Guilt – that is the prevailing feeling as I begin writing this week’s column because I failed to interview an artist in time to meet my deadline. Looking at a couple of projects I’ve been working on with other artists, I realize the opportunities under my nose that I’ve missed out on. So let me tell you a little bit about them in my own words.
Vena Ashley – mid thirties, photographer and painter. Ashley combines her two passions in the arts with an elbow grease transfer technique of her photos to surfaces like wood and metal. The finished art looks like an old photograph on wood, rustic, antiquated and somewhat surreal.
Carolyn Bertrand, late eighties, painter with many mediums throughout her life, primarily uses ink these days. Ms. Bertrand invited me to assist her with bestowing her art.
Ms. Bertrand introduced herself to me several years ago at my art market. She was so impressed that someone started one in Houston that she gave me her own written proposals to the City of Houston for a similar market many years before. Hers included recycling, sustainability and was way ahead of the times. I recall displaying her work for the Heights 1st Saturday events. We have remained in touch thanks to her tenacity.
Which brings me back to Vena Ashley. Ashley decided that she was going to host her own art show after participating in many others since diving into the art world full-time in 2013. Why not, it can’t be that hard, right? Have you ever heard a phrase like, herding cats?
After graduating from Sam Houston State in 2006, with a BFA, double major, in Advertising Graphic Design and Photography, Ashley worked as a graphic designer until October of 2013. She then decided to finally take the first step at being an artist and showed at her first Art Crawl at Atelier Jacquinet in November of 2013, where she met artists Gordan and Tara Greenleaf, both artists who host many shows under the name The Gallery At. The Greenleafs hosted a James Bond themed show where Ashley won best in show, met me and started attending First Saturday Arts Market.
Ashley’s first independently produced art show is called “No Place Like That Yellow Brick Road” (that is also the website) and obviously is focused on, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Gretchen McDaniel, also an artist, teamed up with Ashley to present the art show based on one of their favorite children’s books and movies.
I submitted a painting in the show too, I’ll only tell you that I painted a flying monkey; naturally. All the artists have each created a piece based on their interpretation of the story. These artworks will be shown together in the main gallery. Nancy Adams, Darlene Besier, Gordon Greenleaf, Tara Jordan-Greenleaf, C W Napier, Ginger Travis Page, Cherie Salinas, Teresa L Staley and Mike Williams are other participating artists in this show.
Artists will also be showing non-themed artworks in other rooms of the building, which happens to be a former tortilla factory. Now called Atelier Jacquinet, the building houses art studios and is a full on pop-up gallery during the annual downtown ArtCrawl.
This is a one day show on Saturday evening March 21, 5 – 9 p.m. The Atelier is located just north of downtown in the old warehouse district at 913 McKee St. 77002. Take the Hardy St exit off of I-10 East.
I’ll bring you more news about the unstoppable Carolyn Bertrand soon. She really is an amazing woman and reminds me of why I love being and working with other artists. We’re all unstoppable!
Cohen is the founder and manager of First Saturday Arts Market. Contact him at ArtValet@gmail.com or visit him on the web at ArtValet.com.