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© 2019 by Kentuck Art Center.

Kentuck Art Center and Festival was established in 1971. Kentuck's mission is to perpetuate the arts, engage the community, and empower the artist. The Kentuck Festival of the Arts is held annually in October, and during that weekend, makes a $5.5 million economic impact on its community.

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apply for kentuck

The Kentuck Festival of the Arts has a 48-year history as a nationally known crossroads of creativity and community. Every year, over 10,000 travel from across the US to become immersed in a Southern experience of prolific creativity not often found at other festivals. In 2018, Sunshine Artist Magazine ranked Kentuck 5th in the nation in the category of Classic and Contemporary Craft Shows. We're proud to say that those rankings were based solely on artists' self-reported revenue. This year's Festival will take place on October 12 and 13, 2019, rain or shine.

Want to know more?  Scroll down for information about our Festival.

 

Sign up for our artists' email list HERE and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay up-to-date on news, deadlines, and more. 

Ready to apply now? Don't miss the earlybird deadline! Applications are open March 1-June 1, but apply before May 15 for the earlybird rate of $35. On May 16, the application fee will go up to $50.

Applications for the 2019 Festival are now closed. Applications for the 2020 Kentuck Festival will open March 1, 2020. Thanks for your interest! Sign up for our artists newsletter HERE so you won't miss any deadlines.

general information

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 recognized by Alabama Department of Tourism as one of the top-ten events to attend in Alabama 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 (a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization) 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.

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.

location

Kentuck Park
3501 5th Street
Northport, AL 35476

The Festival is open 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Sunday. 


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.

who are our artists?

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.

artists' amenities

  • $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.

For more information about artists' amenities, click HERE.

your application

The Kentuck Festival of the Arts uses Zapplication.org for its jury process. Applications will ONLY be accepted through ZAPP. Keep scrolling for application information or click the button below to apply now.

Applications open March 1 - June 1, 2019. 

Entries must be received by midnight on the night of June 1, 2019. Artists will be notified of their jury status June 30, 2019.
 

Applications for the 2019 Festival are now closed. Applications for the 2020 Kentuck Festival will open March 1, 2020. Thanks for your interest! Sign up for our artists newsletter HERE so you won't miss any deadlines.

the jury process

The Kentuck Festival of the arts is a juried Festival! This ensures the highest quality of art possible and keeps our patrons coming back every year. Artists must submit their work to be juried (via Zapplication.org) for inclusion in the Kentuck Festival. Artists 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, and 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.

Applications for the 2019 Festival are open from March 1-June 1, 2019. Click HERE for the application and rules.

categories

We have 13 categories. Artists may in apply in up to 3 categories. You must submit a separate application for each category. Have questions about which category best fits your work? Click HERE for the rules. 

  • Clay

  • Fiber

  • Glass

  • Jewelry

  • Metal

  • Mixed Media

  • Musical Instruments

  • Natural Materials

  • Photography

  • Printmaking

  • Sculpture

  • Two-Dimensional

  • Wood

flat booth fees

We have flat booth rates--no commissions! You will be notified of your jury status June 30, 2019, and your booth assignment will be sent to you via email a few days later. Want to see a map of the Festival grounds? Click HERE. For full details regarding booths, click HERE.

Booth Fees:

  • $265 for a standard 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.

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. 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.

  3. Click HERE for technical tips on preparing and submitting digital images through ZAPP. Examples of good artwork photography can be seen here.

  4. 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.

  5. Images 1-3 must show the range of the work you will be displaying.

  6. 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.

  7. Pay the non-refundable application fee.

  8. $35 for "early bird" applications submitted before midnight CDT May 15.
    $50 for applications submitted from May 16 to June 1.

accomodations

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. Applications for the Festival Host Program will be available after June 30, 2019. These applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis. Stay tuned for more info!

are you ready to apply?

Our applications are open March 1 - June 1, 2019. Don't miss the earlybird rate of $35!

If you have any questions, please call us! Our staff is happy to help.

Applications for the 2019 Festival are now closed. Applications for the 2020 Kentuck Festival will open March 1, 2020. Thanks for your interest! Sign up for our artists newsletter HERE so you won't miss any deadlines.