The Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit is a twice-yearly event that takes place in the heart of Greenwich Village. Now in its 83rd year, the next festival is scheduled to take place Labor Day Weekend on August 31, September 1-2, and September 7-8. The event showcases fine artists and artisans from New York and around the world and draws an eclectic crowd of art lovers, tourists, teachers and students. Spend the day browsing a huge variety of some of the best art in the city, and meet some of today’s best and most promising artists.
About the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit
The event began in 1931 when Jackson Pollock and his friend and fellow Village artist Willem DeKooning took several of their paintings and set them up on the sidewalk near Washington Square Park in a desperate attempt to raise money to pay their rent. Some art world luminaries such as Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (founder of the Whitney Museum of Art) and Alfred H. Barr, Jr., (Director of the Museum of Modern Art) soon took notice. They ran with the idea and organized an art show that eventually evolved into the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit, happening every Memorial Day Weekend and the following weekend, and every Labor Day Weekend and the following weekend.
Some early exhibitors at the event included Alice Neel, Saul Berman, Ilya Bolotowski, and Beauford Delaney. It has become a showcase for artists from the region and is attended by art lovers from all over the world. Artists are now chosen by a juried selection process and cash prizes are awarded in various categories based on selection by artist-judges.
Exhibit hours are noon to 6pm on every show day. Exhibit categories include:
- Mixed media
- Oils and acrylic
- Metal work
- Glass mixed media
Over 100 artists will be exhibiting their work. The show has its venue on University Place. It will start at East 12th Street and extend south along the east side of Washington Square Park and end at West 3rd Street. The southern end of the show encompasses Schwartz Plaza (aka Bobkin Lane), between NYU’s Shimkin Hall and Bobst Library.
Interested in becoming an exhibitor? The event welcomes both veteran and up-and-coming artists and craft artisans. The show awards thousands of dollars in prizes for various fine arts and fine crafts categories, all donated by private companies and organizations. Artists can participate in just one weekend, or up to all four. Fees are as follows:
- First show weekend (3 days): $380
- Second show weekend (2 days): $285
- Both shows (5 days): $485.
There is also a jury fee of $20. Fees can be paid online by credit card or through PayPal.
More Information about Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit
Contact information for the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit, Inc, is as follows: