Enjoy a photo tour of the Art Ramble at Sawyer Yards — then check it out in person next time!

If you live in the Heights, you’re hopefully familiar with Sawyer Yards – an impressive art campus that has converted a former railway station, warehouses and other industrial buildings into state-of-the-art studio and gallery spaces for creatives right in the heart of Houston.

The campus consists of several buildings, some within walking distance from each other, connected by what is known as Art Alley, an urban space decorated by whimsical murals and showcasing stunning views of downtown, some a short driving distance away. On Saturday, Sept. 30, during an event called the Art Ramble, the buildings welcomed visitors and most artists opened their studio doors to let the public see their work spaces, their new creations, and in some instances even give them a peek at their art process.

If this sounds fun to you, but you missed it, your next chance to see these beautiful spaces and meet the artists at Sawyer Yards is during Second Saturday, October 14, from 12-5p.m. In fact, Second Saturday Open Studios happen every month, but that doesn’t mean you should put off visiting for too long. Like everything else in Houston, the artist studios at Sawyer Yards are dynamic and prone to exciting changes, so you might want to start keeping track of who your favorite artists are and how their spaces change from one event to the next. It’s a great way to stay connected to Houston’s thriving art scene, and you will always walk away from these events delightfully overwhelmed by colors and creativity, and also with a sense that what our city can offer artists is the space to create and a supportive community that takes interest in their work. 

Some highlights from the Art Ramble? It’s definitely hard to choose. There was live music in some of the common areas. There were exhibits in the hallways. There were Halloween cupcakes, candy, and, as always, there was wine. Many of the artists, in addition to being present and having their doors open to the public, chose to work in their spaces, which is especially fun to watch. Art was not just present on the walls, but actively happening. You could see anything from large abstract works to pet portraits being painted, as well as pottery and jewelry being made. 

Many art lovers in our community wonder how the Winter Street artists are faring. Winter Street, one of the Sawyer Yards studio buildings, suffered a devastating fire due to an act of vandalism right before Christmas last year. Several artists lost priceless works and equipment, and all artists in the building lost access to their studio and gallery spaces while the building is undergoing repairs. Some Winter Street artists have since rented new spaces within the Sawyer Yards campus and had their doors open for the Art Ramble. Others showed their work in booths in a warehouse space Sawyer Yards has designated for this purpose. Others are creating at home and waiting for their building to reopen.

If you’re thinking of checking out Sawyer Yards for the next Second Saturday, you might want to start with the Main Yard, park at 2101 Winter Street, and enter one of the buildings that are open: The Silos or Silver Street Studios. Be sure to check out The Market at Sawyer Yards in the beautiful Art Alley (1502 Sawyer Street). Do not, however, miss visiting the North Yard (Sabine Street Studios and Spring Street Studios). You can park at 1824 Spring Street for the North Yard.

And not to worry, wherever you start, there will be maps and most importantly, friendly people to talk to. In fact, these events are lovely for connecting with others in the community, and if you make a habit out of going, you will make friends with artists and art patrons alike. 

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