When it Comes to Art, Houston Fairs Have Heart

We make it a rule not to play favorites but recognize great art cities when we see them. With its phenomenal museums, intriguing street art, and world-class performing arts companies, Houston has a decidedly cool cultural scene. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that the Texas metropolis supports and embraces an impressive list of flourishing art fairs and festivals.


Whether you're a full-time Houstonian who appreciates convenient access to creative events or planning a vacation focused on great art destinations, you'll want to experience these fairs and festivals for yourself. Many events take place in the downtown Houston district, where you'll find one of the most sophisticated contemporary art markets in the country, as well as community fairs with distinct local charm, and an eclectic and extraordinary art-themed parade.

Texas Contemporary


As a leading fine arts and contemporary art event, the Texas Contemporary showcases top galleries and artists to a distinguished crowd of collectors, investors, and interior designers. Partners in the annual endeavor include renowned museums and corporate sponsors.

The Texas Contemporary fair is held for one weekend each October at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston. Although there are private preview events on the opening Friday, the fair is accessible to the public on successive days over the weekend and features artworks of almost every style and medium.

Texas Contemporary | October 2022 | George R. Brown Convention Center (txcontemporary.com)

Bayou City Art Festival

The Bayou City Art Festival has been going strong for over five decades, delivering the best in art, music, and food to attendees at Houston's Memorial Park. 300 national and international artists participate in the bi-annual event that takes place each March and October.

The event has all the elements which add up to make for a true festival environment that the whole family will appreciate. General admission tickets include access to a wide variety of art and entertainment including a kid-centric "Active Imagination Zone" featuring engaging art activities. An upgraded VIP ticket allows attendees to hang out in a tented lounge with the added comforts of nibbles and adult beverages.

Bayou City Art Festival | Houston Texas (artcolonyassociation.org)


Heartmade Art Market

Many of the events we've previously reviewed as part of our series on art fairs include a philanthropic component, typically benefiting local arts programming. The Heartmade Art Market is no exception and places considerable emphasis on supporting the Houston arts community by donating a large portion of vendor fees to local arts-centered non-profits.



The market additionally prides itself on featuring and showcasing local Houston artists and makers exclusively. The warm and inviting outdoor event takes place for one weekend in May as well as a Harvest Market in November, with a charming setup in downtown Houston. Heartmade wares include original art, handmade jewelry, and unique crafts, just to name a few.

Heartmade Art Market (heartmadehouston.com)

Art Car ParadeArt car parade, photo by cortneymartin82

While it may not be a fair per se, if beyond the ordinary art displays are your jam, you don’t want to miss this incredible rolling art parade which takes place once a year in April. As you might have surmised from the name, the Art Car Parade is a truly one-of-a-kind, near-endless series of art exhibits on wheels, including fantastically adorned trucks, cars, and limitless other types of operational vehicles.

As described on its website, the parade which winds along Allen Parkway near Houston’s City Hall consists of "over 250 mobile masterpieces designed and created by artists, individuals, schools, non-profits, corporations and anyone with a dream and a set of wheels." In addition to the parade, patrons can partake in music, food, and kids’ activities happening throughout the weekend.

2022 Houston Art Car Parade Weekend presented by Team Gillman (thehoustonartcarparade.com)

“Happy Hippies” by UGallery artist Carolyn PennorReady to start planning your art fair immersed Houston experience? We hope these tips and recommendations have been helpful. You can also check out original art on the UGallery website, with new works updated weekly.