Event Information

Virginia Highlands Festival - Juried Arts + Crafts Show 2019, Abingdon, VA

127 East Main Street
Abingdon, Virginia (South)

Phone: 276-623-5266
Event Dates: 7/26/19 - 8/4/19
Application Deadline: 3/12/19 Midnight EST

The application deadline has passed.


Images: 5 (a booth shot is required)

Fee (Application Fee): $25.00

You can submit up to 2 applications for this show.


Event Summary
The Virginia Highlands Festival founded in 1949 by Robert Porterfield, founder of the famed Barter Theatre, the State Theater of Virginia, was held on the front porch of the Martha Washington Inn.  His purpose was to preserve and celebrate the cultural heritage of this area.  His first demonstrators were early members of the Southern Highlands Handicraft Guild.  The Festival, over the past seven decades, has grown in scope to represent all Southwest Virginia.  Now it not only preserves the arts, crafts, skills and music that developed in this region, but it also imports talented artists and performers from around the world for creative exchange and the enjoyment of area residents and visitors.
More than 100 volunteers work year-round planning events, tours, performances, and exhibitions for the annual Festival.  
Chartered in 1778, Abingdon is a Virginia Historic Landmark.  Visitors enjoy amenities usually reserved for much large communities.  You can stroll shaded, brick sidewalks and savor the ambiance of the oldest town west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, or explore a 20-block Historic District filled with outstanding examples of Federal and Victorian architecture, visit a world-class art museum, attend 4 plays in 2 days in two of Virginia‚Äôs finest theaters, enjoy great cuisine in 20 privately owned chef-run establishments, and bike/hike some of the most beautiful trails through the Appalachian Mountains.

 Come and join us for a Festival of unequaled fun!

General Information

The Virginia Highlands Festival Juried Arts & Crafts Show is now held on the lawn of the Barter Square located along Main Street situated between the Gilliam Stage at Barter Theatre and the Barter Stage 2 and adjacent to The Martha Washington Inn & Spa.  The lawn is accessed by wide brick sidewalks and is ADA compliant.  Unique festival food is available on site with restaurants close by.  The Festival is easily accessed by Interstate 81.
The Juried Arts & Crafts Show focuses exclusively on fine arts and crafts, welcoming both established high quality seasoned artisans and new artisans exhibiting innovative concepts executed with the same high-quality attention to style and detail.  With only 60 spaces, our goal is to curate the most diverse show possible.

Show Amenities
In addition to the Juried Arts & Crafts Show, the Virginia Highlands Festival also includes a curated Antiques show with over 50 vendors, a Juried Fine Arts Exhibition, a Photography competition and exhibit, Youth events, Musical concerts, Performing Arts, an Irish Ceilidh, Outdoor excursions, Local History events, a day of writing workshops and numerous related community events over the 10-day Festival.

Artisan Amenities
We provide assistance in loading and unloading, daily coffee and tea, complimentary water, surprise doughnut days, booth sitting (no sales), and pizza (pay by the slice) on the Thursday set-up day.
Cash awards are awarded across all media:  $500 1st Place, $350 2nd Place, $200 3rd Place selected by this year’s jurors.

The Festival has a multi-media marketing approach, which includes print (local newspapers), magazines (Virginia Living, Virginia Travel Guide), local radio, billboards, posters, and our program guide to details of the entire festival, the Highlander. The Festival’s website, vahighlandsfestival.org, logs more than 30,000 unique visitors from June 1-August 15. The Festival has a Facebook page with more than 7,000 fans and engages in Facebook and Instagram advertising as well as Google AdWords.

As the original arts & culture Festival in our region, VHF enjoys a great deal of publicity from local print publications, radio stations, and television news outlets throughout the summer.

Work must comply with the defined categories in this application and with the standards statement of the American Craft Enterprises, Inc. as a guide:  "Whether produced in quantity or as an individual piece, the ideal work reflects excellence. The work should be well conceived, expertly executed without technical faults, and should show an identity of design.”   
Only original craft or art, made by hand, or with the appropriate tools, by the artisan who is submitting the application, is eligible. If your work is based primarily on recycled, repurposed or salvaged materials, please be sure to note this clearly in your application and check the Mixed Media category.

Basketry, Candles, Clay, Cornshuck, Decorative Glass, Decorative Metal, Drawing, Etching, Fiber-Wearable, Fiber-Non-Wearable, Gourmet  Foods  (grown, prepared, packaged by the Artisan:  non-commercial), Jewelry (Precious/Metal; Glass; Other),  Leather, Mixed Mediums, Painting, PaperPhotography, Sculpture, Soap, Wood.
We sometimes re-assign a submission to a different category if it's determined that the work fits better into an alternate category. 
We strive to provide a varied show.  If any category isn't filled, we will then accept the highest juried applicant regardless of category.


If your primary body of work is anything other than jewelry, you may not sell jewelry of any kind in your booth. To show jewelry in your booth you MUST SUBMIT JEWELRY AS A SEPARATE APPLICATION. Please be sure to answer YES to the question if you need to apply twice when filling out your artisan information. You will be emailed a coupon code that exempts you from paying a second jury fee at check-out.  As with your original application, you must submit 3 images of your jewelry and 1 image of you making your jewelry; you may submit the same booth shot. Artisans whose jewelry is not accepted into the show may not carry jewelry in their booths. No exceptionsDO NOT SUBMIT A SECOND APPLICATION UNLESS YOU PLAN TO SHOW JEWELRY IN YOUR BOOTH AND JEWELRY IS NOT YOUR PRIMARY BODY OF WORK.

The artisan whose work is represented in the slides must be present at the show. No exceptions
The Virginia Highlands Festival Juried Arts & Crafts reserves the right to determine the eligibility of all work submitted for jurying as well as the right to ask an artisan to leave the show, without expectation of refund of any fees, if it is determined any of the above requirements have not been met. Signing the application form is an agreement that you, the artisan, are meeting all the eligibility requirements stated above. If it is determined that you have misrepresented the origin of your work, you will be excluded from future consideration

Absolutely no buy and sell items, hand-assembly of bought items, imports, or work that is commercially manufactured will be accepted. If you buy the products that you sell, please do not apply to this show.  Commercial manufacturing is defined as any process by which the artisan consigns the majority of the artisan’s designs to assistants or contracted workers to produce/construct rather than hand-crafting each piece him or herself. Work we do not accept: floral arrangements (unless made of corn shucks), edible items (unless appropriate for our Food Court Area), any work on manufactured apparel including tee shirts, items that consist entirely of manufactured parts and are only assembled by the artisan, items created from kits. 
Past acceptance is not a guarantee of acceptance to future shows. As with all juries, each one is different, and how you are scored by one jury may differ from how you are scored by the next. Within a category such as jewelry, where there are a high number of submissions, some artisans may not be accepted simply because we must limit the number of exhibitors. The decision of the jurors is final.

Jurying Process
Four jurors view the submissions at separate locations and score each submission on a scale of 1-4. Jurors are selected for their knowledge and experience in the craft or art fields and have included artisans, gallery owners, curators, and faculty from university studio art programs. We use their cumulative score to determine Artisan acceptance.

Regarding Jewelry: Due to the high volume of Jewelry applicants, we will limit the number of all jewelry exhibitors up to 1/3 of the accepted Artisans. If you intend to show jewelry in your booth, and it is not your primary category, you must submit a second application with 4 separate images. You may, however, submit the same image of your booth.

Regarding Commercially Printed Books:  If you intend to sell commercially printed books in your booth, the books must primarily feature the works of the artist, illustrator or photographer who is making the application and may not occupy more than 20% of the merchandise displayed at any given time.

Regarding Painting:  Reproductions of an Artist's original work must not comprise more than 50% of exhibited works, nor occupy more than 50% of the booth space.

Jurying Images. You must submit 3 different product images that accurately represent your current work, and which will be represented in your booth. Do not send different angles of the same piece, or "collage" images. A studio image along with an image of your booth is required with each application submitted for a total of 5 images to submit. If you do not have a booth image, please select another product image or include a tabletop arrangement of your work, but explain in the description section for that photo why you do not have an image of your booth.

Notes on Images: Images should be of the product, only, on a neutral background. We strongly recommend that you do not shoot products outdoors using nature as a backdrop--it is only distracting and limits our ability to use your images in promotional pieces, and with no propping. Please be sure images are at least 300 dpi and a minimum pixel size of 1,200 (either vertical or horizontal). 

Additional Booth Information
Two Artisans may share one booth—if you plan to do so, please note this in your application form. Both Artisans must be accepted by jury score. Each artisan must make a separate application with each paying their own application fee.   Electricity provided free of charge. Artisans are responsible for their booths including tents (if selecting Artists Own Tent booth category), chairs, tables, booth lighting, display. No signage offering discounts, sales, 2 for 1 or other deals are permitted.  No past award ribbons may be displayed.

Booth Information
The Virginia Highlands Festival Juried Arts & Crafts Show offers two types of booth spaces:  exhibitor’s own tent (10 ft. by 10 ft.) and a 120 ft. by 40 ft. high top tent divided into 20 spaces each 8 ft. deep by 15 ft. wide, set up in quadrants of four, with cross aisles between the 4-booth quadrants and perimeter aisles on all sides of the tent.  Power is available throughout the site but you must bring your own outdoor-rated extension cords for access.
Due to the length of this show, you may apply for full show or partial show.  Due to the length of this Festival, traffic is good either of the Partial Show 5-day options.

The application fee is $25, non-refundable, and must be paid at the time of application.
Festival Dates for 2019
July 26 - July 30, 2019  Partial Show Week 1
July 31 - Aug 4, 2019  Partial Show Week 2
July 26 - Aug 4, 2019   Full Show.
Exhibitor’s Own Tent:
10 ft. by 10 ft.:  Partial Show $275.  You may select either the first 5 days July 26 - July 30, 2019, the second 5 days,  July 31 - Aug 4, 2019, or the Full Show $550.
A limited number of double booth spaces are available.
10 ft. by 20 ft.:  Partial Show $550. (same dates as above)  or Full Show $1100.
Center Tent:
8 ft. by 15 ft.:  Full Show $750.  Please note: there will no longer be partial show booth spaces available in the Center Tent.  Full show only.
There are a limited number of double booths available options under the Center Tent.  A double booth under the Center Tent is $1500 for the full show and may be configured as  8 ft. by 30 ft. (side by side) or 16 ft by 15 ft (back to back).   Please contact Nancy Harte, 276-356-1674, if you wish to reserve a double booth.
Thursday, July 25, 2019:  8 AM until 6 PM
Friday, July 26, 2019:  7 AM until 9 AM
(Friday, July 26, 2019:  10 AM  Show Opens to Public)
Tuesday, July 30, 2019:  7 PM until 9 PM
Wednesday, July 31, 2019:  7 AM until 9 AM
(Wednesday, July 31, 2018: 10 AM Show Opens to Public)

If you are accepted by your jury score, you will receive an email notification/invitation around the week of March 15. You must accept the invitation and pay your booth fee through ZAPP by March 30, or you \will not be included in The Highlander. Once you have accepted the invitation and paid your booth fee, you will receive a booth assignment.  If all spaces have not been filled by The Highlander deadline, we will continue to accept artisans until May 1 which is the final cut-off date.  Acceptance and notification will be on a per-applicant basis.  Any artisan accepted after March 30 will be included in all online (such as our website) marketing and any subsequently printed materials publicizing the show

Full booth refunds will be made if you notify the Virginia Highlands Festival Juried Arts & Crafts in writing that you are canceling by March 30. AFTER THAT DATE, NO REFUNDS WILL BE ISSUED. JURY FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE
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