Normally this weekend is the Houston Heights Association’s annual Spring Home Tour, but that’s been pushed back to next weekend April 11 and 12 with Easter Sunday here. The best way to get to know my favorite neighborhood is on one of these home tours, and if you can still get in, the Candlelight Dinner and Auction on Friday night, April 10, is one of the best parties of the year and features some of the best local artwork up for auction.
The live auction’s featured painting is titled “The Heights” by artist Taft McWhorter. Other Heights area artists whose work is featured are Chris Silkwood, Sharon Kopriva and Mark “Scrapdaddy” Bradford. Get info on the dinner and tour on the website, HoustonHeights.org.
Back to the present. Good Friday, Passover than Easter all in one weekend would lead one to think this would be a quiet weekend – not even close. This time of year is all about new beginnings, starting fresh and I love it.
It’s the time of year I started my art market eleven years ago, and when I fell in love with being a part of the entrepreneurial spirit with others. I’m won’t get all poetic on you but I would like to introduce some creative types that keep pushing the creative bug.
Rachel Goodman is a good example. Goodman lives and works in the Heights as a caregiver and approached me last year about attending my show. She “upcycles” old belts into cuffs and also makes jewelry. I turned her down the first time, telling her to keep at it. She did and added on to her list of skills that now feature over fifty percent designed and handmade by her including etched metal cuffs.
I’m a bag nut. In lieu of a backpack, I’ve always preferred an over the shoulder bag like delivery cyclists wear – courier bags. Still, my friends like to poke fun and call them man purses. Whatever, a high quality bag is all I see and when Becky Feeley of Texas Carpet Baggers inquired about my show I said yes. Feeley and her husband design high quality handbags for ladies from their studio in Bulverde, Texas, a mere 200 miles from the Heights! Feeley’s passion emerged from her desire to have a better made handbag.
“In the winter of 2010, I decided that I wanted to make better handbags. I wanted to design an everything bag. Something that said different things to different women,” Feeley states on her website. “I designed a bag that could carry anything!”
I’m not turning my courier bag in, but ladies you need to check Feeley’s Texas Carpet Baggers handbags out. They’re made to last and yes, they’re artsy too.
Two hundred miles seems like a long way to travel for a one day show, but Jefferson Woodruff of Austin has been driving close to that for nearly ten years now. Woodruff is a metalsmith, painter and philosopher. Well, our conversations tend to lean that way anyway.
Woodruff lives and works in Austin, and travels to Houston for shows like mine and Discovery Green Flea a couple times a month all year.
Woodruff’s booth always grabs attention with his metal and crystal mobiles reflecting light from all corners. Woodruff himself can generally be found with a jewelers eye and a hammer, smoothing out metal. A few years ago Woodruff had this to say about the art market:
“First Saturday Arts Market is not the bleeding edge of international art. You will not find a vendor cutting off a finger or trying to convince you to buy a brick, throw out your furniture and put that in the middle of your living room. These artists get by the old fashioned way, not by government grants, but by building what they sell and living off the proceeds.”
That’s what it’s all about! Have a great weekend and buy some art!
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.