Event Information


Kentuck Festival of the Arts 2019 - 48th Annual

3501 5th St. at KENTUCK PARK
Northport, Alabama (South)

Phone: 205-758-1257
Event Dates: 10/12/19 - 10/13/19
Application Deadline: 6/1/19 Midnight CST
9 day(s) and 1 hour(s) remaining


Images: 4 (a booth shot is required)

Fee (JURY FEE): $50.00

You can submit up to 3 applications for this show.


Event Summary
The Kentuck Festival, ranked by the Alabama Tourism Department as a "Top 10 Event in 2018,” nurtures artistic expression by providing an opportunity for undiscovered and established artists to share and sell their work and to educate the public about the creative efforts of artists, all under tall southern pines.
Throughout the years, many "undiscovered" artists who have exhibited at Kentuck are now in textbooks, galleries, and museums, such as the High Museum in Atlanta and the Smithsonian Museums in Washington, D.C.
To this end, Kentuck strives to showcase work of exceptional quality and creativity by artists in a variety of areas: contemporary art and sculpture, contemporary craft, traditional/heritage craft, and folk/self-taught artists.
Artist amenities include:
  • $7000 in awards.
  • A new jury panel every year.
  • Qualified buyers.
  • Booth sitters. Sign up for booth sitters at check-in or during Festival hours at the information booth.
  • Bottled water at check-in.
  • An artists' hospitality tent at the Festival.
  • Drive up unload/load.
  • Overnight security.
  • Flat booth rate (no commission).
  • ATM and credit card processing on site.
  • VIP program featuring pre-paid Kentuck Bucks that can only be used to purchase art at the Festival.
  • An artists' party Saturday night.

We look forward to having many of our long time artists and many "undiscovered" artists exhibiting in 2019!

General Information
Kentuck Festival of the Arts 2019 - 48th Annual
Show Dates: 10/12/2019 – 10/13/2019

$35 Jurying Artist Early Bird Discount Deadline: 5/15/19 midnight CDT

$50 Final Application Deadline: 6/1/19 midnight CDT

The Kentuck Festival of the Arts and the Kentuck Art Center
The Kentuck Festival of the Arts is a juried show in its 48th year that attracts 10,000-15,000 visitors each year. Festival attendees pay $10 per day, children 12 and under are free. Along with more than 250 exhibiting artists, the Festival features educational demonstrations, interactive arts areas, children's arts activities, music, storytelling, craft beer, and food trucks. In 2018, the Festival was named 5th in the nation (based on artists' self-reported sales) in the category of Classic and Contemporary Craft Shows by Sunshine Artists Magazine, recognized by Alabama Department of Tourism as one of the top-ten events to attend in Alabama in 2018, and by Alabama Magazine as one of the “Best of Bama 2018.” The Festival was featured on the National Endowment of the Arts website as one of the top arts programs in the state. Kentuck has also been featured in Smithsonian Magazine, Southern Living, American Style Magazine, and National Geographic Traveler.

Festival proceeds help support the funding of next year’s Festival and the year-round programming of Kentuck Art Center in Northport's historic downtown district, where resident artists' studios, exhibition spaces, a community clay studio, and gallery shop are situated around a courtyard and sculpture garden. The Kentuck Art Center presents regular exhibitions, showcasing southern folk artists and traditional and contemporary American craft by both established and emerging artists. More than 200 Festival and regional artists are represented in Kentuck’s Gallery Shop.

Festival Location
Kentuck Park
3501 5th Street
Northport, AL 35476
Kentuck Park, in Northport, Alabama, is a wooded park with paved and natural paths. Kentuck Park is an open-air venue, and the Kentuck Festival of the Arts takes place, rain or shine, on October 12 and 13, 2019. Northport, located in west central Alabama, is a five-minute drive from downtown Tuscaloosa, approximately 50 miles southwest of Birmingham, and around 200 miles west of Atlanta.

Festival Dates and Times
Saturday, October 12 & Sunday, October 13, 2019
Open to the general public 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Sunday. Early-bird shopping is open to benefactor-level Kentuck VIPs at 8 a.m. on Saturday. For information on how to become a Kentuck VIP, please see our website at www.kentuck.org. If you know a collector, gallery owner, museum, educational colleague, or friend you want us to invite to attend the Festival as a Kentuck VIP, please email their name and contact information to kentuck@kentuck.org with "VIP Prospect" in the subject line.

Artist Check-In and Set-Up
Friday, October 11, 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.*; Saturday, October 12, 5 a.m. until 7 a.m.
(*In case of inclement weather, set-up time will be re-evaluated every half hour, commencing no later than 2 p.m. on Friday.) Check-in is the best time to sign up for a booth sitter for the weekend.

Important Dates for 2019
• March 1 – Application available at Zapplication.com. Applications will only be accepted through ZAPP.
• May 15 – Early Bird Deadline for discounted fee ends at midnight, CDT.
• June 1 – Final deadline for all applications is midnight, CDT.        
• June 30 – Notifications of acceptance emailed.
• August 1 – Deadline for booth and/or tent payments. No refund will be given to artists who cancel on or after this date.
• August 1 – Deadline for registration and payment of City of Northport business licenses.
​• October 1-11– Tuscaloosa County, and State of Alabama business licenses available to purchase.
• October 11 – Kentuck VIP Party
• October 11 – Artist Check-in 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
• October 12 – Artist Check-in 5 a.m. – 7 a.m.
• October 12 – Artists’ Party and Awards Ceremony
• October 13 – Pay sales taxes and receive reimbursement for Kentuck Bucks and credit card sales processed through Kentuck on Festival grounds 4 p.m.
• October 12 & 13 – 48th Annual Kentuck Festival of the Arts
​• October 15 - 17 – Kentuck Offices and Gallery Shop are closed

Artist Selection
Potential exhibitors submit their work to be juried for inclusion in the Kentuck Festival. Exhibitors are selected on the basis of Kentuck's standards of quality, originality, and creativity as interpreted by a jury of visual arts professionals. We have a different panel of jurors every year. The jury process is completely anonymous. Applicants are numerically scored, and those with the highest total scores are accepted. A limited number of artists per category are accepted to provide a balanced show. A score-based waiting list is maintained in each medium, and cancellations are filled with the highest scoring artists in that medium. We are happy to share juror's comments with the artist. Jurors are not required to enter comments.

Exceptions to the Jury Process and Fee
  1. Guest Artists - Notable folk, traditional, and contemporary craft artists who would otherwise not exhibit at a festival without receiving an invitation. These artists are not eligible to receive a Kentuck Festival award because they didn't go through the jury process. Artists may opt to pay the jury fee and, if they jury in, will be eligible for judging in the Kentuck Festival award program.
  2. Demonstrating Artists - Artists demonstrating their work at the Festival, in their booth space. If you are interested in participating as a Kentuck Demonstrating Artist, please indicate this on your Zapplication. These artists are not eligible to receive a Kentuck Festival award because they didn't go through the jury process. Artists may opt to pay the jury fee and, if they jury in, will be eligible for judging in the Kentuck Festival award program.
  3. Kentuck Artists in the Schools - Artists who spend Friday morning before the Festival in an area school providing workshops, demonstrations, or presentations to students. In return, artists receive a $100 stipend for supplies, lunch on Friday, and may check-in early. If you are interested in participating in our Kentuck Artists in the Schools program, please indicate on your Zapplication. This program is transitioning to juried artists only.
  4. Back by Special Invitation Awards - Members of the Kentuck Board of Directors who have purchased a VIP Benefactor ticket have the privilege of inviting an artist of their choice to attend the next Festival without going through the jury process. 
  5. Award Winning Artists from 2018 Festival (listed below).
2018 Festival Award Winners
$7000 total was awarded by Judges Stan Hackney, Curator, Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL, and Tina Jones, Executive Director, Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden, Summerville, GA. Again, congratulations!
Best of Show
Charles Pinckney, Jewelry

Award of Distinction
Joachim Knill, Two-Dimensional
Guadalupe Robinson, Clay

Merit Award
Ryan Boase, Mixed Media
Barb Boatman, Fiber
Arne Cröll, Photography
Louise Coulson, Metal
Susan Elnora, Jewelry
Debo Groover, Mixed Media
James Floyd, Musical Instruments
Jennifer Lashbrook, Two-Dimensional
Don McWhorter, Clay
Teresa Merriman, Mixed Media
Steven Peaslee & Anne Wooster, Printmaking
Jenifer Thoem, Clay

Artists may in apply in up to 3 categories. You must submit a separate application for each category.

If you sell jewelry, you may apply in a category other than Jewelry if jewelry is less than 10% of your items for sale. Otherwise, you must apply in Jewelry.

Clay: Original clay and porcelain work, functional or sculptural.

Fiber: Includes wearable and non-wearable. No machine-tooled, machine-screen printing, or other forms of mass production are accepted.

Glass: Functional and sculptural work is accepted. Kiln forming, blowing, molding, or casting, as well as all cold working processes are permitted. 

Jewelry: Only those artists accepted in the jewelry category may display or sell jewelry. Items made from commercial parts may not be exhibited. 50% of the elements used in the execution of the design of the jewelry need to be refined from natural materials by the artist. Found object jewelry must contain no more than 50% of objects found on the commercial market for jewelry creation. 

Metal: Sculptural or decorative work made from metal. No jewelry will be accepted in this category.

Mixed Media: Work which combines materials from two or more mediums in one piece.

Musical Instruments: Handmade instruments.

Natural Materials: This includes basket weaving, chair caning, brooms, gourds, and other works made from materials found in nature.

Photography: Includes traditional film photography, hand-colored images, emulsion transfers, and digital photography.  Only artist’s original source material is acceptable.  All work displayed in the booth must be for sale.

Printmaking: Only hand-pulled original prints are allowed. Prints must be in limited editions, signed, and numbered.

Sculpture: Three-dimensional work using additive or subtractive processes in a single medium.

Two-Dimensional: Drawing, painting, and digital works. Reproduction prints are not allowed.

Wood: Original works that are hand tooled, machine-worked, turned or carved.

Artist amenities include :
  • $7000 in awards: Best of Show ($1,500), 2 Awards of Distinction ($1,000 each), and 12 Merit Awards ($300 each). Award winners are automatically invited to the 2019 Festival.
  • A new jury panel every year. Jurors are selected from arts educators, museum curators, art business executives, collectors, and artists not applying to the Festival. The jury panel is anonymous.
  • Qualified buyers. Admission per day is $10, with children 12 and under free with a ticketed adult.
  • Booth sitters. Sign up for booth sitters at check-in or during Festival hours at the information booth.
  • Bottled water available at check-in.
  • An artists' hospitality tent at the Festival. Fresh doughnuts and hot coffee are available at 7:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday morning. Drinks and snacks are served throughout the Festival.
  • Drive up unload/load.
  • Overnight and security during the Festival is provided by City of Northport Police Department.
  • Flat booth rate (no commission).
  • ATM on site. Credit card processing is also available for a 6% fee at the Information Building.
  • VIP program featuring pre-paid Kentuck Bucks that can only be used to purchase art at the Festival.
  • An artists' party with dinner and live music Saturday night at Kentuck Art Center located just down the street from the Festival park. Judges are introduced and awards are announced.
Becoming a Member at Kentuck Art Center
Membership supports funding for the Festival and the year-round arts programming of the Kentuck Art Center including art education, free exhibitions, workshops, a community clay co-op, artist studios, a gallery shop, and free monthly art nights. We encourage Festival artists to consider becoming members of Kentuck, but membership is not a requirement for inclusion in the Festival, nor do members receive any discount on Festival fees. You can learn more about Kentuck’s year-round operations and sign up online for memberships at kentuck.org.

Kentuck spends more than $30,000 annually on publicity and advertising (print, radio, TV, and digital) for the Festival.

THIS IS NOT A HOME GAME WEEKEND FOR THE University of Alabama football team! There are numerous hotels/motels in the area; however, they fill up quickly. We strongly recommend that you book a room when you apply. Click here to go to Trip Advisor for available hotels in the area. 

If you can't find or can't afford a hotel, Kentuck will attempt to find host families in the area. To apply to the Kentuck Festival Host Program, fill out and submit the form at this link. The form may also be printed from www.kentuck.org and emailed to eskinner@kentuck.org or mailed to Kentuck Art Center, 503 Main Ave, Northport, AL, 35476. If you have any questions about this program, please call us at 205-758-1257.

The Kentuck Festival Family
If you are one of our new artists this year, we welcome you with open arms and wish you great success. But don’t just come to sell your work -- seek out our returning Festival artists and learn from their experience and passion for quality art and craft. Their wisdom, experience, creativity, and craftsmanship are invaluable.

Festival Hours
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturday, October 12
Participants in the Festival VIP Program at the Benefactor level ($410) have early bird shopping privileges from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. on Saturday. The park opens to the public at 9 a.m.

9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Sunday, October 13

All artists are required to open their booth and be on site at 8 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday. All artists are required to keep their booths open until 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and until 4:00 p.m. Sunday. If you open late, or close or leave early, you will be banned from participation in future Festivals. If weather causes the Festival to close early, staff will inform all artists that they may leave early.

Business License Required
Artists are required to have a $20 Northport Transient Business License and a $35 combined license from Tuscaloosa County and the State of Alabama to exhibit at the Festival.
Purchase of the Northport license is required as soon as you are accepted into the Festival. The Northport business license department works directly with the artist and wants to help you in any way they can to make this process easy for you while protecting your private information. They will bring your business license to the Festival and have it for you at check-in.

The Tuscaloosa County and State license will not go on sale until October 1st. A license purchased prior to that time will expire September 30th. An application form and directions on how to pay for this license will be sent to those who jury into the Festival. The Tuscaloosa County and State business license department works directly with the artist and also wants to help you in any way they can to make this process easy for you while protecting your private information.

Sales Tax
9% sales tax on all sales at the Festival are due before you leave the Festival. Tax forms and envelopes for city, county, and state taxes will be in the packet you receive at check-in. The tax folks will be onsite from 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. Sunday, October 13 behind the Artist Hospitality Tent to collect taxes. They do not give change or accept credit cards so tax payments must be made in exact change or by three separate checks. Artists who are delinquent in sales taxes will not be allowed to exhibit at the Festival.

Restrictions on Work That You May Display
Up to 10% of your work may differ from what you sent for jurying. The remainder must be representative of that you sent in for jurying. New work from 2018 must be included. Commercially manufactured items, or items made from commercial molds or parts may not be exhibited. All items exhibited and/or offered for sale must be original work, designed and executed by the exhibiting artist(s). Representatives of Kentuck review displays throughout the Festival; we reserve the right to require removal of any work that differs from the images submitted, as well as any inappropriate work or display. Failure to remove such work or abide by other rules set forth may result in applicant’s removal from the Festival and/or applicant being prohibited from future application.

Reproductions of your original work may ONLY be displayed in a portfolio, with clear distinctions between originals and reproductions. Postcards and notecards bearing photo-offset reproductions of your work may be displayed and sold, but not as primary items of display. T-shirts may not be displayed or sold, except with prior approval by the Executive Director. Your booth must be filled with your original work.

If you have any questions about whether or not a work may be displayed, please check with the Kentuck staff for clarification. In the case of ambiguity, the decision of the Executive Director is final.
Kentuck assumes no responsibility for damage or loss while at the Festival. Artists must be prepared to adequately secure their work and personal property.

Booth Sitter Sign-up… (you may want to do this at check-in).
Volunteers are available to watch your booth so you can take a break, but please make your request as early as possible so we can schedule enough volunteers to cover demand. Booth sitting is provided by the students of Booker T. Washington Magnet School in Montgomery, AL. You can sign up for your booth sitter during check-in or anytime at the Information booth.

Art Vehicles
Space in the Festival grounds is extremely limited, but we love art cars! Please contact the Kentuck Executive Director at 205-758-1257 by August 1 if you wish to have a vehicle considered for parking in the booths area. All unauthorized vehicles are required to be out of the park by 7:30 a.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m. Sunday for the safety of all.

No Nos of the Festival
To keep the aural environment uncluttered, personal/individual radios or stereos may not be played on Festival grounds.
No smoking is allowed in the park by order of the City of Northport and the Parks and Recreation Authority.
No alcohol is permitted, other than the craft beer sold at the Festival.
No firearms or weapons are allowed in the park.
No pets of any kind are allowed in the park during the days of the Festival. If you need information on local kennels, please let us know prior to Festival weekend. Service dogs require a separate check-in process.
No profanity or treatment of any sort other than kindness is allowed. Bring your patience and love. To quote Dr. Bob, “All y’all are welcome, but you gotta act right.

Multiple Entries
Artists wishing to enter in more than one medium must submit separate applications, fees, and images in each category. If only one application is accepted, only work in that medium may be exhibited. Artists may enter in no more than three categories.

Booth Sharing/Collaborative Work
Artists working together may apply as one if they collaborate on every piece of work. In this case, only one booth fee will be charged. Other artists must pay the full fee even if they choose to share a booth with another artist. All co-artists must describe the collaboration.

Application Requirements
  1. Fill out the online application completely.
    By submitting this application, you consent to and authorize the use of any and/or all images of works in promotional literature and other promotional endeavors by the Kentuck Museum Association including but not limited to brochure, print, billboards, television advertisements, and internet display in perpetuity. Kentuck will keep all images of accepted work for publicity and Festival archival files.
  2. Submit four professional-quality digital images of your work and a description of your work as specified below. Quality of images can affect acceptance. No artist names and/or trade names should be visible. Please blur these out, including your signature on works of art.
    See http://www.zapplication.org/imaging_tips.phtml for technical tips on preparing and submitting digital images through ZAPP. Examples of good artwork photography can be seen here.
  3. For the first three images, fill in the space provided on the application to describe materials, process used, and dimensions. These descriptions will be read during the jury process.
  4. Images 1-3 must show the range of the work you will be displaying.
  5. Image 4 must represent how your work will be displayed. Applications submitted without a booth display image will be considered incomplete. Remember...The booth shot is the last thing the juror sees before scoring your work. Many artists stage a booth shot, with emphasis on showing off their work more than an actual booth shot taken at a festival might.
  6. Pay the non-refundable application fee.
    $35 for "early bird" applications submitted before midnight CDT May 15.
    $50 for applications submitted from May 16 to June 1.
Entry Deadline & Acceptance Notification
Entries must be received by midnight on the night of June 1, 2019. Artists will be notified of their jury status June 30, 2019.

Cancellations must be made in writing and received prior to August 1. Email to kentuck@kentuck.org with the subject line ATTN: FESTIVAL CANCELLATION. No phone calls, please. On and after August 1, 2019, booth fees will not be refunded.

Booth Information
Booth Fees
$265 for a single booth 10’ x 12'
$325 for a corner booth
$450 for a double deep booth 10' x 24'.
$530 for a double wide booth 20' x 12'. Double wide booths are not available on the main path.
$50 additional fee for a single booth space or double deep space along the main, paved path.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You will be informed of your booth space, the type of space, and the booth fee due a couple of days after you receive your acceptance e-mail.
At that time, you may pay for your booth:
  • by sending a check payable to Kentuck to: Kentuck Art Center, 503 Main Avenue, Northport, AL 35476. If sending by mail, payments must be postmarked by the deadline date. Please inquire before paying if you are requesting a double wide or double deep space. If none are available and you send in your payment without inquiring first, you may not be refunded the difference.
  • by calling Kentuck at 1-205-758-1257 during regular business hours with your payment information.
  • through ZAPP.
Please do not pay for your booth before receiving your booth assignment. If you pay for a booth type that is not the type of booth you were assigned, you may not be refunded the difference.
All requests may not be honored but we do our best to place artists in their requested space. Requests for particular booth spaces are processed by time of application, first-come first-served.

Booth fees must be paid by August 1, 2019.
Equipment available to rent through Kentuck. Note that equipment must be paid for when paying for your booth.
  • 10' x 10' canopy (set up in your space): $200
  • 4 sides for 10’ x 10’ tent (delivered to your space): $100
  • 8' table (pick up at Information Booth during set-up): $35
  • Folding chair (pick up at Information Booth during set-up): $15
Booth Particulars
  • Limited storage space behind booth.
  • Limited number of double & corner booths available; assignment based on time of application.
  • Drive-up unloading, off-site parking in adjacent lot. All vehicles must be off the grounds by 7:30 a.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m. Sunday, unless you have special permission from the Executive Director.
  • Number of Booths: 250 plus.
  • Exhibitors must provide their own booth structures, which should be flexible to accommodate trees and irregularities in the park's terrain and must be properly anchored. We recommend 40 pounds of weight per leg. If the ground is wet, a stake will not hold. If the ground is dry, it's too hard for stakes. Please make sure your tent or display is secure. Safety first!
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