Visual Arts Invitation and Instructions

We cordially invite you to apply to the MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival, scheduled for April 20-23, 2017, the largest, nationally ranked arts festival in the country. With a high tradition of providing top-shelf services to artists, artist awards totalling $10,500 and hundreds of thousands of affluent Metroplex buyers, MAIN ST. continues to forge new ground in terms of increased sales for artists.
 
Sporting an incredible Event Plaza in the center of Downtown, midway along brick-lined Main Street, Fort Worth’s signature festival features corner booth spaces, signature artist amenities (including at-booth lunch delivery), stress-free load-in process and available storage, plus an incredible array of online, print and smart phone conduits to appeal to an incredibly diverse and wealth-wielding public. MAIN ST. is a prime candidate for your tour through Texas and Oklahoma.
 
PLEASE NOTE:  Tiered application fee is $25 until 11:59 PM on August 15, $30 until 11:59 PM on September 15, and $35 until our deadline at 11:59 PM on October 14, 2016.  
 
We are known for our friendly, Western-style, southern hospitality and for delivering a buying public to the doorsteps of our participants.  We provide marketing, “shelf space,” including an award-winning website with an in-depth Artist’s Gallery, an artist-centric iPhone app, an advance-purchase art buyers club with over $60,000 pledged each year, and direct-mail marketing programs focused on the artists.  

Mission of the MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival:

The mission of the MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival is to provide the highest quality visual and performing arts set against the background of historic Fort Worth in order to promote Downtown Fort Worth, and help make it a better place to live, work and play.  It is a totally free event to attend.  We attract a diverse selection of quality fine art and fine craft artists, who are selected by qualified jurors.  We promote and market artists and their work as the focal point of the festival. The proceeds directly fund public art and infrastructure improvements for Downtown.

Why Fort Worth?

The prominence of Fort Worth's Old West history is evident on nearly every corner of the city. However, Fort Worth has grown by leaps and bounds in the area of arts and culture. For the past 29 years, MAIN ST. has acted as a gateway to Fort Worth's cultural growth.  Historically "where the west began," MAIN ST. now escorts Fort Worth in thriving culture by welcoming and bringing together people from all sides of life - the cowboys and the artistic mavens.

The streets of Downtown are filled with fascinating sights and sounds as fine artists, dancers, performance artists, musicians, exhibitors and food vendors take part in the four-day celebration.  Two hundred juried artists line the historic red bricks of Main Street weaving a diverse blend of texture and shape down the "magnificent mile" of visual art booths, performance stages and intriguing characters to create an explosion of color against the turn-of-the-century buildings and modern office towers.  The Sundance Square Plaza, a new, interactive events plaza located in the heart of Downtown, provides an incredible backdrop for artists in the new “Artist’s Plaza” area of the event.

Downtown Fort Worth features many of the area's finest restaurants, and after-hours environment is second to none in Texas, providing the perfect setting for fun, great entertainment and dancing in a safe and dazzling environment.

Why Exhibit at MAIN ST.?

We deliver financial results to our artists. Over $2.4 million dollars in art has been identified as being sold at this event each year according to our surveys from 2013, with a $27 million dollar overall economic impact (2012 study). Second, more than 900 volunteers working 1200 shifts help run the free, four-day event, many of them devoted to our "stars of the show." A dedicated team of ART (Artist Resource Team) volunteers are dedicated to making sure our artists are treated right. We offer our artists:

  • lunch made to order, delivered right to your booth;
  • air-conditioned hospitality center;
  • artist parties and breakfasts;
  • booth sitting;
  • free electric (with additional electric available for a nominal fee);
  • a sophisticated, weather monitoring and communication system to "get the word out" to artists in case of inclement weather. 

Our load-in system has made booth set-up an easy proposition, where we work around your schedule...not ours.  Due to the complexities associated with this particular urban environment, we unfortunately are unable to provide free artist parking or R/V parking.  Many lots accommodate artist vehicles; however, please expect a fee for this.  These lots are managed by private companies not associated with MAIN ST.

Artist Application Details

  • Five images are to be submitted for each application entered by the artist.
  • Four images must be of individual pieces of work, and the fifth image must be of a display of the artist's work in a booth setting, showing overall continuity and presentation of the artist's current body of work

Booth Image:

The identities of artists are not disclosed to jurors; therefore, please be sure you do not reference either your name or your company name in your booth image.  You should not be in the booth when the photo is taken.  The failure to follow booth image parameters may delay your application.  Any changes requested must be completed by the deadline in order to be considered for the show.  Applications coming in late in the process may not leave us enough time to review the application and receive changes back from artists.

Please provide a booth image* reflective of the following:

  • booth must be located outside when the image is taken;
  • booth image shows a full, front-on view in daylight to include the entire tent, as well as an unencumbered view of the display area as well as the work to be exhibited;
  • booth image must be of a single, 10’ x 10’ booth.  We do not allow double booths; therefore, we would prefer to only have single booth images submitted.

The purpose of the booth image is to show the artist has a complete body of work matching or in keeping with the body of work represented in the first four images, and helps identify the scale of the artist's work. In addition, any work outside of the medium and context of the images submitted that may appear in the booth shot will not be considered as being accepted by the jury simply due to the fact it has been included in the booth image.  

* Emerging Artist Applicants may apply with a 5th image of their work instead of a booth shot.

For more image tips please go here

Artist’s Statements:

The short artist’s statement is read aloud to the jury as images are shown.  Please note processes as well as materials used. 

The longer artist’s statement is mandatory, and it provides more information to allow us to better understand process, philosophy and methodology.  This statement may be utilized both during the review process (we review every application prior to the jury to check information, look at the images and double check category selection), and may also be referred to during the jury process.  The more information we have the more complete our review process may be.  

Categories:

  • Ceramics: All original clay and porcelain work other than jewelry is accepted in this category. No machine-made or mass produced work is permitted. If multiple pieces of the same design are displayed each piece must be signed.
  • Digital Art: This category includes any original work for which the original image, or the manipulation of other source material, was executed by the artist using a computer. Work in this category must be in limited editions, signed and numbered on archival quality materials. Traditional photographs taken through a digital media should apply in the photography category.  Work that starts with a photograph and manipulated by digital means must be entered in either the Mixed Media or Photography category.
  • Drawing: Works created using dry media including chalk, charcoal, pastels, pencil, wax crayon, etc. or from the fluid medium of inks and washes applied by pen or brush are to be entered in this category.
  • Emerging Artist: Designed specifically for artists who have no experience exhibiting and selling their artwork, based in Texas (emphasis on Metroplex artists). If you have participated in MAIN ST. prior to this date as an Emerging Artist, you will not be eligible to participate again as an Emerging Artist.  The application procedure and application fee are the same as the regular show; however, upon acceptance, Emerging Artists will pay a lower booth fee, have a tent provided and receive mentoring from veteran artists. Artists may only apply as an Emerging Artist Program or as a regular Exhibiting Artist - they may not apply for both.  Artists applying under both the Emerging Artist program and the regular artist program will have their Emerging Artist application returned to them automatically.  Artists must be a resident of Texas, and priority is given to those artists residing in Fort Worth and the Metroplex area. The Festival reserves the right to pre-screen emerging artists to make sure they are a fit for this category.  For more information about the Emerging Artist category, please go here.
  • Fiber: All work crafted from fibers including basketry, embroidery, weaving, tapestry and papermaking. No machine tooling, machine-screened patterns or other forms of mass production are permitted. No factory produced wearable items, regardless of additional modification or enhancement by the artist, may be exhibited.
  • Glass: No forms of mass production are permitted.
  • Printmaking: Printed works for which the artist's hand manipulated the plates, stones or screens and which have been properly signed and numbered as a limited edition may be entered in this category. All giclee, photocopy and/or offset reproductions, will be rejected. Printmakers are encouraged to do their own printing which has been processed by the artist, or under his/her direct supervision.  Printmakers are required to disclose both their creative and printmaking processes.
  • Jewelry: All jewelry whether the work is produced from metal, glass, clay, fiber, paper, plastic or other materials must be entered in this category. No commercial casts, molds or production studio work is allowed.
  • Leather: Includes all works from leather. No production studio work is allowed.
  • Metalworks: Includes all non-sculptural, non-jewelry works crafted from metals. No production studio work is allowed.
  • Mixed Media: This category includes works, both 2 and 3-dimensional, that incorporate more than one type of physical material to produce. Includes non-sculptural work as determined by the artist. Please note two previous categories, 2D Mixed Media and 3D Mixed Media, have been combined into one Mixed Media category.
  • Painting: Works created in oils, acrylics, watercolor, etc. are in this category.
  • Photography: Photographic prints made from the artist's original image, which have been processed by that artist, or under his or her direct supervision, are included in this category. Photographers are required to disclose both their creative and printing processes on prints which have been properly signed and numbered as a limited edition.
  • Sculpture: Three-dimensional original work done in any medium, including built up works in wood are included in this category.
  • Wood: Original works in wood that are hand-tooled, machine-worked, turned or carved are accepted in the wood category.