Many people have bare spaces in their living rooms, offices and kitchens simply because they’re intimidated by the cost of art and don’t know how to pick what’s right for them. Houston, with its wide variety of galleries, can sometimes be overwhelming in the amount of quality art it presents to the public. These festivals, stores and galleries, however, make buying local art on a budget a worthwhile experience.
First Saturday Arts Market
548 W. 19th St.
Houston, TX 77008
This festival full of artists, craftsmen and musicians offers hundreds of pieces to choose from. Held on the first Saturday of every month, the market is open to the public and features paintings, sculpture, photography, jewelry and handcrafted items of all kinds. The whole family may enjoy the open-air feel, the musical performers and the collection of gourmet food trucks for weekend lunch. If it rains, don’t worry; the festival will be rescheduled to the second Saturday, so you can still track down that wonderful homemade piece you’ve been looking for.
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
4848 Main St.
Houston, TX 77002
One of the gift shops in the famous Houston Museum District, this gallery features great up-and-coming artists in the contemporary craft scene, and all of the items are for sale to the general public. It includes pieces of jewelry, sculpture and clothing made of a variety of materials, including wood, glass, metal, ceramics, fabric and mixed media. When looking for that one-of-a-kind statement piece for yourself or as a gift, you can’t go wrong with Asher Gallery.
241 W. 19th St.
Houston TX 77008
This local, family owned gallery features some of the best Mexican and Hispanic crafts the city has to offer. Located in the Heights neighborhood, an area known for its local boutiques and shops, this gallery shows the best of southern artwork to Houstonians. Casa Ramirez offers courses and informational sessions about its crafts, and sells portraits, ceramics, clay, metal and wood figures created by local Houstonians.
Bayou City Art Festival
South Picnic Lane
Houston, TX 77002
This biannual art festival features artists from all over the world, including a great many from the greater Houston area. One of the largest festivals in the region, the Bayou City Art Festival features more than 300 artists working in more than a dozen media. As it is a juried festival, spectators may see for themselves as the festival progresses who is judged to be the best in each of the categories. Much of what is on display will also be for sale, and with a collection of fantastic local artists that is this large in scale, everyone will be able to find a piece that is exactly what they were looking for. Check the website schedule for the next show.
Related: Best Places for Glass Art in Houston
7979 N. Eldridge
Houston, TX 77095
First opened in 1989, Traders Village in northwest Houston features a large expanse of everything you could ever want in one 105-acre arena. Local vendors sell a multitude of items, including crafts, collectibles, silk plant and flower arrangements, jewelry, furniture and clothing. Many of the vendors are from second hand or outlet stores, and offer great bargains on gently used but still fantastic local of artwork or handcrafted jewelry. There are also many food options, including the typical fair offerings, and carnival rides for the kids to keep the whole family busy while you’re discovering treasures from the more than 1,500 vendors.
Related: Best Culture on a Budget in Houston
Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.