Main Street Arts Festival proves selective, even for National Geographic Creative

Only one of seven applying artists are accepted to the annual Main Street Arts Festival in Fort Worth. After nine years, Greg Davis, a contributor to National Geographic Creative, made the cut.

Davis began applying for the festival in 2006. He received his first acceptance letter last year.

For Davis, it was a feeling of excitement, relief and “wow, I got it,” he said.

The application process allows artists to showcase their work through five images. Then, five art professionals review and score the artists. Davis was one of 213 accepted artists from more than a thousand applicants this year.

The “people’s choice award” also made its debut on Main Street last year. Festival-goers selected Davis through social media as their favorite artist.

“I won the people’s choice award the first year they’ve ever given it,” he said. “You have to stick to it and believe in your work.”

The award winner was invited to the 2017 festival to exhibit his photography alongside artists of many mediums: ceramics, jewelry, fiber, leather, painting, sculpture, glass and more.

Contributing to National Geographic Creative isn’t the only project on Davis’ photography resume.

In 2004, he left his office job and traveled for a year. In a small Vietnamese village, he photographed the green and blue hands of a blanket weaver. It was this photo that helped Davis realize his passion.

“On that one year trip, I discovered that I had the eye to capture compelling and inspirational imagery that people want to collect,” he said.

In 2013, Davis traveled to India to photograph Kumbh Mela, the largest pilgrimage in India that occurs every 12 years. He captured Indian travelers making their journey to bathe in the Ganges and Jumna rivers.

24 images from that trip have been on exhibit in eight Texas museums alongside a short documentary film that Davis wrote, directed and executively produced.

These exhibits really drew the eye of the festival-goers.

“It’s an affluent crowd,” Davis said. “Because this festival has been going on for decades, they’re more educated about what really is art and what is collectible art. The caliber of work at the Main Street Arts Festival is very high-end. I do art festivals all over the country and this is one of the best, highest-end juried festivals.”

The festival is one of the main projects of the Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives Inc., a group organized to innovate the downtown area. 2017 marks the 32nd year for the festival with many sponsors in the Fort Worth area.

Davis will be returning to India with the hope of finding a man he photographed while there in 2013. To keep up with his photos and travels visits gregdavisphotography.com.