ArtFest Fort Myers News Release Archive

Media Contact
Sharon McAllister, Executive Director
Click here to email
Phone 239-768-3602

Click here for more media resources

Beautiful Jewelry Recognized


Ronald Linton wowed the judges with his jewelry and walked away with a 2016 Merit Award. He uses the primary materials shibuichi and 18k gold to create stunning, elemental looking pieces. We hope you had the opportunity to meet him at ArtFest Fort Myers and enjoy his work!

Wearable Art Garners Award


Candiss Cole-Footitt, a 2016 Award Of Merit Winner, specializes in wearable art that is hand dyed and woven. (Hers may be the only Atelier in the world that hand weaves Ikat-Shibori.) We are so glad she joined us to share the fabulous techniques that her grandmother taught her in a little Dutch town in New York!

Extraordinary Printmaker Joined ArtFest Fort Myers 2016


John Costin is so deserving of the Award of Merit that ArtFest judges bestowed upon him in 2016. He meticulously studies his subjects in the field and then goes to work recreating them from memory. We hope you met him and experienced, first hand, the incredible artwork of this extraordinary printmaker.

Schwegmann Creates Ceramics with a Twist


Michael Schwegmann creates amazingly detailed ceramic representations of common items that reference labor and hands-on activities. He won the 2nd Place 3D Award with these special wheel-thrown and hand-molded pieces at ArtFest Fort Myers 2016! See more at

Photographer Garry Seidel Honored at ArtFest


Garry Seidel produces each of his images using traditional film and darkroom printing processes. His photography reflects his life happenings – notably, his experiences with his family in war-torn Berlin, Germany. The judges awarded this stunning insight on life by awarding him the 2nd Place 2D Award at ArtFest Fort Myers 2016!

Thorsen Cityscapes Win Award in 2016


Kristin Thorsen applies her heavy influences of contemporary European teachings and Scandinavian heritage to her artwork. She has knack for spurring our imaginations as she takes us away into her invented cityscapes within her paintings – surely she deserved the 2016 1st Place 2D award!

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 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

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
  • 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 or visit our website at

ArtFest Supports Arts In Healthcare


Dedicated to providing art enrichment to our community, ArtFest Fort Myers is particularly attuned to supporting art education programs. This season, the fine art festival found a unique and exciting way to contribute to Lee Memorial Heath Systems “Arts In Healthcare”.

When the brightly painted King Arthur Flour Truck pulled into ArtFest Fort Myers on February 5th, the 20-foot long spatula on the roof was pointing toward delightful surprises to come. All weekend, delicious chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, baked on site, were sold for a donation (to a charity of ArtFest’s choosing) AND King Arthur Flour matched the weekend earnings to add to that final dollar amount! “Our weekend fundraiser at ArtFest Fort Myers was one of most impressive on our tour,” said Julie Christopher, Marketing Program Manager for King Arthur Flour.

On Wednesday, March 30th, ArtFest Fort Myers was pleased to present “Arts in Healthcare” with a check in the amount of $2200 plus two beautiful new Art Carts. These Art Carts, stocked with a wide variety of art supplies, travel with volunteers through the hospital corridors, bringing the opportunity for creative expression to patients of all ages. “The Arts in Healthcare program is based on the understanding that there is an artist within all of us and creative expression can work with the healing arts to promote patients well being and stress reduction while enhancing positive thoughts,” explains Doug MacGregor, a well know local artist and the administrator of this program. “We are delighted with the support from ArtFest Fort Myers – their funding will stock our Art Carts for many months to come.”

ArtFest & Suncoast Credit Union Honor Art Under 20 Winners

Best in Show, Fiona Dowling

ArtFest Fort Myers awarded $7,400 in prizes to Lee County high school students at the Art Under 20 Award Reception, held at the Harborside Event Center on February 29th.

At this season’s Art Under 20, proudly sponsored by Suncoast Credit Union, local high school students representing 18 Lee County high schools entered 293 pieces of artwork. The student art was exhibited at the fine art festival the first weekend in February and was previewed by thousands of festival patrons. Art Under 20 judges, Janice Grau and Todd Babb had the difficult task of selecting the winners from among many talented students. Mr. Greg Pasanen, Suncoast Credit Union Regional Vice President, presented the award checks to the winning students.
More »


Saturday and Sunday, February 1 & 2, 2020
10 am - 5 pm
On the waterfront in historic downtown Fort Myers

Opening Night: Friday, January 31 • 6 - 9 pm

Phone: 239-768-3602


We hope you enjoyed the inaugural Babcock Ranch Art Show.

We're delighted to have helped Babcock Ranch launch this show with artists of the quality you enjoy every year at ArtFest Fort Myers. We encourage you to attend other Babcock Ranch events.