Columbia, MO

Getting ready for the 2021 Art in the Park in Columbia, Missouri

Anita Durairaj

Photo by RhondaK Native Florida Folk Artist on Unsplash

The 2021 Art in the Park is scheduled for June 5 and 6 in Stephens Lake Park in Columbia. I remember going to my very first Art in the Park event a few years ago and being amazed by the quality of the art presented as well as the different types of art at the event.

It isn't just about paintings and drawings. You are going to see so much more - clothing, jewelry, home decor, and knick-knacks. There were so many tents and stalls set up that I couldn't even finish going to all of them despite being at the event for more than 2 hours. In the end, I came away with a porcelain wall tile mounted on a little stand that was painted in a stunning shade of hot pink with wavy designs on it - my kind of art indeed. I very well couldn't afford to buy a real painting.

The 2021 Art in the Park may be a little different from previous years due to COVID-19. Here is what the event organizers have to say about it,

Covid update: We are planning our event for an in-person, outdoor, safe experience. We will be following state and local requirements and recommendations for health and safety. - website of Columbia Art League

Festival times will be from 10 am - 5 pm on June 5 and 10 am - 4 pm on June 6.


Art in the Park has been organized since the 1950s by the Columbia Art League which is a non-profit. It is also supported by the Missouri Art Council and Columbia's Office of Cultural Affairs.

More than 100 artists each year arrive from all over the country and approximately 12,000 visitors attend the 2-day event. The 2021 festival will be the 63rd annual Art in the Park event.Admission to the festival is free. You only have to pay if you are purchasing the artwork or food at the festival.

The Art in the Park is very kid friendly and will include entertainment for children, a stage with musicians, a children's art area and a pavilion showcasing art by high school and college students. There will also be a Veterans' Art Pavilion, a Young Collector's Tent, and a food court.

Artist Events

The festival is not just great for visitors. It is also important for artists as well. There will be awards given to artists and free gifts. Other benefits include free parking next to the park, hotel discounts, and even breakfast and lunch provided.

Artists have the opportunity to win at least 12 different awards with cash prizes. However, I am sure the recognition will be more important than the cash award itself. The first award prize is about $1250. On Saturday evening, there will be a gathering to celebrate the awards.

The art that is judged at the festival includes two-dimensional art such as painting, drawing/pastel, printmaking, digital, photography, 3D Mixed Media, and non-wearable and non-sculptural fiber.

Three-dimensional art at the festival includes sculpture, wood, metal, glass, jewelry, wearable fiber, ceramic, and 3D Mixed Media.

Here is the message from the organizers for the artists,

Art in the Park is an outdoor show and exhibitors will be at Stephens Lake Park, rain or shine. Artists should come prepared for all weather.

Finally, an average of more than 200 applications is received from artists to participate in Art in the Park. Out of these, only about half are selected. Regardless of the number, you are sure to be able to find a favorite artist or two at this year's Art in the Park.

Source: Art in the Park 2021 Zapp - event information (

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.


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