Bayou City Art Festival Draws Connoisseurs To Memorial Park

This past weekend was the Bayou City Art Festival at Memorial Park. It was the 42nd year for the twice yearly festival, which attracts artists from all over the country and beyond. The event is characteristic for Houston's art culture.


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The Houston Symphony, the Grand Opera, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Art Car Parade …

These are just a few examples of the rich art culture Houston has. Another one is the Bayou City Art Festival, which takes place twice annually and has grown into one of the artistic highlights of the year.

Kelly Kindred is the festival’s executive director.

“The patrons that we have are so incredibly educated versus other shows, like, they’re just incredibly knowledgeable in the questions that they ask and so the artists really love coming here because they know that the patrons are here to see art. They’re not here to entertain their kids or walk their dogs — because we obviously don’t allow dogs at the festival — they’re here to see and buy art.”

Craig and Ping Irvin
Craig and Ping Irvin with Florian Martin

Since 1997, the festival has taken place twice a year: at Memorial Park in the spring and downtown in the fall. This year, 1,500 artists applied to be able to exhibit at the festival. Of those, 300 were chosen.

One of those selected was Ping Irvin. Irvin is originally from China but now lives in Montgomery with her husband Craig, who is also an artist.

Irvin says she enjoys being an artist in the United States because people here understand her paintings.

“In China, sometimes people don’t really understand the art, so I like it here a lot. And I can sell a lot.”

Scott Ray is an aerospace engineer from Houston. He’s visited each of the last three years and appreciates the opportunity to view great art and visit with the different artists. Ray says Houston is a great location for the festival.

Scott Ray
Scott Ray, aerospace engineer from Houston

“I think Houston is kind of a melting pot. It brings a lot of different cultures in and we’ve got a lot of great art, and it’s a really good thing to have this festival. People come from all over the country and bring their art to Houston and I think Houstonians really appreciate it, too.”

The next Bayou City Art Festival is in October at Hermann Square downtown.


Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is the News 88.7 business reporter and also covers criminal justice, guns and shootings.Florian's stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of...

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