Beans Barton’s Passions + Funky J. Harding Co. Mural
Who is Beans Barton?
Describing Beans Barton can probably be better done by showing some videos of him and his Bi-Peds band in action; showing off some of his art whether it be on walls, cars or shoes…yes shoes!…and telling a bit about his interests.
Local Houston resident and artist Dale “Beans” Barton was born in Ohio but has lived here ever since the age of eight. He was alive and experienced the turbulent years of the 1960s which has undoubtedly influenced the person he has become as well as his unique way of expressing art.
Poetry interested him and he studied at the University of Houston. His interests however have taken him far afield of of what might have come from that sole pursuit. He was also obviously interested in art, music and a certain…what might be considered to be wacky…sense of showmanship.
At the least, it can be said that Beans Barton is endowed with a terrific sense of humor after looking at a couple of his videos. Beans Barton and his Bi-Peds Band have developed a genuine cult following of Houstonians who appreciate comedy while listening to rock and roll theater.
And theater it is! Crazy costumes and antics on stage where audience participation is welcomed and in some cases has become an integral part of the act is fun for those who have come to expect the unexpected.
Beans Barton Art Murals
Noticing this brightly colored and whimsical mural on the exterior side of the J.Harding & Co. building in the Houston Heights one day and taking a couple of photos of it is what led me to learning about the artist Beans Barton. J. Harding & Co. is a promotional product manufacturer and distributor and has been in existence since 1978.
In reading about Beans Barton, he has also helped to create a mural at Travis Elementary School in Houston and has created a Spark Calendar.
Just like fellow Houston artist Carter Ernst, he is obviously interested in helping the Spark Park movement in our city where public school grounds are transformed into beautiful and usable spaces for not only the school children, but the community at large after school hours.
Beans Barton has also created some art cars which can be viewed in the following video along with others of his functional creations.
Beans Barton benefits Houston Food Bank!
Ever since 1992, at every performance of the Bi-Ped band, Beans Barton creates a painting in front of the entire audience while some of the other performers are playing.
These pieces of art are auctioned off bringing in whatever the highest bidder is willing to pay. Often pieces go for several hundred dollars and sometimes more.
All of the proceeds of those auctioned pieces benefit the Houston Food Bank which helps feed over 865,000 people a year. Beneficiaries range from school kids who would otherwise go to bed hungry to seniors who are struggling to make ends meet.
The Houston Food Bank is a multi service entity and partners with around 600 other agencies who help serve the poor and people who need a hand up in other ways. It is wonderful that Beans Barton uses his artistic talents to benefit others in this specific way!
In the video below Beans Barton explains some of his art in the Houston Art Car Museum.
Where to find Beans Barton
Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar in the Heights is located at 1031 E. 24th Street and from what I read Beans Barton and his Bi-Ped Band generally perform there one time a month.
It undoubtedly takes a bit of coordination to set the stage for the comedic craziness that accompanies the costuming and music that spews forth to the faithful followers each time. The band members must have fun with rehearsals prior to each show I am guessing!
Bean Barton’s art is featured every first Saturday of the month at J. Harvey Co. in the Heights where this mural is located. Undoubtedly you can meet the artist as well as marvel at the inspiration behind his art objects.
For the person who has everything, perhaps some Bean Barton painted boots would make the perfect gift to strut your stuff at the next party you attend. Or maybe you want an art car of your very own to drive around town or be able to be seated on some of his uniquely painted furniture benches.
Come and meet Bean Barton face to face and learn more about his particular brand of art as well as find out where next he and his band will be performing.
The Bi-Peds have appeared in Discovery Green Park for the summer concert series in downtown Houston and undoubtedly have appeared in other venues as well.
Houston and the Arts
Houston, Texas is currently the 4th largest city in the United States. As such we have our fair share of many different things in which similar entities might also be found in other cities. What distinguishes us from other places however is our representation in the field of arts.
Houston seems to be a magnet for the arts! We have a professional ballet company, opera company, symphony and several professional theater organizations. We also have a Museum District where our wonderful Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Contemporary Arts Museum, the Menil Collection and many more art related museums are intermingled with museums of all types.
Commercial art galleries are aplenty in Houston with collections of just about every type of art imaginable and to suit a variety of budgets.
Public art is also well represented. One never need set foot inside of a gallery if one is not so inclined and various types of art will still be discernible as one moves about our fair city. Artists of all types live, work and play in Houston and we Houstonians are the beneficiaries of their talent.
Location where you can see this mural: 424 W 19th Street, Houston, Texas 77008.