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Gasparilla Festival of the Arts Returns to Showcase True Tampa Talent

One of America’s most prestigious fine arts and crafts shows is back! The Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts returns March 5-6, 2022, at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park. The festival will showcase artists and their work to include ceramic, digital, drawing, fiber, glass, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, watercolor and wood. There will also be works by local young artists, fun exhibits, and a weekend full of live entertainment.

Gasparilla Festival of the Arts Recognizes Local Artists 

Each year, the GFA selects five artists to be part of its Local Artists Spotlight Program. Funded by a grant from the Gobioff Foundation, the program advances GFA’s mission to bring the finest national and international artists to our area and supports the talented and diverse arts community here in Tampa Bay. Each of these artists will receive
a free space and booth at the festival, giving 30,000+ art lovers who will attend the opportunity to see and buy art conceived and created in our own backyard.

What’s NEW for 2022! 

New for this year, each of the five artists will have a “remote studio” at the festival. Guests will be invited to watch as they practice their craft and are encouraged to engage with these artists and ask questions about how they take an idea and transform it into a finished piece of art. Once they complete their pieces, artists may sell them during the two days of the festival, giving guests the rare opportunity to own a piece of art that was created before their eyes.

Image Credit: Gasparilla Festival of The Arts

Celebrating Emerging Artists

Each year, the GFA showcases the work of emerging artists, representing an array of styles and media. The Emerging Artist Program recognizes and features the artwork of up-and-coming artists who wish to establish themselves in a professional visual arts career. 2022 GFA Board President, Jamie Hirsch Jenkins sponsors the program in memory of her mother Eileen Hirsch. It offers artists who are ready to kickstart their career the opportunity to present and sell their work. Out of over 150 applications this year, they selected fifteen artists.

Emerging artists are defined by GFA as one who makes less than 25% of their income from their art and has not participated in any major exhibitions. Each of the fifteen artists will be provided with a booth and a $250 stipend for supplies as well as mentoring from established Tampa Bay artists. Their artwork will be reviewed by the Festival Award Juror, and one of them will receive the $1,500 Emerging Artist Award.

GFA for the Kids – Art Collectors in Training Program!

The Art Collectors in Training program (ACT) was organized to encourage the appreciation of the arts in young people, ages 6-14, as an opportunity for them to view and purchase artwork on exhibit from artists participating in the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts. Children will be able to shop in a “kids-only” shopping zone. Most items will range from $5 – $10, with a small portion of the more valuable pieces of art priced slightly higher. After they purchase their items, young art collectors and their accompanying adult(s) can meet with the artists face-to-face (names and booth numbers will be displayed on the artwork)! The ACT will be available from 11am-3pm both days.

Interactive Experiences and Live Entertainment

There will be several interactive experiences for guests to experience.

  • Carmada: Returning this year to present its Art Car Extravaganza. There will be new art cars will be on display, hands-on creative opportunities, and live vehicle transformations by local artists! Visitors will be encouraged to vote on their favorite art car, with prizes going to the artists.
  • DMG Mobile Glass-Blowing Unit: Artist Duncan McClellan will bring his “glass art” experience, demonstrating the incredible glassblowing process in front of your very eyes.
  • AIA Interactive Experience: An interactive structural element created by the AIA (American Institute of Architects) and affiliated organizations.
  • NOMADstudio: The NOMADstudio Art Bus invites visitors to add to their giant mobile mural.
  • TBBCA Chalk Walk: See specially commissioned Chalk Artists bring their amazing 8’x8’ chalk drawings to life in this interactive live-art experience, Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture & the Arts’ Chalk Walk.

ABC Action News Meteorologist, Denis Phillips, will be the live entertainment emcee! Enjoy artistically themed entertainment and performances, including yoga, dance, puppets, stilt walkers, music, impersonators, visual artists, and more! Check out the entertainment lineup here.

Event Details

Julian B. Riverfront Park, 1001 N. Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33607
March 5, 2022 from 9am-6pm; March 6, 2022 from 10am-5pm

Admission is Free. VIP Experience tickets are available for purchase for $75-$85. Learn more here. 


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Brie Gorecki
Brie has been writing for websites and local publications for over 10 years. A USF graduate, she has worked for several major companies in New York, Atlanta and here in Tampa. You can read her articles on Tampa Bay Parenting, Tampa Bay Date Night Guide and Orlando Date Night Guide. She’s a Disney fanatic, an animal lover, and is a huge foodie who loves trying all the amazing restaurants around Tampa Bay. She’s a proud mom to a sweet little Star Wars and Godzilla-loving boy, and to her “fur-babies,” a rescue dog and cat from Humane Society of Tampa Bay. She loves spending time with her family, whether it’s a date night out with her husband or a day filled with roller coaster rides at a theme park.

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