Event Information

Octagon Art Festival 2018

Main Street Cultural District
Ames, Iowa (Midwest)

Event Dates: 9/23/18 - 9/23/18
Application Deadline: 6/30/18 Midnight CST

The application deadline has passed.


Images: 5 (a booth shot is required)

Fee (Application Fee): $20.00


Event Summary

The 48th Annual Octagon Art Festival takes place the last Sunday of September in the Main Street Cultural District in downtown Ames, IA. The festival is held outdoors on pavement, RAIN OR SHINE, with food vendors and live musical performances. Visual arts, children’s art areas and performing arts form the foundation of the Octagon Art Festival. More than 14,000 people attend our festival. You will be in good company with 100 professional artists from across the Midwest who produce and display high-quality original artwork in a wide variety of media.

Maximum number of Artists: 100

The mission of the Octagon Center for the Arts is to serve as an influential regional center for the arts, present important exhibits, offer comprehensive art education programs and provide a retail outlet for artists. The Octagon offers dynamic programming that includes significant visual exhibits and memorable public programs that enrich the lives of central Iowans.

"Last year (2017) was my first year at your Festival and my one day total was more than I have ever had.  I felt the Festival was very well organized, and this one gentlemen always brought me water and I felt the Staff were VERY attentive.  I am so hoping I will be on the pre-approved list, I definitely plan to be back."
Carol Moliterno, Kansas City

General Information

  • 12 x 12 booths
  • 2 feet open buffer space between booths
  • 2 feet storage space behind booth
  • Curbside loading and unloading
  • Free parking
  • Complimentary breakfast 
  • Boothsitters and friendly volunteers
  • Artist's lounge at the Octagon Center for the Arts with indoor restrooms
  • Complimentary bottled water delivered to your booth
  • 4 cash purchase awards (1 Best of Show and 3 honorable mentions)

Artist entry deadline …………………….........................June 30 
Jury results emailed to artists………............................July 9
Artist booth location &  info emailed to artists…….........August 1
Cancellation deadline, refunds denied……….................August 15
Octagon Art Festival..................................................Sunday, September 23, 2018   10am - 4 pm


Artists at least 18 years of age may apply to exhibit original work in fine art or fine craft. Work created with use of commercial kits, molds, patterns or pre-fabricated forms will NOT be allowed.

  • Applicants must submit a total of 5 images: 4 of artwork and 1 of booth setup
The images must proportionately represent works that will be exhibited in your booth. For example, if your display includes both ceramics and jewelry, please submit two ceramic images and two jewelry images. A jury of professional artists will make the final selection of festival participants by viewing the submitted images, so it is important to send high-quality and clear images.

All works on display must be for sale. The Octagon does NOT retain any commission on sales day of festival. An Iowa Sales Tax Number is required by the State of Iowa, and it is the responsibility of each exhibitor to notify the Octagon of this number.  Exhibitors are responsible for collection and payment of the 7% City of Ames/Iowa Sales Tax. If you do not have an assigned Iowa Tax Number, visit tax.iowa.gov or call 515-281-3114 to fill out necessary paperwork.

After jury selection is complete, submission of booth fee indicates a commitment to participate in the Octagon Art Festival. Artists withdrawing from the show are subject to a $30 cancellation fee. Absolutely no refunds after August 15.

Booth Information
Each accepted exhibitor will be allotted a 12’ X 12’ space with 2 feet of open space between adjacent tents. Setup begins 6 am day of festival. NO NIGHT BEFORE SETUP ALLOWED. Artists must provide their own display units, tents, tables and chairs. It is the exhibitor’s responsibility to carry the necessary insurance to protect against any losses and/or damages to property that may result from participation in the festival. The Octagon Art Festival will not be responsible for injuries or damage to work and or displays due to weather or unrelated incidents. Octagon staff members have the authority to adjust booths for visual or safety reasons. All booth space requests will be honored if possible on a first submitted, first assigned basis. Requests cannot be guaranteed. Pre-approved artists (top 50 artists selected by the previous festival jurors) have first choice of booth locations.

Jury Fee: $20 (non-refundable)
Booth Fee: $110 ($95 for Octagon members)
Double Booth Fee: $195 ($175 for Octagon members)
Corner location (limited quantity): $30
Electricity: $15
Late Fee after July 2: $25

All other payments besides the Application Jury Fee will be conducted through the Octagon website.  Accepted artists will receive instructions via email.

A panel of 3 jurors will perform an on-site judging for cash purchase awards on the day of the festival between 10 am - 2 pm. Three Honorable Mentions ($100 each) and one Best of Show ($150) will be presented to the winning artists at 2 pm.
Event Site Map

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