Gosport Arts Festival Artist Information

Welcome to the 2016 Gosport Arts Festival that will be held Mother’s Day Weekend, May 7th and 8th in historic Olde Towne, Portsmouth, Virginia. These guidelines and application include all the information you will need to prepare for the event. Please read the documents thoroughly as there are significant changes this year!

Gosport has a long tradition in Tidewater, originating back more than 40 years. 2016 will be our 16th year in beautiful downtown Portsmouth and will include an art show, live music, food vendors, children’s area and silent auction. The Festival benefits Edmarc Hospice for Children, a special charity for which thousands of dollars have been raised since the event moved here.

The Gosport Arts Festival includes approximately 80 juried artists and craftsmen displaying two and three-dimensional work at the Ferry Landing and the first block of High Street. $8,000 in cash prizes will be awarded in various categories. Special attention is given to artists throughout the planning process and then over the event weekend. Artists can request their booth area with the submission of their application. During the Festival, drinks and snacks are delivered directly to spaces; volunteers are provided to help unload, set up, and watch booths so artists can take short breaks; a fantastic Artist’s Reception and Awards Ceremony featuring a buffet style dinner and adult beverages are hosted on Saturday evening. From now through the event, the entire Gosport staff will help in creating the ultimate outdoor festival experience for both artists and patrons.

For those who have experienced Gosport before, we would be delighted to have you back. For new artists, please consider joining us for a delightful spring weekend. Should you have questions or concerns, please contact me at: bramed@edmarc.org, or (757) 967-9251.


Participating artists present a wide variety of media, styles, tastes and cultures. Past shows have included artists displaying oil, watercolor, jewelry, pastel, charcoal, pencil, pen and ink, mixed media, photography, pottery, sculpture, fiber, stained glass, metal, wood, clay, clothing, furniture, musical instruments, paper and more. The show is juried to ensure high quality. Awards include: $2,000 Best in Show; $1,000 Award of Excellence; nine, $500 Awards of Distinction; $250 A.B. Jackson Award; and $250 Patricia Sawyer Memorial Award. In addition to providing a valuable art venue for the region, Gosport also serves as a fundraiser for Edmarc Hospice for Children. All proceeds from the show go to this special organization.

The Gosport Arts Festival is held in beautiful Olde Towne, Portsmouth, a quaint historic seaport city in southeastern Virginia. The City of Portsmouth is centrally located within the region referred to as South Hampton Roads and is bordered by four neighboring cities: Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk and Virginia Beach. It is within easy driving distance of Newport News, Hampton, Yorktown, Jamestown and Williamsburg. The Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News Metropolitan Area ranks as the 37th largest in the United States with a total population of more than 1.7 million.

The Gosport Arts Festival is physically located along the Ferry Landing and the first block of High Street, a beautiful, shaded park area on the Elizabeth River. Artist spaces, that are 12 feet deep and 10 feet wide, are laid out with adequate viewing and storage space allowing each artist to open their tents on two sides if they desire. Show visitors walk on the street or on the wide brick-paved sidewalks. The High Street corridor has an abundance of quaint shops, popular restaurants, several museums and art galleries. The ferry shuttles patrons between Norfolk and Portsmouth.


The Gosport staff is always working to improve the Festival. With this in mind, an exciting change will take place in 2016 that will take advantage of the water and park area at the foot of High Street.

  • Artists will have the choice of setting up along the water of the ferry landing or along the median in the first block of High Street.
  • The new location will allow for a small adult area near the stage where wine and beer will be served.


An application fee of $25 is deposited on receipt of your application. If your application is not postmarked by 2/16/16 the application fee is $35. The space fee is $140 for a 10 x 12 foot space and $215 for a 20 x 12 foot space. You should send two separate checks: one check for the application fee, and one check for the space fee. The latter will only be cashed if you are accepted into the show. Post date this check 2/26/16. Applications received without both checks will be rejected and returned. Make checks payable to EDMARC HOSPICE FOR CHILDREN. If you drop out of the show prior to jurying, we will refund your full space fee, however, application fees cannot be refunded once deposited. If you drop out of the show between before 4/8/16 we will refund 50% of your space fee. After 4/8/16 no refunds will be given. Your space fee includes parking for one vehicle (with trailer during show hours), access to Artist Relations, complementary refreshments during the show and an invitation to the Artist Reception and Awards Ceremony for you and one guest.