Event Information


Kentuck Festival of the Arts 2017 - 46th Annual

3501 5th St. at KENTUCK PARK
Northport, Alabama (South)

Phone: 205-758-1257
Event Dates: 10/21/17 - 10/22/17
Application Deadline: 6/1/17 Midnight CST
7 day(s) and 12 hour(s) remaining


Images: 4 (a booth shot is required)

Fee (JURY FEE): $50.00

You can submit up to 3 applications for this show.


Event Summary
The Kentuck Festival nurtures artistic expression by providing an opportunity for undiscovered and established artists to share and sell their work, to educate the public about the creative efforts of artists, perpetuate traditional craft and folk art, and to add to the cultural climate and quality of life in the community, state, and region.
Throughout the years many "undiscovered" artists who are now in textbooks, galleries, and museums have exhibited at Kentuck. 
To this end, Kentuck strives to showcase work of exceptional quality and creativity by artists in a variety of areas: contemporary art and sculpture, contemporary craft, traditional/heritage craft, and folk/self-taught artists.
Artist amenities include:
  • $7000 in awards.
  • A new jury panel every year. Jurors are selected from arts educators, museum curators, art business executives, collectors, and artists not applying to the Festival.
  • Qualified buyers.
  • Booth sitters. Sign up for booth sitters at check-in or during Festival hours at the information booth.
  • An artists' hospitality tent at the Festival.
  • Drive up unload/load.
  • Overnight security.
  • Flat booth rate (no commission).
  • ATM and credit card processing on site.
  • VIP program featuring pre-paid Kentuck Bucks that can only be used to purchase art at the Festival.
  • An artists' party Saturday night.
  • Online catalog featuring 2017 artists.

We look forward to having many of our long time artist and many "undiscovered" artists exhibiting in...

General Information

Kentuck Festival of the Arts 2017 - 46th Annual
Show Dates: 10/21/17 – 10/22/17

$35 Jurying Artist Early Bird Discount Deadline: 5/15/17 midnight CDT

$50 Final Application Deadline: 6/1/17 midnight CDT

The Kentuck Festival of the Arts and the Kentuck Art Center
The Kentuck Festival of the Arts is a juried show in its 46th year that attracts over 14,000 visitors each year. Along with more than 250 exhibiting artists, the Festival features educational demonstrations, interactive arts areas, children's arts activities, music, storytelling, and food concessions. The Kentuck Festival of the Arts has been designated a Local Legacy by the U.S. Library of Congress and was recognized on TIME.com as "the Authentic American Experience" for the state of Alabama.  The Festival has been featured in Smithsonian Magazine, voted one of the Top Twenty Events by the Southeast Tourism Society and described by Southern Living magazine as 'the best of all things Southern.’ It is featured on the National Endowment of the Arts website as one of the top arts programs in the state.
Festival proceeds support the funding of next year’s Festival and the programming of Kentuck Art Center in Northport's historic downtown district, where resident artists' studios, exhibition space, a community clay studio, and gallery shop are situated around a landscaped courtyard. The Kentuck Art Center presents regular exhibitions, showcasing Southern Folk Artists and traditional and contemporary American Craft by both established and emerging artists. Over 200 Festival and regional artists are represented in Kentuck’s year-round Gallery Shop.

Festival Location
Kentuck Park
3501 5th Street
Northport, AL 35476
Kentuck Park, in Northport, Alabama, is a wooded park with paved and natural paths. Kentuck Park is an open-air venue, and the Kentuck Festival of the Arts takes place, rain or shine, on October 21 and 22, 2017. Northport is a five-minute drive from downtown Tuscaloosa, and approximately 50 miles southwest of Birmingham.

Festival Dates and Times
Saturday, October 21 & Sunday, October 22, 2017
Open to the general public 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. both days. Early-bird shopping is open to benefactor-level Kentuck VIPs at 8 a.m. on Saturday. For information on how to become a Kentuck VIP, please see our website at www.kentuck.org. If you know a collector, gallery owner, museum, educational colleague, or friend you want us to invite to attend the Festival as a Kentuck VIP, please email their name and contact information to kentuck@kentuck.org.

Artist Check-In and Set-Up:
Friday, October 20, 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.*; Saturday, October 21, 5 a.m. until 7 a.m.
(*In case of inclement weather, set-up time will be re-evaluated every half hour, commencing no later than 2 p.m. on Friday.) Check-in is the best time to sign up for a booth sitter for the weekend.

Important Dates for 2017
• March 1 – Application available at Zapplication.com. Applications will only be accepted through ZAPP.
• May 15 -- Early Bird Deadline for discounted fee ends at midnight, CDT.
• June 1 – Final deadline for all applications.           
• July 1 – Notifications of acceptance emailed.
• August 1 – Deadline for booth and/or tent payments. No refund will be given to artists who cancel on or after this date.
• October 19 – Kentuck VIP Party
• October 20 – Artist Check-in 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
• October 21 – Artist Check-in 5 a.m. – 7 a.m.
• October 21 – Artists’ Party and Awards Ceremony
• October 22 – Pay sales taxes and receive reimbursement for Kentuck Bucks on Festival grounds 4 p.m.
• October 21 & 22 – 46th Annual Kentuck Festival of the Arts
‚Äč• October 21 - 25 - Kentuck Offices and Gallery Shop are closed

Artist Selection
Potential exhibitors submit their work to be juried for inclusion in the Kentuck Festival. Exhibitors are selected on the basis of Kentuck's standards of quality, originality, and creativity as interpreted by a jury of visual arts professionals. We have a different panel of jurors every year. Applicants are numerically scored, and those with the highest total scores are accepted. A limited number of artists per category are accepted to provide a balanced show. A score-based waiting list is maintained in each medium, and cancellations are filled with the highest scoring artists in that medium.

Exceptions to the Jury Process:
  1. Guest Artists - Notable folk, traditional, and contemporary craft artists who would otherwise not exhibit at a festival without receiving an invitation. These artists are not eligible to receive a Kentuck Festival award.
  2. Demonstrating Artists - Artists demonstrating their work at the Festival, in their booth space. If you are interested in participating as a Kentuck Demonstrating Artist, please indicate this on your Zapplication. These artists are not eligible to receive a Kentuck Festival award.
  3. Kentuck Artists in the Schools - Artists who spend Friday morning before the Festival in an area school providing workshops, demonstrations, or presentations to students. In return, artists receive a $100 stipend for supplies, lunch on Friday, and may check-in early. If you are interested in participating in our Kentuck Artists in the Schools program, please indicate on your Zapplication. These artists are not eligible to receive a Kentuck Festival award.
  4. Back by Special Invitation Awards - Members of the Kentuck Board of Directors who have purchased a VIP ticket have the privilege of inviting an artist of their choice to attend the next Festival without going through the jury process.
  5. Award Winning Artists from 2016 Festival (listed below).
2016 Festival Award Winners
$7000 total was awarded by Judges Allyson Comstock, artist, professor, and Department of Art and Art History Chair, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, and Rebecca Elliot, Assistant Curator of Craft, Design & Fashion at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC. Again, congratulations!
Best in Show
Nicario Jiminez – Mixed Media

Award of Distinction
James Floyd – Musical Instruments
Don McWhorter – Clay

Merit Awards:
Marian Baker – Mixed Media
Fong Choo – Clay
Bruce Holwerda – Two-Dimensional
Mary Jacquin – Mixed Media
Leif Johansen – Mixed Media
Steve Kinney – Photography
Karen Libecap – Two-Dimensional
Steve Loucks – Clay
Jayne Morgan – Two-Dimensional
Vinnie Sutherland -- Metal
Tai Taeoalii – Two-Dimensional
Samuel Yao – Fiber

Clay: Original clay and porcelain work, functional or sculptural.

Fiber: Includes wearable and non-wearable. No machine-tooled, machine-screen printing, or other forms of mass production are accepted.

Glass: Functional and sculptural work is accepted. Kiln forming, blowing, molding, or casting, as well as all cold working processes are permitted. 

Jewelry: Only those artists accepted in the jewelry category may display or sell jewelry. All jewelry, whether produced from metal, glass, clay, fiber, or other materials must apply in this category.

Metal: Sculptural or decorative work made from metal. No jewelry will be accepted in this category.

Mixed Media: Work which combines materials from two or more mediums in one piece.

Musical Instruments: Handmade instruments.

Natural Materials: This includes basket weaving, chair caning, brooms, gourds, and other works made from materials found in nature.

Photography: Includes traditional film photography, hand-colored images, emulsion transfers, and digital photography.  Only artist’s original source material is acceptable.  All work displayed in the booth must be for sale.

Printmaking: Only hand-pulled original prints are allowed. Prints must be in limited editions, signed, and numbered.

Sculpture: Three-dimensional work using additive or subtractive processes in a single medium.

Two-Dimensional: Drawing, painting, and digital works. Reproduction prints are not allowed.
Wood: Original works that are hand tooled, machine-worked, turned or carved.
Artist amenities include :
  • $7000 in awards.
  • A new jury panel every year. Jurors are selected from arts educators, museum curators, art business executives, collectors, and artists not applying to the Festival.
  • Qualified buyers.
  • Booth sitters. Sign up for booth sitters at check-in or during Festival hours at the information booth.
  • An artists' hospitality tent at the Festival.
  • Drive up unload/load.
  • Overnight security.
  • Flat booth rate (no commission).
  • ATM on site. Credit card processing is also available for a 6% fee.
  • VIP program featuring pre-paid Kentuck Bucks that can only be used to purchase art at the Festival.
  • An artists' party with dinner and live music Saturday night. Judges are introduced and awards are announced.
  • An online catalog featuring the 2017 Festival artists. All photographs used are drawn directly from those you submit to ZAPP during the application process. Artists are encouraged to submit new photographs to show their most recent work. The previous year's catalog will continue to be available to the public on our Website. All photos must be submitted through the Zapplication process.
Membership supports funding for the Festival and the year-round arts programming of the Kentuck Art Center including art education, free exhibitions, workshops, a community clay co-op, art studios, a gallery shop, and free monthly art nights. We encourage Festival artists to consider becoming members of Kentuck, but membership is not a requirement for inclusion in the Festival, nor do members receive any discount on Festival fees. You can learn more about Kentuck’s year-round operations and sign up online for memberships at kentuck.org.

Kentuck spends more than $30,000 annually on publicity and advertising (print, radio, TV, and digital) for the Festival

THIS IS A HOME GAME WEEKEND! There are numerous hotels/motels in the area; however, they fill up quickly. We strongly recommend that you book a room when you apply. Click here to go to Trip Advisor for available hotels in the area. There is also a partial list of area hotels at www.kentuck.org.

If you can't find or can't afford a hotel, Kentuck will attempt to find host families in the area. To apply to the Kentuck Festival Host Program, fill out and submit the form at this link. The form may also be printed from www.kentuck.org and emailed to eskinner@kentuck.org or mailed to Kentuck Art Center, 503 Main Ave, Northport, AL, 35476. If you have any questions about this program, please call Exa Skinner at 205-758-1257.

The Kentuck Festival Family
If you are one of our new artists this year, we welcome you with open arms and wish you great success. But don’t just come to sell your work -- seek out our returning Festival artists and learn from their invaluable experience and passion for quality art and craft. Their wisdom, experience, creativity, and craftsmanship are no doubt more valuable than money.

Festival Hours
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturday, October 21
Participants in the Festival VIP Program (*) have early bird shopping privileges from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. on Saturday. The park opens to the public at 9 a.m.
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday, October 22
All artists are required to open their booth and be on site at 8 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday. All artists are required to keep their booths open until 5:00 p.m. each day. If you open late, or close or leave early, you will be banned from participation in future Festivals.

Business License Required
Artists are required to have a $20 Northport Transient Business License to exhibit at the Festival. Purchase of this license is required as soon as you are accepted into the Festival. The Northport business license department works directly with the artist and wants to help you in any way they can to make this process easy for you while protecting your private information. They will bring your business license to the Festival and have it for you at check-in.

Sales Tax
9% sales tax on all sales at the Festival are due before you leave the Festival. Tax forms and envelopes for city, county, and state taxes will be in the packet you receive at check-in. The tax folks will be onsite from 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. Sunday, October 21 behind the Artist Hospitality Tent to collect taxes. They do not give change or accept credit cards so tax payments must be made in exact change or by three separate checks.

Restrictions on Work That You May Display
You may only exhibit work representative of that you sent for jurying. New work from 2016 must be included. Commercially manufactured items, or items made exclusively from commercial molds or parts may not be exhibited. All items exhibited and/or offered for sale must be original work, designed and executed by the exhibiting artist(s). Representatives of Kentuck review displays throughout the Festival; we reserve the right to require removal of any work that differs from the images submitted, as well as any inappropriate work or display. Failure to remove such work or abide by other rules set forth may result in applicant’s removal from the Festival and/or applicant being prohibited from future application.
Reproductions of your original work may ONLY be displayed in a portfolio, with clear distinctions between originals and reproductions. Postcards and notecards bearing photo-offset reproductions of your work may be displayed and sold, but not as primary items of display. T-shirts may not be displayed or sold.  Your booth must be filled with your original work.
If you have any questions about whether or not a work may be displayed, please check with the Kentuck staff for clarification. In the case of ambiguity, the decision of the Executive Director is final.
Kentuck assumes no responsibility for damage or loss while at the Festival. Artists must be prepared to adequately secure their work and personal property.

Booth Sitter Sign-up… (you may want to do this at check-in).
Volunteers are available to watch your booth so you can take a break, but please make your request as early as possible so we can schedule enough volunteers to cover demand. Booth sitting is provided by the students of Booker T. Washington Magnet School in Montgomery, AL. You can sign up for your booth sitter during check-in or anytime at the Information booth.

Art Cars/Vehicles
Space in the Festival grounds is extremely limited, so we cannot accommodate all art cars/trailers. Please contact the Kentuck Executive Director at 205-758-1257 before October 7th if you wish to have a vehicle considered for parking in the booths area. Again, space is extremely limited, and we do not anticipate being able to accommodate many—if any—more vehicles than we have in the past.

No Nos of the Festival
To keep the aural environment uncluttered, personal/individual radios or stereos may not be played on Festival grounds.
No smoking is allowed in the park by order of the City of Northport and the Parks and Recreation Authority.
No alcohol is permitted, other than the craft beer sold at the Festival.
No firearms or weapons are allowed in the park.
No pets of any kind are allowed in the park during the days of the Festival. If you need information on local kennels, please let us know prior to Festival weekend.
No profanity or treatment of any sort other than kindness is allowed. Bring your patience and love. To quote Dr. Bob, “All y’all are welcome, but you gotta act right.

Multiple Entries
Artists wishing to enter in more than one medium must submit separate applications, fees, and images in each category. If only one application is accepted, only work in that medium may be exhibited. Artists may enter in no more than three categories.

Booth Sharing/Collaborative Work
Artists working together may apply as one if they collaborate on every piece of work. In this case, only one booth fee will be charged. Other artists must pay the full fee even if they choose to share a booth with another artist. All co-artists must describe the collaboration.

Application Requirements
  1. Fill out the online application completely.
    By submitting this application, you consent to and authorize the use of any and/or all images of works in promotional literature and other promotional endeavors by the Kentuck Museum Association including but not limited to brochure, print and television advertisements, and internet display. These images will also be posted in an online catalog promoting the Festival. Kentuck will keep all images of accepted work for publicity and Festival archival files.
  2. Submit four professional-quality digital images of your work and a description of your work as specified below. Quality of images can affect acceptance. No artist names and/or trade names should be visible. Please blur these out, including your signature on works of art.
    See http://www.zapplication.org/imaging_tips.phtml for technical tips on preparing and submitting digital images through ZAPP.
  3. For the first three images, fill in the space provided on the application to describe materials, process used, and dimensions. These descriptions will be read during the jury process.
  4. Images 1-3 must show the range of the work you will be displaying.
  5. Image 4 must represent how your work will be displayed. Applications submitted without a booth display image will be considered incomplete. Remember...The booth shot is the last thing the juror sees before scoring your work. Many artists stage a booth shot, with emphasis on showing off their work more than an actual booth shot taken at a festival might.
  6. Pay the non-refundable application fee.
    $35 for "early bird" applications submitted before May 16.
    $50 for applications submitted from May 16 to June 1.
Entry Deadline & Acceptance Notification
Entries must be received by midnight on the night of June 1, 2017. Artists will be notified of their jury status July 1, 2017.

Cancellations must be made in writing and received prior to August 1. Email to kentuck@kentuck.org with the subject line ATTN: FESTIVAL CANCELLATION. No phone calls, please. On and after August 1, 2017, booth fees will not be refunded.

Booth Information
Booth Fees
$265 for a single booth 10’ x 12'
$325 for a corner booth
$450 for a double deep booth 10' x 24'
$530 for a double wide booth 20' x 12'
$50 additional fee for a premium booth space along the main, paved path. Double wide booths are not available on the main path.

Please note all requests may not be honored but we do our best to place artists in their requested space. Requests are processed by time of application.

Booth fees must be paid by August 1, 2017. You can pay for your booth:
  • by sending a check payable to Kentuck to: Kentuck Art Center, 503 Main Avenue, Northport, AL 35476. If sending by mail, payments must be postmarked by the deadline date.
  • through ZAPP.
Equipment available to rent through Kentuck
  • 10' x 10' canopy (set up in your space): $200
  • 4 sides for 10’ x 10’ tent (delivered to your space): $100
  • 8' table (pick up at Information Booth during set-up): $35
  • Folding chair (pick up at Information Booth during set-up): $15
Booth Particulars
  • Limited storage space behind booth.
  • Limited number of double & corner booths available; assignment based on time of application.
  • Drive-up unloading, off-site parking.
  • Number of Booths: 250 plus.
  • Exhibitors must provide their own booth structures, which should be flexible to accommodate trees and irregularities in the park's terrain, and must be properly anchored.