Exhibitor FAQ

Welcome to the Exhibitor FAQ page! 

You will find answers to the many questions that your fellow artists have asked over the years, along with a few extra helpful hints from the staff at Boston Mills.  If you have a question that you do not see addressed here, please feel free to email us at any time.


Below is the layout for the 2020 artfest booth spaces.

How are spaces assigned?

     In our opinion, setting the show is an artform in and of itself.  We honestly don't know how George Whitten, our Artfest Director, manages to get this done within just a couple of weeks!  Here's how the process works:

After the jurying, George sits down with the score sheets and the original applications...and two giant maps of the show layout.

Exempt artists (2019 First in Category, 2019 Award of Excellence winners, and jurors) are the first to be placed in the shows.

All remaining artists are then placed in the shows, in order of highest jury score to lowest.  Special consideration is also given to the size and location indicated within the artist's original application.

     At the end of the day, we end up with two full shows which are very well balanced.  Each of the mediums in which we accept applications should be distributed throughout the show.  We feel that this is very important for both the patrons and the exhibitors alike:  Patrons get to see a balanced show and artists can better showcase their work.

You ask for my preferred space on the Artfest application.  Does that mean that I get to choose my space?

     No.  As stated above, setting the shows is a fairly complicated process.  We do our best to get you a space consistent with the type and location you have indicated that you prefer, but we cannot guarantee the exact space that you requested.

I was an exhibitor at last year's Artfest and loved my booth.  Can I have that same space again?

     Maybe.  Each year, when we go through the process of setting the show, we start with a clean slate.  If you indicate that you prefer that booth space, we will do our best to get you that space--or a similar one--if it works out according to the process detailed above.

I am excited about exhibiting at Boston Mills this year--but would prefer a different spot than the one I was assigned.  Can I be moved?

     Maybe.  Please email us and let us know what type of space you prefer.  We keep a list of any requests that we receive, and consult them when a space opens up within the show.  If we can fulfill any such requests from an existing exhibitor before we add in an artist from our standby list, we are happy to do so.


When are the setup days and times for the Boston Mills Artfest?

     You must be checked in by 1pm on the Second Setup Day for your show, and we want your booth to be fully set up no later than 4pm.  You must be in your booth, ready to greet Artfest patrons by 5:30pm.

2020 June Show

2020 July Show

First Setup Day

Thursday, June 25: 4pm-8pm*

 Wednesday, July 1:  10am-6pm

Second Setup Day (Preview Night)

Friday, June 26:  8am-4pm

Thursday, July 2:  8am-4pm

* We are sometimes able to have artists come in earlier on this day to set up, but that all depends on when our electrical and on-site inspections are completed.  If we are able to allow June Show artists to come in early, we send out a mass email to let them know. 

What do I do on Setup Day?

     First, check in at the Guest Service Office at Boston Mills!  We will get you all of your paperwork (including your booth sign and name tag), make sure that you know where your assigned space is located and where you can park your vehicle while you set up. (Note: The individual spaces are clearly marked in the exhibition area, but please feel free to ask us for clarification if you have any questions.)

     Once all of your questions have been answered, you can start setting up your booth display.  Please note that we do ask you to check in with us before setting up your booth.  We need to know who is here and who hasn’t shown up yet.  So, please be sure that the first thing you do when you arrive is check in!

What foods and beverages are available during setup days?  Can I buy lunch there?

     During the first setup day, we do not have food or drink available for purchase from our kitchen.  We do have pop machines and we also set out a water cooler for the entirety of the show where you are welcome to fill your cups and bottles as needed. Please note that during the show, when patrons are here, the water cooler will be moved to the judging area (where you turned in your piece to be judged).

     During the second setup day, our kitchen staff is focused on setting up for Preview Night, but we do have a limited menu of items available for artists to purchase from 11am-4pm.  (Typical menu items include cold deli sandwiches, chips, beverages etc.)

     If you prefer to visit the nearest restaurant or grocery store instead, please stop in at the Guest Service Office and ask--we would be happy to provide you with directions to any place you need to go!

      We do provide a pasta dinner on the day of the Preview Night about 4pm for our artists and one guest per artist.  Information regarding the Artist Dinner will be in your check-in packet.

When does my booth have to be set up and ready to go?

     Preview Night is scheduled from 6pm-9pm, but we sometimes open the doors early for patrons who arrive earlier.  You need to be in your booth, completely set up, and ready to greet customers by 5:30pm on the Preview Night day.


How do I get to Boston Mills?

     You can find directions to Boston Mills here.  If you prefer to use your own GPS system, our address is:  7100 Riverview Road, Peninsula, OH 44264.  Please note that some GPS systems have trouble with our area.  The address may come up as Brecksville, OH 44141 and sometimes the GPS may take you to a spot on Riverview Road that is further south than the resort.  Your GPS should take you to a spot that is north of Rt. 303, but south of Rt. 82.  If you are having issues finding us, feel free to call us at 800-875-4241.

What do the tents at Boston Mills look like?

     The North, South, East and West Tents are all clear-span tents.  (Clear-span tents do not have the center poles.)  We opt for lighter panels on the top portion of these tents to help keep the area under the tent as bright as possible.

I'm inside the (East, South, West or North) tent... do I need to set up my own tent as well?

     That is completely up to you.  Many artists do, mostly to keep the look of their booth, lighting, etc., uniform and provide a consistent backdrop for their work.  Some also choose to put up their tent, complete with top, to provide additional cover overhead or to be able to close up their tent walls while they are gone for the evening.

     Some artists do not put up a tent at all, and others put up pipe-and-drape (for background) only. We do not require you to put up a tent, but your booth space must be professional-looking.

What do I need to know about lights, fans, electricity, etc.?

     We have some fans and lighting inside the tents.  However, most artists bring additional lighting to better show off their work.  You are welcome to bring a small fan as well.

     When considering whether or not to bring lights, remember that sunset during the two weeks of Artfest is usually around 9pm, and Preview Night goes until at least 9pm.

     Exhibitors who are located inside the tents have access to 400 watts of electricity each.  Exhibitors in the Outdoor area do NOT have access to electricity, but are able to bring quiet battery packs if they wish.  Generators, however, are not allowed. 

Are there any requirements to how I set up my booth?

     We do require that your booth look professional.  Also, if you have an outdoor space and use a pop-up tent as part of your set up, you will need to weigh down your tent.  The fire department requires Boston Mills as well as all of our outdoor artists to have 40 pounds of weight at each post of a pop-up tent to help prevent any issues should there be a storm or high winds.  We appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

Where do I park?

     During setup times as you are unloading/loading, you can park in the main lot, in the turnaround area in front of the lodge, and in the unloading/loading areas indicated in light grey in the map below.  Please note that we do not allow vehicles in any other areas than the ones marked Unloading Area and in front of the courtyard.  This means that you will need to dolly in your artwork and set up items.  We do ask that you unload and clear your vehicle as quickly as possible on setup days, in order to allow your fellow artists space to do the same.

     An Artist Lot on the North Side of the ski resort provides the parking available to artists during the show.  The main lot is reserved for Artfest Patrons.

Is any storage space available?

     Storage space is indicated on the map above in the dark grey areas, and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.


Do you offer WiFi at Boston Mills?

     We do have Wi-Fi access on the grounds at Boston Mills, and login information will be provided to you at check-in.  This free service is an open network provided for your convenience and its use is at your own risk.  It is available to the general public, and is NOT INHERENTLY SECURE.  Because it is an open and unsecured network, our Wi-Fi should not be used for credit card processing--we cannot guarantee the privacy of your data/communication while using the service.  Contact a security professional if you need more information on how to protect yourself on an open network like the one offered here.
     Wi-Fi is provided on an “as available” basis--we cannot guarantee that your Wi-Fi connection at Boston Mills will be uninterrupted, secure or error-free.

I don't have a laptop, but I would like to check my email while I am at your show.  Do you have any advice?

     Many of our local hotels offer a free business center, so you might want to ask about that when you reserve your rooms.  You may also access the internet through a computer in the Guest Service Office if you need to check your email, etc., during show hours.  We ask that you keep those sessions under 15 minutes.

I need to have some copies made.  Can the Boston Mills office help me out?

     We can make a limited number of photocopies for you.  Color copies will cost you $0.20 each, Black & White copies are $0.05 each.  (One side=one copy.)


What is the Boston Mills Artfest Preview Night all about?  Who attends?

     The Boston Mills Artfest Preview Night crowd is made up mostly of patrons who have purchased a ticket in order to attend the Preview.  Many of them return year after year to enjoy a fun evening and have the first opportunity to view and purchase your artwork! 

     A small percentage of the Preview Night crowd (around 10%) is made up of guests who are associated with Artfest sponsors, media partners, and other friends of the show.

How long do the Boston Mills Artfest Preview Nights run?

     As an exhibitor, you are required to be in your booth by 5:30pm on Preview Night, and you need to plan to stay until at least 9pm.  In the past, we have kept the music and fun going until 9:30pm.  If you plan to leave by 9pm, please make plans to secure your booth accordingly.

Can artists enjoy the Preview Night fun as well?

     Artists are welcome to sample some wine and hors d'oeuvres after 8pm.  We ask that you refrain from doing so until this time, to help ensure that the paying customers have better access.  We also ask that you take your samples back to your booth, so that you are still accessible to any patrons who want to speak with you about your work.  A pasta dinner is provided to artists and one guest the night of the Preview Party around 4:00pm.  More information on this will be provided at check-in.


What times do I have to be on site during the regular show dates?

     We ask that you arrive at your booth by 9:30am on regular show dates.  We often open the doors at 9:45am for patrons.  You are required to stay until the end of the show.

What about tear down on the last day?

     On the last day, we close at 5pm instead of 6pm.  We do expect that you are completely open and able to take care of any interested Artfest patrons through all hours of the show.  You are not to begin your tear down until 5pm on the last day of the show.

Sales and Taxes

Boston Mills does not handle any artwork sales transactions, nor do we take a percentage of any of your sales during the Artfest.  You, the artist, are responsible for all sales.

Do I need some kind of a license or permit to exhibit and sell at Boston Mills?

     The State of Ohio requires you to have a Transient Vendor's License in order to sell anything within the state's boundaries.  The license will cover you for a year (so if you already obtained one for an Ohio show that happened earlier in the show's year, you don't have to get a new one for Boston Mills) and you can download the 1-page PDF application from the State Department of Taxation site. The fee for this license is $25.

     The county does not require any paperwork or permit, but Boston Township does require that each artist has a $25 Vendor Permit from the township. You pay this Vendor Permit fee when you pay your booth fee, and Boston Township allows us to turn in the paperwork and vendor fees in one lump sum on your behalf.

What is the tax rate here?

     Boston Mills is located in Summit County, which has a tax rate of 6.75%.


Refer to here for lodging info!  Lodging & Hotels


Boston Mills is surrounded by the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and our neighbors include various wild animals.  They will happily indulge in "people food" if given the chance... and a raccoon rummaging through booth spaces can cause a lot of destruction. Please do NOT leave anything edible in your booth space overnight!  Bring any snacks with you when you leave, and dispose of food waste properly.