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
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.
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
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.