Bayou City Art Festival Downtown marks its 46th year this Saturday and Sunday and will be open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., both days. The center of it all is around City Hall at 901 Bagby St., and continues on surrounding streets.
Not long after Hurricane Harvey put Houston in the national news spotlight, the phone calls and emails from distressed artists around the country began to flood the Art Colony Association offices, the nonprofit that puts on the Bayou City Art Festival. The majority wanted to know if the show was still on and a few flat out cancelled.
Good news for the waitlisted artists, most live in or near Houston.
Clay artist Doni Langlois was notified with many other Houston area artists that space had opened up at the festival. Great news! Competition for a show like Bayou City Art Festival is fierce.
Langlois, a lifelong resident of Houston, is only among ten artists in the clay category and just one of two from Texas.
I met Langlois a little over a year ago, and I’m sure like most of her customers, fell in love with her wide assortment of lightly distressed clay hearts immediately. These hearts, her signature piece, are actually rattles, encouraging everyone to cautiously shake the artwork.
Much of Langlois’ work is functional from whimsical bottles, vases, cruets and what I’ve labeled “shot” glasses. Langlois incorporates her skills honed as a decorative finisher into her work, using glazes and other finishes to give her work a naturally aged look.
I visited Langlois at her studio this week.
Is clay your full-time work now?
“Yes full-time – with a little-mixed media thrown in and the occasional house staging job, ” Langlois said. “I’ve been doing ceramic art for about 25 years as a hobby. Two years ago I decided to make a go at being a studio artist finally honing in on mostly clay.”
Whats your favorite part about creating with clay over your other artistic endeavors?
“I’m a little part engineer – so I love figuring out how to make a design that I want, which is why I like to hand build as opposed to throwing on the wheel,” Langlois said. “Painting always seemed tedious to me – I never knew when I was done – but I don’t get that way with clay. I also LOVE the way it smells…. muddy and earthy; and fire.”
Find Langlois in booth #518 and online at www.artfullifeclay.com. Get details about the festival, including where to purchase discounted tickets, at BayouCityArtFestival.com.
Saturday, I’ll be at my Market at Sawyer Yards, 1502 Sawyer St., where I first became a huge fan of Langlois. I’ll be in front of Langlois’ booth bright and early Sunday morning, hopefully buying my favorite pieces!
Cohen is an artist and founder of First Saturday Arts Market and the new Market at Sawyer Yards, find him at ArtValet.com