Three times each year, the mediums of paint, print, fashion, and music collide inside the Stereo Live concert venue for the SCOPE: Fashion & Art Expo. Sprawling across two floors, the event invites all ages to meet face-to-face with artists standing alongside their photography, fine art, or jewelry at each booth. When particular pieces speak to them, visitors can acquire them and know that all of the proceeds go directly to the artists. Meanwhile, amid all the oohing and ahhing, three stages host live performances throughout the duration of the event.
At Soundbox Studios, the human body is the preferred artistic medium. Owners and brothers Andrew and Duy Nguyen, along with Calvin Eata, have created an encouraging space that supports the Houston dance community. Skilled instructors oversee hip-hop classes for all levels, teaching basic moves and rhythm patterns that students will later modify and make their own as they progress through the curriculum. The Soundbox also sports their own sharply dressed crop of performance teams, including The Lady Rascals, Riot Squad, and Lunchbox, a preadolescent crew capable of breakdancing their ABCs.
Pinot's Palette combines wine and art to create an enjoyable night out with friends or a date. The painting sessions encourage adults' inner artists whether they have any painting experience or not, encouraging light-hearted conversation, fun, and good cheer while painting and sipping BYOB beverages. Each session's painting of the night may feature anything from landscapes and wine-inspired art to known classics such as Van Gogh's Starry Night, and each painter tackles from their own artistic angle under the guidance of an experienced instructor. At the end of the night, painters can take their painting home with them and ring a "Gong of Awesomeness" on their way out to signify a good time.
Off the Wall Gallery adorns walls and protects artworks with high-quality, customized frames and vends an assortment of creative creations concocted by premier artists. Bring in a piece you seek to frame, be it a family portrait, a secondhand watercolor landscape, or a particularly flattering police sketch, and Off the Wall Gallery's experienced staff can deck it out in a sophisticated frame with mat and glass. Frames vary in size and type, but a typical black poster frame with mat and glass can be had in dimensions including 11"x14" ($114), 16"x20" ($151.50), and 24"x30" ($187). Art lovers can also opt to stock up on the aesthetifeats of artists represented in Off the Wall Gallery’s eclectic gallery selection, including a cast-resin sculpture devised by Mackenzie Thorpe ($1,995) and an original 22"x28" canvas painted by avant pop artist Peter Mars ($2,750).
In Houston, September beats out July and August for the hottest month of the year—it has nothing to do with the weather, however. The culprit behind the elevated heat level is the Houston Hot Sauce Festival. This annual event brings together exhibitors from across the country to sell and hand out samples of their signature hot sauces, salsas, jams, dips, and other spicy foods. Luckily, vendors also supply plenty of cool beverages, thus eliminating the need for bite-size fire extinguishers.
Live entertainment complements the spicy goods. Blues artists, jazz bands, and other musician play throughout the festival, and each day brings special events, such as salsa eating competitions or fire eating performances.
Local artisans from across Texas come together at the Gypsy Wagon Market. They bring along handmade jewelry, clothing, crafts, artwork, and gifts almost guaranteed to leave a unique impression, especially if you rest your face on them long enough. Contests and raffles give shoppers a chance to walk away with bonus loot.