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by Katie Wilde

While July 16 – this year’s Art on the Street – may seem miles away to most of us, this is a busy application time for the artists and fine crafters who work the summer art festival scene.

We have updated the guidelines and application form for 2016, and are now taking applications from hopeful exhibitors. Below is an overview of the event, followed by information for potential applicants.

About Art on the Street:
Co-presented by Guelph Arts Council and the Downtown Guelph Business Association, Art on the Street is a highly regarded exhibition and sale that has become a staple event for art lovers of all ages. It is Guelph’s largest outdoor juried exhibition, spotlighting the talented and diverse art community in Guelph. Since its inception in 2003, the event has grown in both calibre of artist and scale, welcoming several thousand visitors each year.

Artists will showcase their works in temporary, open-air studios along Quebec Street during the event. Because of the diversity of the local arts community and our artist lineup, just about every medium will be on display: textiles, photography, pottery, watercolours, oils, acrylics, jewelry, metalwork, apparel and more. It is completely free to visitors and open to all ages.

Eager attendees gather before event even officially opens. Photo by Rachel Long, 2015.

Art in the Shops
As a preview to Art on the Street, the Downtown Guelph Business Association pairs a variety of participating artists and venues together for Art in the Shops, which runs the week leading up to Art on the Street, July 11-16. By marrying businesses with artists, Art in the Shops creates a superb opportunity for local artists to: display some of their work in the week leading up to the outdoor event, make connections with local business owners, and increase the number of people who experience their work.

The Children’s Art Festival
While the exhibition floods Quebec Street, kids of all ages are invited to join the fun at The Children’s Arts Festival collective in St. George’s Square. The festival will inspire creativity with a full day of interactive programs, all set within a space designed with your child’s inner artist in mind. Programming and activities will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 16, right next to the Art on the Street entrance at Quebec and Wyndham Streets.

Info for Potential Applicants
Our Guidelines provide artists with the information needed to prepare an excellent application in advance of the deadline date. Key points are:

  1. Image Quality

  • No matter how strong your art is, blurry, off-colour, poorly lit and poorly cropped images of it always weaken an application. Make it easy for the jury to see how awesome your work is by providing the best documentation possible.
  1. Context

  • Providing a booth or display image to illustrate how you intend to present your work
  • Showing exhibition and art fair experience on your CV (the jury understands when those applying in the emerging festival exhibitors category have less experience)
  • Describing your medium, process, and subject matter – either in your CV’s bio section, in the image list, or both. You may be surprised how difficult it can be to guess information about the artwork just by looking at a digital image.
  1. Professionalism

  • Presenting your application in a clear, well-organized and thoughtful way, as well as submitting all the required elements of the application goes a long way towards demonstrating your professionalism.
  • Attendees are drawn to the high quality of the show, and in addition to the quality of the art itself, it is your contributions as artists and businesspeople interacting face-to-face that keep folks coming back for more.

The guidelines provide links to resources, such as: where to source tents, how to keep your tent safely weighted down, how to document your work, etc. We also offer practical tips to selected applicants for making the most of the day, avoiding pitfalls, and relevant information about what is expected of and what is available to artists on event day.

We look forward to seeing your applications over the next few months! If you have any questions about the application process, or where to access further resources for preparing your best application, please don’t hesitate to call or email Katie Wilde: 519-836-3280, [email protected].

APPLY NOW (Please read the guidelines first even if you’ve exhibited or applied before. We worked hard on them and they’re there to help you)

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