For all budgets
Banish bare walls with affordable art: From Bayou City Art Festival to Internetfinds, the works are calling
You don't have to be a Medici, a de Menil or a Marks to make your home an art-filled haven.
The cost of a masterpiece may still be skyrocketing ever upwards, but whether you want to keep it local or search the globe, whether you prefer prints or want to pick up an original, there're tons of art options for every style and price range.
The best local source for up-and-coming artists is the end of year student art exhibition and sale at the Glassell School in May. With prices starting around $100, you can get a one-of-a-kind piece from the next Aaron Parazette.
The Menil Collection bookstore also has a selection of good finds, and if you like something the knowledgeable staff can probably point you in the direction of more of the same.
For a lot of art in a short period of time, there's nothing like the annual Houston ArtCrawl, a yearly tour through the artist studios in the warehouse district and EaDo. This year it's happening on Nov. 21, with over 150 artists participating. There may be entertainment, but these artists are all looking for a sale and will have their best work on display.
If you'd rather not run all over town, some of the best local artists work in Rice Military's Winter Street Studios. The second Saturday of every month the space is opened to the public for viewing and buying, in addition to other social and charity events. The Winter Holiday Art Market, or WHAM, happens Nov. 19-21 and is not to be missed.
Twice a year art fans can also browse the Bayou City Art Festival, on of the top juried shows in the United States, with artists wares in mediums from sculpture and photography to textiles and jewelry in a spectrum that covers all tastes from kitsch to cutting edge. The downtown art festival happens to be this Saturday and Sunday, giving art lovers a bonanza of options.
It's great to support local artists, but there are also plenty of affordable finds to be had in the Internet's new global village. New York's Jen Bekman Gallery gained national prominence when it introduced affordable, limited edition prints for consumers over the Internet via 20x200.com. With 8 inch by 11 inch prints starting at $20 and at least two new editions a week, it's the art lover's latest affordable addiction.
eBay may be passé, but many artists are foregoing the middleman of a gallery and listing their wares directly on Etsy, a virtual world of handmade goods from clothing to furniture to art from thousands of independent sellers. Browsing can be overwhelming, but there are plenty of curated lists of artiststocheckout.
For more specific taste, there are endless online galleries offering limited edition prints, whether you are into typography (Keep Calm Gallery, Yee-Haw Industries), letterpress prints (Cloudy Collections, The Post Family), indie illustrations (Austin's Poster Cabaret) YBAs (New Blood Art) music posters (The Small Stakes) watercolor dreamscapes (Betsy Walton) ... and other assorted gatherings of awesomeness (Bodie & Fou, Thumbtack Press, Little Paper Planes).
Your only issue now? How to frame it all.