If there is an opposite to the perfect storm, it may very well be this weekend for Houston. Low temperatures and low humidity — can I get a high five? That is great news for outdoor events that typically gamble on our sometimes-volatile weather.
For artists attending the Bayou City Art Festival Downtown, this is really excellent news. The Art Colony Association, Inc. (ACA), producers of the popular festival, will celebrate 48 years of art for all and giving back to local nonprofits on the streets of Downtown Houston from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12-13, at 901 Bagby St.
The festival spotlights 300 artists, representing 19 different disciplines, and is Houston’s largest art festival. As one of the top fine art festivals in the country, the weekend event will provide patrons with the opportunity to personally meet artists, view original works and purchase world-class art, prints, jewelry, sculptures and more.
There are many more artists from Houston and neighboring Texas cities than ever before. Each artist has a sign on his or her booth stating where they are from. It’s amazing to see just how far these artists travel for this festival.
The ACA chooses one artist to be featured at each festival — downtown in the fall and Memorial Park in the spring. That artist’s work is then used to promote that festival. The downtown 2019 featured artist is Clifton Henri, an award-winning photographer and visual artist from Chicago.
Henri began his professional career as an art director for a boutique advertising agency and transitioned into becoming a full-time independent artist. Henri’s work is rooted in identity, under-representation and self-declaration. Influenced by imagery from the Civil Rights Movement and the Harlem Renaissance eras, Henri’s photographs are based on personal and shared experiences of humanity. With his art, Henri challenges his viewers to find themselves, but also the poetry within the photograph. Henri exhibits across the U.S. with galleries and in juried art festivals and he has won more than 50 awards since 2008.
During the past 48 years, attracting crowds of 35,000 annually, the Bayou City Art Festival has raised more than $3.6 million in support of local nonprofit organizations. Each nonprofit provides volunteers and has the option to host an arts-and-craft station in the Children’s Creative Zone. The eight nonprofit partners benefiting from the 2019 Bayou City Art Festival Downtown include: A Cause to Give Us Paws; Fresh Arts; Houston SPCA; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Houston/Galveston; The Arc of Greater Houston; University of Houston – Clear Lake Art Gallery and Volunteer Houston.
The Children’s Creative Zone is worth the trip downtown for parents who might be sitting on the fence on this one. Every time I’ve gone through it amazes me how many children are there creating. The volunteers do an absolutely amazing job and from the chatter and laughter, it’s obvious that everyone is having a good time.
Adult tickets are $12 if purchased online at www.artcolonyassociation.org. At the gate, they are $15 if paying with cash or $16 if using a credit card. Tickets are $5 for children ages 6-12. Admission is free for children younger than 6.
For more information, visit www.artcolonyassociation.org.
Cohen is an artist and founder of First Saturday Arts Market and the Market at Sawyer Yards. Find him at ArtValet.com.