Cause and effect, or the Law of Sowing and Reaping, is true and in a very real sense I am experiencing; I prefer the term reaping to describe what started fourteen years ago – First Saturday Arts Market was born.
I remember distinctly measuring the parking lots around Kaplan’s Ben-Hur on Yale Street on 22nd, trying to figure out the best location for my first art market. Struggling with a press release, creating that first logo – I hand painted a purple flower on canvas printer paper. The first poster I made to hang in shop windows was bilingual.
This week, I’m in an intensive retreat focusing on a project with Fresh Arts – an arts nonprofit whose main goal is services and programming aimed at helping artists professionally. I attended a board meeting last week as a director with the Art Colony Association, Inc., the producers of Bayou City Art Festival. We’re planning our spring festival coming up March 23. I’ll be missing a meeting with my Houston Vintage festival partners Thursday because I’ll be at the Cultured Cocktails with Fresh Arts at Boheme Café and Wine Bar from 5 – 8 p.m. By the way, you’re all invited, come and meet some fabulous organizations and people.
The only reason you’re reading this is that I was so intent on making that first market a success! I’m extraordinarily grateful I was so persistent.
The past few months of rain reminded me of the first show I had to cancel due to rain.
Considering the weather history of this city, the art market has had incredible luck over the years only experiencing a handful of cancellations due to weather. The first of course was the most memorable. This was in the first year in 2004.
Day turned to night, the wind came in small tornado-like swirls, then full-on gusts as if you were at sea. The sky behind me was as dark as the darkest night you’ve ever seen, only to be lit up by brilliant, long streaks of lightning. Booming thunder warned of how fast the storm was moving towards me.
In front of me, several artists had gathered, all staring me down as if I was about to bring out the sun.
These stalwarts of insanity were arguing with me to continue the show, the storm would blow east or west but surely not hit our fledgling market, “The Show Must Go On,” the said.
I remember turning around partly and pointing behind me at that monstrously black and huge storm barreling down on us, just as a gust of wind and lightning struck at the same time. I did not relent, and neither did the storm.
I knew then, I was dealing with a very different caliber of people. Moments after the artists left, the wall of rain finally reached the market space and sealed the deal – the first market cancellation due to rain was on, and no one else showed up. It’s been sunshine for me ever since.
First Saturday Arts Market is located at 530 W. 19th Street in the Heights 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. the first Saturday of every month. An artist roster and more can be found on the website 1stSatArtMarket.com. Join us, won’t you?