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Art Festival iPhone Apps
current as of 27 Oct 2011

I noticed on the Main Street Fort Worth web site that they now have an iPhone app available in the iTunes store. I downloaded it and checked it out. It's wonderful. You can browse either by category or alphabetically by artists last names and see all four of their images enlarged filling the screen on the iPhone and on the iPad using the 2x button.
I then searched the iTunes store for other art show apps. I found apps for the shows listed below. I'm sure many more shows will be creating apps in the next year or so. Searching for art festival and arts festival brings up different results.

A review of the art festival apps

The Ann Arbor Art Fairs app lists all the artists alphabetically in all the legitimate art shows and lets you see one enlarged picture from each artist. It also makes use of the built in GPS and can bring up a map showing you where you are and where the booth of the artist you are interested in is located if you tap on the artist's booth number.
Arts Beats & Eats has an app but it doesn't come up in a search unless you search for it by name. And they charged for it unlike all the other art festival apps. Sorry but I'm not paying to review it.
The Cherry Creek app doesn't load at all. When I read the feedback for the Cherry Creek app on iTunes, I found that I wasn't the only one who couldn't get the app to load.
The Coconut Grove app is difficult to find. It comes up when you do a search for CGAF. It opens to a search page making you think you need to know the name of the artist you are looking for in advance. But in reality, if you do a search with an empty search box, it brings up all the artists in alphabetical order. One image for each artist comes up with name, medium, web site URL, email, booth number city and state underneath. The only link is the email address. The web site URL is not a link.
Columbus gives you an alphabetical list of artists and shows one enlarged image per artist along with their name, city, medium and web site URL. The enlarged images go off the screen at the bottom in both the 1x (iPhone) mode and the 2x (iPad) mode.
Cottonwood give you a choice of browsing by medium or alphabetically by artist last name. Full size images take up about 70% of the screen with the artist name, medium booth and web site under the image. The web site link is just the words "web site" which opens the artist's web site within the app instead of opening a browser.
Des Moines only shows one image per artist washed out in semi transparency with the artist's name, medium, city, e-mail address and web site URL overlaying the image. The combined five lines of text take up approximately 25% of the washed out image. Not useful at all if you want to see an example of each artist's work.
Main Street Fort Worth has the best format. Like I previously noted, all the images (except the booth) for each artist can be seen enlarged. Not obvious is that when looking at the first image you can read the artist statement if you scroll down. Tapping on the first image brings up a page with all four images which enlarge when tapped on. A problem I had with Michael Brown's digital art triptychs is that the outer half of the outer two images were cut off when enlarged.
The New Orleans Jazz Festival app doesn't show images of the artwork at all. Under Crafts, it's just a listing of which artists are doing which weekend in each of the three sections, Congo Square, Contemporary Crafts and Louisiana Marketplace.
Sausalito allows you to choose between seeing artists listed by medium, alphabetically, or which artists are new this year. They only show one image per artist at a size of approximately 20% of the page along with the artist name, city, web site, e-mail address, and phone number. The most information about each artist but a full size image would improve the app.
The Utah Arts Festival shows one picture per artist with name, city, email address (no web site URL), booth number and medium. The image takes up about 40% on a washed out page filling photograph of the Utah Arts Festival which is distracting to look at especially at the 1x iPhone size display. In this particular format, the original ZAPP size with black borders helps frame the image and helps it stand out from the background image. Initially when the app loads, artists are listed randomly. Other options are by booth number or alphabetically by artists first name.
About 16 or 17 search result pages into Google for "Art Festival iPhone app", I also found iPhone apps for the Laguna Arts Festival and the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival. Both show images by each artist when available and the Pumpkin Festival also has artist statements.
I want to applaud the shows that put the effort into creating these apps. They are all free and a good way for artists to check out their competition, even while off line. All the apps are designed for the iPhone and will enlarge using the 2x button for viewing full screen on an iPad. The only app I found in the Android app store was the Cherry Creek app. Not having an Android device, I couldn't test how well it worked. These apps will inevitably improve and change yearly as next years show is uploaded, but you should be able to see images of accepted artists for approximately one year.
I feel that the shows should add the year to the name of the app so that when the following years show app is uploaded, it doesn't overwrite the previous years app and the artists who did the show on previous years still get the exposure and promotion.

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