The semi-annual Cottonwood Art Festival is currently accepting applications for the Spring 2017 show being held May 6-7 in Richardson, Texas.  There is a non-refundable jury fee of $30 and the deadline to submit is by midnight on January 13, 2017.  The jury will review all applicants January 17-20 to fill an estimated 250 booth spaces.

The full rules and regulations are detailed on the application site:ZAPP® - Cottonwood Art Festivalor visit for more information.


Cottonwood Art Festival is a juried show. This year approximately 1,400 artists submitted their work for consideration. For each show, jurors select over 240 artists to exhibit their museum-quality work. The artists compete in 14 categories: 2D Mixed Media, 3D Mixed Media, Ceramics, Digital, Drawings/Pastels, Fiber, Glass, Jewelry, Leather, Metalwork, Painting, Photography, Sculpture and Wood. A list of this year's artists can be found on the Event Artists page.

Below is the list of selected artists for the Fall show held October 1-2, 2016 in Richardson, TX. 


Harvey Ross Ball - Smiley Face
Today is the first Friday of October and also celebrated as World Smile Day since 1999.  The history of the smiley face dates back decades but the iconic yellow image was created by an American commercial artist Harvey Ross Ball.  Harvey started off as an apprentice for a local sign painter before deciding to study fine arts at Worcester Art Museum School.

In 1963 the artist worked for State Mutual Life Assurance Company in Massachusetts and was tasked with designing a happy face to increase the low morale of his fellow co-workers.  The image was intended to be used in a 'friendship campaign' and printed on buttons for employees to wear at the office.


Pictured left to right: Lisa Leininger, Nancy Lembke,
 Jane Fitzgerald and Laurie Calloway
We are Army wives who met in a Bible study ten years ago at a SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) a NATO base in Belgium. We called ourselves “The Four Winds.” We laughed, we cried and we shopped together. The highlight was a road trip to buy Polish pottery. 


First come first serve and lottery systems are known methods for assigning booths, but Cottonwood Art Festival is a juried show with good reason. What is a juried show and how is it different from other art festivals? Juried competitions, have since the dawn of digital, afforded artists around the world opportunities to compete for inclusion in prestigious shows such as Cottonwood Art Festival. The City of Richardson sponsors the semi-annual show and knows exactly how many 13' x 13' size booths will fit into the meticulously designed layout within Cottonwood Park.  The map shows an average of 240 booths carefully drawn to represent the prime real estate that artists desire to occupy for a busy 48 hours every May and October. 
Artist applications are accepted online twice a year through ZAPP and up to five (5) images may be submitted to represent the brand. This year jurors reviewed artwork and collections from approximately 750 artists. The coveted artist slots are narrowed through a competitive jury process where each artist is scored by jury members on a scale of yes-no-maybe in the first round, creating a ranked group of artists in each category deemed qualified to advance to the second round. The scoring for the second round is a ranked 1 - 7 number scale. There is a third and final round that encourages discussion.  Jurors have the choice of revising their scores and final scores are then recorded. 
The top scorers in each category receive an invitation to the show. An additional number of artists are retained


D Magazine music contributor Alex Macon wrote an article on March 30, 2016 titled "How To See A Dozen Free Concerts In Dallas This Spring." The mention gives a shout-out to us because we offer the public free admission, free parking, and live music all weekend.  

D Magazine
"Local bands, including the Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute Texas Flood,  get to shine at the Cottonwood Art Festival." - D Magazine

May 7-8, 2016 Cottonwood Art Festival will additionally include the following musicians and bands as detailed below.  Seating and tables surround the stage area and are centrally located to the beer garden, food trucks, and of course the 240 Artists spread out across Cottonwood Park.    


Cottonwood Art Festival is a semi-annual juried show, and among the 240 artists selected to participate only one is chosen as the featured artist.  “Pretty Bird” by artist Kristin DeSantis was recently announced as the crested crow to represent the Spring show being held May 7-8 at Cottonwood Park. 

Elongated talons and eyelashes intentionally convey the personality of “Pretty Bird” and DeSantis explains, “she is a sexy, slightly demure princess.”  Weighing nearly 15 pounds, the custom piece is hand sculpted from thick aluminum sheets and measures 40” high, 33” wide, and 15” deep. 

“I love crows, they watch me work outside.  The design is my interpretation of a female crow with an attitude.”

The design and creation of this contemporary piece required approximately six weeks of metal cutting with a plasma torch, welding, carving and hand staining layers of oil paints.  This year DeSantis will showcase her collections at 10 art shows across the country including Cottonwood Art Festival.  “Pretty Bird” will be on display and is available for purchase at a price of $3,000. 

“There are many great artists showing at Cottonwood Art Festival and being the Featured Artist, to me, is a well-deserved ‘feather in my cap.’  I am very honored and excited.”  Kristin DeSantis