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Photo Review - Bayou City Arts Festival Downtown

October 8 & 9 - Houston Civic Center & Tranquillity Park, Downtown Houston

Participants in the Arts Festival Conference (sponsored by Zapplication) in Houston were given passes ($18 at the gate) to attend the festival. These conferences are always held adjacent to an art fair. You'd think after all the art fairs I've attended (for 30 years participating in events) I'd maybe lose interest.

You and I know one of the special things about art fairs is that each one is different, that is part of their allure, so I was excited to finally attend a Bayou City Festival, an event that has been the subject of much conversation.

It is held in a beautiful downtown area, spread out over many city blocks, with fountains and parks and the Houston skyline and a Beaux Arts City Hall in the background. It has wide streets, but it is a lot of walking! The day was beautiful, couldn't have asked for anything nicer.

I attended with Christine Berthaiume from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival who was scouting for people to apply to her very desirable show. She would approach a likely prospect and invite the artist to apply. Almost invariably the reply would be, "I've tried and tried, sure wish I could get in." Most of my readers know that the show director (or as she is called for this event, crafts coordinator) does not jury the show or invite people to be IN the show.

She would reply, "well if you have any questions and if I can help you with your application please call me," and hand over her card. We met more than one person who testified that she had actually called and that Christine had been helpful. 

Christine with New Orleans photographer May Levy

Some of the people I met:

Jennifer Ivory from Oregon. Jennifer wrote a passionate blog on this site a few years ago when the Bayou City Arts Festival increased the size of the show. She told me she was in Houston again "because it was time to give the show another try."

Jeweler Matthew Naftzger whose work emphasizes recycling. He said he'd forgotten to bring his wall panels and had been to Home Depot the day before and come back to the show and constructed these plywood panels.

The original Texas artist, leatherworker Dave Piper who has been custom making sandals for many, many years and participated in just about every show in the country. 

I got to catch up with my favorite blogger and old friend, Nels Johnson.

These were the best looking table covers ever -- custom made to fit the tables in satin and ultra-suede. 

Crisp and beautiful booth, fine woodworking from Peg Martinez

This is a show with many double booths with amazing roofs:

This is the work of frequent reviewer and member Melanie Rolfes and her partner Michael Zavison (my apologies for the bad lighting in my photo). We're going to do a podcast soon about how they manage to get a double booth and these very large pieces in a vehicle.

Pros for this show: beautiful location, wide streets, a great place to show work in an uncrowded atmosphere. Cons: it costs $18 a ticket to get in with no readmission included. The layout was not logical. If you wanted to see the whole show you had to make a concerted effort. This is the only place to sit down. There were no tables near the food areas. I spoke with people who wanted to sit down to eat and left the show area for food, never to return.

Proof that the show had something for everyone ;)

Want to know more about this show? Then don't miss Melanie Rolfes' blog, Bayou City Arts Festival & Zapp Conference, and Nels Johnson's Another View of the Bayou City Art Show

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Comment by Greg Little on November 15, 2016 at 10:34am

Carol and I were scheduled to be in Houston but because of our flood damage we had to cancel. sure hated to miss it. I like your photo of my friend Peg Martinez's booth. Peg has a great designed booth and work.

Comment by Nels Johnson on November 14, 2016 at 1:17pm
Got me all although one fell out of my jaw just after the open heart surgery, did not swallow it, still have it in a drawer.
Comment by Connie Mettler on November 3, 2016 at 9:33am

Wally, as long as Nels has all his teeth I think he can forgo the shave ... 

Comment by Linda Wagner on November 2, 2016 at 5:35pm

Connie, thanks for coming by my booth; it was a joy to meet you and Christine. As a native Houstonian, I'm glad you finally got to visit Bayou City Arts Festival Downtown and see what it's all about.

Comment by Wallace Fuller on November 2, 2016 at 4:40pm


Its time to shave

Comment by C.C. Barton on November 2, 2016 at 12:06pm

Great pictures Connie!  Lol...that fellow with the WARNING sign needs to add one more offender to the list - Proselytizers.  I reserve a special place in hell for them.

Comment by Connie Mettler on November 1, 2016 at 9:38am

Thank you, Luke. It is a little late and covered so well by others, but wanted to add my own two cents to the conversation.

Comment by Luke Block on October 31, 2016 at 4:53pm
Good job, some great pictures here! Thanks....

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