When I met artists Teresa Staley and Cherie Salinas, they were already a fast-moving duo, partnering at markets and festivals, doing group art shows and collaborating with other artists to produce their own art receptions.
They have been studio mates for a couple of years and just last month announced their joint collaboration of Art Machine, an art gallery at Studio #223 in the Silos at Sawyer Yards, 1502 Sawyer St.
The gallery is open in conjunction with Second Saturdays at Sawyer Yards from noon-5 p.m., open third Saturdays and by appointment.
AV: Where did the “Art Machine” name come from? It’s unusual.
CS: “Teresa said she was turning out so many commissions, art for shows and faux for her clients that she felt like an art machine. I exclaimed, ‘That would be the perfect name for an art gallery!’ ”
Salinas is a self-taught artist and knew from a young age that she was born to be creative. She is married and has a son about to enter college. She’s been a stay-at-home mom, worked in retail, owned her own business and now works with Staley at her faux finishing and mural business.
AV: What’s it like being a tenant at Sawyer Yards.
CS: “Being a part of Sawyer Yards has made me a better artist from being around other creatives. This community has allowed me to meet other artists and collectors from all walks of life.”
AV: What are your hopes for Art Machine? Which artists do you represent now?
CS: “We started Art Machine to provide a way for patrons to collect unique pieces of art from Houston-area artists. We currently represent Angela Rose Walling, Ernest Flores, Jay T. Jax, Lisa Hilton, Teresa Staley and Cherie Salinas. Eventually we would like to have a bigger space on the campus in order to allow for more artists.”
Staley and Salinas met many years ago in the decorative painting industry and often work together on projects. Staley has owned Murals & Faux By Design for 20 years. With her father, Roy Staley, the three often team up on a mural and faux finishing projects.
Staley’s eclectic style merges romanticism and fantasy with a dreamlike quality. Following her education and working career, she has traveled extensively throughout America, Europe, Australia and Asia. She has also done many art projects in the U.S. and abroad.
AV: Where do you find inspiration for your own art?
TS: “I find inspiration for my art in my travels. I get immersed in other cultures with all of the colors, unique designs, architecture, interesting faces and personalities of the people from other lands.
“My art is continually evolving and found through life’s experiences, observations and experimentation with many different mediums. My greatest joy is to paint, draw, design and create in many different forms without limits. My life’s work has been in the arts. This is what drives me and what I know and love best.”
AV: Do you have big plans for Art Machine in 2019?
TS: “We are currently planning for the upcoming new year to do some exciting themed events, art contests, silent auctions/raffles, solo shows for our artists in the gallery, charity events, art education and music entertainment.
“Our goal is to grow and help other artists exhibit their work in our gallery. We are so excited to help showcase emerging and established artists and give them a chance to connect with the public, collectors and designers.
AV: Any wild stories about your decorative painting business?
TS: “We seem to keep running into animal mis-adventures, such as chasing basset hounds around a home trying to prevent the dogs from ruining a very pricey carpet as the dog was running around with my fan brushes with red paint. Another incident was Cherie and I planning to escape some very aggressive standard poodles as we brought in our supplies each day.”
“Recently, we ran into a demon child. One of my other workers and Cherie were doing a job for me one day and they were witnessing a complete meltdown of a 7-year-old. My crew needed a tranquilizer after witnessing this hour-and-a-half exorcism, complete with noises of screams and pictures being thrown onto the floors, while they kept on painting.”
Let’s hope the tales from the gallery are quieter!
The duo offers free delivery. Professional installation services are available (not free) through the gallery.
Cohen is an artist and founder of First Saturday Arts Market and the Market at Sawyer Yards, find him at ArtValet.com