continually revise for CDC Guidance. Based on what we know at this time the Site Plan will have:

  • increased spacing between booths
  • reduced number of artists
  • crowd size control with emphasis on art buyers
  • multiple locations around the festival of hand sanitizer stations
  • continual cleaning of common area touch points

Given ArtFest Fort Myers’ dedication to hosting the in-person art festival and the unknowns as COVID continues into the Fall, we are also reserving back-up dates. Those dates are in the process of being chosen to not conflict with other Florida art festivals that would create hard choices for artists accepted to ArtFest Fort Myers.

NEW ADDITION FOR 2021: ArtFest@Home

We are thrilled to announce ArtFest@Home.  This virtual art festival is being created to exist alongside the in-person festival providing additional experiences and artwork sales for everyone. ArtFest@Home will open a few days before the in-person festival and will remain open longer – again increasing artist sales. Virtual Festivals being creating on new, cutting edge platforms, like Eventeny, are vibrant; engaging; content packed and sales driven.

Having a virtual component to art festivals is the way of the future. Certainly the virtual component will never replace the community joy of the in-person festivals. Think of the virtual component as opening new markets for your artwork and reaching buyers for more time than just a weekend.

This is a quick look at ArtFest@Home

  • All artists accepted to ArtFest Fort Myers are also in ArtFest@Home.
  • No other artists will be in ArtFest@Home, only those accepted through the in-person festival jury process.
  • There is no additional “booth fee” to be part of ArtFest@Home, it’s a package deal with the in-person festival.
  • There will be plenty of tech support for artists, although if you can handle ZAPP or PayPal or your own eCommerce store you will love the ArtFest@Home interface.
  • ArtFest Fort Myers will provide extensive assistance to artists to maximize their online sales at ArtFest@Home or any other virtual art show.

Learn more about ArtFest@Home

Deadlines & Fees

Application Fee: $35

Booth Fees
Booth Fee: Single 10 x10 is $454 + 6.5% Florida Sales Tax + $10 City Business Fee
Double booth spaces are available in limited number.

Deadlines for 2021 ArtFest Fort Myers
  • June 4, 2020 – Application available on Zapplication
  • September 28, 2020 – Application Deadline
  • October 12 to 15, 2020 – Jury Day
  • October 23, 2020 – Notification of Acceptance
  • November 20, 2020 – Invitation Acceptance and Booth Fees Due (This is an estimate only at this time. It may shift later and/or include payment plans depending on CDC Guidance in November)
  • December 20, 2020 – Withdrawal date w/o forfeiture of Booth Fee (This is an estimate only at this time. It may shift later depending on CDC Guidance in November)
  • December 20, 2020 – Artist Certificate of Insurance due
  • February 5, 2021 – Artist set up, with staggered assigned times beginning at 8:30 AM
  • February 5, 2021 – Opening Night including 65 festival artists from 5 – 9 PM
  • February 6 & 7, 2021 – ArtFest Fort Myers 9 AM – 5 PM

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Selection Process

ArtFest Fort Myers strives to create a balanced show that represents diverse styles and techniques in the categories defined below.

Artists are selected based upon quality of workmanship, originality and artistic conception. All work must be done solely by the displaying artists.

ArtFest Fort Myers uses Zapplication to administer its application and jury process.

The jury is a “blind jury.” This means the jurors do not know the names or any other information about the artists.

The Jury plan, as of June 4, 2020, is an On-line Jury Process using ZAPP technology with five member panel scoring remotely.  The jurors, a diverse group of experienced art professionals, are selected for their art background and for their appreciation of the value of art festivals. Our jury members vary each year and we often include a festival artist on this panel.

The decision of the jury is final.

Like many things Jury Process is a moving target as we adjust for COVID related issues.

Examples of Accepted Art

For more examples, see the online gallery. (All accepted artists are featured there.)

Please check out the Artists Tips for some helpful tips on creating a good artwork submission.

Booth image should show your booth as it is set up for exhibition at an outdoor or indoor show with your work displayed, but must not reveal the artist name or have people standing in the booth. The image description and Artist Statement will be available to the jurors on their computer monitor. Please use this statement to convey the process used to create your work and not the inspriation behind your artwork as that should speak for itself.

Ninety percent (90%) of the artist spaces will be selected through the jury process. The 2020 Award Winners, any year Best of Show Artist and 2020 & 2021 Poster Artists have automatic acceptance to ArtFest Fort Myers 2021 – there are 35 of them (due to 20 years of Best of Show artists). We expect, based on history, 15 of them to attend in 2021. That means that approximately 135 to 160 artists will be selected in the Jury Process – based on 150 to 175 artists in 2021. If COVID doesn’t reappear in the Fall it is possible ArtFest Fort Myers will return to having 200 artists.

Images from accepted artists will be utilized for promotion and adherence to the rules.

A wait list, by category based on jury scores, will be established for each portion of the festival.

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Category Descriptions

Ceramics – Art objects either functional or decorative of earthenware, porcelain, or tile, made by shaping and then firing a nonmetallic mineral, such as clay, at a high temperature.

Digital – Pictures made with the assistance of computers. Computer Graphics are often made with software called drawing, painting, illustrating and photographic programs or applications.

Drawing/Pastels – Drawings are works on paper using pencil, crayon, ink, charcoal, pastels and a variety of other marking media.

Fiber – Includes non-wearable artwork from fibers such as basketry, embroidery, weaving, tapestry and papermaking.

Glass – The expression of art made from blowing and fashioning glass.

Graphics/Printmaking – Printmaking is a transfer process of producing original art, usually in multiples. It involves creating a drawing or other composition on a surface other than paper, for transfer to paper through the use of a press or through impressions made by hand.

Jewelry – Ornaments, such as bracelets, necklaces, or rings. Made of precious metals set with gems or semi-precious gems or ceramic or glass or any other product.

Metalworks – Creating artwork through the forging, twisting and fabricating of various metals.

Mixed Media – Includes any combination of a variety of materials to create an original work of art. This artwork may be 2-D or 3-D.

Painting: Oil/Acrylic – Creation of a still life, portrait, landscape, abstract or other image on a flat surface, such as canvas, with oil and/or acrylic paint or sticks.

Painting: Watercolor – Creation of a still life, portrait, landscape, abstract or other image on a flat surface with watercolors.

Photography – Process of capturing images of objects by the action of light, then printing the images, by chemical or digital means, onto a flat surface.

Sculpture – Shaping figures or design in the round or in relief by chiseling marble, modeling clay, casting metal or other materials.

Wearable – Includes clothing or leather goods, such as belts or purses, that can be worn.

Wood – Art objects either functional or decorative that may be hand-tooled or machine worked in wood.

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Reproduction Policy

To foster an appreciation and value of the arts in all people, including those who cannot afford original work, we believe it is important to offer attendees the opportunity to buy reproductions. As their incomes grow they will turn to original work. This transition is possible only if buyers understand exactly what they are buying and the process behind it. Therefore, ArtFest Fort Myers’ guidelines are:

All reproductions must be clearly and individually labeled as such. Labels must say “Reproduction.” This includes any framed reproductions.

Reproductions must be in signed and numbered editions.

No hand colored reproductions or enhanced reproductions will be considered “original” works; they will be considered reproductions.

Reproductions are an ancillary part of the artists display.

Violators of the spirit, as well as the letter, of this policy will be asked to remove their unlabeled reproductions. In any dispute, the decision of the Festival Director shall prevail.

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Eligibility and Rules

ArtFest Fort Myers is open to all Artists. Artwork must be original in design and an artist may display and sell only in the media category in which his work has been accepted. Work displayed and sold at ArtFest Fort Myers must be consistent with work represented by jury images. Artists are prohibited from selling non-original promotional items (i.e. posters, postcards, note cards, calendars, t-shirts, etc.) at the Festival.

Artist desiring to rent a tent and/or booth setup may do so only through Tents4Events – they supply artist style tents & equipment – No other tent rental companies are allowed.

Artists must confine their set-up to the space allocated by ArtFest Fort Myers and not in any way infringe on the space of neighboring artists. Space allocations are based Fire Marshall rules and in 2021 on CDC Guidance and no infringements will be tolerated. NEWLY ADDED FOR 2021 DUE TO SOME ARTIST ABUSE IN PRIOR YEARS – this has always be our policy but it is now necessary to add it to the written rules for enforcement.

Artists are not allowed to park their vans, trailers, RV or similar within 2 blocks of the entrance areas or perimeter of the festival site during the hours the art festival is open to the public. NEWLY ADDED FOR 2021 DUE TO SOME ARTIST ABUSE IN PRIOR YEARS – this is a Homeland Security issue for perimeter of an outdoor event as large as ArtFest Fort Myers. Festival perimeter will be monitored, artists notified to move their vehicles or will be towed.

If two or more persons collaborate to produce original work, each person must be identified on the Application. Collaborations are to be true artistic collaboration rather than business collaboration. For example, framing or printing of work does not constitute a creative partnership, and, therefore, individuals involved in those processes should not be listed on the application as a partner. No work by apprentices or employees will be accepted.

Commercial agents, dealers, manufacturers or buy-sell vendors are not eligible to enter nor can they be proxies for artists.

Artwork produced with kits, castings from commercial molds, patterns, plans or other commercial means is not permitted.

Artist and all collaborating partners must be present on-site with their booths open for business during the entire Festival. If two names are on the application, both must check in and show photo I.D. and be present for the entire festival.

Artists are required to display an Artist Information Statement in a prominent place within their booth. Materials and processes used must be disclosed in this statement.

Displaying ribbons and awards from previous shows or other shows is not allowed.

Original art must occupy at least 50% of the artist’s wall space. All artwork on walls must be framed or otherwise professionally hung. Browse bins may occupy only minimal space and must be aesthetically pleasing and not obstruct patron flow. All artwork displayed must be for sale.

Limited edition, signed, and numbered reproductions of artwork are allowed. Artist must define “limited edition” in their Artist Information Statement and must disclose their reproduction process to buyers.

Artists must comply with all safety requirements, including weighted tents, and vehicles must be parked only in designated areas.

Exhibitors are responsible for the collection and payment of 6% Florida sales tax.

Artists are responsible for procuring and maintaining their own liability insurance and must provide ArtFest Fort Myers with a Certificate of Insurance by December 16, 2018.

Artists may withdraw from ArtFest Fort Myers and receive a refund of their Booth Fee (less $50), if a written request is received on or before November 16, 2018. No refunds will be issued after that date. ArtFest Fort Myers is a rain or shine festival. No refunds will be issued for weather or other acts of God.

No animals are allowed in or around Artists’ booths.

Acceptance into ArtFest Fort Myers is non-transferable. Only artwork of the accepted artist may be displayed.

ArtFest Fort Myers will inspect booths onsite, to assure compliance of the Rules, and reserves the exclusive right to interpret and enforce the Rules. In any dispute, the decision of the Director shall prevail. Failure to comply with the rules may result in the artist’s removal from ArtFest Fort Myers without a refund and the right to exhibit in future events will be jeopardized.

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Saturday and Sunday, February 5 & 6, 2022
Opening Night Friday, February 4
On the waterfront in historic downtown Fort Myers

Phone: 239-768-3602