Event Information

Columbus Arts Festival 2019

Downtown Riverfront
Columbus, Ohio (Midwest)

Phone: 614-221-8625
Event Dates: 6/7/19 - 6/9/19
Application Deadline: 12/15/18 Midnight EST

The application deadline has passed.


Images: 5 (a booth shot is required)

Fee (Application Fee (non-refundable)): $40.00

You can submit up to 3 applications for this show.


Event Summary
The Columbus Arts Festival honored by Sunshine Artist Magazine and Artfair Calendar as one of the top fine art and fine craft festivals in the country, attracted approximately 400,000 art patrons last year to Columbus’ Downtown Riverfront along the beautiful new Scioto Mile and Bicentennial Park. Up to 300 national and international artists will be selected from over 1,000 applicants for coveted positions.

Applicants are selected in a completely blind jury process - only the art and booth set up are evaluated for consideration in the show - no other information about the artists is revealed to the jurors.

The Festival offers a vibrant atmosphere in which to buy and sell original work—and the opportunity for patrons and artists to meet face to face. The Artists' Market is certainly the heart of the festival, but there are other exciting attractions for everyone to enjoy including music, poetry, theater, and a host of hands-on art activities. We invite you to apply to exhibit at the 2019 Columbus Arts Festival.

General Information
Contact: Sean Kessler, Festival Director
100 East Broad Street, Suite 2250
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Telephone: 614-221-8625
E-mail: skessler@gcac.org
Location: Downtown Riverfront – Scioto Mile
Show Dates: 6/7/19 – 6/9/19
Application Deadline: 12/14/18 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time

  • Avg. Sales: $7,000 (based on the 2018 Artist Survey)
  • Images: 4 Images of individual works plus 1 booth image
  • Images viewed simultaneously and projected 1-5 from left to right horizontally
  • Jurors: 5 jurors (paid)
  • Scoring: Round 1 – Yes, No, Maybe; Round 2 -  1-7 (no 4)
  • Jury/application fee: $40 (nonrefundable)
  • Booth space: $595
  • Double booth: $1170
  • Corner booth +$100  (booths with at least 10' of open space adjacent)
  • Intersection booth: +$225 (booths located at a major Festival street intersection)
  • Artist Presence: Required of all artists: you must be present to exhibit for the duration of the festival weekend. This includes collaborating artists. Both must check in daily with legal ID.
  • Commercial studios involved in multiple or volume production should not apply to the show
  • No. of Exhibitors expected from jury pool: 275-300
  • No. of artists exempt from jury: 12
  • Parking: 1 parking space is included (Exact location TBD, due to multiple construction projects already underway)
  • Additional parking spaces for trailers or additional vehicles MUST be purchased on Zapp - $20-40
  • Limited storage space behind all booths
  • Tents available for rent- $125-200
  • Water barrel tent weights are available for rent- $50
  • 5 amps of electricity will be available free of charge within 100' of booth
  • Additional electricity available 10 amps - $55
  • Volunteer booth sitters available during all festival hours upon request
  • Columbus Police monitor the site from artist check-in to tear down
  • Marketing support through the Greater Columbus Arts Council
  • All booths are accessible by vehicles for set-up/tear-down
  • When possible, artists from the 2018 show who are invited in 2019 will have the choice of keeping their general area or will be given preference on new placement 
2019 CALENDAR (subject to change):
  • September 12, 2018 Artist application available on www.ZAPPlication.org
  • December 14, 2018 Online application due by midnight (EST)
  • January 26 & 27, 2019 Jury selection (open to the public – location TBD)
  • February 4, 2019 Notification emailed to accepted, waitlisted, and not invited artists.
  • February 11, 2019 Early bird deadline (Artists who make payment by early bird due date will be guaranteed placement in area of choice [limit first 100 received])
  • March 1, 2019 Contacts/tech sheets due
  • March 1, 2019 Full payment due through Zapplication.org
  • March 15, 2019 Deadline to cancel and receive guaranteed 100% refund (less $40 admin. fee)
  • April 2, 2019 Proof of insurance due (artists will not be given their booth number until submitted)
  • April 2, 2019 Deadline to cancel and receive guaranteed 50% refund (less $40 admin. fee)
  • May 1, 2019 Booth assignments and other information available to artists
  • May 1, 2019 Deadline to purchase Festival tent and additional parking on ZAPP
  • June 6, 2019 Artist set-up
  • June 7-9, 2019 58th Annual Columbus Arts Festival on the Columbus Riverfront
2019 Festival Hours and Artist Sale Hours (subject to change)
  • Friday, June 7 - 11:00am to 9:00pm
  • Saturday, June 8 - 10:00am to 9:00pm
  • Sunday, June 9 - 10:00am to 5:00pm
  • The jury is scheduled for January 26 & 27, 2019. The location is TBD
  • At least 275 spaces will be available through the jury process.
  • Festival jury is conducted by a panel of experienced arts and industry professionals and is based solely upon the quality of the work as illustrated in the submitted digital images.
  • Images are viewed simultaneously, horizontally and grouped by medium.
  • Of highest importance is the creative vision of the applicant and the quality of the work. Artist certifies that all jury images submitted represent his/her original work. Work must be made by the exhibiting artist(s). Two round jury (Round 1 with image & Round 2 with image and statement) 
  • New jury each year
  • Artists are identified by number and reviewed by category
  • Images should be void of artist signature or any identifying marks; this will ensure an anonymous jury process
  • Material/Technique statement will be read at the time of projection for those who proceed to Round 2
  • Accepted artists will be the top/highest scores in their respected medium
  • Columbus Arts Festival may limit the number of artists accepted in some categories in order to present a balanced show
  • Decisions of the jury panel are final
  • The Festival Director will fill all vacancies from the festival waitlist based upon jury scores
Three independent jurors are invited each year to evaluate all artists’ work in the Festival and to select twelve award winners on opening day. All artists, regardless of category, are eligible for these awards. Each award winner receives a sign, a cash award, and an invitation to bypass the jury process in 2020.
  • Best of Show - $4,000
  • 2-Dimensional Jurors' Choice - $2,000 (3)
  • 3-Dimensional Jurors' Choice - $2,000(3)
  • Merit Awards - $1,000(3)
  • Best Presentation - $1,000(1)
  • Best Emerging Artist - $1,000 (1)
  • All applications from professional artists must submit an image of their display booth. The booth image shows the jury your structure layout, provides dimension and scale, and shows overall continuity and presentation of your current body of work.
  • The work shown in booth shot does not qualify to be displayed during the festival. Works shown in 4 images submitted are considered for show, not booth shot, will be monitored by on site compliance daily, and should include any small or low dollar items that would be for sale at the Festival.
  • If available, please use an image from an outdoor show.
  • Booth images may not be manipulated in Photoshop or any other computer program (other than to blur or remove artist signature or identifying signs in booth shots)
  • Booth images may not contain the artist or studio name/logo.
  • The booth image must show the entire booth, not just a portion.
  • Applications submitted without a booth image or with booth image that is digitally created in any way will be rejected.
An artist description of materials, technique and inspiration of current body of work no more than 100 characters, including spaces is required. Artists are encouraged to enter a description of material, technique and inspiration that is concise and explains the body of work. Do not in any way personalize this information directed to the jurors in the favor of the artist- doing so risks disqualification. Only the first (up to) 100 characters of the submitted statement will be read to the jury.

This program is specifically for artists who have little or no experience exhibiting and selling their artwork at festival venues. Interested artists must be a resident of Franklin, Union, Delaware, Licking, Fairfield, Pickaway, Fayette or Madison counties. The application procedure and fee are the same as if you were applying to the standard show, however, upon acceptance emerging artists will pay a booth fee discounted by 50%, have a tent provided and receive mentoring through the Columbus Arts Festival Artist Market Emerging Artist program.

Please note: Artists may apply ONLY to the Emerging Artist Program OR the standard show, not both. Artists who are just beginning exhibiting at arts festivals are encouraged to apply to the Emerging Artist Program. The Columbus Arts Festival reserves the right to pre-screen and research emerging artists to make sure they are a fit for this category and that they do not have extensive experience exhibiting and selling their work at festivals and art shows. Research will be conducted on all emerging artists who apply to determine eligibility.

Emerging Artist applicants will apply in the same format as professional artists. Each Emerging Artist must submit four images of their artwork through zapplication.org. The fifth image should be a grouping of the artist’s work in place of a booth shot. When uploading your images, you will upload the fifth image of your work by selecting 'YES' this is your booth shot, even though it is not. Then select 'Emerging Artist' as your medium.

To participate in Columbus Arts Festival in the Emerging Artist Program, you are required to attend both 2019 Bootcamps tentatively scheduled for March 23 and April 6 (dates subject to change). Bootcamp non-attendance will automatically disqualify you from the Festival.

The Columbus Arts Festival will send e-mails by early February to all artists informing them of their status. Contracts will also be made available to invited artists, along with a link to our online artist guide. All contracts must be signed and returned by March 1, 2019 along with proof of insurance or participation in the festival will be prohibited. Booth placement will not be released until all paperwork has been received.
The status of each artist will also be posted to his or her Zapplication account. We will not send letters – all communication will be done by email.
April and May 2019 communications will also be warehoused on the artist website found at http://www.columbusartsfestival.org/artists/exhibiting/.


The Columbus Arts Festival considers its enforcement of the rules our exclusive right and responsibility. Festival team members will visit all displays throughout the Festival to ensure that exhibitors comply with the prospectus and all Festival rules.

Work in juried images must be representative of the work to be shown at the Festival and the correct inventory proportions. Failure to comply with juried images will result in our team asking you to remove the noncompliant items.

Working Example: If a photographer submits 3 black and white images and 1 color image to the jury, the artist is committed to bring and sell 75% black and white photos.

Artist agrees that all work submitted to the jury process and displayed and represented for sale has been designed and executed by the Artist(s). We reserve the right to advise Artist of any work that does not meet Festival standards and may take any action deemed necessary for compliance.

No mass-production or manufactured work is permitted. No work by apprentices, studios or employees will be accepted. Commercial agents, dealers, or manufacturers are not eligible to enter.

All Artist Market merchandise must be original, handmade and created by the accepted artist(s). It is the work by the artist that is juried, therefore any change in the body of the work by the artist is not considered juried and may not be sold unless approved by the Festival Director.

Artists are required to display an Artist Statement including a photograph of the artist in their booth during the Festival.

Artists may apply in multiple categories. Each medium’s body of work is evaluated separately. If you apply in more than one category, only the booth slide may be repeated. Artist may display only work juried in the medium accepted.

A picture ID is required at artist check–in by all artists accepted to exhibit, including collaborating artists. In addition, the Festival reserves the right to check ID’s each day of the Festival to ensure the artist is present.  Artists must be present with their work for the duration of the Festival.  No commercial agents, dealers, assistants or salespeople may operate an artist's booth.

Artists may display work only in the media categories in which they are accepted. All work exhibited must be comparable to work shown in submitted images. Exhibiting work that was not juried into the Festival is grounds for artist’s removal from the show.

The sale of promotional items is prohibited. Examples include, but are not limited to:
  • T-shirts and commercial clothing (any re-sell of manufactured items)
  • Books
  • Commercially manufactured or reproduced items (resale)
  • Any item that employs the use of commercially available molds or patterns
  • Additional examples include: note cards, cards, postcards, cell phone holders, posters, how to books, books, calendars, mouse pads or photocopies of any kind.

Artists retain 100% of their sales and are responsible for the collection and reporting of all applicable sales taxes. Franklin County sales tax is 7.50% (www.tax.ohio.gov). Artists shall be responsible for obtaining any required licenses, permits or approvals under state laws applicable to his/her activity at the Festival and for paying any taxes, sales taxes, fees or other charges that may be applicable to any Exhibitor's activity at the Festival.
EZ-Up and other accordion style tents are not allowed for use during the Festival. Any violation to this rule will result in the removal of the exhibitor.

Artists are required to have a fire extinguisher in their tent at all times.

Proper weight of your tent is required. Bring enough 40+ pound weights to secure your tent in the event of strong winds or storms. The Festival reserves the right to inspect the weighting of your tent. No staking permitted.

If English is a second language for any artist and information needs communicated, the artist is required to provide access to an interpreter.

Artists will abide by Load-in/Load-out procedures monitored by Festival staff and the Columbus Police. Late arrival will result in load-in at the conclusion of scheduled load-in periods. Failure to abide can affect future participation in the festival.

NO SHOW POLICY: Artists who have not checked-in and/or called the Festival by Friday Morning at 8:00 a.m. will be considered a “no-show.” No Show artists are not eligible for refunds

Browse bins may occupy only minimal space and must be aesthetically pleasing and not obstruct patron flow.  All artwork on display must be for sale.
Reproductions must be a subsidiary part of the artist's display.

All reproductions must be clearly and individually labeled on the front of the each piece as such.

Reproductions must be clearly identified as such. Original art must occupy at least 75% of the artist's space.  Reproductions cannot exceed 25% of your booth and must be in signed editions of no more than 250, hand pulled by the artist.

No "hand-colored" reproductions.
Framed reproductions may be displayed on one wall of the booth, not to exceed ten (10) linear feet. All unframed reproductions must be displayed in browse bins.

2-D reproductions allowed with restrictions (see restrictions in Medium Definitions)
An excessive number of reproductions will not be tolerated at the Columbus Art Festival and we will be walking the festival site daily to monitor for violations. If you feel any artist is violating any of the regulations or guidelines put forth in the prospectus contacts us (compliance@columbusartfestcommittee.org).
All decisions on reproductions will be made final by Artist Market staff and the Festival Director. Any non-compliance violation to reproduction decision will result in the removal of the exhibitor.


Artists are responsible for proper insurance and protection of work and setup. The Columbus Arts Festival will not be responsible for damage to work or setup. Upon acceptance, exhibitors must provide the Columbus Arts Festival with an appropriate Certificate of Insurance, naming the Columbus Arts Festival as an additional insured pursuant to a general liability insurance policy with a minimum coverage of $1,000,000. For more information, please go to http://www.actinspro.com/. You will not be permitted to set up without the required insurance information. You will receive your booth assignment upon receipt of proof of insurance.


All artists must be present to exhibit all 3 days of the Festival. This includes collaborating artists. Proper ID is required of both artists. If artists apply as collaborating artists, each artist must be present. If each artist is not present, artists will not be permitted to set-up or exhibit.
If Artists apply as partners, each artist must be present all three days. Collaborating artists may only show their joint work. Both names must appear on all application materials.
If you are submitting an application as a collaborating artist/partner, you must submit the name(s) with the application.  Here is how to submit your Zapplication as a collaborating artist:
• Go to “my Profile: on ZAPP
• Enter one of the two collaborating artists as the primary contact in the profile form (this name will always appear first in the publications and online if accepted).
• After completing the information requested, enter the collaborating artist’s name(s) in the section at the bottom of the profile page.  
• This information is carried over to the application for purposes of identifying a collaborative effort.  
• You may not add a partner after the jury. 


Media categories are used by the Columbus Arts Festival as a tool for organizing artists’ images into logical, related groups for the jury’s review. While a balanced show that equitably showcases both works of fine art and fine craft as well as diversity among media is a principal Arts Festival objective, the Arts Festival establishes no quota or entitlement by media category.

All work must be original and signed handcrafted work. The artist signature defines and establishes artistic ownership and it guarantees the accuracy of the description of the works presented and the authenticity of the work as the creation of their own hands.

2D Mixed Media – Works that incorporate more than one type of physical material in their production. Two-dimensional Mixed Media should include more than one of the following: paint, pencil, watercolor, photography, printmaking or drawing, fabric or other found objects.

3D Mixed Media – Works that incorporate more than one type of physical material in their production. Three-dimensional Mixed Media should include more than one of the following: claywork, fiber, glass, metal, wood, or any other 3-D objects.

Ceramics – All original clay and porcelain. If multiple pieces of the same design are displayed, the artist must sign each piece. Machine-made. Mass-produced work is not permitted. Embellishment of manufactured materials is not permitted.

Digital Art – Original work utilizing computer software solely to create, design and produce work. Work must be printed on archival quality paper and be properly signed and numbered as a limited edition. Exhibitor must disclose and display both their creative and printing processes in their booth during the Festival.

Drawing & Pastels – Works created using dry media including chalk, charcoal, pastels, pencil, wax crayons, etc. or from fluid medium of inks and washes applied by pen or brush.

Fiber– All work crafted from fibers, including basketry, embroidery, weaving, tapestry and papermaking. No machine-tooled, machine-screened patterns or miscellaneous forms of mass production are permitted. No factory produced items, regardless of additional modifications or enhancements may be exhibited. Embellishment of manufactured materials is not permitted.

Glass – Glass works that are functional or decorative by design and are kiln-formed or have been crafted by glass blowing, fused, stained, molded, or casted. Works may be etched or engraved. Embellishment of manufactured materials is not permitted. No forms of mass production are permitted.

Jewelry – Jewelry – ALL jewelry, whether produced from metal, glass, clay, fiber, paper, plastic or other materials. No commercial casts, molds or production studio work is allowed. Limited use of per-made material such as beads or small ornamental items is permitted. No more than 50% of a piece may consist of commercial findings. The major impact of the piece must be the original work of the artist. 

Leather - Work where the primary material is leather including belts, handbags, wearables and sculptural work. All factory-produced items regardless of additional modification or enhancement by the artist are prohibited.

Metal – Includes all non-sculptural, non-jewelry work crafted from metals. No production studio work is allowed.

Painting –The use of oils, acrylics, watercolors, and tempera suitable for hanging.

Photography and Digital Photography – The process of capturing images that begins with a camera, then printing the images, by chemical or digital means, onto a surface.  This category includes traditional film photography and digital photography. All pieces must be signed, numbered and dated in limited editions of no more than 250.  Prints must have been processed by the artists.  In addition to the above, the surface on which the photographs are printed must be identified in the description (paper, aluminum, wood, fabric, canvas, etc.). Photographers are required to disclose their creative and printing processes.

Printmaking & Graphics – Printed works for which the artist hand-manipulated the plates, stones, or screens. Prints must be signed and numbered as a limited edition. Printmakers are required to disclose their printing process.

Sculpture – Three-dimensional original work created in any medium.

Wood – Original works that are hand-tooled, machine-worked, turned or carved. Embellished manufactured wood items are not permitted.

Emerging Artist Program – The Emerging Artist Program provides the opportunity for residents of Franklin or the surrounding counties—Union, Delaware, Licking, Fairfield, Pickaway, Fayette and Madison—who have very limited or no festival experience to participate in the Columbus Arts Festival. Please refer to the “Emerging Artist Program” description for qualifications.

Booth Information
  • Booth Information
  • Booth Space: $595 (Includes 1 parking space)
  • Double booth: $1170 (first come, first served)
  • Corner booth: +$100  (space located at end of a run of tents with at least 10’ of open space adjacent – first come, first served - limited availability)
  • Intersection booth: +$225 (corner space located at a street intersection – first come, first served - limited availability)
  • Double and corner booths are no longer processed through invitations and are available only on a first come, first served basis. Please make your booth payment accordingly. 
  • Artists will NOT be accepted into the Festival in two separate categories. If accepted in two mediums, artists will have to choose which they will be showing and only show work form that application.
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