Cottonwood Art Festival is a semi-annual event that features work from the nation's top visual artists. Located in scenic Cottonwood Park in Richardson, Texas (map), this prestigious art show has been a part of Richardson life for almost fifty years. The festival takes place on the first full weekend in May and the first full weekend in October each year. Admission is free.

Cottonwood Art Festival is a juried show. This year approximately 1,400 artists submitted their work for consideration. For each show, jurors select over 240 artists to exhibit their museum-quality work. The artists compete in 14 categories: 2D Mixed Media, 3D Mixed Media, Ceramics, Digital, Drawings/Pastels, Fiber, Glass, Jewelry, Leather, Metalwork, Painting, Photography, Sculpture and Wood. A listing of this year's artists can be found on the Event Artists page.

The featured artist is chosen to represent Cottonwood’s marketing pieces, including t-shirts and posters. More information on the artist and their work can be found on our Featured Artist page.

Need help finding your way around? Take a look at our site map!

ArtStop Children's Area
In the center of the festival, our pint-size Picassos will enjoy a wide array of art and craft activities. Children of all ages will have the opportunity to create a crazy, fun hat, paint a masterpiece, design a monster, weave with yarn, or practice their hand at sculpting clay on a real potter’s wheel.

Whether you're shopping for art, listening to music, enjoying the outdoors, or making art of your own, Cottonwood has something for you.

Fast Facts

Saturday, October 6, 2018: 10 am – 7 pm
Sunday, October 7, 2018: 10 am – 5 pm

Cottonwood Park, centrally located in the metroplex at 1321 W. Belt Line Rd. Richardson, TX
(just one block east of Coit Rd).

Frequently Asked Questions

Admission to Cottonwood Art Festival is free.

This is a rain or shine event.

Recorded Information Hotline:

ATM Location:
ATMs are located outside the permanent pool house by the concession area on the main street of the festival. Festival merchandise and most artists accept major credit cards.

ArtStop Children's Area:
In the center of the festival, our pint-size Picassos will enjoy a wide array of art and craft activities. Children of all ages will have the opportunity to create a sculpture hat from scrap, design a masterpiece in plaster, add to an enormous collage, or practice their hand at sculpting clay on a real potter’s wheel.

Emerging Artists:
The Emerging Artists Program is an innovative and resourceful tool that mentors high school aged students in the art world. Students are encouraged to express themselves artistically and learn the process of exhibiting. This program only takes place in the spring and is proudly sponsored by Neighborhood Credit Union.

Lakeside Courtyard:
The Courtyard is located near the center of the park directly off the main festival street. The Courtyard is home to Cottonwood’s Boutique, The Main Stage, Festival Headquarters and General Information Booth. Sit and relax while you enjoy food, spirits and live music while taking in this beautifully landscaped courtyard that borders Cottonwood Lake. The exquisite courtyard landscape was designed and donated by Donal McKinney owner of Green Sculptor.

Food and Beverages:
Food and beverages are located throughout the festival with the main locations being in the Courtyard and on the south end of the main festival street. Alcoholic beverages are sold in the Courtyard area. Cottonwood also offers a tantalizing selection of unique and tasty culinary delights that will satisfy everyone’s taste buds.

Restrooms are located throughout the park: along Belt Line Road on the east and west side of the park, south of the courtyard on your way to ArtStop Children's Area, and on the south side of the park near the pool house.

Parking is located across the street from Cottonwood Park at the Richardson High School football stadium. A free shuttle is provided each day of the festival from 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

The City of Richardson strives to make sure Cottonwood Art Festival is an accessible event.

Accommodation requests for persons with disabilities should be made at least 14 days in advanced of the festival by contacting Taylor Lough, ADA Coordinator, via phone at 972 744-0908, via email at ADACoordinator@cor.gov, or by appointment at 1621 E. Lookout Drive, Richardson, TX 75082.

Individuals needing to schedule assistance with DART Paratransit please contact DART directly at 214-515-7272.
Click here for a map of Handicapped Parking.

Concerning Dogs:
Because Cottonwood Art Festival is located in a public park, we allow:

  • well-behaved dogs
  • on leashes
  • accompanied by an adult

If your dog does not get along with others (dogs, children or adults) please leave them at home.

Please be considerate of artists and their art work and keep pets away from exhibits. If your pet damages an artist's exhibit or work, you will be asked to clean or purchase the item.

All owners must clean up after their dogs. There are doggie bags located throughout the park.

You and your pet will be asked to leave if there are any issues regarding bad behavior.

T-Shirts and Posters:
T-shirts and posters are sold at the Cottonwood Boutique inside the Lakeside Courtyard.