Bayou City Art Festival: Highlights

Houston’s iconic three-day art festival returned for its annual spring Bayou City Art Festival, an outdoor event located in Memorial Park. The art festival showcased hundreds of artists in 19 different categories, from clay art to jewelry. The festival was organized by a non-profit organization called The Art Colony Associations Inc., which was formerly known as the Westheimer Colony Art Festival. The producers of this event wanted to provide “unique art experiences and education for the greater Houston community by bringing diverse artists… and supporting local non-profit organizations.” 

I had the privilege of attending and interacting with the artists. Here are some of the artists I had the opportunity to chat with and discuss their artworks.

I. Mary Torres: Glass

Uknown, Mary Torres

I was initially drawn to Torres’s booth because of how different and unique her glassworks were to me. With glass being one of the most unforgiving mediums to work with, Torres felt like being a fused glass artist is where she was meant to be. She weaves these strand-like glasses as if they were threads for knitting, and it forms a beautiful image as a whole. One of the artworks she presented during the festival was an image of a clear blue sky by the beach. It was such a peaceful scenery to look at. At the same time, she encouraged viewers to touch her artwork. She wants people to feel and experience her work. As for the clear blue sky by the beach artwork on display, the weaving of glass somewhat resembles what waves would feel like as if the waters were rising and falling. 

II. Francisco Hernández: Acrylic and Oil Painting

Francisco Hernández is a Venezuelan artist that works with geometric shapes and bold, vibrant color schemes. His works somewhat resemble Jesus Rafael Soto’s artwork but with his own personal twist. Upon mentioning this to him, he admitted that Soto was one of his inspirations for his works. With his play with geometric shapes and colors, it seems like each piece moves along with the viewer, adding his own twist of optical illusion. His paintings are quite enjoyable to look at and interact with. 

III. Jim Koehn: Watercolor Painting

As a proud Houstonian, Jim Koehn’s watercolor paintings attracted me. I felt like I was destined to be in his booth. Few of his artworks feature Houston’s iconic landmarks such as the Minute Maid Park or the original Be Someone graffiti found on I-45 as you enter the beautiful Houston Downtown skyline. Most of his artworks are inspired by his travels and everyday life. These places he painted are not just images, but memories for him and for everyone who sees it.  I felt compelled to have at least one of his paintings having grown up in Houston. As someone who enjoys going to dive bars, I purchased two watercolor paintings that featured two of my personal favorite spots in Houston: Warren’s Inn and Poison Girl. 

IV. Bryane Broadie: Digital Photography

Bryane Broadie uses his artistic skill as a form of self-expression to showcase Black history. One artwork that got Broadie and me talking was his work titled A Plucked Flower. According to Broadie, due to the recent death of George Floyd and other deaths caused by police brutality, too many Black men, particularly young men, were plucked off from this planet before they were given the time to fully bloom. This art piece is giving awareness to the epidemic of police brutality. Because of his amazing artistic talent in bringing images to life, Bryane Broadie won 1st place in Best in Show during Houston’s Bayou City Art Festival. 

V. Sean Corner: Sculpture

Sean Corner is an artist from Wichita, Kansas. His works focus on figures or facial features using clay to form these sculptures. During the festival, people can actually witness Sean sculpting his new designs. One piece that stood out to me while inside his booth was his work titled Which One Will You Choose, which shows the figure in deep concentration and conflict as he picks one out of three facial expressions in a whirlpool. 

VI. Patsy Lindamood: Drawing

Patsy Lindamood is a graphite artist that creates an image that looks like it was photographed. One art piece that was on display during the festival was the Old Star Drug Store, found in her latest Galveston Streetscapes series. She talked about how this was inspired by Galveston’s historic district called The Strand, and one of the stores in that street was the old drugstore that still stands today. Another artwork on display titled Soaring Above Justice looks like an image that was photographed in black and white. What I admire about this piece is the building and its texture. I felt like Lindamood captured each stone that created this building, each with unique shading and lining. 

These six artists are only a few of the artists that were present during the festival. There were hundreds more that showcased all their unique forms of art. Bayou City Art Festival will return on October 14-15 for the fall festival in Downtown Houston. 

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