Event Information

Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival 18th Annual Holiday Show 2017

Lujan Exhibit Complex - Expo NM Fairgrounds
Albuquerque, New Mexico (West)

Phone: 505-292-7457
Event Dates: 11/24/17 - 11/26/17
Application Deadline: 4/1/17 Midnight MST

The application deadline has passed.


Images: 6 (a booth shot is required)

Fee (Jury Fee required): $30.00

You can submit up to 2 applications for this show.


Event Summary


Give thanks for BIG sales over Thanksgiving Weekend!  Set indoors at the historic EXPO New Mexico Fairgrounds, this well-promoted festival draws thousands of art enthusiasts, out-of-town visitors and holiday shoppers together to enjoy a completely unique and festive event!  The Rio Grande Holiday Show is a popular tradition for the city as well as the artist community; featuring the original, handmade work of of 185 juried artists and craftsmen over the busiest shopping weekend of the year!  Loyal attendees come ready to buy for their homes and the holidays, knowing they can find one-of-a-kind items for everyone on their list.  Brisk sales for artists as well as solid reputations for the promoters have kept this show ranked in Sunshine Artist Magazine's 'Top 100 Shows' in the nation for the past 10 years- this year it's in the top 20!


"The Rio Grande shows are well run, well promoted, and well attended!  This particular edition was no exception, coming the weekend after Thanksgiving in the middle of the holiday push, which is a great time for a show!"
- Sunshine Artist Magazine

95% of artists surveyed in 2016 gave the show's advertising a high to perfect score!

85% of artists surveyed in 2016 reported they would participate in this show again!


General Information

November 24, 25, and 26, 2017
The Lujan Exhibit Complex at Expo NM

Albuquerque, New Mexico

FRIDAY 10 - 5, SATURDAY 10 - 5, SUNDAY 10 - 4

Note about Thanksgiving Day:  We offer early set-up on Wednesday to accommodate artists with Thanksgiving plans.  Rio Grande also arranges a community artist dinner for Thanksgiving at a local restaurant.  

Jury Fee: $30.00

The Holiday Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival will be held indoors in the Lujan Exhibit Complex at Expo NM. The Festival site is a familiar venue to all who live in Albuquerque and is centrally located in the heart of the city. There is easy access to I-40, close proximity to hotels, restaurants, and shopping malls as well as ample parking.  EXPO is located between Albuquerque's popular Uptown Shopping District and the eccentric and artsy 'Nob Hill' neighborhood. Since multiple Rio Grande shows take place on these grounds, customers who purchase Grande Passes enjoy free parking and free admission upon return to all 3 shows.  


Noteworthy 2016 Survey Statistics:
  • 90% of artists gave organization and management a perfect score, 5/5.
  • 95% of artists gave the show's advertising and publicity a high or perfect score, most of them giving this categoy 5 stars.
  • 75% of artists gave attendance a high to perfect score. 
Reviews and Artist Testimonials:

"Sunshine Artist voters reported sales of $5,000-$10,000 per artist.  These sales figures, combined with a hearty numbeer of overall votes, pushed this show up a huge number this year - up from #53 in 2015 all the way up to #16 in 2016." -200 Best List 2016, Sunshine Artist Magazine

"Like all other Rio Grande shows, this one was absolutely great! We had about a 15% increase of gross sales over last year!" -Fine Craftsman 2016

"This is one of the better shows I do. Good quality exhibits, well-run, and lots of advertising. I look forward to it each year!" -Jeweler 2016

"A truly fun and profitible event. Really gets us into the holiday spirit. The best selection of artists I've seen out of all of the shows we do. Plus...I love the sane hours!" - Specialty Vendor 2015
"Before you could realize it, the show was packed - packed with patrons.  Best of all, people were buying!" - Sunshine Artist Review 2014

"Rio Grande carefully selects and balances the exhibitors.  This results in plenty of selection at a variety of price points in the categories, something the patrons recognize and appreciate." - Sunshine Artist Magazine 2014

Visit our website to see photos and videos of the festival!  


Rio Grande Festivals excels in advertising and promoting each show extensively through TV, radio, billboards and newspaper, as well as e-mail blasts, social media, and promotional ticket giveaways. Publicity efforts pay off when news teams regularly cover the festival, news anchors talk up the show, and the newspaper features the festival and its artists. Artists are highlighted on our billboards and are given a wide variety of promotional tools. Our team makes it a top priority to attract a buying public and deliver financial results for exhibitors.

  • TV– substantial investments during top rated news, morning and prime time programming on 4 major stations for 2 weeks, plus station promotions through on air announcements, on air giveaways, live news coverage of event, on air weekend calendars, websites etc.
  • Radio – 2 station sponsors, massive coverage for 2 weeks on 9 stations, ticket giveaways, interviews, websites
  • Billboards -  Extensive billboard coverage throughout the metro area
  • Newspaper – Full color ad campaign
  • Exclusive e-blasts to massive contact list of attendees, collected through our digital customer kiosks
  • "Collector's Invite" - Invitation sent out with free passes to all major Santa Fe galleries
  • Social Media - Facebook is used to promote exhibiting artists, and a Facebook event is advertised to attract new and existing customers to our social network. 
  • ‘Featured event’ on  Albuquerque Convention and Visitor’s Bureau website and visitors guides
  • Featured as one of top events on New Mexico Tourism Department website
  • Rack card placement at visitors centers, airport, hotels and area attractions in ABQ, Santa Fe and area
  • Integration onto 40+ online calendars and event sites, all linked to website. 
  • Live ticket giveaways on radio and TV, social media marketing ... and more!

ARTIST AMENITIES... We make it easy!
  • Free Wifi!
  • Booth sitters available
  • On-site RV hookups available for exhibitors.
  • Load-in and tear-down are a breeze with multiple large doorways on every side of the building, easy parking, and even help-for-hire available.
  • Coffeecake each morning, plus coffee, tea, and treats throughout the day
  • Thanksgiving dinner planned at a local restaurant, a popular artist tradition!
  • Heavy appetizers on Thanksgiving day, plus coffee, tea and cocoa!
  • Electricity is available for purchase and accessible from every booth location
  • ‘Artist Resources’ web page, with all show information, logistics, site maps, marketing material, helpful links, and our personal recommendations for restaurants and more!
  • Parking passes provided for each exhibitor, as well as 4 free tickets to give to customers or friends
  • Free shuttles provided to and from the parking lots
  • Overnight security as well as security escorts to vehicles after closing
  • Help for hire available during set-up and tear-down
  • 'Artist Relaxation Station' with microwave, charging station and seating

185 booth spaces will be available. All spaces are 10' deep. 10x10 spaces are $495; 15 x10 spaces are $715; 20x10 spaces are $950.  See 'Booth Information' section of application for further details.

A limited number of spaces will be reserved for sales and sampling of specialty food - balsamic vinegars, jams and jellies, salsas, chocolates, dips, soup mixes, etc. Vendors applying for sampling space must submit images of their products and booth as well as submit samples.  Specialty body products are also grouped with the specialty food section - this includes lotions and soaps. Specialty food vendors do not undergo the same jury process as artists and craftsmen, but are evaluated based on product quality, variety and availability. These specialty booths will be grouped together in one row of the show.

Electricity is $65. There is a 400 watt limit per booth, strictly enforced.

The jurying committee will review the images of each entrant and select exhibitors based on ranked jury point totals using scoring of 1 (low) to 7 (high). The following criteria will be taken into consideration: quality of work, mastery of medium, originality, artistic design, focus, marketability and booth display. Work exhibited must be consistent with that shown in images. Booth display photo should accurately represent the work in the category that is being submitted in the images on Zapp. Submit separate entries and jury fees for each category and note in 'booth comments' that you are jurying for two categories but only ordering one booth. The artist who created the work must be present at the show.  No buy sell allowed, no imports.

Functional items with reproductions of the artist' work on them (art tiles, mugs, etc.) must be submitted for jurying under the separate category of'reproductions of the artists work' and images of all of the items must be submitted, these items may be grouped together in photos. (Prints or giclees are allowed and do not need to be entered under the reproduction category).  These reproduction items may not make up more than 20% of the display space in the booth and cannot include totes, T-shirts, caps, or other clothing items.

*Jewelry Applicants -please note:  Strung, beaded jewelry pieces made only of purchased beads or components will no longer qualify for this show. Jewelry applicants must use their own skills and techniques to create the primary component(s) used in their finished piece. Any artist who has applied for a different medium but wants to also jury for jewelry must also send in separate images of jewelry and be juried in, to be allowed to sell it at the show. 

For each medium to be displayed, all applicants must submit 5 digital images representative of the quality and variety of their work, plus a digital image of their booth display. Please include biographical information or a resumé, for our use in promoting you and your artwork through the media. Also include image descriptions and/or a description of the artistic process if it is not apparent. Pricing is also taken into consideration when judging marketability. Note that buy sell will not be tolerated at this show.

Applications must be completed online through www.zapplication.org.  Complete the Festival's application on Zapplication and submit by midnight on April 1, 2017.  


Overnight security for the show is provided, but each artist is ultimately responsible for their own work.  Security escorts are available to escort exhibitors to their vehicles after closing time each day.  Neither the Festival nor its employees, volunteers, directors, security or insurance company are financially liable for losses or damages of any kind.  Exhibitors should make arrangements with their own insurance companies for proper coverage.



Hook-ups for RV's are available onsite.  Fees are collected by EXPO New Mexico.  Recommended hotels and room blocks will be coordinated by the festival and can be found through the Artist Resources page on the website.  These will be listed as soon as they are confirmed.  




Saturday, April 1, 2017 Deadline for applications to be submitted on Zapplication.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 Notification of jury status through Zapp and by e-mail.  

Monday, May 15, 2017 Deadline for invited artists to accept via Zapp and confirm space in show by paying 50% of booth fee to Rio Grande office.  Payment plans available, but must be arranged (including signed payment plan agreement*) by May 15th.

July 15, 2017 Remainder of fees due. For cancellations, this is the last day to cancel and receive maximum refund (less $100 penalty) (see cancellation policy).

*Please contact office for payment plan options in advance! These must be arranged by May 15th, 2017. Late payments will incur a $25 charge.


Set-up takes place Wednesday and Thursday prior to the show: November 22 from 9 am – 6 pm & 23rd  (Thanksgiving) from 9 am to 4 pm; with finishing touches permitted on Friday mornings from 7 am to 9:30 am (no load-in allowed). Show opens at 10 am.
Exhibitors who have not called or checked in by 4 pm on Thursday will be considered a no-show and will forfeit their booth.

Sales tax in NM is 6.0625% for the November show. Artists are responsible for collecting and reporting it. Tax packets will be provided upon check-in.

Festival Management reserves the right to remove items that have been falsely entered or are found to be manufactured, imported, not made by the artist, or any that are unsuitable or objectionable for a family-oriented Festival, This includes music, noise, scents, printed materials or anything else that the management finds objectionable. Refunds will not be given in these cases. Music booths must provide headphones for customers to listen to the music. Live musical demonstrations must be limited to a total of 15 minutes per hour.

Pets are not permitted at the Festival, unless they are for handicap assistance. Children must stay with you in your booth and may not roam around the show. They are welcome to visit the Kids Creation Station™, but please limit this to one hour per day.
Deadline is May 15th to commit to space by making a 50% down-payment. Cancellations received before July 15, 2017 will be eligible for a refund minus the non-refundable $100. After July 15, refunds will be made for 50% of the total booth fees. After October 1, refunds will be made for 20% of the total booth fees, providing exhibitor notifies the office of cancellation. If booth fees are not received in our office by designated deadlines, and exhibitor has not contacted the Festival, booth may be cancelled and resold without refund.

Two exhibitors (only) may share a booth ($75 additional charge). Submit one entry per exhibitor and designate one person responsible for fees.  Both artists must undergo the jury process and be accepted into the show.

Upon acceptance, one image for each exhibitor will be chosen for the website gallery (proper lighting, strong colors, and plain background work best). If no such image is available, exhibitor will not be represented on the website.  The images provided on Zapplication may be used for publicity purposes - in which case the artist will be properly recognized and credited.  If this is not acceptable, notify the office.  

Functional items with reproductions of the artist' work on them (art tiles, mugs, etc.) must be submitted for jurying under the separate category of 'reproductions of the artists work'.  (Prints or giclees are allowed and do not need to be entered under the reproduction category).  These reproduced functional items may not make up more than 20% of the display space in the booth and cannot include totes, T-shirts, caps, or other clothing items.

Each artist is expected to comply with all requirements listed under 'Booth Displays and Structures', below.

Booth Information

Approximately 185 booth spaces will be available. All spaces are 10' deep. 10x10 spaces are $495; 15 x10 spaces are $715; 20x10 spaces are $950. Exhibitors must supply their own professional back and side walls – canopy walls are not acceptable. Draping may be rented. 400 watts of electricity may be purchased for $65. Corners are $65. Overnight security will be provided during the Festival.

Work that is presented attractively can be an important factor in sales as well as a positive contribution to the overall appearance of the show. Please plan your booth carefully and make sure it's attractive and easy for customers to come in and look at your work.
  • Each booth must have solid fire-proofed display panels or draping on the back and sides to create a partition between booths as well as a backdrop behind it.  Artists may not rely on neighbors for sidewalls. Open shelving or grids should have a solid panel behind them. If booth backs up to a wall, cover wall in same manner as side walls. Exhibitors who do not provide partitions must rent pipe and draping from the Festival. Canopy frames may be used, but canopy walls are not a professional look for indoors. We prefer that canopy tops are not used indoors.
  • Specialty Vendors in Culinary Row - must provide a backdrop for your booth, but because Culinary Row has a market feel to it, side walls are not mandatory, but optional
  • Tables must be covered or skirted to the floor on all sides showing, with a suitable, professional looking cover.
  • Carpet is recommended. Tape edges down.
  • Display our artist booth sign in your booth.
  •  No "Sale" or "Discount" signs. All signs should look professional.
  • No signs or flyers advertising other shows or businesses.
  • Displays must be contained within booth boundaries and may not interfere with adjacent booths or aisle space in any way. No over hangs, extensions, bins, or display items of any kind may be outside of the boundaries of the booth.
  • One exhibitor chairs may be in aisle adjacent to the booth. Do not place exhibitor chair or other belongings in Festival common areas.
  • Please do not attach anything to rented draping.
  • Exhibitor will reimburse Festival for inflicting damage to premises or equipment.