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Home > the arts > visual arts > For Exhibiting Artists

For Exhibiting Artists

UPDATED 04.07.2021

What We Know Today

Like everyone else on the planet, we are actively searching for the crystal ball that will tell us what the last wekeend in June will bring. We are moving forward with plans to execute the event. We will keep you aprised of any updates or changes to our plan. And we do have options available to us should we need to move the Festival to a location that provides for broader social distancing or move the Festival to a date later in the year.

Since we are moving forward with diliberate speed, the policies surrounding your participation remain in place. Please let us know if you have any questions.



You will find other accommodations on our website or the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors website.

The following hotels are offering special rates for exhibiting artists:

Des Moines Marriott Downtown (newly remodeled)
700 Grand Ave. (two blocks to festival site)
Google Earth Link
Offering a $119++ rate to artists
Reservation: Call 1-800-321-2211 or 515-245-5500
Rate cut-off is on or before June 4, 2020

Renaissance Des Moines Savory Hotel (newly remodeled)
401 Locust Street (5 blocks to festival site)
Google Earth Link
Offering a $119++ rate to artists (includes breakfast)
Reservation: Call 1-800-468-3571 or 515-244-2151
Rate cut-off is on or before June 4, 2020

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Des Moines Downtown Hotel (new hotel)
207 Crocker Street (20 blocks from festival site in downtown)
Google Earth Link
Offering a $119++ rate to artists (includes breakfast and free limited parking)
Reservation: Call 1-515-329-0409
Rate cut-ff is June 5, 2020

Grand View University
Langrock Suites Dorm
Hull Suites Dorm
1200 Grandview Ave. (a few miles from downtown)
Google Earth Link
Offering a $30/night with shared living room and bathroom
Linens available (sheets, blanket, pillow, towels) for $22/stay
Reservation: Coming Soon

2020 Artist Booth Selection

We provide artists the opportunity to share with us a preference for booth location at the Festival. Please read the notes and instructions below:

  • This map identifies artist booth locations. They are the yellow boxes along the curbs of Grand Ave. (to the North) and Locust Str. (on the South). You can zoom in on the map by using the “+” or if using a PC, press down the Control Key and scroll up using your mouse. If on a MAC, press down Command key and the “+” key.
  • There will perhaps be slight adjustments made once we are on the street in June because of unforeseen circumstances that do not exist today.
  • “Same as last year” is not an option and will place you at the back of the line 😉
  • Identifying a first choice does not guarantee placement, nor does being the first person to submit the form.
  • We provide courtesy to artists who have been in the same spot for years and prefer to remain there.
  • Use the Dropdown menu to select your top three choices.
  • Use the "Other Considerations" text box to share information like "place me next to my partner, [insert name]" "I exhibit encaustics," "DSM is awesome"
  • Select corner booths ONLY if you have already paid for a corner.
  • Double-Deep booths are located GN26C - GN38C.
  • The circles on the map, along the street, are trees ;-).
  • Use this Google Earth Link to see the festival site in all its glory.
  • All booths accommodate storage behind the assigned booth area. Some booths provide more storage than others. There are two feet (2’) between each interior booth.
  • You are permitted vehicle access for load-in and load-out.
  • All booths are located on concrete/asphalt streets.
  • Staking is strickly prohibited by the city.
Deadline to submit choices is April 10, 2020. Booth assignments will be posted on or before May 1 on your Gallery Profile and on the Master List.

Our booth numbers make sense once you know the formula. Booth Legend:
L = Locust Street
G = Grand Ave.
N = North
S = South
C = Corner
So, LN31C is Locust Street North corner number 31.


You will receive periodic emails from us with updates that will also be uploaded to this page. We encourage you to read them so there will be no surprises upon arrival. Please make note of your direct contact related to the festival:

Stephen King, CFEE, Executive Director

515.419.7265 (Cell)

About the Festival Site

The site of the Festival surrounds the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. Dedicated on September 27, 2009 the $40 million park is home to over 20 pieces of important contemporary sculptures. The Pappajohn Sculpture Park is located in the thirteen-acre Western Gateway Park, home to the Des Moines Arts Festival®. The park is located from 10th to 17th Streets between Grand Avenue and Locust Street at the west entrance into the city’s downtown. The park includes various small businesses, restaurants, Des Moines’ Central Library, Pappajohn Higher Education Center, Arlington-Hallett Apartments, Temple for Performing Arts, and the corporate headquarters for Krause Gateway Center, Meredith Corporation, Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield and Nationwide, our presenting sponsor. If you would like an aerial view of the site, Google 1400 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA – click on the satellite view.

Artist Booth Space

DMAF offers the following booth opportunities:

Single Booth Fee: $475
Single Corner Booth Fee*: $625
Double-WIDE Booth Fee**: $950
Double-WIDE Corner Booth Fee: $1100
Double-DEEP Booth Fee***: $850
Double-DEEP Corner***: $1000

* We do not have enough corner booths for every person who requests one.

**Double-WIDE Booths are only offered to artists that are accepted into two separate mediums. Otherwise, we do not offer double-WIDE booth spaces. If you require a double-wide booth, please see the double deep booth option.

***We offer a limited number of double-DEEP booths. These booths are 10' wide by 20' deep and are located on the north side of Grand Ave. An additional $150 check is required for a double-DEEP corner.

All booths accommodate storage behind the assigned booth area. Some booths provide more storage than others. There are two feet (2’) between each interior booth. You are permitted vehicle access for load-in and load-out. All booths are located on concrete/asphalt streets. Please note that staking is prohibited by the city.

Fees & Taxes

A standard 10’x10’ booth fee is $475 with all other options charged accordingly. A corner booth is an additional $150. Artists retain 100% of their sales.

All artists are required to individually apply for an Iowa Tax Permit. The application is free, and can be accessed on the following page: https://tax.iowa.gov/iowa-sales-and-use-tax-guide#permit . Choose the online or PDF application for the Iowa Business Registration for Tax Permit form under the “Sales Tax Permit Information” header.

Below is a guide for filling out the form.


  • Legal Business Name: Your personal name.
  • Business Trade Name: Your business’s name. If you sell your work under your legal name and/or don’t have an “also known as” name to list, leave this section blank
  • Business Location, City, and Zip code: Your personal residence. Must be a street address, not a Post Office box.
  • Location County:

o Iowa residents – choose the county associated with your personal address.

o Non-Iowa residents: select “Out of State – 00”.

  • Date business was established: If you do not know the exact date when you began selling your work, approximate a close guess.
  • Primary Phone: Your preferred personal/business phone number.
  • Primary Activity (Product/Service on paper form): Artwork


  • Type of Business Ownership: Sole Proprietor OR Individual single-member LLC.


  • Social Security Number: Your personal SSN.
  • Date which business was established: If you do not know the exact date when you began selling your work, approximate a close guess.
  • State in which business was established: Your home state.


  • Iowa Permit Type Needed:

o Iowa Residents: Sales Tax Permit

o Non-Iowa Residents and Non-U.S.A. Residents: Retailer’s Use Tax

  • Starting date for making sales in Iowa: MM-DD-YY (first day of the Festival. Example: 06-22-18)
  • How much use tax do you expect to owe (applies to both Sales Tax Permit and Retailer’s Use Tax applications): Annually – collect less than $120 tax/year.

Use the green question mark boxes on the form for help.

If you have further questions, call the Iowa Department of Revenue at (515) 281-3114 or 1-800-367-3388.

Each artist is responsible for the collection and reporting of all applicable taxes.


All artists exhibiting in the Festival are required to provide to the Festival a Certificate of Insurance naming Des Moines Arts Festival as an additional insured pursuant to a general liability insurance policy with a minimum coverage of $1,000,000. This proof and certificate are due in our office no later than June 1. This policy should cover June 24-27, 2021. Please note that without this certificate, artists will not be permitted to exhibit. There will not be any exceptions.

Should this coverage not be available with your current carrier, there are inexpensive options available including Kaliff Insurance and ACT Insurance. You or your agent may email the certificate to ltobin@desmoinesartsfestival.org.

Refund Policy

Invited artists who have completed a contractual agreement with the DMAF and have paid their booth fee in full may request a refund in writing on or before May 1, 2021. For your security, the request must come in written form by the artist only (no agent, friend, spouse, etc.) and must state the reason for the refund request. If sent electronically, both DMAF and the artist agree an electronic signature is sufficient for verification. Between May 1 – May 15, the Festival will consider a refund based on the written information provided and the Festival's ability to fill the space being vacated. All refunds will be affected by an administrative fee based on the timing of the request and only after the space has been filled. After May 15, 2021, no refunds of any amount will be issued.


Any and all rentals (tents, tables, chairs, weights) must go through our authorized supplier – Classic Events and Parties. No other tent company or vendor will be permitted on the Festival site. There will be absolutely no exceptions to this policy. We will turn away any vendors that are not authorized by the Festival upon their arrival. If you wish to engage with Classic, please contact Steve Card at (515) 266-3223 or scard@cep-ia.com. (This is a safety and security measure; the DMAF does not in any way benefit from the rental of tents. The contractual agreement is between you and Classic.)

Check-In Information

All artists listed on the application are required to check-in with a photo ID before setting up. This means any and all lead artist and collaborator(s). Proxy or “helpers” are not permitted to check-in for you or arrive early to set-up your booth in your absence. No artist may set-up until they have checked-in.

We will not allow exceptions to this rule. If both/all artists are not available for check-in you will be turned away and not be permitted to set-up OR exhibit during the weekend of the Festival. Absolutely no consideration will be made to refund any associated fees including the application and booth fee or travel expenses.

Check-in begins on Thursday, June 24, 2021, at 9 a.m. (closes at 6 p.m.) and continues Friday, June 25, 2021, beginning at 8 a.m. We do NOT require you to sign-up for an appointed check-in. You must check-in BEFORE setting up. Check-in is quick and easy. To do this, drive through the check-in area located on Grand Avenue; just West of 11th Street. Enter onto Grand Ave. off 10th street and travel West. Follow the signs to Artist Check-In where our Artist Relations Team will greet you (you don’t even have to get out of your car!) At check in you will receive your Welcome Packet with information, artist credential, booth sign, maps, parking information, and more. After you check-in, you may proceed to your booth for unloading and set-up.

Check-In Hours of Operation

Thursday, June 24: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Friday, June 25: 8 a.m. - 10 a.m.

If you would like to map the check-in location, use the following information:

The physical address of Artist Check-In is 1200 Grand Avenue


Set-up is permitted only after you have checked in. Ours is a leisurely set-up. We do NOT require you to sign-up for an appointed check-in. All set-up must be completed no later than 10 a.m. on Friday, June 25, 2021, at which time all vehicles must be off the site in preparation for the 11 a.m. opening.

Set-up may continue after Check-in closes at 6 p.m. However, absolutely no vehicles are allowed to be on-site after 6 p.m. and all volunteer support will be unavailable. Please make your plans accordingly.


Dedicated artist parking is available in the Meredith remote parking located at SW 16th Street and MLK Boulevard. It is a remote lot.


Electricity is provided to each artist’s booth at no additional charge. You must bring your own lighting and outdoor-approved extension cords at a minimum length of 50 ft. If you use multiple outlets you will need to provide your own power strip. You must attach the power strip so it is not lying on the ground. The maximum wattage available to each artist booth is 500 watts.

Exhibitor Equipment

Artists are responsible for providing their own booth, equipment and insurance.


The Des Moines Police Department and a private security company will provide 24-hour security, working to assure the highest possible security of the Festival site at all times. We insist you close and secure your booth each night and secure any and all personal belongings during the day and night. The DMAF is not responsible for theft or damage as identified in the Artist Agreement. Additionally, if you are a jeweler and would like an escort to your hotel or vehicle after closing, please contact an Artist Relations EMT member to make arrangements.

Website / Social Media

PLEASE HELP US TO HELP YOU! All exhibiting artists will be featured on our Online Gallery. The gallery includes images of your work, website URL, email, and bio.

In addition to the website, we have an aggressive social media campaign. On the attached agreement, we request any social media links you have so that we may push these out to our audience. If you have not “Liked” our social media pages, do so now so you and your work will be featured. Do not miss out on this opportunity for FREE publicity!

QR Codes

Every artist with a URL will have a QR code printed on their booth sign. This code is a direct link to your website. If you do not have a website registered with us, let us know if there is an alternative link. Otherwise, you will not have one on your sign.

Emergency Notification

ALL emergency notifications are executed by cell phone through an automated emergency notification system. We will register your cell phone number with our system and should there be an emergency or qualified reason to contact all artists, we will use this system. Don’t turn off your cell phone during the overnight hours! We will also run emergency notification messages on our website.


Rules (from Artist Application)
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 by 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 below. Absolutely no consideration will be made if the work is of a different discipline.

3. Prints may only be exhibited by artists accepted in the Printmaking category. Prints must be produced in signed, limited editions of no more than 250, which are hand-pulled by the artist.

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

5. 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 set-up 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.

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

7. A picture 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 set-up or have their booth set-up until they have provided proof of their presence.

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

9. Artists are responsible for proper insurance and protection of work and setup. The DMAF will not be responsible for damage to work or setup for any reason (including Acts of God). All artists are required to maintain and provide proof of insurance before they are allowed to set-up and exhibit.

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

11. 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.

13. 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 securly fastened (not dangling) 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.
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