Application & Rules

Applications for the 2024 Gasparilla Festival of the Arts are now closed.

Applications for the 2025 Festival will open in October 2024.

2024 Festival Award Jury Process Changes

To remain one of the top fine art festivals in the country, changes are being made to the award jury process effective for the 2024 Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts. These changes, prompted by artist and juror feedback, reflect the success of the festival which now awards more than $90,000 in prize money – a 20% increase since 2019.

Thanks to our generous sponsors, this significant increase in cash awards creates the need to have more than one juror responsible for selecting the winners. The Festival Awards Juror will continue to pull from the entire festival and select the top award winners plus 10 of our 30 Merit Awards (approximately 17 of our 37 awards). New to the process is the four Selection Jurors will also pull artwork from the festival and each select 5 Merit Awards. The new process will allow each artist to be considered by two of the five jurors, thus increasing their chances of being considered for awards. The festival is very excited to try something new to enhance the experience for the artists as well as the jurors.

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Festival Rules

NOTE: The following Festival rules apply to the 2024 Festival. These rules are subject to change for the 2025 Festival.

Eligibility and Attendance

Pursuant to requests from artists in past years, Gasparilla Festival of the Arts has updated the Festival’s awards selection process. See the changes in the application awards and rules sections.

Artists participating in the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts (the “Festival”) must be 18 years of age or older as of the first day of the Festival. If a participating artist is required to sign any document prior to his or her 18th birthday, such document must be co-signed by a parent or guardian and ratified by the artist after he or she turns 18 years old.

To be eligible for jury and awards, all work must be original, created by the artist within the 3 years prior to the Festival, signed by the artist and available for sale with the price clearly visible. Any piece of art that has won an award at a Festival is ineligible for awards at any subsequent Festival.

An accepted application is a commitment to participate in the Festival, and refunds will not be issued for cancellations.

All artists, including both artists if accepted as partners, must exhibit and be present during the complete Festival, from 9 a.m. through 6 p.m. on Saturday, and from 10 a.m. through 5p.m. on Sunday. Artists who fail to follow this rule will be ineligible for prizes and may be denied admission to future Festivals.

Only accepted artists may exhibit works within their assigned booths. Subletting booth space is prohibited. Artists can apply for double booths with fees adjusted accordingly. Artists can apply and display up to two media within a double booth space if the artist has applied and been accepted in both mediums. Artists shall only exhibit works typified by the images submitted with their application. Only one medium category may be exhibited in a booth.

An artist may apply in multiple medium categories for different bodies of work. A separate application must be submitted (including its own set of images) and a separate application fee must be paid for each category. An artist may not apply multiple times in the same category.

Any artist who has been accepted in the “Emerging Artist” category may not, in subsequent years, apply to the Festival as an emerging artist.

Display and Sale of Work

Artists shall not display or sell manufactured or kit jewelry, ceramics cast from commercial molds, glass created from commercial molds, art supplies, commercial displays, decoupage, or candles. Artists shall not display or sell non-original commercially reproduced items such as posters, greeting cards, postcards, calendars, t-shirts, or buttons. Works of art that have won any award at the Festival shall not be prominently exhibited in the artist’s booth at any subsequent Festival while the juror is reviewing the booth. Such artwork may be kept in a portfolio, bin, or other non-prominent location.

Only the works of accepted artists may be displayed or sold at the Festival. “Sale” signs are prohibited. Ribbons and awards from other art shows or other festivals may not be displayed.
All artwork shall be displayed in its final form. Artists shall not engage in painting, drawing, or any other production of artwork or revisions to artwork during Festival hours.

All exhibited artwork must be available for sale. Prices for all exhibited artwork must be clearly noted on or beside each piece. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the prices for jewelry may be noted on a price list which is displayed and readily available for viewing by all patrons.

Booth Display

Regular booth spaces measure approximately 10′ deep x 10′ wide and double booth spaces measure approximately 10’ deep x 20’ wide. All booth spaces will be marked by Festival personnel before artists are permitted to set up their booths. All artwork must be contained within the assigned space.

All displays should be wind-resistant and able to withstand large crowds. Water-resistant coverings and weights are highly recommended. These items will not be supplied by the Festival. Artwork may not be affixed to or leaned against any tree, pole, or other fixture within the Festival grounds. Stakes, or any tools or displays that penetrate the ground are prohibited.

Sharing of booth space is prohibited. Only one exhibitor will be permitted in each space unless artists applied and were accepted as partners on collaborative work. Each artist must exhibit a minimum of five works to be eligible for jury. To be eligible for jurying, the name of the artist and the booth number (provided at check-in) must be displayed clearly at the artist’s booth.

All paintings must be framed or mounted. Unframed or unmounted watercolors, drawings, and graphics must be displayed in a portfolio or a bin.

Category-Specific Rules

Artwork (other than photography) that is printed using inkjet technology will be permitted only in the digital art category. Original, limited edition prints of digital art will be permitted and must be signed and numbered as part of an edition. Digital art refers to artwork created on a computer by hand using the artist’s original ideas and concepts. Artwork created using artificial intelligence is not permitted.

Photographs must be signed and numbered and must be the artist’s original image. Artists are encouraged to identify clearly whether a photographic print is produced digitally or through a traditional photographic process (silver print, Polaroid, dye-transfer, etc.).

Ceramic works must be handmade and signed by the artist. If multiple pieces of the same design are displayed, each must be signed.

Jewelry must include components designed and hand-crafted by the artist using traditional methods of casting or fabrication/construction. No commercially manufactured elements, other than findings, are permitted. Items created solely through the stringing of beads and similar materials on wire, string, or cord, with no elements handmade by the artist, are not permitted. Wearable art, such as hats, purses, and other apparel that are designed and hand-made by the artist are eligible to be displayed and sold. Each must be labeled with the artist's name.

Definitions

“Original artwork” shall refer to artwork designed by the artist that is one-of-a-kind. Artwork that is printed utilizing inkjet technology must be created on a computer and then exhibited as first printed in order to qualify as an original artwork. Original artwork printed utilizing inkjet technology may be modified by other methods, such as traditional painting, and exhibited in the mixed media category.

“Original limited edition prints” shall refer to an image that originates as digital art, a photographic negative or a traditional printmaking technique (including, without exclusion, linoleum block prints, woodcuts, etching plates, stone lithographs, or serigraphs) when such image is executed in media worked by the artist himself/herself, printed in a limited edition, signed, and numbered.

“Reproduction” shall refer to original artwork that is digitally captured into a computer or photographed onto film and then printed as an inkjet print, photograph, offset lithograph, giclee, etc. The defining factor is that an original piece of artwork already exists prior to the printing – everything that follows is a reproduction.

Reproductions are not eligible for awards. All reproductions must be clearly and individually labeled as reproductions. No other terms, such as “print” or “offset lithograph” may be used.

Labels must say “reproduction.” Reproductions must be in signed editions of no more than 750. Reproductions may not be framed and displayed alongside original work. Reproductions must be placed framed or unframed in a browsing bin separate from original work and clearly labeled “Reproductions.” Reproductions must be an ancillary part of the artist’s display.

“Hand colored” or painted reproductions are not permitted and may not be displayed or sold as original artwork. Giclees, or ink-jet prints of original artwork produced in another medium, are considered reproductions whether they are printed on canvas, paper, or any other surface.

For digital media, only one of each image is to be be displayed on booth walls.

Miscellaneous

Conducting opportunity drawings, raffles, auctions or other games of chance is strictly prohibited.

Each artist is responsible for collecting Florida state sales tax on sales made during the Festival and remitting such taxes to the local office of the Florida Department of Revenue. Vehicles will only be permitted on Festival grounds during designated load-in and load-out times absent expressed permission from authorized Festival personnel. Artists must present a photo ID when delivering or picking-up any artwork that has been pulled by the jurors. Artwork pulled by a juror and delivered by an artist may not be retrieved by the artist until the last day of the Festival, after the time designated by the jury room staff.

Penalties for failure to abide by these rules include immediate removal of artwork in violation of the rules, ejection from the Festival, and possible suspension from exhibiting in future Festivals. If an artist fails to disclose previous award-winning artwork in violation of these rules, all artwork from that artist may be deemed ineligible for jury and awards.

Any artist or artist assistant who engages in inappropriate, aggressive, abrasive, or illegal behavior or who violates these rules or any other Festival policy may be expelled or banned from the Festival and future Festivals. Any artist who applies for admission to the Festival after having been banned shall not be entitled to a refund of any application fee. Any artist who is inadvertently invited to participate in the Festival after having been banned may be asked to leave and shall not be entitled to a refund of any application or booth fee.

NEITHER THE GASPARILLA FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS, INC., NOR ANY OF ITS
DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, AGENTS, SPONSORS, OR VOLUNTEERS SHALL BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOST, DAMAGED, OR STOLEN PROPERTY.

Ajeva

Ajeva is a funk/rock band from St. Petersburg, FL. The band started in 2013 and features Reed Skahill (vocals), Taylor Gilchrist (bass), Mike Nivens (guitar), and Lyndon Thacker (keys). They’ve carved out a sound of their own with epic melodies and distinctive vocals that pair perfectly with their deep grooves. Each Ajeva show is a one of a kind experience with the band taking their songs to different places and new heights every night.

Light the Wire

Light the Wire makes heartfelt, indie-folk rock that with powerful vocal harmonies, thoughtful lyrics, and powered by driving bass and drums.  The quintet is based out of Tampa, FL, and released its self-produced, debut EP – “Someday Is Coming” on all streaming platforms on November 1, 2023.

Giorgi

Rock musician that refuses to find a niche

GA & FL

FFO: Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World

Mwiza

Biggest influences are church, his mother, Coheed & Cambria, Acceptance, James Morrison, Bombay Bicycle Club, Disturbed, Arctic Monkeys, Young The Giant, Chevelle, Rusko, Chief and Matt Corby. Most of the music he listens to has a darker sound to it so he in turn makes darker, melodic music.

Datagram

Datagram has been the moniker of shapeshifting Tampa musician Scott Olson for the better part of the last decade.

In that time, the sound and styles of this project have shifted and morphed, painting with shades of glitch, downtempo, techno, and all that lurks in between.

Shevonne and the Force

A multi-hyphenate, genre-bending artist, Shevonne Philidor is a singer-songwriter, producer, and actress who epitomizes her dynamic background in music and performing arts. A military brat born in Philadelphia, PA, she experienced living in multiple cities – including a stint in Italy – before landing in Tampa, Fl, where she nurtured her musical ability throughout her childhood. She’s a scion of a musical family stemming from her half-Haitian descent and taught herself to play the guitar at an early age, inspired by the likes of Prince, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill, Bob Marley, and M83. In 2003, she made her first TV debut on America’s Most Talented Kids, and in 2010, she made an appearance on America’s Got Talent Wild Card. A recipient of the prestigious NFAA scholarship, she also made American Idol’s top 40 twice in 2016 and 2019, the same year she performed at Austin City Limits with five-time Grammy award-winning artist Gary Clark jr. In 2021, she performed alongside CeeLo Green at a Superbowl party for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was tapped to sing for ABC’s Juneteenth celebration with T.I. and Domani. Working with Grand Hustle Records, she’s a Luna Guitar-endorsed artist who was also selected to perform in Just Blaze’s SXSW showcase in 2022. A theatre kid at heart, she’s flexed her acting skills on a national tour for Todrick Hall’s musical, Oz The Musical, and she was also recently casted in Life’s Rewards, an upcoming Amazon Prime TV show.

Kristopher James

Though he’s lived in the Sunshine State, for most of his life, Kristopher’s talent for melody and song (now) extend far past the state’s line. Like his influencers Otis Redding, Amos Lee, and Roberta Flack, Kristopher’s voice is clear, controlled, and full of all-the-feels.  As with all artists, Kristopher’s sound has ebbed and flowed, evolving yet remaining instantly recognizable. With the growth he’s experienced as an artist, Kristopher felt it was time to capture his songs, in their fully-imagined sound!

With his debut album “Kindness Never Quits”, featuring members of Scary Pockets, Kristopher caught the attention of Relix & Glide Magazine, Spotify Playlist curators and continued praise, such as “vocals are so powerful and as the song progresses, he showcases why he is one of the best singers out there. All that soul in one artist is just unbelievable” from Reignland Magazine.

Continuing through the COVID years, Kristopher partnered with musicians to keep the music and community alive. Along with composer and keys player Mike Hicks of Rascal Flatts, The War & Treaty’s Max Brown on guitar, as well as talented artists Kyshona Armstrong, Jonathan Huber, DeMarco Johnson, Kristopher released 3 acclaimed singles: “Never Had to Find Our Way”, “Feelings” and “I Can Only Love You in a Song”

Deaf Company

Three piece Rock n Roll band hailing from St. Petersburg, FL.

Skyler Golden

Musician from St. Pete Florida and Studio Producer for Zen Recording. Brings an eclectic sound of string instruments for the Yoga Classes at GFA 2024

SydLive

From Tampa Florida, SydLive was born to write and sing songs that touch the world. As her mother recalls, her climb to stardom began with getting on top of restaurant tables to sing at the age of two.

By the time she was eleven, she acquired her first guitar and began to teach herself to play by learning Beatles songs. Within four years she found her way to the stage singing in a Carpenters tribute band. Since this time, Syd has amassed over a decade of experience as a professional singer/songwriter and recording/performance artist. Within the industry, she names Aretha Franklin as her idol.

DURRY

The first sound you hear on Durry’s rambunctious and poignant debut album, Suburban Legend, is an old-school Internet dial-up tone. To songwriter Austin Durry, the sound is instantly familiar but his bandmate and sister, Taryn, hadn’t heard it before. The Burnsville, Minnesota-based duo might identify with different age groups — with seven years between them, Austin is a millennial and Taryn is Gen Z — but by joining forces in Durry, they show just how much the neighboring generations have in common.

Between their serendipitous origin story and a crop of dynamic, hook-heavy alt-pop tracks, Durry are doing something few bands can achieve — and they’re doing it entirely on their own terms. As a band, Taryn and Austin’s journey happened both unexpectedly and fortuitously. At the start of the COVID pandemic, Austin and his wife moved back into his parents’ house, where Taryn was also living at the time. In addition to moving back in with his family, COVID forced Austin to cancel an extensive tour with his previous band, Coyote Kid. Faced with nothing but time, he got back to songwriting, regularly asking Taryn for input — or as the two playfully put it, “Gen Z quality control.”

“I’d say, here’s an early concept, what do you think? Then she’ll steer the ship, and then I’ll evolve it from there,” Austin explains. “Taryn is the sounding board and Gen Z vision of the band, where I’m kinda cranking stuff out.”

As they got going, forming what would turn into Durry, the siblings also outlined DIY ideas for branding and promotion, creating all of their own content and imbuing their visuals with nostalgic golden yellow, large fonts, and tactile images that would later make their way into eye-catching merch.

The immediate result of their musical partnership was the pop-punk/alternative anthem “Who’s Laughing Now,” which leads with wry, tongue-in-cheek lyrics about the futility of young adulthood in 2023: “My mama always said I would regret it if I ever got a tattoo,” Austin chants, adding: “She said I’d never get a job like I ever wanted one with that attitude/ My dad said I had to learn to drive a stick shift, but every van I ever had was an automatic/ My friends said that someday I would make it big, but I’m still living in the basement.”

After posting an unfinished version of “Who’s Laughing Now” on TikTok, it swiftly took off, galvanizing thousands of viewers who shared their coming-of-age frustrations. Clearly, the song’s sentiments — which land somewhere between a shrug and a clenched fist — resonated with millions of listeners, and today the song has garnered more than four million Spotify streams. Meanwhile, Durry have recorded a fully fleshed-out version of “Who’s Laughing Now,” which is set to appear on their riveting, perfectly sardonic debut LP, Suburban Legend.