Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Instagram LinkedIn Spotify

Sign up for email updates from Des Moines Arts Festival, Inc.

Home > the arts > visual arts > 2022 Artist Application

2022 Artist Application

ARTIST APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED FOR THE 2022 FESTIVAL. The application process for the 2023 show will open in October 2022.

Event Summary

The Des Moines Arts Festival® is one of the world’s most respected juried art shows hosting 190 of the nation’s top artists on June 24-26, 2022 in a beautiful urban street setting surrounding the 4.4 acres John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park and the newly-constructed Krause Gentle Center designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Thirteen-time winner of the coveted Grand Pinnacle Award from the International Festivals and Events Association, the outdoor festival celebrating arts and culture attracts more than 200,000 people each year to its downtown location in Iowa’s capital city and largest metropolitan area. The Festival is a show dedicated to the highest standards of excellence that works diligently to maintain a progressive environment for artists and their clients. The Festival is a non-profit organization with any proceeds earned going to support the advancement and advocacy of working professional and emerging artists, continuation of the Festival, and keeping artist fees low.

About our Jury Process

Please Note: We do NOT jury by category or medium. When you apply, you will self-identify a medium if you are a professional artist OR Emerging Artist if you are applying under the rules of the Emerging Iowa Artist Program.

The jury is scheduled for February 9-11, 2022.

Approximately 180 spaces will be available via the jury process. An additional ten (10) booth spaces are reserved for 2022 award winners, and up to five (5) spaces are reserved for special invitations.

Round One (evening of the first day) is a complete overview of all applicants. Each artist set of images will be projected for ten seconds.

Round Two (second day) is the first scoring round. Each artist’s set of images will be projected for approximately eight seconds. After which the jury will begin scoring on a laptop in front of them while the six submitted images are projected in front of them. As the set of images is projected, the Artist Statement is read aloud. The jury will score each artist’s set of images a traditional 1 through 7, with no 4. Artists scoring above the median move to the next round.

Round Three comes after all applying artists have been scored. After Round Two, a median score is determined, and all artists scoring under the median are removed. The artists remaining are first viewed again in a complete overview for 10 seconds each. We then go back to the beginning and display each artist’s set of six images. Each set of images is discussed and scored by the jury with a show of hands. A majority vote moves the artist into the next round. The artist’s set of images remain on the screen for as long as requested by the jury.

Round Four and Beyond – Any number of rounds now occur using the same process described above, slowly balancing the show by making final selections.

The jury uses the following standards to guide their decision:

  • All work must be original and made by the hand of the applying artist.
  • Projection “blind" jury
  • The jury will view each artist’s set of six images. One of the six images shall be an actual image of the artist's booth showing the body of work. The images will be projected in two rows, three images on top and three images on bottom, simultaneously.
  • The ideal work will reflect excellence.
  • The work will be well conceived and expertly executed.
  • The work will show an identity of design.
  • Artwork is considered solely on the merit of the work pictured. This and the submitted Artist Statement will be the only criteria considered. (See below regarding Artist Statement).
  • The work will be professionally and creatively presented. The better the image presented, the better your opportunity.
  • The work presented for jury will be representative of the artist’s body of work.

All applications from professional artists must submit an authentic booth image (that is, an actual photo/image of your booth).

  • Booth images may not be created in a computer program or manipulated, enhanced or otherwise affected by a computer in any way.
  • Booth images may not contain the artist’s name, company name or any other affiliation; artists may use Photoshop techniques to remove the name(s).
  • The booth image must include the entire booth, not a portion.
  • The booth image must be that of your outdoor booth (no indoor booth images).
Please Note: If you submit an application without the booth image or the booth image does not follow the criteria as stated here, your application will be returned to you. You may choose to re-submit the application under our rules. Regardless of whether you choose to re-submit the application under our rules, application fees will not be returned for not following the stated rules. Artists may choose to submit the image as is with the understanding that a full point will be deducted from the artist’s final score for not adhering to the guidelines above after being offered the opportunity to make a change.

A note about the booth image. The booth image shows the jury your body of work, provides dimension and scale, a sense of artistic and creative presentation, and reflects what your booth will look like at the show in June. It will also report to the jury if the work submitted in the individual images reflects your current style and overall body of work.

Please note that EIA’s will show a sixth image in place of the booth image.


The Festival hosts an annual event called REVEAL that follows the jury. REVEAL is a public event that culminates in “revealing” the artists selected by the jury to exhibit in the June festival. Artist notifications are emailed following the event. Additionally, the exhibiting artists are posted on the website with links on social media.

  • Festival will notify applicants of results using the email provided in your ZAPPlication.
  • In addition to the email notification, accepted artists will be posted on www.desmoinesartsfestival.org.
  • Results will not be given over the phone.
All decisions of the jury are final. DMAF reserves the right to reject any application if it does not comply with the covenants and rules set forth in this document.


The DMAF considers its enforcement of the rules our exclusive right and responsibility. Festival officials will visit all displays at intervals throughout the Festival to ensure that exhibitors comply with all Festival rules, including but not limited to checking identification. Your submitted application and signature on the Artist Agreement (for those invited) is your indication that you agree that noncompliance can result in expulsion and ineligibility for jurying, awards and participation in future Festivals. If an artist is removed from the show for non-compliance of the rules, no booth fee refunds will be issued nor compensation made, and the artist will be ineligible to exhibit for a period of at least two years.

1. All work exhibited must be original art produced by the exhibiting artist(s). Work done by a production studio, in classes or workshops, “Buy-sell” and/or imports, work from kits, commercial designs, and derivative work is prohibited. Artists selling work that is not their own will be expelled from the Festival.

2. It is the work of the artist that is juried. Therefore, any change in the overall body of work by the artist after the jury process accepts the juried work is not considered juried and may not be exhibited until approved by the director of the show. Please see the description of our New Directions program above. Absolutely no consideration will be made if the work is a different discipline.

3. No reproductions are allowed. If it’s a copy of any kind, regardless of medium, it may not be exhibited.

4. All artists associated with the juried work must be present to exhibit. If artists apply as partners, each artist must be present. If each artist is not present, the artist who is present will not be permitted to setup or exhibit. No proxy of any kind is permitted. If artists working as partners are found to apply as a single artist, the artist will be disqualified without a refund regardless of the calendar of stated deadlines.

5. Booth and display must remain intact during all hours of the show.

6. A photo ID is required at artist check-in by all artists, including partners, accepted to exhibit. In addition, the Festival reserves the right to check ID each day of the Festival to ensure the artist is present. Artists may NOT setup or have their booth setup until they have provided proof of their presence.

7. The sale of non-original promotional items is prohibited.

8. Artists are responsible for proper insurance and protection of work and setup. The DMAF is not responsible for damage to work or setup for any reason. All artists are required to maintain and provide proof of insurance before they are allowed to setup and exhibit.

9. Artists are responsible for collecting and reporting all taxes, including Iowa sales tax.

10. We do not allow sharing of booths except under extraordinary circumstances and ONLY if prior approval is provided in writing from the director. Absolutely no consideration is given if the request is made at the time of set-up or during the show.

11. Artists are not permitted to use cheaply-made, light-weight, accordion-style pop-up tents. The tented structure must be commercial or professional grade with at least 40 pounds of weight on each corner and with stabilizing maneuvers that provide maximum safety to artists and guests. Any variation is prohibited and will result in the artist being excluded from the Festival without compensation or consideration.

In addition to the rules of exhibiting, the following guidelines/restrictions apply to the jury process:
Artists may submit multiple applications with a distinctly different body of work. Applications may NOT be of mixed work. Artists whose work is selected in multiple mediums are eligible for a single, double booth space.

Upon receipt of the application, the Festival reserves the right to return any application if it is deemed noncompliant or does not provide the information requested. If you submit an application that does not follow the criteria as requested, your application may be returned to you for modification. Application fees will not be returned or refunded. Artists may choose to submit the application as-is with the understanding that a full point may be deducted from the artist’s final first-round score for not adhering to the guidelines set forth in this application after being offered the opportunity to make a change.

PLEASE NOTE – REGARDING COLLABORATING ARTISTS: If you are submitting an application as a collaborating artist/partner, you must submit the name(s) with the application. Please follow the instructions provided on ZAPP.
You may not add a partner after the jury. If you have any questions or difficulties registering the partner, please contact the ZAPP office before submitting your application.

Back to
Tickets & Deals