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Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park is a Walkable Feast of Culture and Art

Art Colony Association, Inc. produces the Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park in the spring and the Bayou City Art Festival Downtown in the fall.
Art Colony Association, Inc. produces the Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park in the spring and the Bayou City Art Festival Downtown in the fall.
Photo by Katya Horner
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Green Acres' power couple, Oliver Wendell Douglas and Lisa Douglas, couldn't seem to agree on anything. On the popular '60s television show he longed for the great outdoors while she wanted to be in the big city, but even they would have found common ground with the popular Bayou City Art Festival.

Art Colony Association, Inc. sets up shop in Memorial Park in the spring and downtown in the fall, and each venue offers something unique for this walkable feast of art and culture.

"It changes the vibe and the feel. Downtown is much more urban and Memorial Park in the spring is a beautiful Houston tradition," says Sara Eakens, Art Colony's program and volunteer director. "We’ll have just about 300 artists for Memorial Park and it’s just one big loop at Memorial Park; very walkable, very accessible. We’ll have food trucks, vendors, surprises around every corner, entertainment."

California-based sculptor Casey Bridges, who has exhibited in the past, draws inspiration from the sacred and archetypal imagery of world cultures with his garden-friendly sculptures.
California-based sculptor Casey Bridges, who has exhibited in the past, draws inspiration from the sacred and archetypal imagery of world cultures with his garden-friendly sculptures.
Photo by Katya Horner

Some of those surprises include buskers, trumpet players, a strolling mariachi band, performance art and plenty of live music, including the Havana/Miami salsa sound of Charlie y la Tribu. "Charlie has performed at the past two festivals; he’s bringing his Cuban trio, so they’re a ton of fun," says Eakens. "We also have the Boomtown Brass Band performing and they’re a 1920s New Orleans jazz band." They're still booking bands but expect to see a return of the percussion group, Batalá Houston, as well as British Invasion band Picture Book.

This year's featured artist is Lisa Telling Kattenbraker, a contemporary American batik artist from Washington state who draws on her own childhood memories to create scenes that just about everybody can connect with. Eakens says Kattenbraker has created a unique piece for Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park, and visitors will find it on billboards and marketing materials, T-shirts and the festival poster.

The 21 and up crowd can purchase beer, wine and the finest from Stella Artois, while the little ones will get excited about giant bubbles and five different interactive zones with children's activities and take-home crafts.

So whether you're an avid art collector or you're just beginning to discover your own personal style, come out and enjoy the best from hundreds of artists at one of Houston's most beautiful public spaces. It's a good time for a good cause, with funds helping to support nonprofit partners A Cause to Give us Paws, Avenue 360: Health & Wellness, Fresh Arts, Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, The Arc of Greater Houston, The University of Houston - Clear Lake Art Gallery and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park runs March 23-25, Memorial Park, Memorial Drive at South Picnic Lane, 713-521-0133, artcolonyassociation.org, free to $15.

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