One creates monsters and ghouls from her imagination, another takes fantastical creatures from real life and immortalizes them forever. Jessica Carlos and Ruben Salazar may have attended the same show together a time or two, and both have taken their next big steps opening their individually unique studio and retail space, respectively, and are hosting grand openings this weekend.
Salazar was one of the first exhibitors at The Market at Sawyer Yards and frequents the popup circuit almost weekly. Salazar creates shadow boxes and frames with exotic insects and butterflies from around the world and calls his business “Bug in The Box.”
His mother was an entomologist and taught Salazar about spreading and pinning insects and how to preserve them. His father was a botanical artist. The combination of skills certainly influenced his current artistic endeavors.
“I guess I merged what they both taught me and that’s how ‘Bug in The Box’ came to be,” Salazar said. “I opened a studio because I needed the extra space to get all the ideas I have going on in my head into a reality. I want to make really big pieces with bugs and butterflies and was running out of room for that at home. The studio is the perfect place for all the things I want to do and making bigger and more grand pieces that really show off what nature has to offer.”
Salazar’s future plans include traveling to different parts of the world to learn about new butterflies and insects.
The opening is set for 4 – 10 p.m. Friday, March 9 at The Silos at Sawyer, 1502 Sawyer St. upstairs in Studio #132. Catch Salazar at Second Saturday Open Studios and other events at buginthebox.net.
Jessica Carlos has an imagination like few adults do. Her spin with her crocheted creatures are humorous, charming and trending with current culture. I’m sure you’re thinking scarf, sweater, mittens or hat. Wrong; think zombie rabbit, “eye” pods in a pot, eyeball ice-cream cones, a jar full of calavara ornaments (human skull!).
Carlos, with her husband, Louis, have painstakingly converted a 140 square foot space into a storefront and invited similarly creative artists to display their work with her.
How long have you been participating in art shows?
“I’ve been participating in markets since about 2010,” said Carlos. “My creations have always been very “me!” By this I mean, a bit quirky, a little off the wall, but still very approachable.
Tell us about the shop.
“The shop has been an idea in the works for quite a while,” Carlos said. “I felt it was time for me to plant my roots somewhere and take the next step with my art. I had another space in mind but it fell through. I was visiting with my goods at Misfit Toys when the idea of a space in the same building happened. I mean, what better place to open shop than in the Heights.”
Carlos tells me she plans to sell at the shop exclusively for at least a year before the bug to return to outdoor shows resurfaces.
Carlos currently represents 13 different artists that includes jewelry, canvas and print art, woodwork, and home goods with plans to continue expanding the variety.
The Whimsy Artisan Boutique opening is 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday, March 1802 Yale St. Visit them online at thewhimsyartisan.com.
Saturday afternoon The Market at Sawyer Yards finally returns, with over 50 exhibitors, two food trucks and Grifters & Shills performing on the TaxAct stage. Get details at SawyerStreetMarket.com The market is located at 1502 Sawyer St. – right by Ruben Salazar’s new studio, he plans to be in studio and the market!
Cohen is an artist and founder of First Saturday Arts Market and the new Market at Sawyer Yards, find him at ArtValet.com.