We’ve got a big weekend coming up filled with great art events and happenings.
ArtCrawl Houston celebrates 25 years this Saturday. I list them first because the event is really the granddaddy of them all.
“Since 1992, the tradition of the artists ‘Open studios’ takes place on the Saturday before Thanksgiving,” the website states. “Visitors have the opportunity to participate in the live/work/show spaces of these neighborhood ‘Urban pioneers.’ The mission of the ArtCrawl is to assist the public in understanding contemporary art by directly involving the visitors in a dialogue with local artists in the artist warehouse district of downtown Houston.”
Since its inception, downtown has obviously changed a lot. The event now incorporates dozens of venues, some impromptu like Last Concert Cafe, where artists set up shop pop-up style to offer their work to the public.
Be sure to visit Motherdog Studios, 720 Walnut, 77002. The founder, John Runnels, has his studio here and my favorite artist, Liz Conces Spencer.
1) Hardy & Nance Street Studios, 902 Hardy St. With an art show hosted by Texas Art Asylum.
2) Elder Street Artist Lofts, I think this is the only living/working studio in Houston, housed in the former Jefferson Davis Hospital. 1101 Elder St., Houston 77007. This is closer to the ArtCrawl I remember when it started including troubadour style performances in the hallways. It doesn’t get cooler than this!
Visit the website and download the updated map and event listing artcrawlhouston.com. Times vary but most open at 10 a.m.
Houston Via Colori Street Painting Festival is Saturday and Sunday and benefits The Center for Hearing and Speech. This festival has evolved into one of Houston’s finest in my opinion. Wander the streets and watch 200 professional artists and even school children create masterpieces of art with a special street chalk. Find $7 general entry. Hermann Square at City Hall www.centerhearingandspeech.org/via-colori.
12th Annual Winter Holiday Art Market or simply WHAM, (the best acronym for an art show out there) hosted by Fresh Arts, takes place over two days and a night this weekend starting Friday evening with an Ugly Sweater Preview Party 6-10 p.m. WHAM takes over the hallways of Winter Street Studios (2nd floor) with over 60 artists representing nearly every medium.
This event is just fun. Great shopping, food, drink and merriment. Saturday the market is open 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. There are discounted tickets online at fresharts.org. Winter Street Studios is located at 2101 Winter St.
8th Annual Friendswood Art in the Park Festival is also this weekend and many of the artists attend my shows – don’t miss this one. Located under the magnificent trees at Stevenson Park at 1100 S. Friendswood Dr., Friendswood, Texas 77546. Meet The Walking Tree of Life, listen to an impressive list of musicians, including former Heights fav’s Grifters & Shills, at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Find more at aitpfestival.com.
Cohen is an artist and founder of First Saturday Arts Market and the new Market at Sawyer Yards, find him at ArtValet.com