Application Guidelines and Festival Policies
2020 will mark the 15th year for Suncoast Arts Fest (SAF), which will take place in the quaint town-center environment of The Shops at Wiregrass. This upscale shopping venue is conveniently located just north of Tampa off I-75 in Wesley Chapel. A winding main street edged with trees provides the perfect strolling venue for art lovers to browse and patronize the work of fine artists and fine craftsmen from around the country. One of Tampa Bay’s most popular festivals, SAF is a free event that has attracted large weekend crowds of 25,000 to 50,000 visitors per day. In addition to the art, the festival features a full schedule of live entertainment, street painting, student art and a Kid’s Art Garden.
Sat. Jan. 18, 2020 10am-6pm | Sun. Jan. 19, 2020 11am-6pm
The Shops at Wiregrass | 28211 Paseo Drive, Wesley Chapel, FL 33543
Suncoast Arts Fest is held at the peak of Florida’s snowbird season and, just off I-75, is convenient to all of Tampa Bay, as well as the surrounding areas of Sarasota, Crystal River, Ocala and Dade City. Prizes totaling $14,000 will be awarded to exhibiting artists and craftsmen in the categories of 2D, 3D and Jewelry.
Proceeds from SAF benefit the “Arts for Kids” mini-grant program in Pasco County schools. Grant funds support visual and performing art projects that enhance and enrich the current school curriculum.
- Applications open: July 19, 2019
- Application deadline: October 25, 2019
- Jurying starts: October 26, 2019
- Invitations sent out: November 6, 2019
- Accept Invitation and Purchase Booth Space Deadline: December 15, 2019
- Show dates: January 18 & 19, 2019
Applications will be accepted in the following categories:
Ceramics/Clay | Digital | Drawing | Fiber | Glass | Jewelry | Leather | Metal | Mixed Media | Painting – oil | Painting – acrylic | Painting – watercolor
Photography | Printmaking | Sculpture | Wood
(At this time, SAF does not accept applications for culinary vendors.)
All Artist applications will be processed through Zapplication.org. and will be subject to an application fee of $35.
Artists will be asked to provide a brief statement, describing their medium and technique, and will be required to submit four (4) high resolution digital images in JPG format that have been taken in the last year. Be sure to follow Zapplication guidelines for submission of images. Images #1-#3 should provide representative samples of the work that will be exhibited in the show. Image #4 should be a current booth shot. The entire booth should be pictured, and the artist’s name or business name should be prominently displayed in the shot. NOTE: this image is very important for jurying and may make the difference between your acceptance or decline. Make sure your booth display photo represents your work optimally.
Accepted artists will be notified by e-mail on or before November 6, 2019.
- Application Fee: $35
- Booth Fees:
- Single booth – $250
- Premium booth space – $285 (Guaranteed “corner space”, either at a cross street or next to a landscaping bed. This option is first come, first served and based on availability. Selecting this option guarantees a “corner space” only and does not guarantee placement in any specific zone of the festival.)
- Double booth space – $500
All fees must be paid through Zapplication by the stated deadlines, or the Artist risks forfeiture of his/her booth space.
At SAF, we have a deep appreciation for our artists. In addition to your booth space, all artists will receive the following amenities:
- Saturday: Snack Bag
- Sunday: Pancake breakfast
- Complimentary water
- Overnight security patrols
- Golf cart concierge service to and from your vehicles
Artist parking will be allowed in designated vendor lots throughout The Shops at Wiregrass. After unloading, all SAF vehicles must park in these lots and are required to display the SAF parking permit on their dash. Travel trailers and RVs are permitted; however, for safety reasons, The Shops at Wiregrass no longer permits overnight stays on their property. Festival organizers are currently seeking alternative overnight RV parking options for our artists and will post updated information as it is available on Zapplication and on our website at suncoastartsfest.com.
For those artists and vendors who have a disability license plate or placard, there is ample handicapped parking available throughout the shops that you are more than welcome to use.
For all artists, volunteers will be available with golf carts to taxi you to and from your vehicles.
Artists will complete for $14,000 in awards in the categories of 2D art, 3D art and Jewelry. Prizes will be awarded accordingly:
- Best of Show: $3000
- First Place: 2-D, 3-D, Jewelry – $2000 each
- Second Place: 2-D, 3-D, Jewelry – $1000 each
- Third Place: 2-D, 3-D, Jewelry – $500 each
- Best Booth Design (1 award) $500
All 2020 festival winners will receive a voucher waiving the 2021 Suncoast Arts Fest Application fee. The 2020 Best of Show winner will receive a voucher waiving both the 2021 SAF application and booth fees.
The following rules and regulations will be strictly enforced. Any Artist in violation of one or more of these rules will be deemed ineligible for an award and may be denied admission to future festivals. No refunds will be given for booths found in violation of the stated rules and regulations.
1) Only FINE ARTISTS AND FINE CRAFTSMEN* applying in the stated categories will be considered for admission to the festival.
2) All exhibited works must be consistent with the portfolio images submitted with the application. Likewise, Artists may only exhibit work that is consistent with the media category listed on the Artist’s invitation to exhibit.
3) Artists must exhibit and be present during the entire show, except for brief breaks. Sales agents, representatives or proxies are not permitted.
4) All images must be ORIGINAL, executed by the applying artist, created by hand and not mass-produced. The following products are NOT ACCEPTABLE:
- “Buy/Sell merchandise or embellishments on commercial items OR
- Works made with commercial kits or prefabricated pieces.
For Jewelers, purchased facet gems may be used, and some purchased beads may be used for accents. However, the primary components of all exhibited jewelry must be formed and created by the Artist.
For Photographers, all exhibited photographs must be from original negatives or digital images processed by the artist.
5) Sales of reproductions** of the Artist’s original work is permitted. ALL REPRODUCTIONS MUST BE LABELED ON THE FRONT OF THE IMAGE AS “REPRODUCTION”. You may not deceptively pass off a reproduction as an original work.
6) All displayed work, including bin work, must be matted and framed or otherwise appropriately finished. The festival aims to create an outdoor museum/gallery environment.
1) All exhibited work must be for sale, and prices must be clearly displayed on or beside each piece.
2) Florida sales tax must be collected on all sales made during the show.
3) Absolutely NO “DISCOUNT” OR “SALES” SIGNAGE IS PERMITTED.
- Application Fees are non-refundable.
- Booth fees may be refunded if the request is made in writing (emails accepted) by December 19, 2019. After December 19th, no refunds will be issued.
- Fees will not be refunded for acts of God or inclement weather.
SAF will have still and video photographers taking pictures of the event for promotional purposes. Artists who apply to the show agree to allow themselves and/or their work to be included in these pictures and used for the festival’s nonprofit promotional purposes only. Artists are encouraged to take pictures of their own and share them on the festival’s social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, using #suncoastartsfest.
Shops at Wiregrass Rules for Display
Suncoast Arts Fest has worked hard to maintain a positive and mutually-beneficial relationship with its host, The Shops at Wiregrass. Working in partnership with a successful retail location attracts motivated buyers and collectors to the festival. To ensure the continued success of this relationship, we ask that all artists abide by the venue’s rules and regulations as outlined in the festival’s rental agreement:
- All artwork must be displayed within or hanging from your tent. Additional back stock and other possessions – such as boxes, stools or dollies – must be off the sidewalks and secured inside your tent or vehicles.
- Displayed artwork must be appropriate for all ages and may not contain frontal nudity. The SAF committee has the sole exclusive and final authority to determine if any work is not acceptable for display.
- Artists may not block the designated entrances to Wiregrass shops or the center walkway down Paseo Drive. No chairs or umbrellas may be set-up down the center of the Paseo Drive.
- Artist parking will be allowed in designated vendor lots only. After unloading, all SAF vehicles must park in these lots and are required to display the SAF parking permit on their dash. Travel trailers and RVs are permitted; however, for safety reasons, The Shops at Wiregrass no longer permits overnight stays on their property.
To maintain the integrity of the festival and to ensure fairness in the judging process, Suncoast Arts Fest has established a Compliance Committee. Prior to the judging on Saturday, committee members will be conducting a brief review of each booth. Displays will be evaluated for consistency with the Artist’s application and for compliance with all festival rules and regulations. Artist’s found in violation of the stated rules and regulations will be deemed ineligible for an award and may be denied admission to future festivals.
*Fine Craft – Individually-created works of art that are both fine art and craft, meaning they are not only functional or decorative, but they are also expressive and convey additional meanings.
**Reproduction – A copy of multiple images of an original artwork created by the Artist.
The Shops at Wiregrass is a retail town center. Suncoast Arts Fest will take place along Paseo Avenue, which is the center’s “main street.” Artist booths will be mapped out in quadrants down both sides of the street. When assigning booth spaces, festival organizers make every effort to consider the following factors to create a well-balanced flow and to ensure that all sections of the festival represent each category of artist.
Priority 1: Accessibility – Please be sure to let the festival organizers know of any physical limitations that may warrant special consideration for your booth placement.
Priority 2: Payment Date – Booth spaces will be assigned based on the date of “Confirmation” and booth purchase. Special requests may be noted at the time of purchase. Every effort will be made to accommodate these requests; however, they are not guaranteed. Please be mindful that what defines a “great space” is subjective, and what one artist may consider a premium spot, may be undesirable to another. Please be as specific as possible when making your request.
Priority 3: Medium – Festival organizers will also assign booth spaces according to artistic medium. For example, two glass artists will not be situated in booths next to each other, even if they have requested the same area. They will be placed in different areas of the festival to ensure a balanced show.
Priority 4: Return Participation – Special consideration for booth assignments are given to returning artists. This is the least we can do to express our gratitude and appreciation for your continued participation!
Each artist is required to provide a standard white 10’x10′ tent. Spaces of approximately 12’x 12′ will be provided for each tent, and artists are instructed to leave 2 feet of space between each booth. All booth spaces are on the street, and tents must be secured by weights only – no tent stakes or tying tents to lamp posts or trees is permitted. Please be advised that wind and weather can be an issue, so please take proper precautions for securing your area. A minimum of 40 lbs. of weight at each tent leg is recommended.
Artists may not infringe on their neighbor’s space by adjoining their tent to a neighboring tent as a means of creating a larger gap on one side of his or her booth. To create additional display space for your artwork, we encourage you to use the back of your tent, which is fully visible to all passers-by. For those interested in using the sides of their tent for their display, a limited number of “corner” spaces are available for a premium rate.
The Shops at Wiregrass requires that all artwork must be displayed within or hanging from your tent. Additional back stock and other possessions – such as boxes, stools or dollies – must be off the sidewalks and secured inside your tent or vehicles. Booth sitters, golf carts and drivers will be available throughout the festival to drive artists to and from their vehicles should you need to restock your booth.
Electrical outlets are present throughout the Shops at Wiregrass and made available to artists at no additional charge. Artists must bring their own cords and lights. Electric cords must be taped down for safety and clear of walkways.
Artist Check-in and Set-up
- Early bird check-in – Friday, 1/17/20 10:30pm – Midnight
- Saturday, 1/18/20: starts at 4:00 a.m.
Please be prepared to present a photo I.D. and your license plate number(s) to receive your artist packet, parking pass and booth assignment. There is street lighting during set-up and overnight security both nights.
Every effort will be made to allow artists to drive up to their booth space to load/unload. However, after 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19th, the street will be closed to traffic, and artists who have not completed their booth set-up will need to be prepared to dolly their remaining display to their space(s). Dollies must not be visible during the event – they should be stored in your vehicle or otherwise out-of-sight.
No artist may infringe on another’s space. Artists may not block the designated entrances to Wiregrass shops or the center walkway down Paseo Drive. No chairs or umbrellas may be set-up down the center of the Paseo Drive.
All artists must be set up by 9:30 a.m. Sat. 1/19/19.
SAF closes at 6 pm on Sunday. For safety reasons, The Shops at Wiregrass strictly prohibits vehicles from entering the show area until 6pm when the shops close.
Please be sensitive to providing a wide range of price points to the show patrons. Florida sales tax must be collected on all sales made during the show.