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Big Four Arts Festival Event Information

Big Four™ Arts Festival 2024

Location: Downtown Louisville Waterfront Park
Big Four Bridge Lawn
1103 River Road
Louisville, KY 40206

Phone: (502) 435-7602
Event Dates: 09/07/2024 – 09/8/2024
Application Deadline: 5/1/2024 Midnight EST
REQUIREMENTS:
Images: 4 (a booth shot is required)
Application Fee (non-refundable): $30.00
Application Amount: You may submit up to 3 applications for this show.
Festival Dates: Saturday (10 am-7:00 pm), Sunday (10 am-5:00 pm).
Friday is reserved for EZ-IN setup for artists, 9:00 am-4:00 pm.

Here’s what one artist had to say about the Festival:

“We do about 14 art shows a year; and I can tell you that this was the BEST one we have done in 2017. Our sales were awesome. Your advertising paid off, because the crowd was huge. I loved the lay out – the park is beautiful. You did a wonderful job planning this event.”

Debbie & John Wiles
GourDesigns
Matoon, Illinois

Event Description

The Big Four Arts Festival has been the most attended (20,000+) two-day Event ever held at Waterfront Park on the Big Four Bridge Lawn. The annual festival is held every year on the weekend following Labor Day at Big Four® Bridge, Waterfront Park in Louisville, Kentucky. The festival is held on the Big Four Bridge Lawn, which consists of four acres of tree-lined walks overlooking the Ohio River, located at the base of the Walking Bridge. The B4 Walking Bridge has 25,000 people strolling it each weekend. The festival is a two-minute drive from downtown Louisville and draws patrons from Southern Indiana as well as Louisville.

Such was the overall success of the Festival that Louisville’s Convention & Visitors Bureau presented the Rose Award to the festival for creating a NEW event that is bringing so much commerce to Louisville! Louisville’s Festival is known for it’s 150+ juried artists, EZ in-out access, spacious booth layouts, and many artist amenities. With a proven multimedia campaign, we will produce record crowds again this year!

Key Dates for the 2024 Big Four™ Arts Festival

Jan. 1, 2024Artist application period begins
May 10, 2024Artist application deadline @ midnight
May 13, 2024Artist jury process begins
May 20, 2024Accepted artist notified by email
July 20, 2024Deadline for invited artist to accept/confirm invitation, pay booth fees
July 30, 2024Waitlisted artist to accept/confirm invitation, pay booth fees
July 20, 2024Deadline for artist cancellations (if partial refund desired)
Aug. 15, 2024Exhibitor Packet with booth assignments sent by email
Aug. 15, 2024List of accepted artist posted to Big Four Arts Festival website
Sept. 6, 2024Artist set-up 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m./rain or shine. (Vehicles off lawn after 4:30)
Sept. 7, 2024Festival opens to public 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m./rain or shine
Sept. 8, 2024Festival open to public 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sept. 8, 2024Artist tear-down starts at 5:15 p.m.
The Festival is open to individual and collaborating artists who make their own fine art and fine crafts by hand. All work must be original and made by the artist/collaborating artist; any subsidiary reproduction works must strictly adhere to the rules described in “Reproductions” below.

Permitted Works and Mediums: We accept the following mediums:

  • Oil
  • Pastel
  • Acrylic
  • Pencil
  • Pen and ink
  • Charcoal
  • Ceramic/ceramic sculpture
  • Glass/glass sculpture
  • Jewelry
  • Metal work/metal sculpture
  • Photography (standard and digital)
  • Printmaking
  • Stencil
  • Stonework/stone sculpture
  • Instruments
  • Book arts/papermaking
  • Woodworking/wood sculpture
  • 3d sculpture
  • Crafts vendor
  • Leather
  • Mixed media
  • Tempera
  • Textile
  • Watercolor

Other materials on request. Contact us for more details if you have a unique medium.

QUICK SUMMARY CONTACT INFORMATION

Event Location:Downtown Louisville Waterfront Park
Big Four Bridge Lawn
1103 River Road
Louisville, KY 40206
Event NameBig Four™ Arts Festival
Event DirectorLouis Nunnelley
Sponsoring EntityB4B Promotions, Inc. and Design Web Louisville
Emailinfo@bigfourbridgeartsfestival.com
Maitrng AddressBig Four Arts Festival #217
3131 S. 2nd Street
Louisville, KY 40208
Telephone(502) 435-7602
FAX502-366-1896
Websitehttps://bigfourartsfestival.com
Trademark Statement“Big Four” is a registered trademark of Waterfront Development Corporation. Used with permission throughout.

Please refer to the expanded “Medium Definitions” below for detailed descriptions of each medium. If you believe that your work would enhance the quality of our festival and is not listed, we ask that you contact us. We will consider any new, creative, quality expression made by hand.

Entry/Application Instructions

  • Artist applications are processed through ZAPP.  All applications posted after 12:00 a.m. midnight EST May 10, 2024 may not be considered. We reserve the right to refuse any application after said date.  You may submit up to 3 applications per artist profile (each application will incur a separate $30 fee). Any application questions please call: 502-435-7602.
  • ​For an application to be processed, you must fully complete and submit the online application, including four digital images as specified below, and the $30 non-refundable payment through Zapp using an accepted credit card or Pay Pal. Follow Zapp guidelines and quality specifications for uploading images. Please submit high quality images, as they are critical to the jury selection process.
  • IMAGES: All artists must submit a total of (4) images for jurying (3 images representative of the artist work to be exhibited; 1 of the booth (preferably an outside shot of the booth.) Do not submit images with any identifiable markings or of the artist themselves, which would compromise the jurying process.
  • ARTIST STATEMENT: The application will have a field for the artist’s description of material and technique using 300 characters or fewer. Please provide a balance between inspiration, material, and technique. Statements are read to jurors during the process. Please submit a well-written statement, as portions will also be posted on our website and Facebook page to promote your works!
  • PRICE RANGE: We expect and encourage artists to offer a varied price range. We ask that the images you submit represent the price range you will display at the Festival.
  • JURY PROCESS: Jury is scheduled for May 12th – 18th, 2024. The jury will select a balance of mediums but we do not impose limits for any given category. The integrity of the jury panel review process is of the greatest importance to the Festival and to the larger arts community. Jury decisions are final and not subject to review. The jury is conducted by a panel of three experienced art community professionals and their selections will be based solely upon the quality of work as illustrated in submitted digital images. Images are viewed by medium categories, and artist statements are read during the multi-phase jurying process. 
  • ACCEPTED AND WAITLIST: ​Accepted artists will be notified via email, or phone no later than May 20, 2024. A reserve list of Waitlist artists will also be selected to ensure a complete and balanced show. Waitlist artists will be notified by phone or email immediately after July 20, 2024, with booth fees due within 20 days of notification for those who wish to confirm.
  • At the Event Director’s discretion, and on the Board of Director’s behalf, the Event Director may make up to eight additional artist acceptance decisions to enhance the quality and balance of the Festival.
  • COLLABORATING ARTISTS: If your application includes a collaborating artist, you must include both names with the application. To submit a Zapplication including a collaborating artist, please follow this procedure:
    • Go to “My Profile” on ZAPP
    • Enter one artist as the primary contact in the profile form (this name will always appear first in the publications and online if accepted).
    • After completing the information requested, enter the collaborating artist’s name in the section at the bottom of the profile page.
    • This information is carried over to the application for purposes of identifying a collaborative artist. No collaborating artists will be accepted after the jury process is completed.
  • All artists, including collaborating artists, must be present during both days of the Festival. Proper ID is required of both artists. Collaborating artists may only show their joint work, and both artist names must appear on all application materials.

Booth Information, Fees & Cancellation Terms

Booth size is 10Ă—10, and the Festival is known for providing ample surrounding booth space. All exhibited work should be contained within the 10Ă—10 area. There is no electricity available. No generators are permitted, but battery-powered fans and devices are allowed. All exhibitors are responsible for providing display booths, racks, tables, fixtures, and associated display equipment and supplies.

  • Booth size is 10×10, and the Festival is known for providing ample surrounding booth space. All exhibited work should be contained within the 10×10 area. There is no electricity available. No generators are permitted, but battery powered fans and devices are allowed. All exhibitors are responsible for providing display booths, racks, tables, fixtures, and associated display equipment and supplies.
  • 10×10 booth space fee:  $395.00.
  • 20×10 double booth space fee is $695.00;  Double booth spaces are limited and sold “first come/first serve” based on date of artist application through Zapp; all 20 x10 booths are located at corner/intersecting locations.
  • Be sure to indicate the desired booth size in your application and make booth payment accordingly.
  • A limited number of additional standard-size parking spaces are available at $75.00, payable through Zapp. These are standard size parking spaces – large motor homes cannot be accommodated in the parking area. Campers please talk to LOU, 502-435-7602
  • For cancellations prior to July 20, 2024, booth space fees will be refunded less a $50.00 processing fee; no booth space fees will be refunded for cancellations after this date.
  • First preference is given to returning artists for 20×10 booths, and requests for the same booth location as the prior year, but the Festival reserves all rights with respect to final booth placement decisions.
  • 24-hour security is provided for the event space and artist parking lots.  EZ In/Out set-up and tear down times will be assigned in the Exhibitor Memo (Artist Packet) emailed August 15, 2024. The event site offers easy access to booth locations.  
  • All vehicles must be off the walks and grounds by 5:30 p.m. 
  • NO STAKING OF TENTS IS PERMITTED DUE TO THE PARK’S IRRIGATION SYSTEM.
  • PLEASE SEE TENT WEIGHT REQUIREMENTS IN RULES AND REGULATIONS.

Artist Amenities and Benefits

  • Free artist parking with 24-hour security
  • Booth sitters
  • Water delivery
  • Light breakfast on Saturday and Sunday
  • Negotiated discounts at nearby hotels
  • Trolley Service to participating downtown hotels and surrounding downtown area
  • Jurried prize awards totalling $2000
  • E-Z In/Out access directly to booths
  • 24-hour security at Festival & Big Four Bridge Lawn
  • Artists and their works are promoted on the Big Four Festival website and Facebook page — Advertising Support:  Newspaper, Radio, TV, Facebook, Social Media, Local/Regional Event Calendars, Louisville Visitors & Convention Bureau, Newsletter, Signs, Flyer, Billboard and TicTok.

Awards

Three independent jurors are invited each year to evaluate all artists’ work in the Festival and to select six award winners. All artists, regardless of category, are eligible for these awards. Each award winner receives a ribbon, art award certificate, cash award, and is exempted from the jury process in 2024.

  • Best of Show 
  • 2-Dimensional Jurors’ Choice 
  • 3-Dimensional Jurors’ Choice  
  • $2,000 in Awards 

Emerging Artist Program

It is a goal of the Festival to attract and support Emerging Artists from the region that have not previously participated in art festivals. If you qualify as an Emerging Artist and have an interest in participating by showing your work, please submit your application through the Big Four Arts Festival website instead of using Zapplication. Artists will be juried separately for the Emerging Artist Program. Arts Festival staff will pre-screen and research emerging artists to confirm qualification for this category. Once accepted, Emerging Artists are required to attend a mentoring session and a pre-event artist meeting. Program participants are also required to volunteer on Thursday or Friday of the event weekend, hours to be designated by the Event Director. There are only 20 positions for the Emerging Artist category. Booth fees for Emerging Artists are discounted 50% ($212.50) below the Juried Artist booth fees thanks to scholarship donations from Louisville art patrons. The application period for entering the Emerging Artist Program is January 1 – March 30th. The Event Director will notify Emerging Artists of their acceptance by phone or email no later than April 30th.

Prohibited Items

The following items are not permitted at the Festival: any work that you did not make by hand or is not your own work. This includes but is not limited to, buy-sell, imported items, kit made or pattern items, and commercially manufactured items. If prohibited items are found, you will be asked to leave the Festival and forfeit all fees. Removal decisions are at the discretion of the Event Director who is the final arbiter of any such decision. Please do not apply if works include prohibited items described above!

Rules/Regulations

The Big Four Arts Festival considers its enforcement of rules and regulations our exclusive right and responsibility. Festival staff will visit all displays throughout the Festival to ensure that exhibitors comply with all Festival rules and regulations.

  • The following items are not permitted at the Festival: any work that you did not make by hand or is not your own work. This includes but is not limited to, buy-sell, imported items, kit made or pattern items, and commercially manufactured items. If prohibited items are found, you will be asked to leave the Festival and forfeit all fees! Removal decisions are at the discretion of the Event Director who is the final arbiter of any such decision. Please do not apply if works include prohibited items described above!
  • The Big Four Arts Festival considers its enforcement rules and regulations our exclusive right and responsibility. Festival staff will visit all displays throughout the Festival to ensure that exhibitors comply with all Festival rules and regulations.
  • Work in juried images must be representative of the work to be shown at the Festival and in the correct inventory proportions. Example: If a photographer submits 3 black and white images and 1 color image to the jury, the inventory displayed must be representative of the submitted works.
  • Current body of work must be displayed starting from creation date of 2018 forward. Work created before 2018 will be considered reproductions and adhere to guidelines for reproductions.
  • The artist and collaborating artist must be present at check in, present valid picture ID, and must be present in the booth during festival hours except for reasonable breaks.
  • No mass-produced or manufactured work will be permitted.
  • All work must be designed and executed by the accepted artist(s). It is the work by the artist that is juried, therefore any change in the body of the work by the artist is not considered juried and may not be sold unless approved by the Event Director.
  • Artists are required to display an Artist Statement in their booth during the Festival.
  • The sale of promotional items at artist booths is prohibited. Examples include, but are not limited to: note cards, cards, postcards, posters, how-to books, books, calendars, t-shirts, mouse pads, coasters, or photocopies of any kind.
  • Artists retain 100% of their sales and are responsible for the collection and reporting of all applicable sales taxes. Kentucky sales tax is 6.0% and a Kentucky sales reporting form is provided for your convenience in the Exhibitor Memo. You do not report sales or taxes to us at the Big Four Arts Festival.
  • We all hope for great weather, but all exhibitors are responsible for having their booths weighted at a minimum of 25 lbs. at each corner to prevent damage from high winds. Weights must be attached to the frame of the tent. ​Light-weight, accordion-style pop-up tents are strongly discouraged. NO STAKING IS ALLOWED AT THE PARK SITE, due to sprinkler system.
  • Artists will abide by Load-in/Load-out procedures and all instructions given by Festival staff. Late arrival will result in load-in at the conclusion of scheduled load-in periods.
  • Exhibitors are not permitted to bring dogs or other animals to the festival site, which is prohibited by City law and park rules.

Reproductions

  • Reproductions must be a subsidiary part of the artist’s display, and not exceed 25% of booth inventory. 
  • All reproductions must be clearly and individually labeled “Reproduction” on the front of each piece as such; no other terms such as “print” or “offset lithograph” may be used.
  • Works made before 2018 will be considered a reproduction and must be labeled as such.
  • Reproductions must be in signed editions of no more than 250, hand pulled by the artist.
  • Framed reproductions may be displayed on one wall of the booth, not to exceed ten (10) linear feet. 
  • All unframed reproductions must be displayed in browse bins. 
  • An excessive number of reproductions will not be tolerated at the Big Four Arts Festival. 
  • If you feel any artist is violating regulations or guidelines, please contact us during the Festival at: 502-435-7602. 
  • All removal decisions on reproductions will be made at the sole discretion of the Event Director.

If you feel any artist is violating regulations or guidelines, please contact us during the Festival at: 502-363-2959 All removal decisions will be made at the sole discretion of the Event Director.

Insurance

Artists are responsible for maintaining general liability insurance for their booth space during the event for their personal protection against loss.  The Big Four Arts Festival will not be responsible for any exhibitor property damage, as detailed in the Legal Agreement. Upon acceptance of your booth space, exhibitors must provide the Festival with an appropriate Certificate of Insurance, with B4B Promotions, Inc. listed as an additional insured pursuant to a general liability insurance policy with minimum event coverage of $1,000,000.

NOTICE
By Submitting a Zapplication or Big Four Arts Festival website application you are confirming that you have read and agree to all terms and conditions stated throughout this application and in the Legal Agreement should you be accepted to participate in the Festival. The Legal Agreement may be viewed by clicking on the “LEGAL AGREEMENT” link below.

LEGAL AGREEMENT

LEGAL AGREEMENT (2024)
I have read the 2024 Big Four Arts Festival (“The Festival”) application and all terms, cancelation and refund policies, event rules and regulations and this Legal Agreement and hereby agree to abide by them. The undersigned through execution of this application and acceptance into The Festival does hereby release, forever discharge and hold harmless B4B Promotions, Inc., the Waterfront Development Corporation, the Big Four Arts Festival and all event Sponsors, directors, officers, employees, volunteers and the agents of same from all action, suits, damages or claims whatsoever arising from any loss or damage to person and property of the undersigned including but not limited to theft, vandalism, personal injury, strike, public enemy, and act of God and agree to indemnify the above named for any damage arising from good faith conduct in their engagement with The Festival and enforcement of all festival rules.
I further agree that upon application into The Festival, photographs or digital images of me and/or my work including my artist statement and testimonials in writing may be used by The Festival for promotional and/or publicity purposes. I agree to abide by all Festival rules, regulations and terms and understand that If I violate any of them, as determined at the sole discretion of the Event Director, The Festival reserves the right to remove work that does not meet standards or is not consistent in style or subject matter with the images submitted and may terminate my participation in The Festival at any time with no refund of exhibition fees. The undersigned also understands that the above named reserves the right to alter details of The Festival on an as-needed basis.

NOTICE

By Submitting a Zapplication or Big Four Arts Festival website application you are confirming that you have read and agree to all terms and conditions stated throughout this application and in the Legal Agreement should you be accepted to participate in the Festival. The Legal Agreement may be viewed on this page under “LEGAL AGREEMENT” .

You further agree that upon application into The Festival, photographs or digital images of me and/or my work including my artist statement and testimonials in writing may be used by The Festival for promotional and/or publicity purposes.

MEDIUM DEFINITIONS:

Media categories are used by the Big Four Arts Festival as a tool for organizing artists’ images into logical, related groups for the jury’s review. While a balanced show that equitably showcases both works of fine art and fine craft as well as diversity among media is a principal Arts Festival objective, the Arts Festival establishes no quota or entitlement by media category.

All work must be original and signed handcrafted work. The artist signature defines and establishes artistic ownership and it guarantees the accuracy of the description of the works presented and the authenticity of the work as the creation of their own hands.

2D Mixed Media

Works that incorporate more than one type of physical material in their production. Two-dimensional Mixed Media should include more than one of the following: paint, pencil, watercolor, photography, printmaking or drawing, fabric or other found objects.

3D Mixed Media

Works that incorporate more than one type of physical material in their production. Three-dimensional Mixed Media should include more than one of the following: claywork, fiber, glass, metal, wood, or any other 3-D objects.

Ceramics

All original clay and porcelain. If multiple pieces of the same design are displayed, the artist must sign each piece. Machine-made and mass-produced work is not permitted.

Digital Art

Original work utilizing computer technology to craft or manipulate visual images. Work must be printed on archival quality paper and be properly signed and numbered as a limited edition. Exhibitor must disclose and display both their creative and printing processes in their booth during the Festival.

Drawing & Pastels

Works created using dry media including chalk, charcoal, pastels, pencil, wax crayons, etc. or from fluid medium of inks and washes applied by pen or brush.

Fiber

All work crafted from fibers, including basketry, embroidery, weaving, tapestry and papermaking. No machine-tooled, machine-screened patterns or miscellaneous forms of mass production are permitted. No factory produced items, regardless of additional modifications or enhancements may be exhibited.

Glass

Glass works that are functional or decorative by design and are kiln-formed or have been crafted by glass blowing, molding, or casting. Works may be etched or engraved. No forms of mass production are permitted.

Jewelry

ALL jewelry, whether produced from metal, glass, clay, fiber, paper, plastic or other materials. No commercial casts, molds or production studio work is allowed. Limited use of per-made material such as beads or small ornamental items is permitted.

Leather

Work where the primary material is leather including belts, handbags, wearables and sculptural work. All factory-produced items regardless of additional modification or enhancement by the artist are prohibited.

Metal

Includes all non-sculptural, non-jewelry work crafted from metals. No production studio work is allowed.

Painting

Works created in oils, acrylics, watercolor, etc.

Photography

The process of capturing images that begins with a camera lens, then printing the images, by chemical or digital means, onto a surface. The photography category includes traditional film photography that has not been manipulated to achieve results beyond what could be done in a traditional darkroom. All pieces must be signed, numbered and dated in limited editions of no more than 250. Prints must have been processed by the artists. In addition to the above, the surface on which the photographs are printed must be identified in the description (paper, aluminum, wood, fabric, canvas, etc.). Photographers are required to disclose their creative and printing processes.

Printmaking & Graphics

Printed works for which the artist hand-manipulated the plates, stones, or screens. Prints must be signed and numbered as a limited edition. Printmakers are required to disclose their printing process.

Sculpture

Three-dimensional original work created in any medium.

Wood

Original works that are hand-tooled, machine-worked, turned or carved.

Emerging Artist Program

The Emerging Artist Program provides the opportunity for residents of Kentucky and Indiana who have very limited or no festival experience to participate in the Big Four Bridge Arts Festival. Please refer to the “Emerging Artist Program” description for qualifications.

Demonstration Artist

An Artist that will demonstrate the medium that has been juried.