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More changes at Bayou City Art Festival in Houston

Bayou City is moving on with its plans for an even better festival in Memorial Park March 27 & 28.

A recent visit to their website shows a new director and art fair contact. 

Susan Fowler, former executive director, was terminated at the end of the year. She had implemented the board's decision to expand the show to 450 artists last winter when a shortfall in the budget needed to be met. Kelly Kindred, the former executive director and most recently art fair director who had worked for the Art Colony Association (parent of the show) for seven years, was also laid off at that time. 

This was the board's decision as they continue to meet the financial needs of the organization. The new executive director is Joseph Plumbar, the chair of the board of directors.

Kelly will be missed as she sincerely worked hard for the organization and always was there with the artists needs foremost.

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Comment by Barry Bernstein on January 22, 2015 at 10:42am

Connie, you can reveal anything you want that you know about me. I would not be offended. I know a certain amount of personal information about you, except I can't think of one thing that would get you in trouble. You are too nice, honorable, and trustworthy.

Comment by Barry Bernstein on January 22, 2015 at 10:37am

Hey, I'm sticking up for you!! Meanwhile everyone uses "passive/aggressive" incorrectly. It is a psychological term that describes a certain behavior. Let's say I want us to go to a movie with friends and you "passively" agree. Later, as we are getting ready to go, you "aggressively" start an argument or get mad about something inane and say you are not going. That is passive/aggressive. It refers to an act you passively agree to, even though you don't want to do it, and then aggressively create an event to keep you from doing the said act.

I have to laugh. On your podcasts, sometimes, you are taking someone to task by being sarcastic. However, I have to listen very carefully for that sarcastic tone because you are too nice. lol. It always appears that you hold back because you don't want to offend someone. I am just the opposite. I am too sarcastic and sometimes when I am paying someone a compliment they think I'm being sarcastic.

Comment by Connie Mettler on January 22, 2015 at 10:16am

well, Melanie, that wouldn't be the first time someone said that about me ... I have so much personal information about the shows and the individuals (including Barry and Kelly K), but I learned the fine art of sarcasm at a women's college, and having 3 brothers, my journalistic sense gets strained sometimes. Thanks for sticking up for me.

Comment by Melanie Rolfes on January 20, 2015 at 8:18pm
Lol Barry, are you saying Connie is passive aggressive:). Connie most of us realize you have to walk a fine line to keep this group going. It benefits us all. Thank you.
Comment by Barry Bernstein on January 14, 2015 at 9:34pm

Hey Will, Connie is too nice. I'm too skeptical. I think it's not in her nature to go on the attack.  Sometimes, I think she puts things in a certain way just to get a rise out of me.

Comment by Connie Mettler on January 14, 2015 at 6:38pm

Excellent point, Will. I should have noted that in the above post. In my mind, when I do the "calls for artists", in general I don't note that that is advertising, but expect that people will know that. In this particular situation I was trying to respect my source, but my choice of words didn't quite reflect what I had in mind, which was: please read between the lines. I hope that this event can at the very least maintain, and it would be great if it could be an "even better festival."

Comment by will connor on January 14, 2015 at 5:13pm

Connie, I haven't posted here in quite some time, but, here, I can't resist. I think Barry was trying to point out that when words appear next to your name and picture, without quotes or attribution, then we can only assume it is your opinion. If the "..moving on in with it's plans for an even better festival" is what, as you say, is "repeating what I was told" then it should be in quotes.

It's often unclear in your post headings whether these are your words or advertising copy. I think the site will suffer a credibility gap until you separate the editorial (you) from the advertising. Otherwise, it can give the appearance that you are shilling for the shows and advertisers.

The site would have the most credibility if money were not accepted from shows in return for notices on your site. But I understand that maybe that would be unrealistic for financial viability of the site.

Comment by JEFF LEEDY on January 14, 2015 at 12:03pm

Having done Bayou City for over 10 years with very good sales, it was very discouraging to be wait listed a few times due to heavier than normal applications received last 4 years. I got in finally in 2014 only to have a very mediocre show with 449 other artists. Even the high end artists said they did OK but not great. I had one good sale 3 weeks after the show that took it from awful to decent.

Most of my Texas swing shows did mediocre sales for me because I'm used to selling in volume and the volume was not there with average buyers. Kelly Kindred did a great job and the Board must have felt a house cleaning might help them out. The truth is that new people need a few years on the job to understand the dynamics of what works. This show is teetering on the edge of losing its good reputation and once that's gone, so are we the artists.

The issue of how to make it better is they're not understanding that if they could increase attendance (with no parking) from 30,000 to 100,000 the show would jump up in sales. Houston population of 6,000,000 and the best art show they have only gets 30,000 (many are teens/non buyers or volunteers)- do the math and it shows they can't increase things for the artists.

Living in Boise, it is hugely expensive to drive there and back for all 3-5 shows I hoped to do. Now looking at my finances, it is too risky to pay for expensive booths, travel costs and hope I will do well enough. It used to be my profit was around 60% of sales at most of my shows. Now it is way down and forces me to do more local shows even if they are not as "big".

 So many of my customers love my art, compliment me on the spot then walk out. It did not used to be that way but it is more so these days. Art is discretionary.  If you are wealthy and want something for your 3rd home, no problem. I am saddened by the fact that I will have to cancel my acceptance from 3+ shows and not go at all.

Perhaps other artists are doing better, God bless.  Jeff Leedy

Comment by Connie Mettler on January 13, 2015 at 9:38am

On yesterday's podcast about new shows one of the guests was Patty Swords who is initiating a new show in Clute - about an hour south of Houston, the Texas Gulf Coast Arts Festival. She has her sights set on being a big player in this market and has visited all the Texas shows with that in mind. 

Comment by geri a. wegner on January 12, 2015 at 11:04pm

If it is a good market for artists, then perhaps another promoter should consider moving into that market.  Sounds like the artists have good mailing lists from that area so they might consider moving to a show that isn't so large and busy with other activities.  Is there another weekend during the "Texas Swing" that is available?

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