Unhappy Artists Deluge Bayou City Art Festival With Emails After Last-Minute Rule Change
One person well acquainted with the show said in recent years that all the entrances to the festival haven't always been covered very well and that a certain number were getting in free - something that a cash-strapped organization might want to stop. Fowler said this couldn't be happening, that perhaps people weren't realizing that some of the people coming in a back way were volunteers and artists, but added that since event fencing usually has gaps, some patrons might have gotten in for free. But she called it highly unlikely.
Booth rates were increased by $50, Fowler said after they looked at what other top festivals in the United States were charging.
Fowler insisted that the show will maintain its high standards, even with an expanded pool of artists. But some artists are saying Bayou City has been calling artists previously rejected for the show, to reach the 450 mark. "Part of the question the artists raise is 'Oh my gosh, if you putting in more than 300 are you going to start accepting the velvet paintings? Well no, we're not," she pledged.
What everyone in this argument can agree upon is how important a show the Bayou City Art Festival has been. One artist told us that many of the artists derive half their yearly income from just this one show. Fowler said Bayou City is a "gateway show" for young professionals who come there to buy an affordable piece of quality art and who may then start venturing into Houston's art galleries.
"We expanded the show to make it more comfortable for patrons. We are upgrading the areas that are important to patrons like the VIP area, the children's creative zone, our main stage. We thought the artists would get behind all of this. I'm a brand new festival director and I thought 'Oh, they're going to be so happy that we're making it such a great experience for the patrons' and then they weren't."
"We're bringing in more patrons, freshening up the festival," Fowler said. "The last thing you want to do is to be stale."