Houston artists and art supporters continue to step up and innovate and help each other out. Here are some updates and something new to have a look at.
In mid-February, I interviewed PK Das, the founder of Aseity Creations, which was set for a grand opening in March, just when the COVID-19 shutdowns began in Houston. Das persevered, though, and has hosted online webinars to stave off discouragement in the arts community. While the opening is postponed, sign up for the newsletter and explore the website at https://imagenuine.com.
Bayou City Art Festival announced that the spring festival will be transitioned to the downtown location and dates of Oct. 11-12.
The Art Colony Association (ACA), Inc., the producer of Bayou City Art Festival, also just announced the winners from the 8th Annual Middle School Art Competition. The art competition is an education initiative offered by ACA that gives students in grades 5-8 from the Greater Houston area the opportunity to participate in a 2-D juried competition, have their art displayed in public, interact with working artists and win prizes for themselves and their school’s art program.
While the students’ competition was held in February, the winners were not able to have their work displayed at the spring festival, a big deal for these talented young artists.
The top three winners and the winner of the online Jim Barron People’s Choice Award are “Southern Lovin” by Jia Luthra (first place), “Indigo Rider” by Alejandra Rincon (second place), “Quincy Rabbit” by Casandra Magee (third place) and “The Journey” by Arianna Digman (Jim Barron People’s Choice Award).
ACA is dedicated to helping arts education while partnering with teachers and students in the Greater Houston area. More than 400 students participated in the annual competition, and artwork from the finalists is posted online at artcolonyassociation.org/education.
Houston nonprofit Artists for Artists is now hosting a virtual art exhibition to assist with COVID-19 recovery. The exhibit, titled “Adaptation,” aims to raise funds for local artists in need in the wake of show cancellations.
Artists for Artists opened its first-ever virtual exhibition on March 27, with a live broadcast-like reception on Instagram. It included live virtual artist discussions with Wood Anthony, Tra’ Slaughter and home cocktail demonstrations from Robin Berswick, owner of Double Trouble Caffeine & Cocktails.
This month-long, state-of-the-art and hyperlocal experience will allow patrons to submerge themselves in a 3-D reality taking a virtual stroll, room to room from the comfort of your own home. Each piece showcased will be available for purchase online. Visitors can explore the exhibition, visit artist bio pages, and watch streaming artist interviews.
Artists for Artists is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides emergency recovery grants and free medical programming to Houston-based artists. The exhibition runs through the month of April with a virtual closing exhibition taking place from 6-10 p.m. April 30 that will include a lineup of creatives. Visit http://artists4artists.org for more information.
Finally, good friend and artist, Solomon Kane, alerted me to a new website promoting local artists, artvirus.org. The website showcases one image of art with details and links to the artist’s website. Sales happen between you and the artist.
“The site was the brainchild of Christian Sarkar and Clark Vincent Fox. I’m helping if needed,” Kane wrote in an email. “It’s a website to help artists promote themselves during the pandemic since galleries and studios are closed.”
Dozens of artists and makers have lost out in untold sales due to the event cancellations in the Houston area. My market websites always have profile pages for the exhibitors and remain online. You can see and shop directly from the artists online. I also set up Facebook groups for a little socializing. Details for all are at SaturdayArtMarkets.com.
Cohen is an artist and founder of the First Saturday Arts Market and the Market at Sawyer Yards. Find him at ArtValet.com.