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The Market at Sawyer Yards is happening from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. this Saturday, Jan. 9, at 1502 Sawyer St. For the first week of January, I always hear about diets, abstinence, exercising, etc. That’s wonderful, do your thing. However, I need to let you in on a little secret, the State of Texas allows cottage […]

The end of December brought more than just holiday cheer. The Save Our Stages Act, which is geared toward benefitting the live music industry, passed as part of the COVID-19 Relief Bill. The act will offer financial assistance to live music venues across the country and to local venues like the Heights Theater, 339 W. […]

Jan. 2, 2021, is here, and so is the initial First Saturday Arts Market of the new year. It’s the 17th year the market has been open for business. It runs from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. this Saturday at the usual space at 540 W. 19th St. With Kiki Neumann as the highlight of last week’s […]

The name Kiki Neumann has appeared in this column many times. Neumann, a longtime Heights resident and self-described folk artist, has a knack for turning abandoned items into art. Her most recent, and arguably most successful trash-to-treasure endeavor has been with recycling license plates. She cuts the letters and numbers up and arranges them into […]

Members of Houston’s arts industries were recently awarded grant funds to help the individuals and performance venues financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of Houston announced Dec. 17 that the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) recently collaborated with with Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) and Mid-America Arts Alliance (MAAA) to distribute $5 million […]

This Sunday, Dec. 20, from 1—4 p.m., Mystic Lyon and the Center for Centering are hosting the fifth annual Winter Collection, a Pop Up Art Shop and Market featuring works by Fifth Ward artists and their friends. Mystic Lyon is located at 5017 Lyons St., at the corner of Lyons and Mystic Street, hence the […]

Saturday afternoon on the former Success Rice rail line, Arts District Houston and Cafeza present a new music series featuring the Cuban band La Tribu Cubana. The band will perform from 1-4 p.m. behind the Silos at Sawyer Yards, 1502 Sawyer St., on Artist Alley. La Tribu Cubana is described as one of Houston’s premier […]

4th Wall Theatre Company, 1824 Spring St., is hosting an online holiday story time that began last week. Eboni Bell and Juan Sebastian Cruz are bringing two of O. Henry’s Christmas stories to life, including “The Gift of the Magi” and “A Chaparral Christmas Gift.” The story times will be released in four installments on […]

Nostalgia hit me in the head like a tin box of Christmas sugar cookies this week. I love traditions and, like many people, I look forward to Houston’s first cold snap, the smell of fireplace smoke in the air, the parades, lighting decorations and, of course, the parties. I think this year, we’re all going […]

When Lisa Joubert opened the 3,650-square foot dance venue Love Dance HTX at Sawyer Yards in November 2017, she was able to offer larger scale dance classes in hip-hop, dance fitness, country western, salsa, ballroom, Latin and swing. But once COVID-19 changed the landscape, Joubert had to pivot a bit. Now, she is hosting micro-weddings […]

Blessings and a heartfelt Happy Thanksgiving to you my friends and readers of this column. Thank you for reading, sharing and sending me great information. I truly am thankful to you and The Leader. Last month I introduced you to Artists Sunday. Held Nov. 29, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, it is dedicated to encouraging consumers […]

The Rooftop Cinema Club’s attempt to provide some levity and relief amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is coming to an end in the area. A news release from the club said Rooftop Cinema will show its final Drive-In at Sawyer Yards movie screening on Sunday, Nov. 29. The club plans to play some of its most […]

Being able to experience live music again has been important to the morale of concertgoers, according to Adrienne Joseph of Kessler Presents, which owns The Heights Theater at 339 W. 19th St. The historic and iconic venue reopened for performances about two weeks ago, while White Oak Music Hall at 2915 N. Main St. also […]

The 28th Annual Artist’s Warehouse Artcrawl returns this Saturday, Nov. 21 from 10 a.m.-9 p.m., with 10 participating spaces spiraling out from the official epicenter of the event: Mother Dog Studios at 720 Walnut St. In the nearly three decades since Mother Dog Studios introduced Houston to the “artist’s warehouse district,” with its annual Artcrawl, […]

“Knitscape,” a knitted mural by Urban Yarnage for Buffalo Bayou Park’s five-year anniversary has been extended until Nov. 30. “Knitscape” is a colorful homage to the ecological diversity of Buffalo Bayou and is installed at the entrances and railing on the Rosemont Bridge (a pedestrian bridge) in Buffalo Bayou Park (Montrose Boulevard and Allen Parkway). […]

The City of Houston announced Nov. 4 that it has begun a relief program for musicians and music venues that have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Musicians will be eligible for up to $5,000 in relief funding, and music venues will be eligible for up to $50,000 or $100,000 – depending on budget […]

Dan Electro’s Bar & Live Music Venue is dedicated to being a space where local talent and touring musicians who are starting out have a place to play. “Dan Electro’s is one of the few remaining small venues that Houston still has left,” Scott Hofheins of Dan Electro’s said. “Places like Walter’s or Fitzgerald’s are […]

A photography exhibit that spent the spring and summer on the fences that surround Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral downtown has now moved to St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 1819 Heights Blvd. ‘Faces of the Other: Encounters in the City,’ was part of Houston’s 2020 FotoFest exhibition. A cultural nonprofit organization based in Houston, FotoFest organizes year-round […]

First Saturday Arts Market is back this Saturday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at 530 W. 19th St. with the biggest roster of artists since the March anniversary. Among the three dozen exhibitors is a woodworker who refers to himself as the woodworking band director, R. Michael Hardy. He creates furniture, unique gift items out of […]

Archway Gallery presents “What Shapes Us,” featuring new sculptures by Tracey Meyer, from Nov. 7-Dec. 3. A virtual opening and artist talk is scheduled for 6: 30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, viewable at or Facebook Live. Private tours may be scheduled by appointment on the website. Operating hours for Archway Gallery, located at 2305 Dunlavy […]

The Dia de los Muertos festival at Montie Beach Park will not be happening like it did last year, with folkorico dancers, live performances and vendors. For the safety of the community during the pandemic, the Montie Beach Civic Club cancelled the festival, but didn’t forgo a type of celebration. This year, an art installation […]

Artists and arts organizations are invited to join a free movement that builds off Black Friday and Small Business Saturday to brand the Sunday after Thanksgiving as the biggest art shopping day of the year. Artists Sunday, a new movement to drive art sales and support the livelihoods of millions of U.S. artists, artisans and […]

Recently I met Carrie Olsen at her Heights home to pick up a painting for our mutual friend, “Miss Carolyn” Bertrand Hodges. I’ve often written about Hodges, a nonagenarian conceptual artist in Houston. She’s encouraged me quite frequently to interview Miss Olsen about her sculpture. So there I was, greeted by Olsen and her triplet […]

Houston BCycle, the nonprofit bike share program, is hosting an art show. The Unicorn Bike Show will take place this Saturday, Oct. 10 from noon-5 p.m. and coincides with The Market at Sawyer Yards and Second Saturday Open Studios at Sawyer Yards. Find the exhibit under the train shed on Art Alley, 1502 Sawyer St. […]

White Oak Music Hall, 2915 N. Main St., is resuming live concerts with a socially-distanced GRID concert series. The first show in the lineup is Shakey Graves on Oct. 23-24. They will be the first live performances at White Oak Music Hall since June, when the venue held one show before having to close down […]

Beginning this Saturday, Oct. 3, in celebration of the fifth anniversary of the completion of Buffalo Bayou Park, Buffalo Bayou Partnership is hosting Artful Anniversary, a series of five unique virtual performances and experiences throughout October. All five Artful Anniversary programs will appear in video and photographs on BBP’s website, posted at the times listed […]

By Mitch Cohen The Faris Foundation, a Houston-based nonprofit focusing on childhood cancer research, creative arts programs at children’s cancer centers and public engagement and awareness around childhood cancer, celebrated National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month with a variety of virtual art programs throughout the month of September. The organization’s mission is inspired by Faris D. […]

Have you driven through Downtown Houston recently? I did the other day, and what I most noticed was the lack of people and traffic. Businesses are still there and need us, and getting to downtown for lunch has probably never been easier! Not surprisingly, public art projects have evolved to reflect the unfortunate changes since […]

Mark your calendar for next Saturday, Sept. 19 to attend a solo art reception, Urban Playground, by Houston artist Lauren Luna. Hosted by Carla Bisong, owner of Bisong Gallery at 1305 Sterrett St., doors open for the event at 5 p.m. When I first met Luna, I made quite an impression with her by calling […]

Some artists create paintings that grab you, lure you in for a closer look and cause you to think and ponder. Ginger Annette, a Houston artist, creates paintings that may appear to come to you. The swirls of texture mixed with metallic colors almost look like icing on a cake upon close examination and may […]

The cancellation of the annual Art Car Parade this past spring must rank among the most disheartening for Houstonians. The 33-year-old event draws hundreds of thousands of onlookers that begin gathering early in the day to watch several hundred altered vehicles parade through downtown. Artist Joe Hale Haden wondered if not creating an art car […]

Driving around the Heights and near-town areas creates a constant double-take for many of us as we discover that “progress” in our ever-evolving city continued during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most notable are new buildings, empty lots and, very sadly, empty storefronts. One sight that had me doing a double-take was seeing an artist setting an […]

Has the world gone virtually … mad? Perhaps, but some things are going to have to remain in-person experiences. Outdoor markets are top on my list and I plan to keep both my art markets open, with proper spacing between exhibitors, of course. This Saturday is the Market at Sawyer Yards, 1502 Sawyer St., and […]

Label this column, “The continuing series on how artists can survive any environment regardless of outside circumstances.” On that note, meet mixed-media artist and Heights resident Dana Caldera. She combines found collage material, painting and drawing into intricately layered compositions to create her work. Caldera will have her art booth set up at First Saturday […]

Are you going crazy to get out of the house and do something? Good news. I am, too, and I found some places and things to do, even now. Let’s be honest. It is the middle of summer and, ordinarily, this is the slow season in the art world. There is nothing normal these days […]

Need an art gift? A portrait of your favorite pet, relative or memory? Great news. The artists at Hardy & Nance Studios have come up with a creative and economical way to do just that. “Press Your Luck: Quick Draw Edition” is a virtual way to get a portrait done by one of the participating […]

Keeping a good attitude and a smile on one’s face can be an uphill battle for many people these days. Two Houston artists, tired of the constant battle against bad news, decided to create something positive they could share with the public and see if that could spread. Chrissy Doolen and Holly Nowak named their […]

Gaston Carrio started painting in a small corner of a room, then moved to a bedroom, a garage and eventually a 2,500-square foot studio. With each move, his paintings increased in size. Today, Carrio, a national award-winning painter, can easily accommodate your living room walls or walls of a two-story atrium in an office building. […]

Macario Ramirez, who owned and ran Casa Ramirez Folkart Gallery at 241 W. 19th St., with his wife, Chrissie Dickerson Ramirez, passed away June 10. A well-written obituary by Charlotte Aguilar for The Leader was published June 12 and can be read online at I encourage you to read it if you haven’t already. […]

Almost immediately after the pandemic swept through the art world, forcing the closure and cancellations of festivals and events, the arts community flipped to virtual … for almost everything. First and foremost among the innovators was Houston’s own Fresh Arts. Fresh Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that literally provides the tools artists and creatives […]

Sawyer Yards Open Studios and The Market at Sawyer Yards reopens this Saturday, June 13 after having been closed the past three months due to COVID-19. The open studios run from noon-5 p.m., and market opens an hour earlier at 11 a.m. A couple of weeks ago I visited Studio #C-6 in Winter Street Studios […]

The First Saturday Arts Market will reopen for business this Saturday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at 530 W. 19th St. As the artists get ready and I prepare to reopen the market, reminiscing comes easily, especially with challenges like COVID-19 and opening during the day instead of our usual “summer” nights. I think the last […]

Archway Gallery presents its 12th Annual Juried Exhibition, benefiting the Houston Junior Forum, in July. This annual event is an opportunity for area artists and non-members of the gallery to participate in an exhibition of works in Houston’s finest artist-owned space. The exhibition will be presented online July 5 at 6: 30 p.m. with remarks from […]

As we look with cautious optimism toward returning to our normal lives, I asked artists what they have been doing to keep sane, busy and adjust to not having public art events to attend. I got more than 30 responses! This will be the third column in a row highlighting those responses. Jo Edwards, a […]

Sometimes we find inspiration in other’s strengths while facing life’s challenges. Ceramic artist Denise Greenwood Loveless, who I featured in December 2018, wrote to me about her year so far. And her story is nothing short of heartbreaking. A self-described joyful person, her courage to push through is where hope, faith and inspiration shine. Loveless […]

We’ve all become familiar with the Houston Food Bank and other institutions that provide food in times of crisis or just for those in need. What about a table to put that food on? What do you do when you are starting over from scratch? Houston Furniture Bank to the rescue! I spoke to Claire […]

A couple of columns back, I talked about how artists nationwide were affected by literally the entire art festival season being canceled. Many festivals didn’t or couldn’t return the booth fees. The Art Colony Association, Inc. (ACA), the producer of Bayou City Art Festival (BCAF), announced April 22 that an anonymous donor had donated $450,000 […]

Maria Elena Sandovici was first introduced in this column in the weeks following Hurricane Harvey with her watercolor painting of the Houston skyline. Sandovici’s waterlogged skyline with stormy skies above seemed to reflect the sentiment of the entire city’s population. A former Galveston resident, Sandovici is a full-time artist, writer and 2018 graduate of John […]

Good news for artists looking for opportunities and financial assistance: It is out there. Opportunities and calls for art are largely unaffected by our current situation as proposals and funding is planned well in advance and applications are done online. Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) is arguably the most well-known local arts and culture organization. HAA’s […]

Houston artists and art supporters continue to step up and innovate and help each other out. Here are some updates and something new to have a look at. In mid-February, I interviewed PK Das, the founder of Aseity Creations, which was set for a grand opening in March, just when the COVID-19 shutdowns began in […]

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