Application Guidelines for Youth Artists

Important Dates:

36th Pelham Art Festival – In-person Show

February 21, 2023 – Accepting Applications 
March 31, 2023 – Application Deadline at 11:59 PM
Approximately April 6, 2023 - Successful Applicants will be notified
April 8, 2023 – Zoom Meeting - preparing artwork for exhibiting, questions   
April 30, 2023 – Final day to cancel your participation – The $10 application handling fee is non-refundable.
May 11 or 12, 2023 - Art drop-off at Meridian CC. (times to be decided)
May 12-14, 2023 – 36th Pelham Art Festival at Meridian Community Centre 

Pelham Art Festival – Online Show

Week of April 3rd, successful applicants will be notified.
April 6, 2023 - Once accepted, artists will work on their Online Gallery profile page and add details about artwork.
May 1, 2023 - Galleries must be completed for inspection.          
May 8-18, 2023 – Pelham Art Festival Online will be active/artwork on sale.

After the Online Festival closes on May 18, 2023, the work in the artists' galleries of the Online Festival remains available for purchase directly from the artists until May 2024.  Artists may remove art or continue to update their galleries, but sales will not be handled by the Pelham Art Festival between shows. For sales made more than two weeks after the main festival is over, there will be no expectation of a commission to the Pelham Art Festival since artists will be managing the sales by themselves.

Online artist galleries continue after May 18, 2023 unless an artist chooses to withdraw altogether from the PAF website after the Festival is over.  

36th Pelham Art Festival In-person 2023 and Pelham Art Festival Online 2023 Youth Artists  

Who Can Apply?

Youth artists must be:                                                                                              
• Enrolled in a secondary school program in the Niagara Region                           
• 14 -19 years of age                                                                                     
• Prepared to submit for a Pelham Art Festival jury team, three original artworks created on their own in the past three years                                          

Art mediums accepted into the Pelham Art Festival include the following: paintings, printmaking, photography and digital media, illustration, glasswork, textile design, jewellery, woodturning, ceramics, sculpture and mixed media.

The Pelham Art Festival provides a welcoming place for all artists and art enthusiastsand we are committed to equity and inclusion.

We are a proud community sponsor of Lincoln Pelham Public Libraries and the Arts

Festival proceeds benefit the Lincoln Pelham Library System and provide annual scholarships to graduating Pelham students who are pursuing post-secondary studies in fine arts from E.L. Crossley Secondary School and Notre Dame College School. The Festival also supports various community arts projects. Artists donate back 15% of their sales to support this effort.

How Do I Apply?

ALL ARTISTS: Please visit APPLY NOW YOUTH ARTISTS for directions on how to apply online BEFORE AN APPLICATION IS SUBMITTED.

All applications are submitted through the online portal on PAF’s website.

New artists create an account here.
Artists: Please fill in your name, address – mailing information, email contact, biography/ artist statement, and artwork description.  Your name should NOT be included in the bio/ artist statement which will be read by the jury. Skip the banner image, profile photo, and social media accounts, for now. Artist names are not available to the jury. 

Once notified that your application has been successful, you will then complete your profile page and set up your gallery for the Online Festival. *Please check your spam and junk folders if you have not received an email confirmation by April 5th. 

Help! I Forgot My Password

If you forgot your password, you can reset it via the login page, using the 'RESET PASSWORD' button. Use the email associated with your account, and a temporary password will be emailed to you. Check your spam/junk mail folders. Once you log in, you can change your password to something more memorable and secure under "Your Profile".

Can I apply with another Artist?

The Festival is committed to supporting individual artists as part of Our Mandate. Studio applications and collectives are not accepted since we facilitate artists as entrepreneurs to give opportunities to artists and artisans. One exception to this might be a student collective booth, organized by the Festival Committee.

Application Fees:

36th Pelham Art Festival 2023 at the Meridian Community Centre and Online Festival 2023:

There is a non-refundable $10 application handling fee for each Youth Artist at the 2023 Pelham Art Festival. Artists accepted into the Festival are expected to cover the cost of preparing selected artwork for exhibiting in a professional manner. That might mean matting and framing photography or illustrations; paintings on canvas must have edges finished if not framed and be ready to hang. A table will be available for exhibiting sculptures and Fine Arts and Crafts.

The Pelham Art Festival will provide a double booth for the group exhibit without further cost to the artists. A double booth consists of four 8’x6’ pegboard panels. Each panel is large enough to exhibit 4-6 artworks, possibly more, depending on the size of individual pieces. A table and a few easels will provide further exhibition space.

How do I pay my application fee?

Credit card payment is accepted through our application system online. 

Once you have uploaded your images and information, you will be directed to a secure payment portal. You will not be able to make changes to your application once the non-refundable payment is submitted. You will receive an e-mail confirmation of your payment, so please check your spam and junk folders if you have not received it. There are no service charges or taxes on the application fee. PAF does not accept cheques or cash payments for online Festival fees.

What if I don’t have a credit card?

You can use a prepaid credit card to pay your application fee (available at Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart etc.)

Why do I have to pay an application fee for the Festival?

Did you know that PAF is a not-for-profit Canadian Art Festival? Your application fee goes towards the processing and administration of your application, and in the case of Youth Artists, towards the cost of the exhibition booth and to artist support like application feedback and information sessions. A portion of the fees goes towards setting up and maintaining a professional website capable of showcasing your art on a secure e-commerce platform. Your fee also helps pay for advertising and promotion to create visibility for the Festival where you will be exhibiting and selling your work to the public.    And let’s not forget the time and effort dedicated by the PAF Committee and team of jurors working towards mounting a professional art festival in support of artists and PAF fundraising goals.

Submitting To the 36th Pelham Art Festival                             

How many applications can I submit?

You can submit one application of 3 artworks in 1 Festival category: 3D Works, 2D Works, Painting, Fine Craft & Design, and Photography & Digital Media. It is to your benefit that you tailor your application to the Festival category under which you are submitting. The same panel of jurors reviews all the applications, regardless of category. 

PAF accepts complete applications once the non-refundable application fee payment is fulfilled. We don’t forward applications with missing information to our jurors. Submissions that include machine-made or mass-produced works are automatically disqualified and are not presented to the jurors.


You need to select a category from the list below when applying. These categories will be used in our online artist directory.

3D Works - three-dimensional original works, using additive or reductive techniques, including freestanding sculptures, reliefs, assemblages etc. created using either traditional or experimental materials. 

2D Works – original two-dimensional works, created using one or more physical materials, including Drawing, Printmaking, Illustration, Collage, Mixed Media works, etc.

Painting - works created using Oil, Acrylic, Encaustic, Watercolour, Ink, Pastel, etc.

Fine Craft & Design – hand-crafted objects (functional or decorative) created using fine craft and/or industrial design practices including most Jewellery, Ceramics, Pottery, Woodturning, Glass, etc. Multi-disciplinary and/or hybrid practices are welcomed. Exclude machine-screen patterns or other forms of mass production, and factory-produced wearable items regardless of additional modification.

Photography & Digital Media - Photographic prints made from the artist's original image, and/or digitally manipulated images created from the original artist's images, and/or other sourced material. Artwork in the photography category must be of signed and usually numbered limited edition prints, with a series of each image limited to a total of 25 or fewer. As a youth artist, you are exempt from declaring limited edition status.

How To Submit To Pelham Art Festivals

1. Please click on APPLY NOW YOUTH ARTISTS for full information on how to apply for an application online BEFORE AN APPLICATION IS SUBMITTED.

2. Artists login and fill in your name, address, phone number – your very important mailing information, email contact, your biography/artist statement and artwork description,.  Skip the banner image, profile photo, and social media accounts at this stage; those are not available to the jury and during Online Festivals, only become publicly visible if your application is successful.

3. On the right side of your Artist Dashboard, you will find the 'Start an Application button. Prepare and upload your images, biography, and description of the artwork. Please read our Application Photography Tips carefully. Photos that are taken in good lighting present best.

4. Why won't my images upload?

Check to make sure your images are saved in the correct file format (.jpeg or .png) and that they are not too small or too big. Be sure you have filled in the title, size and medium of each piece. Do this by clicking on the thumbnail of each uploaded image to open an information form for text boxes to show. If you do not have a title/size etc. put 'N/A' for not applicable. Each text box requires text entered or the image will not save.

5. Complete the online jury application with 3 of your artworks and submit the non-refundable application fee of $10 by 11:59 PM (EST) on the deadline date.


1. 3 of your artwork digital images online for the jury.

2. Image Formatting Instructions

  • Valid file types: .jpeg or .png.
  • Artists are required to submit images of original artworks created within the last three years.
  • Maximum size: images should be no larger than 1024 x 1024 pixels and 4MB (max) in size. Images that exceed this size will be automatically resized to fit and may be distorted as a result.
  • Minimum size: no less than 600 x 600 pixels (height & width) NB: Larger images will present better.
  • Images should be cropped to show only the work. No frame, watermark, signature, or background beyond the artwork is to be included (exceptions are 3D objects such as sculptures, ceramics, woodturning objects or if a frame /mat is unique and significant to the artwork presentation…an example would be an oval opening in the mat to create a Victorian look for a portrait photograph) If the frame is an integral part of the art, it should be included.
  • To resize your images correctly without Photoshop, for both MAC and PC users, for instructions go to https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/how-to-resize-an-image/
  • Artwork Image Jpeg files must be named as follows
  • YOUR NAME_TITLE_YEAR (e.g., Jane Smith_Summer Day_2022)
  • Gallery Banner: Your banner size should be 1920 pixels wide  x 640 pixels tall
  • Profile Photo: 750 pixels on the longest side works well. The photo can be square (750 x 750 pixels) or a 4:5 ratio (600 pixels wide x 750 pixels tall). The minimum image size is 600 pixels on the longest side (portrait photo).

3. A 500-character artist statement (do not include your name.                       <
Use pronouns instead.

4. A 200-character description of your works

Here are some tips to help you submit a successful application

How is Your Application Selected?

Artistic excellence, originality and quality of support materials are the criteria our jurors consider to evaluate your application. Our jury team consists of artists and art educators who will be reviewing all artist and artisan submissions in every category. Read PAFs Equity and Non-Discrimination Policy.

Our jurors score submissions according to the above evaluation criteria. They select artists with the best artwork earning the highest scores. All decisions are final.

When Are the Results Announced?

2023 36th Pelham Art Festival Results:

You will receive your results via email by about April 5, 2023, after which you may create your online gallery.

What is the Artist Code of Conduct?

The Artist Code of Conduct is a section of the Liability and Code of Conduct Agreement. All artists must agree to the Artist Code of Conduct as part of their participation at the Pelham Art Festival.


Helpful Links

Application Photography Tips

Gallery Uploading

Where Do I Find Support?

Admin support will be available for you if you need it through [email protected]
Please state the title of your question in the heading of your email to ensure it is sent to the right help team member.

with the subject line: PAF 2023 Photographing My Art + Your Name 
with the subject line: PAF 2023 Artist Gallery Setup + Your Name 
with the subject line: ‚ÄčPAF 2023 General Support + Your Name

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Pelham Art Festivals are following the safety guidelines provided by Niagara Region Public Health.

Pelham Art Festival Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation.