colored pencil art, tammie painter

Sneaking Into the Arts Festival

After attending a few arts festivals, I thought, “Hmm, those seem like an excellent way to not only get some exposure for my artwork, but also to perhaps lure people into buying some of my creative goodies.” So, every few weeks I scour local arts groups’ listings for their upcoming festivals and calls to apply to have a display at the event.

Unfortunately, once I start reading the fine print, this scouring often becomes one of those sigh-inducing, frustration-causing chores. Even if it’s a bit high, I can understand the charge for an application fee to cover the cost of the jurors’ time and to contribute to the festival’s operating cost. What  I can’t get past is that if you are selected for the festival, you have to pay a huge fee for your space AND you have to find funds to buy tables, canopies, and display racks.

I know there’s the old adage of “you have to spend money to make money,” but after the cost of art supplies and other business expenses, I simply can’t afford hundreds of dollars to take part in an arts festival.

Or so I thought.

The other day I came across a listing to take part in the Wilsonville Festival of Arts (Wilsonville is a town just a tad south of Portland). I figured it would be the same old same old, but since it doesn’t hurt to check out every possibility, I followed the link. Turns out they were looking for artists willing to donate pieces of their work as part of a fundraiser. Intriguing. I sent of an email.

wilsonville festival of arts logo

logo from

In super fast time, someone responded and said not only would my art be displayed at the festival (yay!), but artists who donate also get a listing on the festival website and are promoted via the festival’s social media outlets (double and triple yay!!). Without any hesitation I agreed and sent some files over to make prints for the show.


Preparing the Prints

Once the prints were ready for pick up, it was time for some assembly line work.

colored pencil art, tammie painter

Fresh off the press!

The prints I’ll be donating to the festival are just like the ones I feature on my Etsy shop and that are also sold directly through me on my website – hint hint. The prints get a touch of class with an acid-free black mat, then are mounted on an impressively sturdy archival-quality backing board.

Assembly line...aka "kitchen table"

Assembly line…aka “kitchen table”

Once the mats and backing board are secured together, the prints are signed and numbered (I do hope I can remember this numbering system I’ve devised), then slipped into a sealable clear sleeve to keep everything shiny and clean.

art, colored pencil art, coloured pencil, tammie painter

All prints get their very own ID number

Now I just need to decide which three will sneak their way into the arts festival!

art, colored pencil art, coloured pencil, tammie painter

Decision time again.

If you’re an artist looking for exposure (and who isn’t?), you may want to consider donating to the Wilsonville Festival of Arts. You only have until the 20th of May to get your work in, so don’t delay.

To everyone else, thanks for reading and be sure to come back next Wednesday when I’ll take you on  little birthday tour with my monstrous new friend!

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Tammie Painter is the author of The Trials of Hercules and an artist who dedicates herself to the tedium of creating Images with colored pencil. Click Here to learn all about her first solo exhibition.


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