Call for Entries


Piñatas on the Esplanade invites creatives and makers to construct sculptures inspired by the tradition of Piñata making. The Piñata Festival’s vision is to celebrate Houston’s connection to folk art and funk as well as neighborhood cultural traditions.

Each applicant accepted will receive a modest stipend to create their sculpture. There is no cost to enter. Accepted sculpture proposals will be exhibited on the iconic Navigation Esplanade in conjunction with family-friendly Piñatafest activities. 

Jurors will announce awards on Saturday, May 5th at 3:00 pm on the wooden deck in front of The Original Ninfa's.

Entry is open to individuals as well as collaborative groups. All participants must be 15 years of age or older.


  • $1000 | FOLK & FUNK

    • The work demonstrates elements of the traditional piñata craft through a unique creative vision which incorporates elements of "Folk & Funk."



    • Innovative use of unexpected materials with dynamic results.


  • $400 | CRAFT & DESIGN 

    • Quality workmanship and design elements.


2018 Jurors


Artist, Curator & Educator, Fotofest International, El Rincón Social, Mujeres Malas Artist Collective

Maureen Penders is a Salvadoran artist, curator and educator whose practice is framed in traditional film photography. Her work explores the social construction of home, intersectionality of identity and gender expression. Maureen has been a part of El Rincón Social, an art studio exclusively dedicated to elevating artistic voices of color since 2015. Maureen is also a part of the artist collective Mujeres Malas. Her most recent curatorial project is El Chow: Fruto en vaina. A show exclusively created with the intent of upholding latinx women and queer artists. She currently works at FotoFest International as the Volunteer and Special Projects Coordinator, as well as a teaching Artists for FotoFest’s education program; Literacy Through Photography. Maureen received her BFA in Photography and Digital Media from the University of Houston and currently resides in Houston, Texas. 


Exhibitions Manager & Assistant Curator, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH)

Patricia Restrepo is the Assistant Curator and Exhibitions Manager at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH). She recently co-curated Dissent and Desire, the institution's 2018 FotoFest Biennial presentation showcasing the timely and daring photographic work of Sunil Gupta and Charan Singh documenting contemporary LGBTQ+ lives in Delhi, India. She also oversees and contributes to the institution’s publication production. Outside of her position at CAMH, she has curated exhibitions at the Houston Center for Photography, Alabama Song, Hardy and Nance Studios, and Northset Residency. She has worked at arts institutions and publications in Mexico, the U.K., Germany, and the United States, including serving as the Editor-in-Chief of Berlin’s largest English-speaking arts publication. Restrepo has contributed critical discourse to art publications including Terremoto and Artparasites. She also served as an Artist-in-Residence in Houston-area public schools for FotoFest’s Literacy Through Photography program. Restrepo received her Master's degree summa cum laude from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium and her Bachelor's degree from Rice University. 


Curator, Galveston Arts Center

Dennis Nance is an artist and curator from Houston, Texas. He was appointed as Curator for the Galveston Arts Center in 2016. From 2007 to 2016, Nance was Exhibitions & Programming Director for Lawndale Art Center in Houston, Texas, where he worked extensively with local and regional artists through over 20 exhibitions annually and the Lawndale Artist Studio Program. Nance currently serves on the Artist Advisory Board for DiverseWorks, Houston, TX. Nance is a practicing artist and was awarded an Individual Artist Grant from the Houston Arts Alliance and an Idea Fund Award, administered through Aurora Picture Show, DiverseWorks Artspace and Project Row Houses and funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, in 2015. He has exhibited his work at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, The Brandon, BOX13 ArtSpace and the Menil Collection bookstore. He received his BA from Austin College in Sherman, TX with a concentration in Fine Arts and French.