You’ve heard the saying “Art is everywhere.” And in Florida that’s absolutely true. For both tourists and residents alike who already flock to the state for its inspiring, colorful landscape, it makes picture-perfect sense to drop in on its equally vibrant and diverse art scene. All you art monsters can rock the finer things for free (or nearly free) with this upcoming taste of fun and funky art festivals. Now polish your trendiest specs and come take a look!
43rd Annual Winter Park Autumn Art Festival
251 S Park Avenue, Central Park, Winter Park
Touted as the only juried fine art festival to proudly feature 180 Florida artists exclusively in 12 categories, this community-oriented sidewalk show presents quality visual art and live entertainment in scenic Central Park, located along historic Park Avenue. Or point your little Rembrandt toward the Crealdé School of Art’s free workshops for children ages 5 and up. Psst, for a days-end respite from the fray, Florida Distributing Co. invites you to check out their beer garden.
autumnartfestival.org or (877) 972-4262
29th Annual Las Olas Art Fair
600 E Las Olas Boulevard, Ft. Lauderdale
As one of the top 100 art festivals in the nation, this Ft. Lauderdale fair presents 200 top-notch exhibitors, excelling in a variety of media, including clay, digital, fiber, glass, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, drawing, sculpture, wood, acrylic and oils. Known as the jewel of the city, chic Las Olas Boulevard connects the Atlantic Ocean at A1A with downtown and extends 17 blocks. For even more of a rousing treat, hop the Sun Trolley to the acclaimed NSU Art Museum or whiz through the waves aboard a water taxi.
artfestival.com or (561) 746-6615
32nd Annual Mt. Dora Craft Fair Downtown Mt. Dora
The Mt. Dora Craft Fair features an eclectic mix of arts and crafts, including sculpture, ceramics, painting and woodwork from more than a whopping 400 handcraft exhibitors from around the world. Snag a tasty bite, sway to some live tunes and explore the Kid Zone for a complete family-fest experience. Be sure to catch the free shuttles from Mt. Dora High School and Mt. Dora Christian Academy.
mountdoracraftfair.com or (352) 217-8390
Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival
Seville Square, Pensacola
As an exciting extension to its fine arts collection of 220 exhibitors, Gulfcoast Arts Festival includes a Heritage Art section for intriguing demonstrations on blacksmithing, engraving, spinning, weaving and more. A simultaneous Children’s Arts Festival in Bartram Park lets the kiddies explore a multitude of free activities like face-painting, balloons, clay play, sand art, sidewalk art and creating buttons, masks, crowns, magic wands and jewelry. Here, a student art show will also display 2,000 art pieces from students of Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. Indulge in an assortment of mouthwatering dishes; then kick back at any of the three entertainment stages for music, dance or children’s performances. ggaf.org
53rd Annual Art Harvest
Highlander Park, Dunedin
Considered the largest fall art show in the Tampa Bay area, Art Harvest comprises 200 exhibitors and raises money for local community efforts through its 500 women-strong Junior League of Clearwater-Dunedin (JLCD). Current fundraising projects include a foster youth mentor program. Take time browsing the booths, and then head over to the Children’s Pavilion for interactive projects with your mini prodigy. Soothe all kinds of savage cravings with everything from Greek fare and gourmet coffee to kettle corn and pizza.
jlcd.org/artharvest or (727) 738-5523
54th Annual Halifax Art Festival
Beach Street, Riverfront Park , Daytona Beach
Of its 250 artists, the Halifax Art Festival divides talent into fine arts and fine craftsmen sections along its posh waterfront. Run entirely by volunteers to benefit the Museum of Arts & Sciences, it also offers antiques and collectibles, a student art competition, live entertainment, putt-putt mini golf contest, children’s activities in the Little Van Gogh tent and your choice of classic festival snacks, international street food or fine dining festival specials at elegant Beach Street restaurants and cafes. And, hey, as long as you’re in the area, that Museum of Arts & Sciences houses yet more compelling art plus a state-of-the-art planetarium only a few miles away.
halifaxartfestival.org or (866) 439-4769
35th Annual Downtown Festival And Art Show
200 E University Avenue, Gainesville
Gainesville streets come alive as 240 artists display their works. Whether introspective painting, provocative photography, dramatic sculpture and ceramics, or one-of-a-kind jewelry, there’s something for everyone. University of Florida art education students have also organized a free Children’s Imagination Station where wee ones can express themselves through sidewalk chalk drawing, painting, puppet-making, mask design or clay sculpting. Even better, keep an eye peeled for a rock climbing wall and junior fire-fighting challenge area. To satisfy the palate, 20 food booths will prepare savory blooming onions, barbecue ribs, and even Pad Thai and Cajun entreés. For a much-needed time-out, enjoy continuous live entertainment stages, especially the popular blues concert at Bo Diddley Plaza on Friday evening, November 4. For parking rates, go to gvilleparking.com.
gainesvilledowntownartfest.org or (352) 393-8536
43rd Annual Great DayIn The Country
299 Center Lake Lane, Oviedo On The Park (new location), Oviedo
Looking for a great day in the country? This festival answers that call with more than 350 art exhibitors, a student art fest, two entertainment stages and two food courts, replete with scores of tempting foods, savory baked bites and even craft beers for the oh-so-parched art admirer. As a special highlight, attendees are encouraged to grab a batch of their fan-favorite Great Day Bean Soup Mix, an exclusive recipe concocted by the GWFC Oviedo Women’s Club. The park grounds also provide a cultural center, amphitheater, children’s splash pad, playground and swan boat rides. The day’s proceeds will help fund scholarships, women’s career mentorship, schools and charities. Shuttles are available from parking lots.
greatdayoviedo.org or (407) 365-9420
53rd Annual Space Coast Art Festival
670 Dave Nisbet Drive, Port Canaveral Cove Area (New location), Cape Canaveral
Point your roadster toward Port Canaveral’s majestic Exploration Tower looming in the horizon where you’ll find more than 240 artists converging in this beautifully situated venue. The non-profit event also promises live entertainment, a student art show, a Young at Art activity booth for budding young-ins and award-winning student-designed T-shirts. Best of all, your stomach will be particularly pleased with the moveable feast of menu offerings provided by the Daily City Food Truck Bazaar, which is currently touring the country. For RV warriors, Carver’s Cove campground site is only four minutes south. spacecoastartfestival.com or (321) 784-3322
51st Anniversary Market Days
441 Paul Russell Road, North Florida Fairgrounds, Tallahassee
Market Days counts itself as one of the largest arts and crafts shows in the Southeast. The works of 300 talented artists and artisans fill the North Florida Fairgrounds’ six large buildings as well as outdoor plazas and meridians. Stunning fine art encompasses ceramics, sculptures, metalwork, glasswork and photography. Creative artisan selections include a distinct array of items such as clothing, clocks, dolls, stained glass and furniture. This show serves as a major fundraiser for Tallahassee Museum, the state capital’s oldest museum.
Tickets: $6 for adults, $4 for children 6-12, $3 premium parking. Perimeter parking is free. A $25 Early Bird Ticket purchased online allows a Saturday shopping preview two hours before general admittance, so set that alarm clock!
marketdays.org or (850) 576-1636
Much like buying a concert T-shirt or band merchandise, be sure to set aside some bucks to pick up that festival’s specially designed commemorative tee or colorful award-winning poster (suitable for framing, of course) as your own limited edition trip souvenir.
Van Ness Park, McIntosh
Feel like a trip down memory lane? Need to scratch an itch of generosity and goodwill? This community-minded festival draws upon 280 exhibitors to help raise funds for its town’s scholarships and restoration projects in historic McIntosh. The event fittingly includes antiques alongside artists and crafters in its lineup. It encompasses all things family-festive with a bounce house, face-painting and storytelling for young whippersnappers. Set your GPS dial toward this country locale that sits midway between Gainesville and Ocala on US Hwy 441, and then saunter underneath the oak canopies of this tranquil, Victorian-style town.
friendsofmcintosh.org or (352) 591-4038
50th Annual Ocala Arts Festival
Act locally! Mark your calendars now for this awesome art fête as we celebrate this festival’s golden 50th year! Presented by Fine Arts For Ocala (FAFO), the event boasts 155 artists from around the nation, lively performance stages on the downtown square and Citizens’ Circle, your pick of delicious food trucks, a student art tent featuring works by our own homegrown Marion County students and kids’ activities, courtesy of the Appleton Museum of Art. The FAFO Collector’s Circle educates and stimulates discussion among serious art patrons.
fafo.org/about-the-ocala-arts-festival or (352) 867-0355
45th Annual InvernessFestival Of The Arts
1 Courthouse Square, Inverness
Join other art enthusiasts in the heart of downtown Inverness, surrounded by the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum, Citrus County Historical Society and neighborhood eateries. Designed to attract residents and visitors to the amenities of its town center, watch 100 artists and artisans show off their stuff! InvernessFestivaloftheArts.com or (352) 476-6926, (352) 726-0366
2nd Annual Rainbow SpringsArt Festival
11223 N Williams Street, Dunnellon
Eager to really cultivate Dunnellon as a notable art hub of Marion County, Rainbow Springs Fine Art Association promotes approximately 40 emerging and established local artists at this fall festival. With mediums running the gamut from paint, pottery, sculpture, glass, metal, fabric, wood and more, Dunnellon forecasts a substantial, burgeoning art movement.
rainbowspringsart.com or (352) 489-0099
Winter Springs Artoberfest
1160 E State Road 434, Winter Springs Town Center, Winter Springs
Achtung, baby! Even in Central Florida, autumn fun gets in full swing. And if quirk is right up your alley, ARToberfest’s oom-pa-pa party celebrates art with a German Oktoberfest spin, lederhosen and all. Witness the works of 125 gifted artists, and then belly up with other giddy gadabouts to a slew of Deutschland brats, brews and bakery; a kids’ interactive area; and toe-tapping polka songs wafting through the air. Pull up a chair or a blanket!
wsfota.org or (407) 278-4871
40th Rotary Club OfMaitland Arts Festival
641 Maitland Avenue South, Lake Lily Park, Maitland
The glittering night sky serves as an ethereal backdrop for the works of 135 artists at the Rotary Arts Festival on Maitland’s picturesque Lake Lily. Tagged as “Art Under the Stars,” this is the only known outdoor evening art fest in Florida, perfectly suited for hip, night dwellers. Attendees can peruse a variety of art, including fine crafts, graphics, drawing, jewelry, metalwork, mixed media, painting, photography and sculpture. The Enzian, a non-profit organization that promotes community gathering through alternative cinema, offers a short film screening at the South Lawn on Friday night. Performing Arts Maitland has also organized continuous live entertainment on two stages, with a special Saturday night appearance by the Maitland Stage Band. Parking is $5.
maitlandrotaryartfestival.com or (407) 777-8515
20th Annual ArtworksEau Gallie Fine Arts Festival
Highland Avenue, Eau Gallie Arts District, Melbourne
Become enlightened! ArtWorks, a “plein air” show in the historic ward of Eau Gallie, stresses art in action when 100 artists demonstrate their expertise live “in the open air.” What better way to challenge your perspective and observe technique up close for a truly memorable art-going experience. The festival, located in what is called “the cultural heart of Florida’s Space Coast,” also loads up live entertainment, food and an interactive Art Outpost for kids.
artworksofeaugallie.org or (321) 242-1456
6th Annual Art, Craft and Wine Festival
274 Cranes Roost Boulevard, Crane’s Roost Park, Altamonte Springs
Wine and art create a fabulous mix. In fact, this free festival of more than 150 artists and artisans rolls out some extra swank with a de rigueur Wine Stroll. For $25 online tickets, aficionados can sip a wide range of vintages at several select wine tents. And also for $25 online, a Saturday chili cook-off area invites you to taste test the best of the fest. There’s also a stacked schedule of choice performers as well as a Kidz Korner with free art projects, a bounce house and trampoline. Consult the website to purchase discounted tickets online and for a list of featured wines.
aacwf.com or (407) 781-9972
1901 Conventer Center Drive, Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach
Known in the art world as the Big Kahuna of international art shows held in the United States, Art Basel is Miami Beach’s haute happening of the year. The show, which also stages in Basel, Switzerland and Hong Kong, presents the high-caliber works of more than 4,000 artists from 200 leading galleries worldwide. Masters of modern and contemporary genres, as well as emerging artists, star at its main exhibition hall. Ambitious, eye-popping, large-scale works dot Collins Park and Soundscape Park, transforming the city’s skyline. Sit in on Conversations and Salon forums to hear dynamic panel discussions. To round out an even richer, art-filled weekend, tour nearby art shows, galleries and renowned museums featuring special Art Week exhibits.
To navigate Art Basel, check online to book a guided tour or to pick your favorite sectors: Galleries, Nova for newest works, Positions for rising talent, Edition for editioned art, Survey for works with an art history bent, Public for large-scale installations Film for outdoor and indoor screenings, and Magazines for art publications.
Tickets: $47 (estimated price). Consult website for further price breakdown.
Check it out: Miami Art Week
Much like any given Fashion Week, Miami Art Week involves approximately 20 art shows operating concurrently with Art Basel from Miami Beach to Miami. Follow a handful of these smaller, specialized shows.
Meridian Avenue & 19th Street, Miami Beach
November 30-December 4
Across from Art Basel, Design Miami is where art and commerce collide. Here the world’s most influential, cutting-edge design galleries present museum-quality exhibits of 20th and 21st Century furniture, lighting and objects d’art.
Tickets: $25. Offered through Art Basel, two-show Art Basel and Design Miami package, $60. Consult websites for further price breakdown.
Ink Miami Art Fair
1850 Collins Avenue & 19th Street, Suites of Dorchester, Miami Beach
November 30-December 4
Located a few blocks from Art Basel, the focal point of this free art fair is to offer collectors a complete survey of works strictly on paper, from 20th century to newly published editions.
Miami River Art Fair
400 SE Second Avenue, James L. Knight International Center, Downtown Miami Convention Center, Miami
Rub classy elbows with other culture fanatics at this fifth edition fair set indoors at Riverfront Hall and also featuring an outdoor Riverwalk Sculpture Mall along the banks of the Miami River.
Tickets: $20; $10 for seniors and students
318 NW 23rd Street, Mana Wynwood, Miami
November 30-December 4
Pinta distinguishes itself from the crowd by specifically growing Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese art markets, making it a sure fit with Miami’s prominent Latin presence.
Tickets: $20; $15 for seniors and students ages 12-18. Consult website for further price breakdown.