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Bayou City Art Festival Downtown Houston

Updated on April 8, 2020
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

View of City Hall in Downtown Houston at the Bayou City Art Festival
View of City Hall in Downtown Houston at the Bayou City Art Festival | Source

Bayou City Art Festival

The Bayou City Art Festival is a biannual event. Each spring, it is held in Memorial Park, and every fall, this festival graces the streets of downtown Houston. This juried art show features artists from places near and far. The wide variety of art in this outdoor environment has almost every imaginable medium represented and, most importantly, price ranges to suit just about anyone’s wallet.

October 12th and 13th were the dates of this art happening in 2019. It was a glorious weekend, and people could stroll the grounds and surrounding streets from 10 AM to 6 PM. My husband and I spent many hours there on Saturday. People can purchase tickets for one day or both days. With about 300 artists displaying their works, I can easily understand why people might wish to spend parts of two days there.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
View of some downtown buildings from Hermann Square Another view of some downtown buildings from Hermann Square
View of some downtown buildings from Hermann Square
View of some downtown buildings from Hermann Square | Source
Another view of some downtown buildings from Hermann Square
Another view of some downtown buildings from Hermann Square | Source

City Hall and Hermann Square

The display centerpiece of the Bayou City Art Festival in the downtown area of Houston is City Hall and the expansive lawn area of Hermann Square with the lovely reflection pool. Its address is 901 Bagby Street, Houston, Texas 77002.

Surrounding streets are blocked off to accommodate the many additional artist booths, food trucks, and entertainment that spills over into Sam Houston Park. The Houston Public Library central campus is adjacent to City Hall.

George Hermann was a well-known Houston philanthropist and had many things named after him, including Hermann Hospital and Hermann Park.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Hermann Square PlaqueCrowds milling about during the festivalDowntown Houston during the Bayou City Art FestivalHermann Square during the festivalPretty reflection pool in Hermann SquareBayou City Art Festival 2019 Downtown Houston
Hermann Square Plaque
Hermann Square Plaque | Source
Crowds milling about during the festival
Crowds milling about during the festival | Source
Downtown Houston during the Bayou City Art Festival
Downtown Houston during the Bayou City Art Festival | Source
Hermann Square during the festival
Hermann Square during the festival | Source
Pretty reflection pool in Hermann Square
Pretty reflection pool in Hermann Square | Source
Bayou City Art Festival 2019 Downtown Houston
Bayou City Art Festival 2019 Downtown Houston | Source

Aiding Nonprofit Organizations

The Art Colony Association, Inc. is a nonprofit organization. They, along with grants from the City of Houston and the Houston Arts Alliance, put on this Bayou City Art Festival each year.

The beautiful part about this, other than getting to see and potentially purchase good art, is that funds are raised to support local nonprofits in our area. Consequently, this year, the money went to the Houston SPCA, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Ronald McDonald House Charities in Houston, and Galveston, among others.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Art by Jay Long at the Bayou City Art FestivalArtist Dania Olivares was standing in front of some of her mixed media pieces.Closeup of mixed media pieces by Dania OlivaresChris Vance Paintings – He was the featured artist at this very festival in 2018.Chris Cumbie Art at the Bayou City Art FestivalAdam Homan metal sculptureAdam Homan metal sculptureAdam Homan metal sculpture
Art by Jay Long at the Bayou City Art Festival
Art by Jay Long at the Bayou City Art Festival | Source
Artist Dania Olivares was standing in front of some of her mixed media pieces.
Artist Dania Olivares was standing in front of some of her mixed media pieces. | Source
Closeup of mixed media pieces by Dania Olivares
Closeup of mixed media pieces by Dania Olivares | Source
Chris Vance Paintings – He was the featured artist at this very festival in 2018.
Chris Vance Paintings – He was the featured artist at this very festival in 2018. | Source
Chris Cumbie Art at the Bayou City Art Festival
Chris Cumbie Art at the Bayou City Art Festival | Source
Adam Homan metal sculpture
Adam Homan metal sculpture | Source
Adam Homan metal sculpture
Adam Homan metal sculpture | Source
Adam Homan metal sculpture
Adam Homan metal sculpture | Source

Featured Artist

At each spring and fall festival, there is a featured artist. This year it was an award-winning photographer by the name of Clifton Henri. My husband and I happened to see him on a local television show before seeing him in person at the Bayou City Art Festival. Mr. Henri states that he likes to tell stories with his photographs regarding cultural and world issues. On his website, he mentions being influenced by the Civil Rights Movement.

He does with photography what local artist Charles Criner does with his paintings and lithography.

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Featured artist Clifton Henri standing on the rightPhotography art of Clifton HenriPhotograph by Clifton HenriThe asking price of this signature piece by Clifton Henri is $6000.
Featured artist Clifton Henri standing on the right
Featured artist Clifton Henri standing on the right | Source
Photography art of Clifton Henri
Photography art of Clifton Henri | Source
Photograph by Clifton Henri
Photograph by Clifton Henri | Source
The asking price of this signature piece by Clifton Henri is $6000.
The asking price of this signature piece by Clifton Henri is $6000. | Source

Children’s Creative Zone

In a portion of Sam Houston Park was the Children’s Creative Zone. All of the nonprofits benefiting from this show had booths where the children could be creative and have fun.

Spread out in the lawn area were colorful red chairs where parents could rest while watching their children run, play, and chase bubbles at the time we were there.

Jennifer Lang, who wore a colorful outfit with bubbles on it, continually made immense bubbles that would break apart and had children, as well as adults, smiling. I know that it had me wearing a big smile on my face! Others could also try their hand at making bubbles. Even some children were doing it.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Jennifer Lang in her bubbles outfitHaving so much fun with bubbles!Children’s Creative Zone area in Sam Houston Park at the Bayou City Art Festival
Jennifer Lang in her bubbles outfit
Jennifer Lang in her bubbles outfit | Source
Having so much fun with bubbles!
Having so much fun with bubbles! | Source
Children’s Creative Zone area in Sam Houston Park at the Bayou City Art Festival
Children’s Creative Zone area in Sam Houston Park at the Bayou City Art Festival | Source

So Much to See and Enjoy!

In addition to hundreds of artists with everything from magnificent paintings to quirky and fun ones, imaginative sculptures, both large and small, jewelry of all types, beautiful glass art, and so much more, there were performers making music. Also on-site were food trucks and vendors selling beverages.

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Jimmy Ellis digital art at the Bayou City Art FestivalPaintings by Vladimir OvtcharovLocal artist April Murphy who was the featured artist in Memorial Park in 2016.People were walking by sculptures by Eric Ober at the Bayou City Art Festival.Sheryl McDonald Art at the downtown festivalArtist Jerry Locke mountain stone sculpturesUnique staging for jewelry sales in this booth at the Bayou City Art FestivalArt by Syd MoenFood Trucks at the Bayou City Art FestivalZachary Lerner, one of the entertainers at the Bayou City Art Festival in downtown Houston.Reimagined works of antiquity by Mark WhitcombMore repurposed forms of art by Mark Whitcomb
Jimmy Ellis digital art at the Bayou City Art Festival
Jimmy Ellis digital art at the Bayou City Art Festival | Source
Paintings by Vladimir Ovtcharov
Paintings by Vladimir Ovtcharov | Source
Local artist April Murphy who was the featured artist in Memorial Park in 2016.
Local artist April Murphy who was the featured artist in Memorial Park in 2016. | Source
People were walking by sculptures by Eric Ober at the Bayou City Art Festival.
People were walking by sculptures by Eric Ober at the Bayou City Art Festival. | Source
Sheryl McDonald Art at the downtown festival
Sheryl McDonald Art at the downtown festival | Source
Artist Jerry Locke mountain stone sculptures
Artist Jerry Locke mountain stone sculptures | Source
Unique staging for jewelry sales in this booth at the Bayou City Art Festival
Unique staging for jewelry sales in this booth at the Bayou City Art Festival | Source
Art by Syd Moen
Art by Syd Moen | Source
Food Trucks at the Bayou City Art Festival
Food Trucks at the Bayou City Art Festival | Source
Zachary Lerner, one of the entertainers at the Bayou City Art Festival in downtown Houston.
Zachary Lerner, one of the entertainers at the Bayou City Art Festival in downtown Houston. | Source
Reimagined works of antiquity by Mark Whitcomb
Reimagined works of antiquity by Mark Whitcomb | Source
More repurposed forms of art by Mark Whitcomb
More repurposed forms of art by Mark Whitcomb | Source

Circuit Board Art

Many things caught my eye as we roamed the grounds, but one thing, in particular, drew me in to take a closer look.

Gregory Arth was awarded the Best in Show ribbon for the 2018 downtown show at the Bayou City Art Festival. He uses old circuit boards when he creates his art. Hopefully, my photos will show how intricate his pieces are and why I chose to take a closer look at them.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Gregory Arth got the 2018 Best of Show ribbon for this piece of his art.A closer look at this piece of artGregory Art posted answers to questions about his craft.Einstein by Gregory ArthGregory Arth Art at the Bayou City Art Festival
Gregory Arth got the 2018 Best of Show ribbon for this piece of his art.
Gregory Arth got the 2018 Best of Show ribbon for this piece of his art. | Source
A closer look at this piece of art
A closer look at this piece of art | Source
Gregory Art posted answers to questions about his craft.
Gregory Art posted answers to questions about his craft. | Source
Einstein by Gregory Arth
Einstein by Gregory Arth | Source
Gregory Arth Art at the Bayou City Art Festival
Gregory Arth Art at the Bayou City Art Festival | Source

Houston Arts

Houstonians celebrate the arts! Whether they like going to museums to view the collections or homes and gardens like Bayou Bend, which is now a part of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the choices are many. One never need even enter a museum, studio, or art gallery to see artistic expressions of art.

Public art is abundant in our beautiful city, as well as the Houston metro area. Colorful murals and sculptures dot the landscape in parks as well as on buildings or adjacent buildings.

Featured items on this page are a small sample of what there was to see and enjoy at this fall Bayou City Art Festival. It is one of the many festivals in Houston that repeat annually. Look for some of the same artists as well as new ones who will be on the roster. In conclusion, it is an enjoyable, eye-opening experience!

Art is like a border of flowers along the course of civilization.

— Lincoln Steffens

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Peggy Woods

Comments

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    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      9 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi FlourishAnyway,

      It may be some time before it is safe to attend festivals like the Bayou City Art Festival again. I am so glad that we attended this one. Everyone was having fun watching those gigantic bubbles floating in the air.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      9 months ago from USA

      Oh, how much change a year brings. I hope this festival was able to take place in some form this year. It looks and sounds like so much fun. That bubble lady is really something! What I would not give for a nice art in the park show!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      10 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi C E Clark,

      We are looking forward to that cool front that is predicted mid-week down here. It has been one long and hot summer! Thanks for the shares of this post, and stay safe where you live. We are far from defeating COVID. Now with the Labor Day parties that will undoubtedly take place and upcoming holidays, the infection rates will probably go up again with people not taking this pandemic seriously.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      10 months ago from North Texas

      This looks both fun and interesting. Your photos are fantastic as always. You should put some of your wood cuttings and photos in this show if you aren't already doing so.

      If the weather is cooling down there like it is up here and continues to do that into fall, the coming autumn show should be all the better. Posting this to FB & AH.

      Hope all is well with you, and that you and hubby are staying healthy and safe from this virus that continues to rage, with a thousand or more deaths everyday. :(

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Pamela,

      We do appreciate the arts in this city! Thanks for reading and commenting on so many of my posts.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Ruby,

      We have also purchased art at festivals and other public showings.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Liz,

      The Bayou City Art Festival was an enjoyable event to attend. Perhaps the next time (post-pandemic), we will go to Memorial Park to see it.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Pamela,

      Yes, attending festivals can be fun and the variety of them is amazing in a city this size.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      15 months ago from Sunny Florida

      The various types of art are so beautiful for the displays in Houston. It is great that art is appreciate and displayed in the city to this degree. I love the great variety of art that appears throughout the city.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Bill,

      I am pleased to be able to showcase what our city has to offer by way of the arts and other subjects. You now know much more about our area than you did previously, judging from your comments.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      15 months ago from Southern Illinois

      This would be my favorite place to visit. I love to go to art festivals. I went to one in Fl. and bought a painting that I cherish.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      15 months ago from UK

      This looks like an amazing festival. You have given a thorough account of it.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      15 months ago from Sunny Florida

      I really enjoy art festivals and there is much to see in Housoton's festivals. We have art festivals here as well and I always try to attend. There are numerous very good artists in Houston.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I just love Houston's love of The Arts. Love that reflecting pool, too.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Jill,

      At each bi-annual festival, there is one artist whose work gets the spotlight. Henri's work was beautiful.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 

      15 months ago from United States

      Enjoyed the article, especially your spotlight of Henri and the photos of his photographs. They are amazing.

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