art valet

Guiteau Lanoue looks on as Jay T. Jax installs Elaine Lanoue’s paintings at Art Machine Gallery.

“It’s too hot,” they said. “Why can’t we have an indoor show?”

Those are exaggerated examples of comments that surfaced in an online discussion with artists from First Saturday Arts Market. We were chatting about all the elements lined up against us for outdoor summer markets.

Sure, the market is at night and cooling off by the time we open. No problem there. Setup can be brutal, though, at 4 p.m. on a summer afternoon in Houston. That’s when things melt on sidewalks.

Then there are summer storms to contend with and sometimes overzealous weather forecasters (talk about job security) that scare everyone indoors, regardless. Well, everyone except me and the hardcore artists joining me Saturday night for the second installment of First Saturday Arts Market at Night.

Weather permitting (check the website and social media channels), we’ll be set up from 6-10 p.m. at 540 W. 19th St. Details are at 1stsatartmarket.com.

Speaking of indoors, there are many options for visual artists in Houston. A few years ago I introduced you to Art Machine Gallery, located at The Silos at Sawyer Yards, 1502 Sawyer St., Studio 215. The space is always hopping with patrons and artists.

Artist Jay T. Jax runs the space now and calls himself a contemporary minimalist sculptor. Jax may call his wooden sculptures “minimalist” but that’s only because he doesn’t use an entire tree for individual pieces. Jax starts with whole pieces by removing the bark, cutting, chiseling and shaping the wood with hand tools. His sculptures range from the human form to animals and conceptual work, with some humor in there, too.

I wanted to highlight Art Machine Gallery because they are open every Saturday from noon-5 p.m. and, for Second Saturdays Open Studios during summer, through 10 p.m. That coincides with the Market at Sawyer Yards right outside.

Of the 14 artists in the space, recent additions include Rodney Butler, Elaine Lanoue and Michelle L Huff. This is not a traditional gallery, but a living, local artist gallery space where there are always artists available to answer questions.

Yes, it’s indoors and air-conditioned, if you like that kind of thing. (Who am I kidding, I’ll be jealous!)

To find Art Machine Gallery, head to The Silos at Sawyer Yards at 1502 Sawyer St. The gallery is located on the far side of the building from Sawyer Street, almost literally under the silos the space is named for. There is parking behind the building, too. Look for location maps on the walls. Find them on Facebook as artmachinegallery.

The best thing about this space, you may see me in there taking an air-conditioning break on second Saturdays!

Cohen is an artist and founder of the First Saturday Arts Market and the Market at Sawyer Yards. Find him at ArtValet.com for additional highlights and artist’s stories.

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