by Mitch Cohen

I tend become fascinated with mediums that I know nothing about; art forms that there is just no way I’ll ever try, just admire. Leisa McCord’s artwork absolutely falls into that category and has fascinated me from the first time I heard from her five years ago.

 

Leisa is a lifelong crocheter.

 

Leisa McCordMiniature thread crochet to be more specific. The kind that would require you to wear fancy magnifying eyewear. I can’t say whether or not Leisa looks like a mad scientist when she’s crocheting or not, but the end results are amazing and beautiful.

 

Leisa’s inspiration comes from the thread manufactures patterns  of the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s. Which also makes her a preservationist. Leisa reproduces these patterns on a miniature and creates her own designs. The scale is so small, that she makes her own tools. Leisa also dyes her silk threads to her liking too. Her finished pieces are “framed” in sterling silver and ready to wear as earrings and pendants.

 

Leisa celebrates her 5th anniversary with us at the market Saturday, and she tells me this was her first show to attend. I asked if  there anything significant that happened to her as a result of participating at the market.

McCord Works

“This was definitely my jumping off point! I’ve become much more involved in the art scene. I have jewelry in galleries now. I’ve been in big shows. I’ve learned lots about presentation, infrastructure, booth shots, payments systems, you name it.”

Lager Rhythms

Leisa has another passion that she’s bringing to the market on Saturday too. Music! Leisa and her friends are celebrating 20 years with an a cappella group called the Lager Rhythms. Leisa is a soprano! They perform at lunchtime – and you can visit Leisa’s booth behind the music tent.  Read more about the Lager Rhythms on the website, here. Leisa can be reached at  leisa@mccordworks.com and http://mccordworks.com

 

 

 

More about the Lager Rhythms is on our website here: http://www.firstsaturdayartsmarket.com/Music/LagerRhythms

On the road with Mitch

 

The Purple Elephant Gallery and Iron Butterfly Studio

The Purple Elephant Gallery and Iron Butterfly Studio - click to see big

Friday on any road in Houston is bound to keep you tuned to your radio as you creep along, bumper watching for hours. So at lunchtime today I left in a panic to get to Jerry’s Artarama, which is conveniently located off 249 and 1960, about 30 minutes to an hour away from my Heights home.  I just needed a few art things.

Well that trip turned into an all day adventure!  First, artist Linda Hardy is shopping near by and overhear’s me asking for directions and calls me out for leaving the Heights. Yes its true! On occasion I must travel outside my precious loop, okay? The fella that helped me turns back around and introduces himself, the assistant manager, Daniel Elliott - we’re Facebook friends too. Wow!  Nice to meet you Daniel Elliott. (Daniel is an excellent artist by the way.)

I know an opportunity when it slaps me in the face (that would be a proverbial slap by Linda). See Linda has been promoting her studio complex where she creates her art since she moved in about a year ago. I’ve never been, and I know its gotta be close – so off we go, and thankfully Linda steers me through for a sandwich on the way. Yeah Linda!

The Purple Elephant Gallery and Iron Butterfly Studio is in the heart of Cypress, and it appears as we

Picasso

Picasso is into the art of food.

pulled in the drive, that the whole street is part of The Purple Elephant. The gift shop on the corner sports a massive colorful sculpture of a sneaker on the corner. And just a few properties passed the “Hula” barn are the studios where Linda is. As you can see above – its quite a big “little” compound. Patio chairs and tables, creativity just oozes from every corner. The majority of the studios are stand alone buildings with a common area in what was once a house. The house doubles as more studios (2) and classroom space.

There’s even an animal pen! With goats, a sheep and pig. The pig is Picasso by the way, on the left.  No, I did not feed anyone, but Picasso did get a scratch behind the ear.

As we are about to leave, artist Sergio Santos arrives. Goodbye Linda, hello Sergio! Sergio has a space down the street a bit, still on the property though. Sergio has a bit more space in this former one bedroom home. Really cool! He’s got the room to create, and display his paintings and award winning photography for the monthly open studios.

El Santos Studio & Gallery

El Santos Studio & Gallery

Quite an unexpected treat today!  I am getting my wish to visit working artist’s studios that is for sure. I’m still finding similarities in studios no matter what kind of artist. Inspirational phrases, quotes and “things.”

I’m inspired again and ready to paint! And looking forward to my next visit to The Purple Elephant Studios!

Jerry’s Artarama is an awesome art store, and as I told Daniel, totally worth the drive to 12974-A Willowchase Dr., Houston, Texas 77070. They do deliver in Houston, however! Oh yeah! Like them on Facebook here or visit the website here.

The Purple Elephant Gallery and Iron Butterfly Studio on Facebook here. The artists host open studios on 2nd Saturdays from 5-9pm

Linda Hardy and Sergio Santos both attend the art market regularly.
They’re websites are linked on their art market pages here: LindaSergio

 

 

 

 

Sergio Santos and Mitch Cohen

Sergio snapped our pic!

 

Mitch Cohen is the founder of First Saturday Arts Market. He also writes an art/event column for The Leader Newspaper.  Check it out sometime here.

 

I asked the current and past FSAM artists in a recent survey what they would say to other artists considering coming to the market.  Here are some of their responses.  ~ Mitch

—-

Adriana Whitney

I would like to encourage artists to apply for many reasons. The knowledge you will get by just being able to be with clients face to face is enormous. The patrons are friendly and very encouraging. The artists at First Saturday Arts Market are very friendly and helpful. You will find a good family here.

Steve Harris

Steve Harris

Steve Harris at the October Market

 

Try it, you may find that you like it. I’ve told several artists, at bigger shows, and then have seen them turn up at First Saturday Arts Market, and enjoy it!

Kiki Neumann

Show your stuff, baby….the world needs you. People who make things with their hearts and hands are the greatest balm to the soul. The world needs you, Houston needs you, I need you and you will never regret just throwing your hat in the ring!

Chris Perkins

I would say to give it a shot if you are giving the opportunity. I think your attitude goes a long way with sales. I had a couple visit my tent 3 times before they purchased a painting. Everytime they came I smiled, talked to them and interacted with them…be positive, but not too invasive, it goes a long way.

April Murphy

Nom Nom by April Murphy

Nom Nom one of April Murphy's popular styles.

If you are looking to sharpen your festival skills, develop some key friendships and connect with a thoughtful public, First Saturday Arts Market is the place to do that. You can be a novice and not feel threatened. Mitch and his crew will take you under their wing and make you feel a part of the family.

John J. McGeough

Continue to grow with the Market as it will open new worlds to you as it did to me. Beautiful wood is a living, breathing thing which often tells the wood artist what it has to be.

Lacey Crawford

First Saturday Arts Market isn’t a place to sell off your older works, your school assignments, or your cast-off experimental art – it is an art venue where true artists can display their best work, work that has reached a level of polish and refinement. It is a low-brow / high-end collection of dedicated artists, craftspeople, and artisans who take complete pride in their work and understand that this isn’t just a local market ~ it is one of Houston’s best treasures. It is a place of community: a great venue to meet others in our field who care about their craft, where extreme generosity and constructive criticism are given and taken well, a place where we all can continue to grow and expand our skill set and social circles.

Sergio Santos

FSAM is the best place to get your work seen and appreciated by the appropriate audience. It’s built its reputation well and we’re lucky as artists to have it as a platform to meet the public.

Michelle Hickman

To other artists, all I can say is… If you think your art is unique enough to stand out, give it a shot. Not everyone gets into this or many other markets, but so long as you do ‘your’ work and it is unique to you, I don’t see you having many problems. If you don’t get into the ‘limited spots’ monthly, try for the White Linen Nights. Perhaps something more will come of it afterwards. Don’t give up easily and if you get turned down you don’t have to give up. We could be full-up on your kind of art. We don’t all get in each month. Some have to plan months in advance to be in each month. The important thing is to be unique.

Abigail McKenzie

If you are an artist wanting to get your artwork out there I would definitely give First Saturday Arts Market a chance. It’s where I did my first real show and had an amazing response from the people that came. Ever since, I’ve been doing First Saturday Arts Market every month or every other month and the sales get better and better. I even see a lot of repeat customers, which are the best customers.

Tim Herschbach

No matter how many shows I do a year or where they take me, it’s comforting to have a show that I can call “home.”

Alicia Boles

After becoming part if First Saturday Arts Market I never looked back. I’ve been creating ever since! I continue to try new techniques and develop my own. I never know what I’ll think of in my garage aka studio. After becoming part if First Saturday Arts Market I never looked back. I’ve been creating ever since! I continue to try new techniques and develop my own. I never know what I’ll think of in my garage aka studio.

Lisa Chow

Lisa Chow

Lisa Chow at the November 2013 art market.

 

First Saturday Arts Market is a relaxed, supportive and FUN environment for first timers and seasoned pros to reach the extremely art-supporting Heights community.

Leisa McCord

First Saturday Arts Market is home. It’s where I’m comfortable, it’s where I learn things. Sometimes sales are good and sometimes not — such is the nature of the business, but it’s always a valuable experience.

Penny McDonald

Try it – it’s work, and it gets hot, but it’s Houston. The people are great and you’ll have a blast. Etc: First Saturday Arts Market is just plain fun, whether your’e attending as a patron or as an artist.

Celia Clowe

I remember when … I was so surprised by how much of a family the First Saturday Arts Market artists are. I was welcomed with open arms and provided help at every turn. It’s great to be so supported locally. It gave me the confidence to move forward and branch out. Not every show is like the First Saturday Arts Market family team!

Toria Hill

You can’t keep creating work if you never sell it!” Come out, enjoy the fresh air, the amazing cupcakes, the music and cool people and make money and room so you can create more art.

Denise Martin

This one is a no brainer; reasonable booth fees, friendly folks, help with set up and tear down, and just one day!

P.A. Mueller

The question I am asked most often by newbie artists is who to trust when it comes to shows etc. etc. etc.. Since 2007 I have been telling them about First Saturday Arts Market and Mitch Cohen. There is an energy and an unspoken code of behavior that has everything to do with respecting other artists and maintaining a professional approach to this fine art event. Not stuffy…professional.

At First Saturday Arts Market I have bought and sold original artwork…made lifelong friends…listened to live music that rocked my world and laughed til I cried and cried til I laughed myself silly again. For all things fine and beautiful…give yourself the gift of a day(or night)at First Saturday Arts Market.

 

P.A.Mueller on the left with Mitch Cohen and artist Mary Wilkinson

P.A.Mueller on the left with Mitch Cohen and artist Mary Wilkinson

Interested joining us at First Saturday Arts Market?

Visit our artists pages here.

Some of the things you get include;

  • Marketing and PR from seasoned pro, Mitch Cohen
  • Permanent listing on the website with your own page
  • Exclusive offers for FSAM artists
  • A community of artists – private Facebook page to exchange ideas and tips
  • Group discounts, like insurance & auto clubs!

What are you waiting for?  Like Kiki says, ” … The world needs you, Houston needs you, I need you …”

Come on, BRING IT!

Adriana Whitney

Adriana Whitney

Katy, TX.  Self-taught folk artist

Adriana started attending the market in 2008 and it was her first time showing at a public venue.

Alice & Bunny by Adriana Whitney

Alice & Bunny by Adriana Whitney

Has your art changed since first attending First Saturday Arts Market How has your art changed?

My interaction with patrons and other artists helped me to create art that people are attracted to. As an artist I want to be free to create whatever I want but it’s also important for me that my art touches people. When I use to sell online I didn’t have that feedback that now I have thanks to be able to see people face to face

Is there anything significant that happened to you as a result of participating at the market?

Yes, as a result of my presence at First Saturday Arts Market I made connections and new collectors that allowed me to be able to be a full time artist. Today I am able to participate in all kinds of art shows, markets and festivals. Without First Saturday Arts Market I don’t think I would be in the place I am now.

I remember when …

My first art market wasn’t even in the market, It was outside. The market was full but Mitch was so nice to let me set up my booth outside a store. I wasn’t feeling very confident as an artist and I was afraid of rejection but the patrons were so nice to me and Mitch came to reassure that I was good. That day I sold almost everything I had and a store asked me to sell my paintings in their place. It was a dream come true.

Where are you now?

I keep selling art. I attend First Saturday Arts Market and White Linen Night at least 3 times a year and I am participating in different venues like gallery shows, festivals and art markets.

What would you tell the public about the market?

I have been in many other shows and the quality of work at First Saturday Arts Market is great. Here you are not going to find imports and mass made products. Everyone is an artist and many of our artist participate in high ranked shows that attract artist nationwide as The Bayou City Art Festival, WHAM, Waterway aArt Festival, Houston Fine Art Festival and many other juried shows.

How about to artists considering?

I would like to encourage artists to apply for many reasons. The knowledge you will get by just being able to be with clients face to face is enormous. The patrons are friendly and very encouraging. The artists at First Saturday Arts Market are very friendly and helpful. You will find a good family here.

 

Always try to help others, is the best way to be successful in this business.

http://www.firstsaturdayartsmarket.com/Yalest/AdrianaWhitney

A Before and After look at Adriana’s booth setup:

Adriana Whitney 2008

Adriana in her booth at her first ever show at First Saturday Arts Market in December 2008.

Adriana Whitney 2013

Adriana's booth at the White Linen Night event 2013.

The Anniversary Interviews

First Saturday Arts Market will celebrate 10 years in March of 2014, making it the longest, continuously running monthly outdoor fine arts event in Houston. I asked the artists how the market has affected them, their artwork, friendships and what advice they may give artists considering outdoor shows like ours. I’ll share some of the responses on our blog from both new and seasoned artists leading up to our anniversay.

 

Running this show has changed my life. And watching how it has changed and affected the lives of others has been an awesome experience. If you have something you’d like to share, please email me at here. (1stSatArtMarket at Gmail com)

Just scroll down past this post to begin reading!  (or click the banner above first if nothing is below)

Thank you Houston!

Mitch Cohen
Founder/Market Guy at First Saturday Arts Market

Martin de Vore - Mitch Cohen

Martin de Vore visits the market, with Mitch on the right.

Amanda Armistead Pechacek

Amanda Armistead Pechacek

Kingwood, Texas
Mixed media painting * Joined the market in 2011

Amanda Armistead Pechacek

Amanda Armistead Pechacek at a recent show in downtown Houston

 

How has your art changed since joining First Saturday Arts Market?

When I started in May 2011 my sales were average.  Now, in 2013, my sales have hit over 7 times what I made per market.  Seasoned artists have been an example for me to follow.

About how often do you attend the market and how would you rate your level of experience now?

3-5 times a year Seasoned

Is there anything significant that happened to you as a result of participating at the market?

My art has developed.  I have become more confident.  I am setting higher goals for myself.

Amanda Armistead Pechacek - Mixed media watercolor titled "One of a Brood" that received 3rd place at the JoMar Visions Art Excellence 2013.

Amanda Armistead Pechacek - Mixed media watercolor titled "One of a Brood" that received 3rd place at the JoMar Visions Art Excellence 2013.

In May of 2011, First Saturday Arts Market became a Birthplace and Public Grand Opening for both me and my art.  Each time I participate I observe a fascinating mixture of both novice and seasoned artists creating an appealing atmosphere for patrons.  The 10 year success of the monthly outdoor fine arts event proves that something great is happening…both for the participation artists and the public who can’t seem to get enough.

Do you have any advice for new artists?

Watch, listen, learn, take notes, apply, ask Mitch, ask your tent neighbor, engage your patron, smile, return, and you will love it!!

 

 

 

 

 

FSAM – learn more about Amanda on our website: http://www.firstsaturdayartsmarket.com/Yalest/AmandaArmistead

 

Chris Perkins

Christopher Perkins
Cypress Fairbanks
Painter, joined in 2013

“If  ’life is a trip,’ then make the trip count for something!”

Chris Perkins

Chris Perkins at White Linen Night in the Heights

As a first time artist showing at outdoor events, what has First Saturday Arts Market done for you?

I feel I have been enhanced by my experience at First Saturday Arts Market.  I think just being in an artistic atmosphere generates so much creative energy that one can’t help but to exemplify it.

Is there anything significant that happened to you as a result of participating at the market?

Yes, I met some awesome people including those in the art community and art lovers.  I also sold nearly all of my paintings!  I’ve been painting in between my daughters nap-time preparing for 2014 and I’m looking at next year with so much optimism and excitement.

I remember when …

My first experience that I will never forget….as I was assembling my tent, my tent bag acquired some legs and “walked off”.  Come to find out a fellow patron mistakingly thought it was his.  Another moment…I was so nervous and excited for the 2013 White Linen Night that I forgot my tent all together!  Luckily Mitch came to my rescue.  All my items are labeled and I will pack everything up the day before from now on.

What would you say to aspiring artists sitting on the fence?

Music by Chris Perkins

"Music" by Chris Perkins

I would say to give it a shot if you are giving the opportunity.  I think your attitude goes a long way with sales.  I had a couple visit my tent 3 times before they purchased a painting.  Everytime they came I smiled, talked to them and interacted with them…be positive, but not too invasive, it goes a long way.

What have you been doing since your last show at First Saturday Arts Market?
I’ve been doing commissioned work since the White Linen Night, it’s been great!

 

 

 

 

More about Chris on our website: http://www.firstsaturdayartsmarket.com/Yalest/ChrisPerkins

 

Monique Weston

Monique Weston
Houston, TX
Art Jeweler - repurposed  materials. First attended the market in 2009

Monique Weston

Monique Weston at First Saturday Arts Market

How has your art changed since first attending First Saturday Arts Market

I’ve gained a lot more confidence in my art, and my pieces reflect that; they’re more interesting, daring and original.

What makes the experience at the market different?

First Saturday Arts Market gives me the invaluable experience of seeing first-hand how people react to my artwork. They’ll be strolling by the booth and I’ll see their attention sharpen and focus on a particular piece. In the way they touch my work, I can see which pieces have the right balance. I get to see which pieces garner the most attention, and hear patrons’ comments. I also get to see my jewelry on a lot of different people, mixing with their individual styles. While I love selling in boutiques as well, being a vendor shapes my work directly, in a way no other outlet can.

Is there anything significant that happened to you as a result of participating at the market?

Monique Weston Jewelry

Monique Weston Jewelry

I’ve met a lot of great clients, and was invited to show in several galleries by people I wouldn’t have met anywhere else. I’ve also met such wonderful fellow-vendors, people I look forward to seeing every time I go.

I remember when …

I guess it’s clear that I love vending. I love joining in this ancient, pure form of commerce – creator to consumer.

The atmosphere at First Saturday Arts Market reflects an openness that is one of the best qualities that Houston has to offer. There’s bonhomie among the vendors – I love hearing a shout of laughter from another tent, seeing a borrowed roll of duct-tape passed back and forth, hearing comments on booths and artwork, observing the commonality of setting up and breaking down tents. I’m not romanticizing these little details into a great bond among the artists, but there’s a camaraderie at First Saturday Arts Market which, while mainly casual, is truly valuable nonetheless.

Among the patrons, there seems to be a sensibility of more than just shopping, but also of supporting the local arts.

You mentioned you show your jewelry elsewhere, where can we find it?

When I’m not at First Saturday Arts Market, I’m selling in Houston boutiques. At the moment, I’m in Artisan Designs in Rice Village, and at Hello-Lucky in the Heights.

More about Monique on our website: http://www.firstsaturdayartsmarket.com/Yalest/MoniqueWeston

New Arts Column in The Leader

The Leader Newspaper

Greetings!  With great honor I accepted an invitation to write a column about art in The Leader Newspaper. Naturally, I’ll be covering what I know best … the independent art scene!

The first column is all about art markets that now occur on each first Saturday of the month. Each are different and offer patrons a unique twist. Read all about it!

Week 1 : Mitch Cohen: Beyond the galleries, Houston outdoor art venues thrive

Week 2: Mitch Cohen’s Art a la Carte: Of Mad Hatters, guitars & an anniversary

Week 3: Art a la Carte: Exhibits bloom in advance of spring

Cheers!

Mitch

Artist AT LARGE
Market Manager Guy
& Newspaper columnist type person.

 

 

FSAM Artists Everywhere!

The next First Saturday Arts Market is coming up this weekend, on 6 October 2012.  Bet you were wondering what some of us do in between the markets…

Besides sleeping and replenishing our items for next time, we participate in shows throughout the Houston area, and sometimes even out of town!

This past weekend, Kristen Kramlich of Frilled and Feathered, and April Murphy of AEM Gallery, were both vendors at the Houston Wine Fest,  and Leisa McCord of McCord Works, was a participant at Fashion Fusion, in Austin, TX.  The weekend before, I travelled to Los Angeles, CA as one of the artists for the Giant Robot Biennale 3 at the Japanese American National Museum.

Both Leisa and Kristen have also been featured in national magazines this year as well.  Leisa in the September/October 2012 issue of Crochet Today, and Kristen in the June 2012 issue of  Divergent Magazine.  Are you impressed yet?  Make sure to stop by and see our newest work this Saturday, 6 October 2012.

—-

Valerie G is a guest blogger. Visit her booth on First Saturdays, look for Cultured Critter Collective.


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