Art in the park
Talent amidst the trees: Artists make a Houston pilgrimage for Bayou City Art Festival
One of the country's liveliest art festivals is happening in our own backyard, in one of the city's loveliest public spaces, on one of the most perfect weekends we've seen in March.
So it's no wonder that hundreds of gifted artists have made the pilgrimage to Houston for the 40th annual Bayou City Art Festival at Memorial Park. All weekend long, the festival showcases talent from Canada to Florida and everywhere in between.
This year's Featured Artist, mixed media master Dolan Geiman, schlepped his wares down from snowy Chicago to sunny Houston.
"I'd never done a show in Texas before last year," the Virginia native said. "But I thought I should explore Texas. I was looking for places to escape, and I'd heard good things about how this show was run."
Out of the 20-25 shows per year he selects to display his work, Geiman chose the Bayou City Art Festival for his Texas debut in 2010. His second year at the festival has him in the most coveted spot of all.
"They let you know via e-mail that you're in consideration to be the Featured Artist," said Ali Marie Geiman, Dolan's business partner and wife. "Then they solicit ideas from the artists. But it's up to the board to make the final decision."
Geiman made an impact with his style of eco-friendly paintings, collages, and constructions. "I use multiple ingredients in order to create my pieces," he said. "My mom is an artist, and I remember her saying that you shouldn't be limited to one medium. If you're creative, don't limit yourself."
Judging by the magic he works with silkscreen, acrylics, illustration, and more, we're certainly glad he didn't.
Fellow Chicagoan Clifton Henri brought a different brand of brilliance down from the north to show off at the festival — urban photography.
"There's a story in each of the images, and I want my photos to tap dance on nostalgia," the second-year exhibiting artist said. "It's less about the person in the photo than the story. People can see themselves, their parents, their grandparents in the photo."
The evocative, often sensual works of bronze sculptor Jack Hill, who came from Florida as a first-time exhibitor, practically beg to have their stories told.
"I like to combine qualities of both human and non-human forms, and add an element of fun and whimsy to the piece," he said. "Man is not everything — man is only one part of the equation."