Bayou City Art Festival Downtown
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Bayou City Art Festival
The Bayou City Art Festival is a biannual event. Each spring, it is held in Memorial Park, and every fall, this festival graces the streets of downtown Houston. This juried art show features artists from places near and far. The wide variety of art in this outdoor environment has almost every imaginable medium represented and most importantly price ranges to suit just about anyone’s wallet.
October 12th and 13th were the dates of this art happening in 2019. It was a glorious weekend, and people could stroll the grounds and surrounding streets from 10 AM to 6 PM. My husband and I spent many hours there on Saturday. People can purchase tickets for one day or both days. With about 300 artists displaying their works, I can easily understand why people might wish to spend parts of two days there.
City Hall and Hermann Square
The display centerpiece of the Bayou City Art Festival in the downtown area of Houston is City Hall and the expansive lawn area of Hermann Square with the lovely reflection pool. Its address is 901 Bagby Street, Houston, Texas 77002. Surrounding streets are blocked off to accommodate the many additional artist booths, food trucks, and entertainment which spills over into Sam Houston Park. The Houston Public Library central campus is adjacent to City Hall.
George Hermann was a well-known Houston philanthropist and had many things named after him, including Hermann Hospital and Hermann Park.
Aiding Nonprofit Organizations
The Art Colony Association, Inc. is a nonprofit organization. They, along with grants from the City of Houston and the Houston Arts Alliance, put on this Bayou City Art Festival each year. The beautiful part about this, other than getting to see and potentially purchase good art, is that they raise funds to support local nonprofits in our area. Consequently, this year, the money went to the Houston SPCA, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Ronald McDonald House Charities in Houston, and Galveston, among others. Click here to see the full list of charities.
At each spring and fall festival, there is a featured artist. This year it was an award-winning photographer by the name of Clifton Henri. My husband and I happened to see him on a local television show before seeing him in person at the Bayou City Art Festival. Mr. Henri states that he likes to tell stories with his photographs regarding cultural and world issues. On his website, he mentions being influenced by the Civil Rights Movement. He does with photography what local artist Charles Criner does with his paintings and lithography.
Children’s Creative Zone
In a portion of Sam Houston Park was the Children’s Creative Zone. All of the nonprofits benefiting from this show had booths where the children could be creative and have fun. Spread out in the lawn area were colorful red chairs where parents could rest while watching their children run, play, and chase bubbles at the time we were there. Jennifer Lang, who wore a colorful outfit with bubbles on it, continually made immense bubbles that would break apart and had children, as well as adults, smiling. I know that it had me wearing a big smile on my face! Others could also try their hand at making bubbles. Even some children were doing it.
So Much to See and Enjoy!
In addition to the hundreds of artists who had everything from magnificent paintings to quirky and fun ones, imaginative sculptures, both large and small, jewelry of all types, beautiful glass art, and so much more, there were performers making music and food trucks and vendors selling beverages.
Circuit Board Art
Many things caught my eye as we roamed the grounds, but one thing, in particular, drew me in to take a closer look. Gregory Arth was awarded the Best in Show ribbon for the 2018 downtown show at the Bayou City Art Festival. He uses old circuit boards when he creates his art. Hopefully, my photos will show how intricate his pieces are and why I chose to take a closer look at them.
Houstonians celebrate the arts! Whether they like going to museums to view the collections or homes and gardens like Bayou Bend, which is now a part of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the choices are many. One never need even enter a museum, studio, or art gallery to see artistic expressions of art. Public art is abundant in our beautiful city, as well as the Houston metro area. Colorful murals and sculptures dot the landscape in parks as well as on buildings or adjacent buildings.
What is featured on this page is a mere sample of what there was to see and enjoy at this fall Bayou City Art Festival. In other words, if you missed it, or have never attended it, there is always next year! It is one of the many festivals in Houston that will repeat next year. Look for some of the same artists as well as new ones who will be on the roster. In conclusion, it is an enjoyable, eye-opening experience!