Frequently Asked Questions

Prize winners and artists who sell works at the show may need to pay taxes on their earnings.

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about our annual Paint the Town Labor Day Show show. Be sure to read the show prospectus for complete details. If you have a question that is not answered below, please email show coordinator Anastasia Walsh.


What are the qualifications to enter the show? 
The show is open to artists in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia 18 and older. You also must be a member in good standing of the Montgomery Art Association; to make it easy for you, you can join or renew when you register for the show.

Artwork & Categories

Please follow the instructions so that works are prepared correctly for the show.

How many pieces can I enter?
You may enter up to four pieces of work, including the mandatory Kensington-themed piece.

What are the show’s categories? 
There are six categories in total. In addition to the category for the mandatory Kensington-themed art, the others are Landscape, Still Life, People/Animals, Abstract and 3D.

What media are eligible?
Oil, acrylic, watercolor, mixed media, pastel, encaustic, drawing/ink media and sculptural 3D. Photography is not included in this show.

My painting is larger than 36 inches wide and 30 inches high (or is the opposite – 30 inches wide by 36 inches tall). Can I still enter the show?
Please email the show coordinator at with the specifics, and your request for an exception will be considered and answered. We considered both the ability of our people hanging the art as well as the panels that they will be on when we set this standard, so we want to make sure even exceptions are safe.

How do I prepare my art for the show?
Please review the prospectus for full instructions. This is important, because you could be disqualified if you don’t adhere to the guidelines about how to frame and wire hanging pieces and how to label your work.


How much does it cost to enter the show?
A fee $15 covers your Kensington entry and one additional entry. Your third and fourth entries cost $6 each. So if you enter the maximum of four works, your cost will be $27.

How do I pay my MAA membership?
Whether you are new to MAA or an existing member, you will be assessed your annual membership fee when you register. Membership is $50 per person (or $25 for full-time students with proof of enrollment).

Can I make a change after I submitted my online registration form?
If you made a mistake in the spelling of the title of the piece, need to change one of the paintings registered, want to add a piece if you originally registered fewer than four pieces, need to change the price, or have another edit, email your request to the show coordinator ( before August 20, 2018. No changes can be made on or after August 20.


What prizes are awarded? 
First-, second- and third-place prizes, plus honorable mentions, will be selected by the judge. In addition, the judge will award the Bertha Klum Grand Prize Award to the piece he selects as best in show.

What could I win?
We give out prizes as cash, gift cards and gift items, made possible through generous donations by local and national merchants, businesses and art schools.

Are awards considered taxable income?
Cash awards and gift certificates are calculated in your “annual income” from MAA. See Financials section below for more details.

How will I be notified if I win an award?
Our judge will evaluate artwork and select winners on Friday, August 31. Members will then be notified of the winners via email.

Artwork Sales

Some artists sell cards, prints and small works.

Can I sell my pieces at this show?
Yes, works should be priced to sell or marked as “not for sale.”

Can I sell other works or prints at this show?
MAA will provide a limited number of shared bins and card racks for entrants who would like to sell small originals, prints and cards. See the prospectus for more details.

Who will handle sales?
MAA will process all sales, collect 6% sales tax and take a 25% commission. You will be mailed a check, provided that you have an Internal Revenue Service W-9 form (“Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification”) on file with the MAA Treasurer prior to receiving payment for the sale.

Why do I need to complete a W-9 form?
MAA is required to report to the IRS income of each artist who earns an annual net income from MAA sales of $600 or more. The W-9 form provides MAA with the reporting information to both report that to the IRS and to provide the individual artist (who earned $600 or more in a given calendar year from MAA) with a 1099 form in January for your own tax reporting.

A few examples to help you understand:

Scenario #1: Let’s say you sell two paintings and several packs of notecards at the show and your total net income (after MAA keeps its commission) is $580. You haven’t received any other income from MAA (such as a speaker honorarium or awards at a show). No income will be reported because the total income you’re receiving from MAA this calendar year is under $600.

Scenario #2: You sell a painting and earn $500 after MAA’s commission. You also win $150 in cash and gift cards at the show. MAA will report that income to the IRS and send you a 1099 in January because the total is over $600.

Does that work the same way for all other MAA shows?
At this time, the Paint the Town Labor Day Show is the only show in which MAA manages sales. All other MAA shows have sales managed either by the host or directly with the artist. At these shows, MAA does not take a commission nor does it collect sales tax.

How do I get a W-9 form?
We will have W-9 forms for you to complete at the end of the show, when you pick up any unsold work. If you prefer to fill out a W-9 at home and bring it with you, you can download one here. (If all your work is sold, we will email you a form.) We need to have a W-9 form on file prior to issuing any checks to individual artists.

Do I need a Maryland state tax account to participate in the show?
No. MAA adds 6% sales tax to all sales and pays that to the state of Maryland. It will be ‘invisible’ to the artist whose work is sold.


Volunteers fulfill many duties, including sales.

How do I sign up for my volunteer shift? 
As a participating artist, you are required to donate your time with at least one volunteer task before, during or after the show. You may sign up at any time – you don’t have to register first. See the tasks and sign up for your shift.

I will not be in town for Labor Day Weekend. How can I fulfill my volunteer hours?
Please email the show coordinator–we have plenty of pre- and post-show tasks that you can choose from, and most of them can be done from your home.


Must I be present at the reception to receive an award?
No, it is not necessary. It would be helpful if, after winners are notified, you email the show coordinator to inform us that you cannot attend.

Should I contribute something to the reception?
At all of our shows throughout the year, we ask that participating artists contribute a dish or beverage for the reception. This is not mandatory, but it is a tradition that has been a part of our community for many years. Typically, we ask for a beverage or sweet or savory finger food. When you drop off your artwork, we’ll have signup sheets for you to note what you’ll bring.


Page updated August 2018