Event Information

Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival 2019

Reston Town Center
Reston, Virginia (South)

Phone: 703-471-9242
Event Dates: 5/17/19 - 5/19/19
Application Deadline: 1/4/19 Midnight EST

The application deadline has passed.


Images: 5 (a booth shot is required)

Fee (Application Fee 12/15-12/28): $60.00

You can submit up to 2 applications for this show.


Event Summary

Think Spring! Early Bird applications save $5 until midnight November 9 (MST)

Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) is accepting artist applications for the 28th annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival. This competitive, juried event is consistently rated as one of the best outdoor art festivals in the country, both for the high-quality of the artwork presented and for its exceptional artist hospitality.
Artists amenities include:
  • Full-day set-up (Thursday May 16)
  • Ample artist support with plentiful booth sitters
  • Exclusive artist-only climate-controlled lounge with indoor restrooms located on the property
  • Complimentary bottled water and snacks available daily
  • Convenient and profitable selling hours for three days
  • $5,000 in cash awards
  • Complimentary tickets to the Festival Party for artists and a guest
  • One complimentary membership to GRACE providing 20% discounts at local restaurants
  • Printed program that includes full-color thumbnails for every artist with accompanying booth numbers and websites or email contact
  • Online thumbnail images with hot links to artist website and email contact and booth numbers when assigned
  • Reduced hotel room rate for the on-site Hyatt Regency Hotel
  • Convenient load-in and load-out
  • FREE parking Thursday-Sunday. Located in on-site garages for passenger vehicles and in a secure offsite lot for over-sized vehicles with free transportation options for our artists
  • 24/7 security (artists are responsible for securing their own booths)

General Information
The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival has a long-standing reputation for showcasing high-quality hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind artwork in a dynamic outdoor setting that draws affluent and knowledgeable clientele. This unique event is presented in Reston Town Center and attracts approximately 30,000 patrons annually, from the Washington, DC, metropolitan region and beyond. The Festival benefits Greater Reston Arts Center, a 501c3 nonprofit, located in Reston Town Center.  


  • Applications should consist of original, well-conceived, and expertly executed works, made within the last five years, either by hand or with appropriate tools, by the applicant. All applicants must be 18 years or older.
  • Applications are only accepted through Zapplication. All deadlines are at midnight MST. Fees are as follows:
    • Early Bird: $50   October 29 - November 9, 2018 (Use discount code Lark2018)
    • Regular: $55      November 10 - December 14, 2018 
    • Late: $60           December 15 - December 28, 2018
     Application dates and price may be adjusted accordingly should we choose to accept late applications.
  • Submit four (4) high-resolution artwork images and one (1) booth/presentation image fully representative of work you intend to exhibit at the event. Artists are strongly encouraged to obtain professional photography of their artwork to ensure the highest quality representation possible; choose pieces that are unique, exciting, and are consistent in their presentation; and project a professional, clean “mini-gallery” of the work in the booth/display image. 
  • Submit a description of materials and techniques. Artists who are making or using prints of any kind need to disclose their creative process in full (limited to 1,000 characters).
  • Submit an artist statement explaining the creative process and referencing at least one work represented in the submitted portfolio (limited to 3,000 characters).
  • All applications must be categorized according to medium. Some artists find that their works fall into multiple categories. Please choose one of the sixteen categories that most accurately represents submitted artwork. Categories are listed below.

Ceramics – Objects created out of clay, earthenware, stoneware, porcelain, or terracotta.
Digital & Multi-Media Art – Images made with the primary assistance of a computer and/or featuring technological components.
Drawing – Works created using dry media charcoal, crayons, chalk, graphite, pastels, pencils, or fluid-media ink, pen, or markers.

Fiber/Textiles – 2D or 3D works created from fibers including batik, basketry, bookmaking, decorative fiber, embroidery, papermaking, quilting, sewing, tapestry, wearable art (not including jewelry), and weaving.
Furniture – Functional and/or decorative furniture made from any material.
Glass – Functional and/or sculptural objects created by blowing, casting, kiln, or molding as well as all cold-working processes. (Does not include jewelry.)

Jewelry – Artwork created through the fabrication of various materials with the intent to be worn as ornamentation. All jewelry, whether produced from beads, clay, crystal, fiber, found objects, gems, glass, metal, paper, plastic, semi-precious stones, stones, or other materials should be entered in this category.
Leather – Works hand-tooled from the rawhide of non-endangered species.

Metal – Artwork created through casting, forging, twisting, and fabricating various metals. (Does not include jewelry.)

Mixed Media 2D – Flat works on paper, canvas, clay board, panel, or other flat surfaces, that incorporate more than one type of art material.
Mixed Media 3D – Three-dimensional objects created using more than one type of material. (Does not include jewelry.)
Painting – Works produced on a flat surface using acrylic, botanical, gouache, oil, tempera, or watercolor paint media.
Photography – Works produced with the primary use of a camera. 
Printmaking – Images hand-pulled from stones, plates, glass, or screened surfaces using a printing press, roller, or hand brayer.

Sculpture – Three-dimensional work created using any medium.
Wood – Original works made from wood that are hand-tooled, machine-worked, turned, or carved.

Artists who wish to apply in multiple categories may submit separate applications, fees, and images for each medium in which they wish to be considered. An image of the same work of art will not be accepted in more than one application. Artists may submit only one application per medium.  If only one application is accepted, then only work in the media category selected may be exhibited.

  Monday October 29 Applications Open Cost $50 – (w/ Early Bird discount code Lark2018); regular application fee is $55
  Friday November 9 Deadline to use       discount code
  (ends midnight MST)
  Saturday November 10 Regular application period begins Cost: $55
  Friday December 14 Deadline for applications  
  Saturday December 15 Late applications accepted Cost: $60
  Friday December 28 Deadline for all applications Any changes to applications must be made by this date
  January 7-23, 2019 Jury period  
  February 1 Artist Announcement Invitations will be emailed from Erica Harrison ericaharrison@restonarts.org
  March 15 Booth Assignments posted
Visit www.restonarts.org/fineartsfestival   
  April 1 Deadline to withdraw for refund Refunds requests will be accepted, and checks mailed less a $50 admin fee
  Thursday May 16 Artist Set-up 10am – 5pm
  Friday May 17 – Sunday May 19 Booths open 10am – 5pm daily
Rain or shine
  Saturday May 18, 7pm Festival Party and announcement of Artist Awards Complimentary invitation to all participating artists +1
All deadlines are at midnight Mountain Standard Time (MST)

Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) selects new jurors each year to allow for all artists, both new and returning, to have a fair review process. Each application will be digitally reviewed by a panel of three paid art professionals (we make an effort to include at least one working artist), who are experts in the field of fine art and fine craft, as well as by members of GRACE’s curatorial staff.

Each application will be scored independently by each of the jurors, and each artist will be given a score from 1–7 based on quality, originality, craftsmanship, and overall booth display. The scores are tallied and reviewed, and artists will be invited by consensus of the jurors.

GRACE reserves the right to review, approve, and reject the juror’s decisions at its discretion. All scores will be confidential, and artists will not be given their individual scores or feedback on their portfolios.

The Greater Reston Arts Center recognizes outstanding work through ten (10) Awards of Excellence. The same three jurors who adjudicated the applications will visit each artist’s booth on Friday May 17 and Saturday May 18. They will begin each day at 10am and move at their own pace. Judges will give artists a score from 1–7 based on quality, originality, consistency, and display. The scores will be tallied and artists with the highest overall score in ten different categories will be selected, to ensure all art forms are represented.  Artists are judged on the whole body of their work, not just one piece. Each juror will mark on the artist booth sign to indicate that the booth has been reviewed. Awardees each receive a $500 cash prize, a blue ribbon to display on their booth, and are automatically juried into the following year’s festival. Award winners must still complete an application for entry for the 2020 Festival, but the application fee will be waived. 

Rules regarding original fine art and reproductions of original works “Prints” are defined as images produced by the artist through print-making techniques, such as lithography, or developing prints by use of a negative, as in photography. “Reproductions” are copies of original works also known as giclée. Artists using digital printing as a way to produce their original images must disclose their process at the time of application. All artists selling prints, digital prints, and/or reproductions must adhere to the following criteria:
  • All artwork must be high-quality, fine art, and meet “archival quality” standards, printed in limited editions properly signed and numbered by the creating artist. 
  • Artists must disclose the printing process used at the time of application and have a description on display in their booths if invited to participate.
  • Photographic prints must be made from the artist’s original negative and/or image and processed under the artist’s direct supervision by a reputable service.
  • Only limited edition prints of no more than 250 from one source, hand-pulled, signed and numbered by the artist, will be permitted.
  • Reproductions must not comprise more than 10% of the total art for sale, and must be signed, numbered, and matted.
  • All reproductions must be clearly marked “reproduction” on labels and display signs and must be kept in a browse bin within the designated booth space.
  • No reproductions are permitted to be framed or hung within or on a booth.
  • Works digitally printed on canvas will be permitted as part of the 10% of total art for sale.

  • Artwork made from or including materials or parts acquired from the killing of endangered species (exotic leathers, feathers, tusks, elephant or mammoth ivory), dried/silk flower arrangements, bonsai, or commercially made objects.
  • Artwork produced with commercial kits (e.g. molds, patterns, plans, prefabricated forms) or by other commercial or factory methods.
  • Works done by a production studio producing works in volume.
  • Factory produced items, including but not limited to commercial clothing, candles, T-shirts, or soap.
  • Mass-produced materials of an artist’s works, including but not limited to postcards, notecards, stationery, calendars, posters, magnets, or books.  Artists who hand-make notecards and/or postcards, books, and/or journals will be permitted to sell them in small quantities at GRACE’s discretion. Prints and reproductions are allowed but only according to criteria defined in the previous section.

Booth Information
All booth spaces are located on asphalt in marked spaces measuring 10’ x 10'6". All tents must be white and fit within the allotted footprint. Artists will be asked to keep awnings down during set up. Artist displays inside must be constructed to withstand crowds, wind, and inclement weather. This outdoor venue is subject to wind, which can be strong in this urban setting. All booths must be weighted with at least 40lbs per leg per Fire Marshal standards and to ensure stability in inclement weather. Additional equipment such as tents, weights, tables, and/or chairs can be rented from our vendor. For public safety EZ UP Tents are not permitted. 

Booth Fee: Participating artists are required to pay a $525 booth fee to secure a standard space, assigned at GRACE’s discretion if a Block Request (see below) is not made. Block Requests are optional and only allow for an artist to request a street location, not a specific booth space. Additional options for larger display spaces are limited and given on a first-come, first-served basis. Fees are as follows:
  • 10' x 10' in line = $525
  • 10' x10' end cap (standard space with 5 additional feet of display area on one exterior side) = $775
  • 10’ x 20’ in line = $1,050
  • 10’ x 20’ with one end cap (standard space with 5 additional feet of display area on one exterior side) = $1,275
  • 10’ x 20’ with two end caps (includes 5 additional feet of display area on both exterior sides) = $1,550.
Optional Block Reservation Request Fee:
For an additional $100 per 10' x 10' space, invited artists may choose to make a Block Reservation Request in their preferred area of the Festival footprint with the following provisions. 
  • Block Reservation Request Fees are: $100 per 10’x10’ standard booth or $200 per 10’x20’ double booth.
  • Requests must be on the invited Artist Acceptance Form and submitted to GRACE with full payment by midnight MST, February 8, 2019.
  • Requests will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis. GRACE logs forms and payments by date and time of receipt.
  • GRACE will place artist booths based on type of artwork and requests. Two artists making the same request will both need to pay the additional fee. Only in rare instances will GRACE place artists in the same category, or with like work, near each other.
  • There is a two-week period between the announcement of the booth assignments and the last day for refunds. If during that time, and upon review of the Festival footprint, an artist who made a request feels that it has been unfilled, then they can email ericaharrison@restonarts.org for a refund.
If GRACE cannot fulfill your request, the entire Block Reservation Request fee will be refunded to you via check, and mailed after April 1, 2019.  After April 1, 2019 there will be no refunds for booth fees.

Assignments will be announced two weeks before the last day for refunds. Each artist will have a thumbnail image on the Festival website, which when moused over will display the artist’s name, media, booth number, city/state, website, and email.

Artists are allowed to utilize quiet, battery-powered lighting systems within their booths. No electricity will be supplied.

  • All exhibiting artists are solely responsible for the security of their artwork.
  • Artists are responsible to maintain appropriate insurance coverage and protection for their work and displays.
  • Artists are strongly advised to remove temptation and secure all valuables each night.
  • The Greater Reston Arts Center will not be held responsible for damage, theft, or loss of your work, or that of any other participating artist. However, The Greater Reston Arts Center does hire additional Reston Town Center security personnel and Fairfax County Police officers to patrol the Festival grounds after hours.
Application fees will be refunded if a refund request is submitted to ericaharrison@restonarts.org by December 31, 2018. Additionally, after an invitation is issued and accepted:
  • Submission of the Artist Acceptance Form and payment of booth fee(s) by an invited artist is considered a commitment to comply with the policies and to participate in the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival;
  • in the event a registered artist cannot participate and notifies GRACE in writingemailed to ericaharrison@restonarts.org, on or prior to April 1, 2019, a refund minus a administrative fee will be processed. The Greater Reston Arts Center, at its discretion, may invite an alternate exhibitor;
  • GRACE will retain a $50 administrative fee for any cancellation;
  • no refunds will be made after Wednesday, April 1, 2019.
Event Site Map

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