Applications open for 2021 Carmel International Arts Festival


After being forced to go virtual in September due to the pandemic, the annual Carmel International Arts Festival will return in 2021. The admission-free event, which attracts 30,000 people in Carmel, will take place Sept. 25-26.

The festival has opened the applications for artists who want to have a booth and have their artwork entered in the juried competition. As in years past, there is a total of $7,000 in prize money and additional scholarship monies are awarded to local high school students.


CIAF Executive Director Rachel Ferry said she is excited to have the event return after going all-virtual for 2020.

“The Executive Board is already deep into the planning stages for the 2021 festival,” Ferry stated. “All of the artists who were supposed to be here for the 2020 fest will automatically be invited back for next year — and we also have spots open for artists to still apply! We cannot wait to see the community come and support art in our city, in-person, next September.”

On average, 400 applications are received for CIAF’s juried exhibition with 150 selected to compete. Applications can be submitted online at and will be accepted until Feb. 28, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Artists who have been accepted through the jury process, will be notified by April 11 and will have until May 2 to accept the invitation and submit payment for booth fees. For artists looking to apply, there is a $30 nonrefundable application fee, and upon acceptance of the invitation, a booth fee applies with a premium for a limited number of corner booths. Artists must rent or supply their own 10-by10 tent with weights as well as any tables or chairs needed for their display. All artwork submitted must be original pieces.

As a part of the application process, all artists will be required to submit four digital images to be juried. Three of the images must be of work the artist plans to exhibit at the show, and the final image should be of their booth setup. Artists can only exhibit art at the show that is the same style as the juried images.

The 2021 festival will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m, Sept. 25, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 26. Artist judging begins at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 25, and awards will be announced as soon as the judging is complete. All award monies will be mailed to the winners within two weeks of the conclusion of the festival. The Festival Board is still planning to have the Art Rocks concert Sept. 25 at the main event stage on Main Street.


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