Calling all Art Lovers: the award-winning Cottonwood Art Festival is BACK after two years on May 7-8, and this year it’s more inspiring than ever!  

Just one step into the festival and you’ll be immersed into a creative wonderland of artwork and diverse exhibitions. Featuring one-of-a-kind, limited edition works in paintings, sculptures, ceramics, jewelry, fiber art, fine glass, woodwork, mixed media, and photography, there’s a new adventure around every corner. 

Photo courtesy of Cottonwood Art Festival

Since 1969, this free festival has grown to become the leading art show in North Texas as over 200 of the best local, national, and international artists converge in Cottonwood Park for a one-of-a-kind outdoor gallery and juried art festival with interactive activities, delicious cuisine, and live music.  

Canadian mixed-media artist Marjolyn van der Hart has been selected by a panel of jurors as the Featured Artist for this year’s Cottonwood Art Festival!  

“The last couple of years, Cottonwood Art Festival has been incredibly supportive by promoting my work online,” Marjolyn van der Hart said. “I’m looking forward to seeing and thanking the Cottonwood patrons in person for their generosity by sharing a new body of work that brings them a bit of nostalgia and joy.” 

Marjolyn’s art captures the realistic need to normalize the challenges of work and home balance, a welcome revelation that many can relate to after the unforeseen challenges of the past couple years. Her work can best be described as provocative, using different mediums to tell the story of persistence, challenges of change, perspectives, and positive attitudes.  

Each work of art portrays captivating scenes bursting with nostalgia that express the ways men and women cope with the world’s demand for perfection. Her thoughtful works portray that to self-regulate, thrive and maintain tranquility, one must take an occasional escape from the bindings of reality, propelling audiences into a headspace of stimulated self-esteem and self-empowerment.  

As the Featured Artist, Marjolyn’s custom artwork is incorporated into the new poster and festival merchandise. A recent collection of her originals will be available for purchase from her booth.  

Photo courtesy of Cottonwood Art Festival

Community Outreach

In addition to bringing artists from all over the world to celebrate their art, The Cottonwood Art Festival also provides opportunities to students in the Richardson community to learn about the importance of art and foster their own blossoming creativity through two community outreach programs.  

The Emerging Artist Program was created to recognize the talent of local senior high school art students by allowing them the privilege of displaying their work at the Charles W. Eisemann Center during April and selling their work alongside the attending professional and renowned artists. Interested students submitted an art concept, artist statement and images of their work to their teacher and a jury for acceptance into the program. Thanks to Neighborhood Credit Union, sponsors of the outreach program, the students will also receive placement awards and scholarship money.  

Photo courtesy of Cottonwood Art Festival

Cottonwood also partners with Richardson ISD for the Visiting Artist Program that increases participation in visual arts beyond the festival and into the classroom. Cottonwood artists make short presentations that provide hands on art activities and share their experiences with RISD classes. These visits provide artists an opportunity to give back to a community that has strongly supported fine arts for five decades, and students with the opportunity to meet real artists and learn lessons they’ll never forget.  

Fun for the Whole Family!

The Cottonwood Arts Festival is an event for everyone with a variety of Festival food and beverage favorites, two stages of live music and even creative opportunities for kids to explore art. 

Photo courtesy of Cottonwood Art Festival

On the Cupcake Courtyard Main Stage, families can lounge on the lawn to watch art entertainer Amy Burkman paint a live mural, and enjoy live music by artists including The Shepherds, Kirk Thurmond and Midnight Soul. The Acoustic Stage will feature music by Vudu Childe, Alex Lease and more! Meanwhile, kids can take their own creative journey through the ArtStop Children’s Area where they will experience various art styles at hands-on stations like Learn to Weave, Paint like Picasso, Explore Culture and more!  

The Cottonwood Art Festival is fun for the whole family! Whether you’re a painting pro as good as Picasso or just love unique handmade jewelry, this is the fest for you with over 200 of the best local, national, and international artists showcasing their art in the luscious greenery of the beautiful Cottonwood Park in Richardson, TX.  

For more information, including upcoming festival dates, news, and updates, please visit