Art aficionados can expect the unexpected during this year's RodeoHouston, with a new custom art piece by pioneer GONZO247 (Mario Figueroa Jr.), tons of selfie stations and some amazing work by established and next gen artists.
Titled The Four Pillars of Rodeo, GONZO247'S four-sided art piece pays homage to western heritage, agriculture, education and entertainment. Don't head out to the rodeo without charging up your smart phones and cameras, because this one-of-a-kinder makes the perfect backdrop (or four) for your social media feed.
Flash that rock star smile and imagine how it felt to perform in front of thousands on RodeoHouston's retired stage. It served us well for more than 30 years, from Alabama to ZZ Top, and they've set up a section of that stage for photos. There's also a larger-than-life statue of the iconic bowlegged "H" logo that stands 15 feet tall for posing next to, plus a variety of selfie frames stationed throughout the grounds.
Area students have been burning the midnight oil sculpting, painting and drawing for this year's School Art Program. Out of a total of 682 entries, 72 students were selected to participate and were honored in a special awards ceremony in February.
Everybody's got their fingers crossed for the big day, March 11, when the open-to-the-public School Art Auction takes place. It will be hard to beat last year's record-breaking price for Grand Champion ($235,000) and Reserve Champion ($221,000), but fingers crossed.
[Updated 3/13/2018 with auction results.] Emilio Recio's By Dawn's Early Light garnered a price of $225,000 and Janice Khang's Horsing Around earned $150,000 at auction.
The 2018 Grand Champion Work of Art title was awarded to Emilio Recio from Pasadena ISD for his oil painting, By Dawn's Early Light. Recio, who has painted this hard-working rancher in the past, was inspired by the man's daily ritual of feeding the horses. Janice Khang's painting, Horsing Around, was named the 2018 Reserve Grand Champion Work of Art. Khang concentrated on the emotion of her subjects, as well as the detail in their facial expressions.
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The 72 entries were divided into five categories: colored drawing, mixed media, monochromatic drawing, painting and 3-D. Do try and support the next generation of Texas artists by seeing these works in person but, if you just can't make it, view the finalists here.
Discover works for sale by established artisans and makers, along with some new vendors: There's art by William K. Stidham - heART, attire by Rockwell Tharp, home and garden decor by Fire & Pine, jewelry by Artemis Designs and leather goods by Vintage Boho Loves Louis. New to the specialty goods category are Driftless Studios, Dark Canyon Iron Ranch and Cowboy Collectibles. There's even a new outdoor shopping area on the west side of the NRG Astrodome titled The Lone Star Market. If you're in the buying mood, take a glance at this year's shopping guide to plan your trip, then put on some walking shoes and explore.
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo continues through March 18 at RodeoHouston, 3 NRG Park, rodeohouston.com.