It’s always the first weekend in August. I pack the car to the brim and head out! Vacation, you ask? A camping trip? No, it’s my annual four-day trip to downtown Houston to run the Artist Market at Abilities Expo Houston. I pack up our set of Pro-Panels, a cash box, the iPad and Square Reader, several receipt books, bubble wrap and bags. Our goal is to sell, sell, and sell more art by Houston area artists with disabilities.
Houston is my hometown, so it’s always fun to go back. I try to squeeze in time with family and friends when I am there, but with this event the best thing to do is tell them to come to me. I’ll be at NRG Center, Hall E, Booth 222 from 11-5 Friday and Saturday and 11-4 on Sundays. If they come, I put them to work! My mom has been a faithful volunteer most years.
Abilities Expo travels all across North America, from Boston, to San Mateo, to New York and Toronto. This event is the place to see the latest in technologies and innovations for accessibility. The vans and cars are always fun to look at, plus the numerous displays of wheelchairs that can do almost anything- raise and lower, ride across sand, who knows what else!
This year will be the 10th Abilities Expo in Houston and we have been there from the beginning. We usually have 6 booths, but this year we have 8 booths featuring some return artists, as well as some new faces. Our ever-faithful Brian Dodd will be back with his paintings. Plus Dee Franklin will return this year with her popular 3-D printed pieces that she turns into collages and jewelry. New this year we have Dee’s son Steven with his custom made dog toys and dog beds. Painters Kelley McClughan, Sarah Coleman, Shirley Konneath, and Jan Huff. Photographer Valerie Tate. And Word search coloring books created and published by Claire Theriot Mestepey. Over 40 varieties!
Abilities Expo Houston is August 2-4, 2019 at the NRG Center, One NRG Park, Houston, TX 77054.
Register for this free event online.
Once you are there, stop by booth 222 to say hello to me (and my mom Diane, and maybe my sister Kacy and my friend Stephanie), and shop the Artist Market for local, unique arts and gift items by artists with disabilities. Click here for more information.
And great news! Abilities Expo will be in Dallas for the first time ever December 13-15, 2019. So watch out for our Dallas artists being featured there. I am going to start recruiting my Aunt Evelyn and my cousins for that one!