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Photo Credit: Katya Horner

Art lovers sprinted down to Memorial Park on March 24 - 26 for Bayou City Art Festival. Over 15,000 festival patrons, non-profit partners, volunteers and 300 artists from all over the world raised thousands of dollars while enjoying beautiful spring weather and fine art in the park.


Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park, produced by the Art Colony Association, Inc. (ACA,) is one of the nation's top premier outdoor fine art events. The festival featured music from DJ Mark Towns, 14 food trucks, numerous food vendors, Stella Artois Art Bar and much more. In the heart of the festival, the Direct Energy Children's Creative Zone provided guests with crafts, huge bubbles at Bubblelandia with Hillary Scullane and caricature art with Bonnie Blue. The CityBook Backyard Entertainment featured Tino & Jose, The Rock 'n Roll Mariachis, Living Vine, Cirque du Soleil and much more. Transforming Memorial Park into pop art and funk was the festival's featured artist Amanda Bennett, a mixed media artist from New Orleans. Bayou City Art Festival also featured vibrant artwork in the Rising Talent and Emerging Artist Sculpture Garden.


On Sunday, March 26, 2017 ACA held a special reception at Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park to announce the winners of the Direct Energy Middle School Art Competition, an education initiative for students in grades 5th - 8th from Houston area schools. In 1st place was "Best Friends" by Elizabeth Martins from Anthony Middle School, 2nd place "End of the Road" by Latricia Trad from Nolan Ryan Jr. High and 3rdplace "Brave Bully" by Sara Huener from Riverwood Middle School. The "People Choice Award" tied winners were Summer Flower" by Rebecca Smallwood from Riverwood Middle School and "Missy the Goat" by Emma Campbell from League City Intermediate. Students won prizes for themselves and their school's art program.


In the Emerging Artist High School Sculpture Contest, 1st place went to "Arching Over Us" by Ely German from Emery Wiener, 2nd place "Mind Over Matter" by Claire Lacy from Pearland High School and 3rd place "Ivory Exchange" by Rachel Thornton. The festival's featured artist shared an inspiring message with the students about exploring their creativity through art.   


During the reception, ACA also congratulated Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park art winners. The "Best Booth" went to Mick Whitcomb in Booth 635 and the MFAH Curatorial Award went to Janine DeCresenzo in Booth 921. In 1st place for Memorial Park "Best in Show" was Ernest Vincent (wood) in Booth 802, 2nd place Tra Slaughter (painting) in Booth 215 and 3rd place Tanya Doskova (digital) in Booth 303.


For the past 46 years, ACA has provided unique art experiences and education for the greater Houston community by bringing diverse artists to urban Bayou City Art Festivals and supports local non-profit organizations. Bayou City Art Festival has provided a venue for more than 20,000 artists to showcase their artwork to thousands of art enthusiasts from all over the world. The participating artists, some new and some returning are selected by a new jury every year.


This year's non-profit partners for the Memorial Park festival included A Cause to Give us Paws, ESCAPE Family Resource Center, Fresh Arts , Lawndale Art Center, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Arc of Greater Houston. The non-profit partners provided volunteers and hosted art and crafting stations in the Direct Energy Children's Creative Zone.


The festival was made possible with the support of the City of Houston, David Frank Design, Direct Energy, Green Mountain Energy, Houston Art Alliance, LeafFilter Gutter Protection, Power Home Remodeling, Renewal by Andersen and Stella Artois.


About Bayou City Art Festival:

Now entering its 46th year, the Art Colony Association has raised $3.5 million for local non-profit programs through the festivals. A percentage of the proceeds support local art organizations and nonprofits. The Festivals are funded in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, corporate sponsorships, private contributions, in-kind support and volunteer assistance. Volunteer and sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, please visit

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