When shoppers and sippers stroll the Art is an Outdoor Night Market at City Place in Spring this Friday, May 17 from 6-10 pm, they’ll not only be able to sample food and purchase creations from local artists. They’ll be taking part in a tradition that is thousands of years old.
Over the last 1,100 years, night markets have become tourist hot spots around the globe. Hong Kong’s sizzles with the kind of endless energy the city is known for. In Jakarta, the weekly markets are must-visit affairs turning open fields into bustling agoras. And here in the U.S., the night market in San Francisco’s Chinatown boasts more than 100 booths selling everything from Chinese imports to locally made food and drink.
That’s the experience the creators of the Art is an Outdoor Night Market are shooting for with this inaugural event. Launched by Sarah Lowe of The Art Cellar Houston and Marco Guerra of Guerra Studios, the event brings together more than 60 vendors, ranging from painters, sewistas, and sculptors, to quilters, candle, and print makers — plus vintage clothing and jewelry dealers. They’ll set up shop along the picturesque waterfront adjacent to the new Houston CityPlace Marriott at Springwoods Villagem and be joined by culinary purveyors, live entertainment, and kids areas.
“We’re going to teach kids how to make simple paper plate fans,” Lowe tells CultureMap. “They can turn them into masks or use them when they get hot. I want people to see they can use these simple craft techniques to make a thing of beauty – and have people know they can come out at night, even if they have families.”
For Lowe, there’s something about the energy of a night market. She and Guerra have set up pop-up markets during the day at Greenway Plaza, CityCentre, and the Galleria area, but this is a different venture for her — one she says should resonate with guests.
“It’s the vibe of a night market,” she says by way of explanation. “Everything gets cooler, everything feels more mysterious. I’m all about showing people art through different experiences. I asked the vendors to get super creative with their lighting, with their booths. This is going to be wonderful."
Vendors include TIC Jewelry, helmed by an artists who crafts rings for women and men out of antique coins; Popcart Ice Pops, a small business that makes ice pops from organic fruit juices. “Every market, I eat seven or eight of them,” laughs Lowe.
There’s also Diversity Clothing, a Houston vendor that makes Bayou City-themed bags, ball caps and T-shirts, and Bird and Twine, a baker Lowe says has must-try cake pops, sugar cookies and macarons. Other vendors include Modern Artifacts Design, Madewell Mercantile, Blue Face Monkey, Bellaflor Bowtique, Swanky Art Creations, Two Knotty Sisters, Grey World Xpressions, Obababy, MC Shave Gear, Daly Art, Holy Landscape Prints, Three Hearts Apparel, The Handcrafted, and Fern Home & Fashion.
Alicia’s Sweet Obsession offers a sweet storm of cookies, microcakes, brownies, bon bons, and French pastries. Criswell Culinary brings its Boerne Brand Texas Style Hot Sauce, a smoky, flavorful jalapeño condiment made from an aged and fermented mash. Nando Honeybee Farm will sell a diverse selection of honey varieties, and ShoSho’s Kitchen will offer dozens of homemade wine, fruit, and pepper jellies, alongside homemade fresh baked baklava, sables cookies, and seasonal gift baskets.
A DJ opens the event, spinning tunes to get shoppers in the mood. Sam Jones is up next, playing until 7 pm. He’ll hand the musical reigns over to Bayou City Swing, a Houston-based gypsy jazz band, who keep the party going until the DJ takes over to close out the night.
The event is free for attendees, and free parking is available. The plaza is located at 1250 Lake Plaza Dr. in Spring. For more details, visit the official site.