What would it mean for the city's emerging artists to show at the world-renowned, internationally-recognized festival?
"It's a large volume of people and a more traditional crowd," Tramel said. "People come to the Bayou City Art Festival more for craft rather than contemporary art."
Artist Sandy Tramel has shown her work in Houston for more than 15 years, at DiverseWorks Art Space, Lawndale, Robinson Gallery, West End Gallery and more, but she recognizes that a booth at the festival would increase the size and the tenor of her exposure.
"It's a large volume of people and a more traditional crowd," Tramel told CultureMap. "People come to the Bayou City Art Festival more for craft rather than contemporary art. I would think that they wouldn't have seen much work like mine."
At a time when women's rights are under attack in Texas and beyond, Tramel's broken and bound figurines feel especially relevant — and, she says, it's accessible. Jonathan Leach, another artist participating in the competition, feels that his abstract work is similarly accessible.
"I've always been interested in creating a language with abstraction," Leach said. "I'm interested in bridging gaps between people that would go to galleries and people that wouldn't go to galleries. . . I think my work would be more approachable in this festival setting."
Most of the artists on the short list have met similar success in Houston's burgeoning contemporary art scene; for all, the exposure outside of the art world could be career-changing.
"Our focus is on developing local artists and artists who work in experimental media," Lawndale exhibitions and programming director Dennis Nance said. "This is an opportunity for a look at those different practices in addition to what the Bayou City Art Festival already offers . . .
It adds more variety to the festival."
So what are you waiting for? Choose the artist you'd like to see at the festival. Voting ends on Wednesday at 10 p.m.
The top two vote getters earn a spot in the show.