Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts Announces Call for Submissions for 50th Anniversary Festival Image

Be a part of history 50 years in the making! From the Fairgrounds to the sidewalks of downtown Tampa, to Curtis Hixon Park and now to its new home across the river at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts continues to reach exciting new levels of success in its 50th year. YOU can be a part of one of the country’s premier art festivals. Interested artists are invited to submit digitally final concept images that depict a creative representation of how art, music and nature combine to unite us by creating a dynamic and vibrant community.

Deadline to submit is September 1, 2019.

The winning design will be announced by October 31, 2019 and will be recognized as the “official” image of the 50th Anniversary Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts. The official image will appear on all promotional materials leading up to the February 29th – March 1st, 2020 festival.

The artist whose work is selected will receive:

-A $1,000 cash award
-A featured bio on the GFA website
-Recognition on GFA and participating organizations’ social media sites
-Promotion of artwork reproduced as an “official” image on printed and other materials.


-The GFA competition is open to all artists, fifteen and older
-Artists may submit up to 3 images for consideration
-All entries must be the artist’s original concept and design and must be submitted digitally (2MB or less) to GFA at info@gasparillaarts.com
-Concept image size must be adaptable and suitable for reproduction (scanning, printing) on T-shirts, posters and vertical banners. Limited to no mixed media entries advised
-No images of pirates or of the Gasparilla parades are acceptable
-The image will be used in conjunction with GFA’s logo as well as a special
typographic 50th brand mark that is currently being developed
-Artists must include their name, address, phone number and email address when submitting their images

The GFA committee and board will assess the entries. Submissions will be evaluated based on concept, originality, design and marketing adaptability. Some applications may require cropping the image. By entering the contest, you agree that the winning submission will become the property of the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, with the rights associated thereof.


Each year in conjunction with the city’s social and cultural season known as Gasparilla, an art festival is produced by an all-volunteer staff of many dedicated individuals. Highly accredited artists from all over the country are invited to participate in this prestigious juried show.

The festival began in 1970, when a group of downtown professionals conceived the notion of a sidewalk art festival. Word about GFA’s high quality spread through art circles insured by the involvement of jurors such as Robert Hughes, author/director of The Shock of the New book and TV program, Janet Kardon of the American Craft Museum in NYC, and William J Coward, curator of 20th Century Art at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

The Festival’s success has seen it evolve over its 5 decades: notably, the prize money has grown from its original $3,900 to a total of $76,500; categories of submissions have expanded to include fine craft.

The festival has moved a few times from its beginnings on Whiting Street to Doyle Carlton Drive behind the Tampa Museum of Art and the Curtis Hixon Convention Center. In 1994, Curtis Hixon was razed and the show moved to Ashley Street, then in 1995 it expanded into the newly constructed Curtis Hixon Park on the Hillsborough River. In 2003, the festival moved to Franklin Street and Lykes Gaslight Square Park in anticipation of construction of the new Tampa Museum of Art. Happily, in March 2010 the festival moved back to the park along the river as the newly built and breathtaking Tampa Museum of Art opened its doors, with its front door enjoying the view of the Raymond James Gaparilla Festival of the Arts taking place annually in the newly named and designed Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.

For our 50th year we will be moving across the river to the wonderful newly completed and larger Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park. This is an opportunity to utilize one of Tampa’s finest and newest spaces; showcasing the lovely skyline of Tampa and the beauty of the Hillsborough River as well as moving forward with the exciting growth and development of the west side of downtown and Tampa Heights.