Meet Bayou City Art Fest Featured Artist, Cindy Olmes

Bayou City Art Festival Returns to Downtown Houston with More Art, Entertainment and New Culinary Arts and Tasting Experience 

Iconic art festival celebrates 50 years at Downtown Houston on October 8-9, 2022


Please share a little about yourself & how you knew art would be your passion. I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art from The Art Academy of Cincinnati in 1990 where I majored in painting and minored in Illustration. I knew from an early age that I loved art. It was always my favorite class from grade school on. I also knew that art was a possible vocation as my grandfather was a professional artist and musician. While attending the Art Academy a group of artists including myself decided to open a co-op gallery. This was a great experience where I learned how to professionally present my work and many other aspects of managing a business. In 1993 I opened my own gallery and frame shop in Cincinnati and operated that until 2018.

In 2018 I decided to focus completely on my career as an artist. At that time I was an oil painter. I felt I needed a change of medium along with my new career focus. After a few months of experimenting with different techniques, I found my voice in the combination of decorative patterned papers and acrylic paint. I have been working with imagery of the female for over 30 years, but never felt the deep connection to the voice of the woman in my work until I started working in the collage technique that has become the cornerstone of all my work.

Little about your art skills and how you developed them. Each piece I create begins with a charcoal drawing which is transferred to a blank canvas. The patterned papers are cut very precisely to re-create the form. This process requires much pattern making and is the most time-consuming part of the process. Paint is added to further define and embellish the image. Texture, pattern, and bold colors are present in each piece.
Talk about your concepts and what you’re communicating in your art. My imagery reflects the beauty of one’s own unique voice and power. Finding the courage and freedom to live and be your most authentic self is the greatest gift you can give not only to yourself but to the world. My work reflects those people who are centered, focused, and at peace with who they are. They are a reflection of the people I have known and those I have not yet met.

Thoughts on being the featured artist for Bayou City Art Fest.   I’m so honored to be a part of the Bayou City Art Festival in downtown Houston this fall. The festival producers have done an outstanding job promoting me as the featured artist and engaging the whole city of Houston with information about the upcoming show and its many, many talented artists. The education and promotion provided by the festival team to the general public are vital to the success of the show and this team is at the top of their game!
 Words for upcoming artists.  I would encourage every young artist to consider a career as an independent artist. I believe it’s one of the best ways to find your true self. The discipline, self-motivation, and courage required will broaden your vision of yourself and your connection to others in ways that you can’t imagine. Changing careers later in life gives me the perspective of comparison between a traditional structured job and a career as an independent artist. In 2018, I began to fully live the life that was meant for me!


Bayou City Art Festival, produced by Art Colony Association (ACA), will transform Downtown Houston into a lively outdoor gallery and interactive art event with more art, entertainment, and a new intimate culinary art and tasting experience with some of Houston’s top chefs for the 50th Annual Bayou City Art Festival Downtown.

Bayou City Art Festival will celebrate culinary arts with the new Chef’s Table. Each chef will demonstrate a signature recipe and pass out samples for attendees after each demonstration. The Chef’s Table demonstration schedule includes:

Saturday, October 8, 2022

  • 12 p.m. – Bludorn’s Chef Aaron Bludorn
  • 1:30 p.m. – Sorriso Modern Italian Kitchen’s Chef David Buckley
  • 3 p.m. – Brio Tuscan Grille’s Chef William Aguiar

Sunday, October 9, 2022

  • 12 p.m. – Georgia James Tavern’s Chef Tim Reading
  • 1:30 p.m. – Houston Grazing Tables’ Chef Chelsea Sargent Lira
  • 3 p.m. – George’s Bistro & Bar Chef David Hernandez

As one of the top art festivals in the U.S., Bayou City Art Festival will provide patrons with the opportunity to personally meet artists, view original works, and purchase artwork from 19 art disciplines including world-class paintings, prints, jewelry, sculptures and more at prices for everyone.

Guests are invited to experience art and nonstop live entertainment at the Stella Artois Main Stage and at the KPRC 2 Hitch Stage. Click here for Bayou City Art Festival’s entertainment schedule.

For art-loving foodies, Bayou City Art Festival will feature onsite food trucks catering to everyone’s taste buds. A list of food vendors and food trucks can be found here.

In the Active Imagination Zone, guests of all ages can play with oversized bubbles, visit with caricature artist Bonnie Blue, and create art with the festival’s nonprofit partners. Patrons can enjoy Houston’s skyline views while hanging out at the festival’s craft beer garden and Haak Vineyard wine garden.

To celebrate 50 years, Bayou City Art Festival collaborated with Karbach Brewing Co. and local Houston artist April Murphy to create limited edition artwork for Karbach’s Light Hazy IPA. The artwork will be displayed throughout the festival at all beverage booths and the limited-edition Light Circus 6-pack carton is available on retailer shelves throughout Texas with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Bayou City Art Festival.

Haak Vineyards is introducing its 2019 Tempranillo in a special 50th anniversary labeled wine bottle for Bayou City Art Festival. The special edition wine bottle will only be available for purchase during Bayou City Art Festival at all beverage booths. Guests can purchase the bottle for $30 and a portion of the proceeds will go back to the festival.

Bayou City Art Festival will also premiere a new Collegiate Art Collective, a collection of art composed of five Houston-area college art students. The colleges that will be represented at Bayou City Art Festival include the University of Houston, Houston Community College and Lone Star College.

A portion of the proceeds from the 50th Annual Bayou City Art Festival Downtown will benefit the festival’s nonprofit partners including ArtReachFresh ArtsOrange Show For Visionary ArtSecond ServingsThe Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and The Women’s Fund for Health Education and Resiliency.

For the ultimate art lover, Bayou City Art Festival will offer a limited availability VIP Hospitality Lounge presented by Frost Bank, which will include complimentary light bites, beer, wine, and other refreshments. The relaxing setting under a canopy of trees will feature roaming musicians, artistic décor, a phone charging station, and more. VIPs will receive access from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to the VIP area, and VIP parking.

Online tickets are available at for $18 for adults, $5 for children 6-12, and children under five are free. VIP tickets are $70. Online pre-purchased tickets are required to enter the festival. Tickets will not be sold at the gate and can only be purchased online.

For the most recent updates, follow the official event hashtags #HouArtFest50 and #BCAF50, like the Facebook page, or follow on Twitter and Instagram. Also, subscribe to the newsletter here.

Photos courtesy of Bayou City Art Festival