The Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival is one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most prestigious outdoor art festivals. The festival debuted in March 1960 as a community project to bring local artists and art lovers together.An all volunteer board produces the art festival and draws up to 300,000 visitors each year. Close to 900 artists from around the world applied for this year’s event. An independent panel of three judges select the artists that will exhibit their works. The festival consistently ranks among the top juried fine-art festivals in the country.
The festival features a wide variety of fine arts and crafts in the following categories: clay, digital art, drawings and pastels, fiber, glass, graphics and printmaking, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media-2D, mixed media-3D, painting, photography, sculpture, watercolor and wood as well as an Emerging Artists category.
Artists compete for 63 awards totaling $74,500. The Best of Show purchase award was increased in 2019 to $12,000. The festival donates the winning work to the City of Winter Park, and all are on permanent display at the Winter Park Public Library. A $5,000 “Art of Philanthropy” Purchase Award is sponsored by the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation, while a $2,500 “Distinguished Work of Art” Award is presented through the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. There are 10 Awards of Excellence of $2,000 each, 20 Awards of Distinction of $1,000 each and 30 Awards of Merit of $500 each.
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