Calling All Lightsabers for this Star Wars-Themed Art Festival in the East End

You're never too young or too old to wear Princess Leia's signature hair buns, though it appears General Leia Organa might have moved on. For the rest of us, it's time to recharge those lightsabers because costumes are definitely encouraged at the 5th Annual Star Wars Art Festival: Revenge of the Fifth. “Every year we have little Leias and Yodas come out, and kids 12 and under are free,” says Dom Bam, creative director of organizer War'hous Visual Studios.

Last year War'hous realized it couldn't do it all in one day, so now the event is a two-day festival with more than 100 Star Wars-inspired artists and about 50 vendors. “It started as an art show, and over the years we started getting more music acts, more food trucks and more vendors,” says Bam about the May 7-8 event in a graffiti-covered warehouse in Houston's East End.

But before the kids can come out and play, there's an exclusive VIP party on Friday, May 6, offering a preview of the more than 200 pieces of artwork and a meet-and-greet with artists who are pretty pumped about Star Wars. Previous shows unveiled a graffiti-covered AT-AT walker, awesome portraits of all your favorite characters and even a Tiffany-inspired stormtrooper helmet. Admission covers a DJ set and complimentary drinks from sponsors Deep Eddy Vodka, Red Bull and Topo Chico. Only 200 VIP tickets are being sold this year, and it includes free admission to the weekend's festival.
The festival is War'hous's biggest event of the year, and the types of vendors that come out are the same ones who frequent the bigger comic conventions. “Star Wars is something that they can easily get behind,” says Bam. “Wizard of Barge is a local [vendor] who does pop art. Phenomenal artist, does a cartoon style I like a lot.”

The organizers are still adding artists, and it looks like a mix of new and returning artists, including Dandee Warhol (pop artist and founder of War'hous), Hannah Bull, Lee Carrier, Omar Ochoa, Yamin Cespedes and tons more of our favorite creatives. Be sure to check out the work by local tattooist Catfish. “Catfish has been with us for a few years, since we started War'hous. He does these tiny pieces on rolling papers and frames them,” says Bam. “You have to see the level of detail this guy has; he's got sort of skull faces for everything.”

There are DJ sets planned for both days, with DJ Hiram all day on Saturday, May 7. On May 8, FREDster does the first set from noon to 3 p.m., and Brandon from NightDrive closes the event. “DJ Hiram is coming out, he's been with us for a long time,” says Bam. “Great guy, he was in Free Press Summer Festival last year. FREDster, everyone remembers him; he's all over the place. Brandon from NightDrive is going to be playing for us too; he DJs nightly or almost nightly.”

The VIP party is from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 6; visit the Facebook event page for more information. The festival is noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 7-8; it has its own Facebook event page. 4300 Harrisburg, 832-768-9515, warhous.com. Free to $25. 
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Susie Tommaney is a contributing writer who enjoys covering the lively arts and culture scene in Houston and surrounding areas, connecting creative makers with the Houston Press readers to make every week a great one.
Contact: Susie Tommaney