Now in its 59th year, CRAFT + DESIGN is a juried, museum-quality contemporary craft show that takes place in Richmond, Virginia. Ranked in the Top 25 Events for Sales of Fine Craft in 2018 (ArtFairSourceBook), artists compliment our hosted housing program, artist dinner, easy load-in and load-out and the scores of patrons who come prepared to begin their holiday shopping. Artists are invited to apply in the following categories: basketry, ceramics, decorative fiber, furniture, glass, jewelry, metal, mixed media, paper and wood.
In past years, CRAFT + DESIGN has hosted nearly 10,000 visitors at Main Street Station’s renovated train shed. The 100,000-square-foot train shed, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1901 and has been renovated as part of a $90 million effort to restore Main Street Station. Glass walls offer visitors panoramic views of Church Hill, Shockoe Bottom and downtown Richmond.
The venue, which sits squarely in the middle of the Shockoe Design District, is highly visible from Richmond’s I-95 corridor and accessible via train. Amtrak passengers from Washington, D.C. and beyond can debark and walk directly into CRAFT + DESIGN.
Over 150 artists gather at CRAFT + DESIGN to showcase their work, and an overwhelming majority say they plan to apply again. Here’s what our exhibitors said about the show:
“Everyone at VisArts was exceptionally kind and generous.
The space is really one of the best I have shown in. The quality of work was nicely varied and well crafted. A great show for us!”
“The venue is beautiful and very well attended.
Show staff and volunteers were amazing! Thank you for a spectacular dinner on Saturday night. Load in was fast and easy.”
Judges present cash awards in ceramics, contemporary design, fiber, glass, innovative use of traditional craft materials, precious metals, as well as wood and recycled materials. VisArts also recognizes a new artist, the artist with the best booth design and presents the Elisabeth Scott Bocock Best in Show Award.
ABOUT THE VISUAL ARTS CENTER OF RICHMOND
CRAFT + DESIGN is the signature event of the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, a non-profit community arts center in the heart of the city’s historic Fan District. VisArts has helped adults and children explore their creativity and make great art since 1963, celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Each year, VisArts offers more than 1,000 visual and creative arts classes and touches the lives of more than 45,000 people through its classes, community outreach programs, camps, workshops and special events.
ABOUT RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
Richmond gets regular shoutouts from top travel publications for its riverfront, bike trails and restaurants, but the city’s real draw is its arts scene. A world-class art museum, the best public art college in the country, more than 45 galleries and an internationally recognized street art festival contribute to the vibe. One thing’s for sure—Richmonders know art.
CRAFT + DESIGN 2023 will be held for the fifth year at Main Street Station’s renovated train shed. This 100,000-square-foot space, built in 1901 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been renovated as part of a $90 million effort to restore Main Street Station. Glass walls offer visitors panoramic views of Church Hill, Shockoe Bottom and downtown Richmond.
The venue, which sits squarely in the middle of the Shockoe Design District, is highly visible from Richmond’s I-95 corridor and accessible via train. Amtrak passengers from Washington, D.C. and beyond are able to debark and walk directly into CRAFT + DESIGN.
Craft + Design at Main Street Station:
Friday, November 17, 2023
7 a.m. - 3 p.m. Exhibitor Set up
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Judging
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Patrons' Preview Party
Saturday, November 18, 2023
9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. Rise + Shine Brunch
11 a.m. – 5 p.m. General admission shopping hours
6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Artists’ Dinner at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. Free to exhibitors, their families and housing hosts.
Sunday, November 19, 2023
11 a.m. – 5 p.m. General admission shopping hours
6 p.m.– 10 p.m. Exhibitor load out
APPLICATION + NOTIFICATION
Applications are due May 29, 2023. The application fee is $50 and is non-refundable.
Artists who wish to apply in multiple media must submit multiple applications. No individual artist may reserve more than one booth at the event.
The CRAFT + DESIGN jury meets in June, and artists can expect to receive notification by June 30. Exhibitor contracts and booth reservation deposits of $250 are due by July 31, 2023. Final booth payment is due August 31, 2023.
Applicants will be rank ordered such that a waitlist is generated based on jury scores. Applicants on the waitlist will be contacted if space becomes available.
Should an exhibitor need to cancel for any reason, notices of cancellation must be made in writing to the event manager. If a booth reservation is cancelled prior to October 1, 2023, 50 percent of the booth fee will be refunded to the artist. No refunds will be made if the notice of cancellation is received on or after October 1, 2023.
HEALTH + SAFETY
Participating artists are not required to submit proof of vaccination against COVID-19 and we do not anticipate enforcing masking or vaccination protocols onsite. VisArts leadership will continue to align organizational and event policies with guidelines from the Virginia Health Department and Centers for Disease Control. We will continue to communicate any future changes to our health and safety policies.
Check the My Applications page on your JAS account to verify your submission for jury. The CRAFT + DESIGN jury consists of art professionals, artists and collectors and turns over each year. Members of the jury judge all entries on technical and artistic skill, as well as originality. To improve applicants’ chances of being selected, organizers highly recommend artists submit images that are of professional quality.
Artists exhibit work at their own risk. The venue provides overnight security but neither the venue, the Visual Arts Center of Richmond nor the event’s sponsors are responsible for damage, theft or loss of artists’ work.
There is ample parking available for exhibitors in the lots around Main Street Station. During load in on Friday morning, exhibitors may park in the designated loading zone, but they are expected to move their cars promptly so that others may unload.
CRAFT + DESIGN is promoted across a variety of communications platforms. Highlights include outdoor advertising, a public radio partnership, extensive social media campaigns, print advertising and special promotions with corporate partners and luxury brands in Richmond.
Organizers select one high-quality image to use as the primary image on all CRAFT + DESIGN marketing materials. Other images are used to promote the show in a variety of different ways. CRAFT + DESIGN's marketing materials traditionally include a black background, so artists who wish to have their work considered for the primary marketing image should consider submitting at least one piece that looks great against a black background.
The Visual Arts Center of Richmond retains the right to use all images submitted with your application to promote the show—both in 2023 and in future years, as needed.
EXHIBITORS + THEIR DESIGNEES
All work exhibited at the show must be designed and created by hand (or with the use of appropriate tools) by the artist accompanying it to the show.
Sales representatives or agents who are not directly involved in production may not participate in CRAFT + DESIGN.
Up to two exhibitor assistants are permitted. Each exhibitor receives two exhibitor assistant badges free of charge. All other assistants must purchase tickets to the event. Exhibitor assistant badges are not to be used as guest passes to the show. Please return all badges to the information desk at the conclusion of the event.
Exhibitors and exhibitor assistants must wear their badges at all times while in the exhibition hall.
All booths are located indoors in one large room at Main Street Station.
Three booth sizes are available: 7' x 10', 10' x 10' and 14' x 10'’.
All booths are 10' deep and 8' high.
Booths cost between $975 and $1,225.
An electrical hook-up is included in the booth fee, as is pipe and white drape. No front crossbars are included, however, they may be rented directly from Hollins Exposition Services at the show. No overhead canopies are allowed, by order of the fire marshal. Flooring is polished concrete.
All exhibitors will be provided with additional storage. Please contact the event manager with any unusual storage requirements in advance.
Exhibitors must contain their display, work and storage boxes to the interior of their booths. Exhibitors are not permitted to display work on the outer walls of their booths. No artwork, walls, or other booth additions may extend past the specific boundaries provided. Booths must be of sound construction.
The Visual Arts Center of Richmond offers select sponsors the opportunity to endorse the artist of their choice. If an artist is selected for this honor, a sign that indicates the endorsement will be placed in the artist’s booth during the event. It is customary for the artist to offer the sponsor a 10 percent discount on the purchase of one item, but the event manager will confirm this arrangement with the artist prior to making any commitments.