While museums and galleries can feel intimidating and aloof to those outside the realm of connoisseurs and collectors, art festivals and fairs across the nation connect artists to their audiences, making visual art of all kinds accessible to art lovers and future art lovers alike.
After four weeks of voting, USA TODAY 10Best readers have selected their top 10 winners.
Snagging the number one spot is the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, an annual July weekend that sees some 170 artists from around the globe gather in the New Mexico capital – it's the largest festival of its kind on the planet.
It was a tight race between the winner and runner-up for Best Art Festival, the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh. This free event features 10 days of public art, live performances, markets and interactive activities.
The top 10 winners in the category Best Art Festival are as follows:
- Santa Fe International Folk Art Market
- Three Rivers Arts Festival - Pittsburgh
- Artisphere - Greenville, S.C.
- ART Santa Fe
- Festival of Arts - Laguna Beach, Calif.
- Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival
- SOFA Expo - Chicago
- Black Comix Arts Festival - San Francisco
- Red Earth Festival - Oklahoma City
- Ann Arbor Street Art Fair
Additional nominees included the Bayou City Art Festival in Houston, Cherry Creek Arts Festival in Denver, San Francisco International Arts Festival, Expo Chicago, Burning Man in Nevada, Art Los Angeles Contemporary, Art Basel in Miami, the Armory Show in New York, National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta and the High Desert Test Sites in Yucca Vally, Calif.
10Best and USA TODAY extend their congratulations to all the winners. The contest was promoted on 10Best and USA TODAY.License the 10Best Readers' Choice Award Logo