Sunday, March 29, 2015

a day trip to the Bayou City Art Festival

It's been a long time since I was at a quality art and craft fair so Friday, my sister and I headed into the city for the first day of the Bayou City Art Festival. This year the show included 450 artists working in 19 different categories (photography and mixed media have 2 categories each, mixed media/3D is a separate category than sculpture/3D, and then one for functional art, and of course the traditional clay, glass, wood, metal, jewelry, etc.). I wonder with so many categories, how an artist selects one. Some would be easy like jewelry. But what if you do sculptures in wood or clay or metal? Or the three people who made musical instruments out of wood?

Anyway, it was a great show on a beautiful spring day and by going on a week day, there weren't so many people that you couldn't even get in the booths to see the work or lines so long at the concessions that you had to wait an impossibly long time just to get water. By the time we made it all the way around the loop we were just in overload. I quit looking at the jewelry about halfway through because I just don't wear jewelry and especially not expensive jewelry no matter how gorgeous it is. And I stopped looking at the painters and photographers works because most of it didn't appeal to me however well crafted and so many of the canvasses were huge with huge price tags. In fact, there was lots of very expensive art there.

I purposely left my camera in the car because I didn't want to have to carry it around all day. After asking my sister for the third time to take a picture of something for me, she handed over her iPhone for the duration. The quality of the pictures is not always great but these are some of the things that really caught my eye (all the artists' names link to their websites).

As soon as we entered, to the left, was a metal artist with a fun and quirky flair, Fred Conlon, and his work immediately drew me over. He must have had hundreds of pieces spread out under the trees there. It didn't take me long to find the one I wanted and then I dithered over spending my money on the very first thing that I saw before seeing anything else of the show. So, I just took a leap of faith and forked over my money. He held it for me til we left.

Venus flytrap with spark plug dragonfly

The man directly across, Andrew Carson, did kinetic sculpture out of metal and glass. You can't tell it from the photo but these were in constant motion.

Further in, I thought these strumsticks by Bob McNally were elegantly beautiful even though I don't play any musical instruments.

These gorgeous beaded 'heritage' purses by Jacqui Uza were stunning. They not only looked beautiful, they felt good in your hands and what is even more amazing is that they are knitted. The beads are knitted in as she goes and she knits them all of a piece. She showed me the one she was working on where she had already 'turned the corner' and was working back up the other side.

Brenda McMahon was showing these beautiful softly colored vessels with natural materials adorning the tops. She uses a saggar fire form of raku which produces the soft colors.

These baskets by Cindy Killgore (who, unfortunately, does not have a web site or FB page so I can't give you a link besides her email address) are woven using pine needles and raffia. She had a set of shallow round forms on a wall that were based on butterfly wing colors and patterns but apparently I didn't get a picture of those.

Another potter whose work caught my attention is Cathra-Anne Barker. Her vessels are highly decorated with wax resisted glazes that she makes herself.

These beautiful obsidian wind chimes are made by Deborah and Richard Bloom. The shards of obsidian have the sweetest tinkling sound and are ornamented with all sorts of natural materials...bits of wood, dried seed pods and berries, bone and thorns, antlers and shell.

I loved the sweet little watercolors of leaves and bugs and fungus and feathers and moths and so on by Katie Musolff.

The enormous metal sculptures of cactus and palm trees by Richard Turner were wonderful. We were a little amused when he told us he was from Kansas...because they have so many cactus in Kansas?

These very cool birdhouses by David Boone stopped us in our tracks.

More gorgeous stuff continued in the next post...


  1. My favorite picture--the kinetic sculpture that included so many booths. Makes we want to be in the midst of it all again.

  2. Except for the cacti, that looks a lot like the art festival we have in town.

  3. Again I say- we are very much alike. Every thing you took pictures of and posted are things I would have been drawn to.
    Sometimes knowing that human beings feel compelled to make art- just that simple fact- brings me to my knees in wonder.

  4. glad you're saving some for the next post. too much cool stuff all at once! LOVE your choice - too dang cute! :) the knitted bags with beads. wow! birdhouses - awesome! oh, my fave - the watercolors framed in shadow boxes like they are samples of the real thing! fabulous1

  5. i really love everything, so many very unique, beautiful works of art. the knitted bags were my favorite but i LOVED the baskets and the birdhouses almost as much!!!

    i just adore events like this!!!!

  6. well THAT was fun! Love the raku pots and the baskets.

  7. It's times like that that I'm glad I have a very limited amount of money to spend on artwork - because there's not room in my house for everything I liked! Of course, several of those things go outside... :)

  8. Beautiful and interesting art. I rarely buy anything, but do love to look.

  9. The variety of human creativity never fails to amaze me.

  10. This last weekend was the "big" spring arts and crafts showing here. I went but I didn't see anything 1/2 as great as these artists showed. Beautiful art.

  11. Each show has its own personality that brings me in or out at looking at things. That was what I liked living on the other side of the state near a big metro area. Sometimes it is more social seeing people I saw the last time they had a show.

  12. I love arts and craft shows. I'm always amazed at the variety, the colors and beauty. It fascinates me that there is so many people that are almost driven to create. Thanks for sharing this fun experience.

  13. Brilliant Ellen, sounds like a great day, love your purchase and thanks for all links too

  14. I love art shows. Tampa has a great one I used to go to every year. This looks very similar. The venus flytrap is terrific and perfect for your yard!

  15. i hope the artists had a successful show. I would hate to see these types of events cease...where was your "booth"?


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