October 13 & 14

Local artists take over the Bayou City Arts Festival with fresh techniques

Local artists take over the Bayou City Arts Festival with fresh techniques

Syd Moen_Bayou City Art Fest_local artist_photography_Little Planet
Syd Moen considers the end result of each spherical panorama a tiny planet. Photo by Whitney Radley
Steve Harris_Bayou City Art Fest_local artist_photography_sculpture
Photographer Steve Harris creates frames from found materials, then suspends prints of his black and white photographs inside.  Photo by Whitney Radley
Syd Moen_Bayou City Art Fest_local artist_photography_Little Planet
Steve Harris_Bayou City Art Fest_local artist_photography_sculpture

Now in its 41st year, Bayou City Art Festival will take over downtown Houston on Oct. 13 and 14 with a host of activities and hundreds of hand-selected artists with wares to sell. 

Among them you'll find the works of local photographer Syd Moen, who combines her background in architecture, historical preservation and art to create spherical panoramas. She seamlessly combines about 30 photographs for each piece, utilizing three separate computer programs and a lot of patience, and the end result is a "little planet." 

Swirling clouds and bulging buildings mark her photographs, which often involve local landmarks and historic Galveston buildings. Many BCAF visitors approach those recognizable scenes with different backgrounds and accompanying memories. 

"It's that sense of place that I'm trying to capture," Moen told CultureMap. 

Moen experienced her first BCAF as a vendor at the Memorial Park fest this spring this spring, but she remembers walking to the Westheimer Street Festival in the '70s; her interactions with the artists back then stayed with her until she decided to take on art full-time in 2009. She will offer works at all price points at the festival. 

Steve Harris, another local artist presenting in the fall festival, is a commercial photographer by trade. He prefers to work in black and white film, many of his photos centering around travels south of the border.

Harris develops the negatives in his home darkroom, then displays the prints in boxes fashioned from found materials — corrugated metal, pocked pallet wood, rusted wire and misshapen nails that he has picked up along the railroad corridor on bike rides with his young children — assembling them in his garage studio. 

"Part of the intrigue is to meet the person behind the work," said Harris, who will be showing for the seventh time at BCAF next weekend. He has traveled to many different art fairs over the last decade, and concedes that the crowd and the art is better and more diverse in Houston than anywhere else. 

His matted prints will start in the $35 price range, with larger works costing up to $2,500.