KIA Arts Fair 2021 Call for Artists

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Calls for Artists - DEADLINE :  
KIA Arts Fair 2021 Call for Artists



Get ready to celebrate the 70th ANNIVERSARY Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Fair.  A two-day, juried show featuring skilled artists in a variety of mediums. Acclaimed for its friendly atmosphere and supported by arts patrons, the fair has far reaching promotion measures historically attracting a large crowd.

2020 brought its own challenges and required many of us to reduce travel, cancel shows or postpone them; rightly so as our focus shifted to staying safe and social distancing.  Now, bring on 2021 and the optimism of returning to some sense of normalcy with a twist.

This means we will focus on a dynamic Virtual Arts Fair with a robust platform that you as artists can customize to your style and genre of work. This connects directly to your e-commerce and can include Instagram, Facebook, Etsy, or your own website!  This enables you to interact real-time online with customers during the event! 

Stay Tuned for more:

We hope to offer an element of the in person Arts Fair and a definitive answer will be announced by April 1st. This will ensure that local and state health organizations safety protocols have been met and allow gatherings of this size. (Please note – those committed/juried artists from 2020 will have 1st choice of refusal for the limited in person show)


Presented by the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, the 70th Annual Arts Fair is a festive event, acclaimed for hosting high-quality artists. This year 125 virtual artists with the possibility of an additional 60 artists in person (see event summary for more details.) The fair overlaps with several well-established community activities and we will continue to cross-promote offering even more visibility for our artists. 

Through the new online platform, you can connect with customers via video or the chat function and answer questions on your works, describe sizes or just hear them say how much they love it! (don’t worry this is a bonus feature and not required to be part of the Fair)

To celebrate our 70th anniversary we are still a fine art juried show

Application/Jury Fee:

You will need to apply on Zapp and a $35 non-refundable application fee is applicable, to be considered and accepted for the virtual and/or in-person shows.

Once accepted to participate in the show(s), we will start promoting the Fair in April through multiple platforms (website, social accounts, and media). 
We will be awarding 3 prizes or the Virtual People’s Choice Award! (1st – $150, 2nd – $100, 3rd – $50 ) In addition to the In-Person Juried Awards ( if in-person takes place).

Exempt Artists:

  • All exempt artists must apply via: by March 17, 2021
  • Exempt artists are qualified to bypass the jury process; however, are still required to pay $35 application fee


Four digital images are to be submitted with each artist’s application. Three of the images must show the artist’s work. One image must display the artist’s booth as it will appear at Arts Fair.


  • Virtual Arts Fair: June 3-6 
  • June 3 at 9am -June 6 at 9pm
  • Host 125 virtual artists
  • People’s Choice Awards with prizes
  • Free interactive platform
  • 100% proceeds from yoru works stay with the artist
  • The Virtual Platform is easy to load your materials and offers a help desk if you need it.
  • In-Person Arts Fair: June 4-5   (Potential)
  • June 4 at 12pm through June 5 at 5pm
  • Host up to 60 artists
  • Includes Virtual platform for free
  • 100% proceeds from your works stay with the artist
  • Juried prize awards in 6 categories (based on 8 artists in each category)
  • Notification by April 1st.
  • Proceeds from the fair support free-admission and education programming at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.


  • Applications available: Now (via
  • Applications application deadline :  March 22, 2021 by Midnight (PST)
  • Artist notification: April 6, 2021 (via e-mail)
  • Booth fee deadline: April 27, 2021
  • 75%Booth Refund Cancellation Deadline: May 1, 2021(less a $25 administrative fee)
  • 50% Booth Refund Cancellation Deadline: May 7, 2021 (less a $25 administrative fee)
  • Set up times: In-person June 4, beginning at 7 am.  All artists will be assigned a specific check-in/set-up time. Virtual Booth setup to be complete by May 19, 2021 to allow for support before it goes live.
  • Artist Check-In: June 4 (time assignments begin at 7 am)
  • Art Fair times: see above for in-person and/or virtual.  The first weekend in June
  • Prize judging: June 4, 3 pm – 7 pm
  • Prize awards announced: June 5th

LOCATION (In-person and virtual):

The Arts Fair is staged in downtown Kalamazoo’s historic Bronson Park. The park is located adjacent to the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and bordered by beautiful architecture including historic churches and civic buildings. The park is used regularly as a place for meetings, rallies, concerts, and community events. A lovely, tree-shaded, grass-filled space, the park is crisscrossed by six concrete pathways that lead to a central concrete plaza and two open grass areas.


The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Fair is a Friday-Saturday with fair-goers are a mix of local, regional, national and even international friends of art. Promotion measures are focused on attracting residents from outside the region. With the current state of health and safety protocols, please expect a lower attendance to adhere to social distancing and capacity guidelines.

SIMULTANEOUS ACTIVITIES (in-person element):

The fair is a very popular and eagerly anticipated local event. The artists are the stars for the show; however, several other activities take place during the fair including a Friday night Beer Garden in the courtyard of the KIA with food and live music, a varied schedule of performances in the park, a variety of food vendors. Several downtown activities occur during the fair and include:

  • A non-juried art fair with about 40 artists located two blocks from our fair (Friday-Saturday)
  • A popular first Friday event called Art Hop in which 40+ downtown business venues host artists and their artwork (Friday, 5 pm – 8 pm)
  • The Doo-Dah Reverse Parade – a wacky Kalamazoo tradition (Saturday, 11 am)


Arts Fair cash awards will include 6 category prizes worth $340 each ( A minimum of 8 artists in each category is required). There is also 3 Peoples Choice Awards for Virtual Artists ONLY. You are not eligible to win in both Virtual and In-Person. 


Prize judging will occur on June 4, 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Our jury is composed of arts professionals who will be assigned to a juror team (2 members per team) based upon their fields of expertise. Our jurors will review the following 6 categories for InPerson Awards:  

  • Sculpture/Metal, Wood and 3-D Mixed Media
  • Ceramics/Glass
  • Jewelry Precious/Non-Precious
  • Painting/Drawing/Pastels, Print and 2-D Mixed Media
  • Photography and Digital Media
  • Fiber/Leather

Cash prize awards will be announced on June 5th. 


  • Approx. 60 in person exhibition spaces (this has been reduced at this time to allow for continued safe social distancing and some park remodeling) and an additional 125 virtual Art Booths. All in person vendors will have the option to host a virtual booth as well.
  • Booth dimensions are approximate 12’ x12′. Most have additional space in back or on the side
  • Artists will be able to pull their vehicles alongside Bronson Park in order to park and load/unload materials
  • Artists will select (based on availability) or be assigned a time slot for arriving and unloading their vehicles. Extended time slots are available, by request only.  All Booths set up by 12pm on Friday 
  • Free parking 
  • Artist hospitality amenities include:
    • Coffee and light breakfast in the park – Saturday, June 5, 7 am – 8:30 am
    • Artist lounge inside the KIA – Saturday, June 5, 10 am – 3 pm
    • Artist Liaisons to assist artists with booth sitting, bottled water delivery, and other hospitality needs
    • Security Staff on-site during the fair
    • Security guards patrolling the park, June 4, 8 pm – June 5, 7 am

* Electricity is available for an fee of $50 (generators are not allowed) 

* Tent stakes are not allowed in the park – Tents are required to have a minimum of 40 lbs. of weights and must be on a minimum of two corners depending on the direction of the wind.

* All weights must be secured to the frame/leg of the tent(s) – no bungee cords

* Any containers used as weight shall be covered to secure the weight material inside the container if overturned.    

* Artists who do not exhibit on Friday (June 4) will not be allowed to exhibit on Saturday (June 5) 


Artists must apply at

Each application must be accompanied by a $35 non-refundable application/jury fee. 

Applicants may choose to pay online by credit card through ZAPPlication or by check made payable to Kalamazoo Institute Arts and mailed to Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, 314 S. Park St., Kalamazoo, MI 49007, attn: Maya M. 

Application Fees must be received by April 27, 2021.

More Information Here