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The Best of This Weekend’s Art Fests

October is always a colorful month in Houston, as museums hang big shows and new productions take center stage in the Theater District — and, if we’re lucky, the leaves start changing colors, too. But this weekend in H-Town will be especially vibrant, with the arrival of three art festivals.

The Bayou City Art Festival (Oct. 12-13), now in its 48th year, has become a fall tradition. With works by 300 artists spanning 19 disciplines — plus live music and a whopping 16 food trucks — the Downtown event can easily take up a full day. The featured artist is Chicago-based photographer Clifton Henri, whose work illustrates and narrates the African diaspora.

Texas Contemporary (Oct. 10-13), also well established after eight years, returns to the George R. Brown Convention Center, Thursday through Sunday. Programming includes panel discussions about artistic activism and Houston’s development as a capital of postmodernism; 75 artists will exhibit contemporary and modern paintings, drawings, sculptures, mixed-media installations and more.

Meanwhile, newcomer stARTup Art Festival (Oct. 11-13) lands at Downtown’s Hotel Icon, promising to transform guest rooms into exhibition spaces using works by 40-plus independent artists — all of which are for sale. The company has also set up shop in boutique hotels in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

And if weekend plans include hitting up multiple fests, tickets purchased for stARTup are also good for access to Texas Contemporary. Art of the deal, indeed!

AT TOP: The High Road by Clifton Henri at Bayou City Art Festival