Why Folk Art Matters

Three Mondays, October 3, 10 and 17, 6:30 P.M. | Limited enrollment

Folk art has moved from rural villages around the world into coveted private and museum collections. A distinguished folk art collector will introduce us to this amazing world of untrained artisans; two major collectors of folk art will share and discuss their renowned collections with us.

October 3 (SESSION IS FULL - wait list names being accepted)
Private collection of Ann and James Harithas
Address will be provided to subscribers.
For years, Ann and James Harithas have collected original, one-of-a-kind folk art with a special interest in depicting the influence of American folk art on contemporary art. Both Ann and James have deep roots in the art world. James will lead us on a tour of their collection in their home. 
Charlene Cerny: Why Folk Art Matters Now
St. Luke's United Methodist Church, The Rotunda, 
3471 Westheimer Road.
Charlene Cerny is a founder and executive director of the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, the largest event of its kind in the world. For 16 years, Ms. Cerny served as director of the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 
While folk art remains an authentic means of expression in many world cultures, its very existence is now at risk. Using examples of master artisans at work today, Ms. Cerny will discuss how travelers and buyers in the global marketplace can not only bring beauty into their lives, but can preserve cultures and help to craft a better world for all.
October 17 (SESSION IS FULL - wait list names are being accepted)
Home of Stephanie Smither
Address will be provided to subscribers
Renowned collector of folk art, Stephanie Smither, invites us to her River Oaks home to tour her extensive collection of 20th–century self-taught artists. Mrs. Smither and her late husband, John, began collecting American folk art in the mid-80s, and later expanded into collecting internationally. The collection has been shown in many museums, including the Museum of Fine Art, Houston. Mrs. Smither serves on the board of The Orange Show, and is currently involved in the creation of Smither Park, dedicated to her husband's memory.



Registration for fall 2018 is ongoing. You may register online, by mail, or by phone with a credit card. 


If you are interested in traveling to Virginia in the spring of 2019, please call the registrar at 713.666.9000 to place your name on a list. Please see Terms and Conditions for "travel list" policy. 


Please note a date in the Mid-term Elections course has changed from that published in the brochure. The course will meet the first two Mondays, October 29 and November 5 as planned, but will meet Tuesday, November 13 instead of Monday, November 12. 


Also note Art Underground: Carlos Cruz-Diez at the Cistern on Wednesday, November 14 is FULLY SUBSCRIBED. A second session has been added and will meet Monday, November 12 from 2:00-3:30 P.M. Registrations are being accepted for November 12. You may register online, or by phone.


Who Gets to Vote: Challenges for the 2020 Elections?
Speaker: Dale Ho, director of the American Civil Liberties Union Voter Rights Project
Monday, November 19, 6:30-8:00 P.M.
Location to be announced


Register today!


For additional information about any of our courses, to register offline, or to add your name to our mailing and/or email lists, please contact our adminstrator at  or phone 713.666.9000.