With both of my monthly art markets on hiatus until Aug. 13, I haven’t exactly kept up with art events in Houston the way I normally do. The Houston art world does not rest, however, so this week I present to you art classes and art news.

Let’s get some classroom work done first. Early in May I brought to your attention that Casa Ramirez FOLKART, 241 W 19th St., was holding in-person art classes again with award-winning Houston artist Lizbeth Ortiz. Summers are great for taking up new hobbies and especially art lessons. 

From 1-3 p.m. this Saturday, Ortiz will work with students in using oil pastels to paint their own Frida Kahlo portrait in celebration of the infamous artist’s 115th birthday. To make it easier on the novices, each participant will receive a canvas with an outlined portrait of Frida Kahlo. 

“The class in May was quite fun and I expect this one to engage everyone, too,” Casa Ramirez owner Chrissie Dickerson Ramirez wrote. “Lizbeth is a very popular artist and brings her commitment to and love of art into the classroom.”

In the May article I wrote that Ortiz “was one of the original organizers of the first Houston Frida Festival in 2005. She was honored as the official artist for the Latin Grammy, celebrated in Houston in 2008. Ortiz also received second place in the national Bohemia Beer contest, ‘The Kahlo Challenge,’ in 2011.”

The class fee is $45 for one person and $40 per person for groups of two or more. No painting or drawing experience is necessary, and all supplies are provided. Call 713-880-2420 for reservations, which are required. Visit www.casaramirez.com for more information. 

Artist illustrates Juneteenth

In the news department, artist and muralist Lauren Luna (also an art professor at Lone Star and San Jacinto Colleges) answered a call for art by the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum (BSNM). As part of the recent Juneteenth celebration at the museum, Luna painted her mural live in front of attendees.

Postcards made for the occasion gave a little background on Luna’s design. Here it is in part:

 “The design created by Luna captures the message of Juneteenth, with the inclusion of red, black and green colors of the Pan-African flag; red, blue and white of the Juneteenth Flag; and men and women of African descent. Officially made into a federal holiday in 2021, Juneteenth has been celebrated as the African-American Independence Day since June 19, 1866.”

The Buffalo Soldiers National Museum is located at 3816 Caroline St. and is truly one of Houston’s best. Details, including guided group tours, are www.buffalosoldiermuseum.com/. Follow Luna on Instagram at www.instagram.com/laurenlunaltd/

On the horizon I’ll be trying to catch up with artists on the road and their crazy adventures. Stay tuned and always visit my website, www.artvalet.com, for those last-minute events that come across my radar. Stay cool out there!

Cohen is an artist and founder of the First Saturday Arts Market and The Market at Sawyer Yards. Find him at ArtValet.com for additional highlights and artist’s stories.

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