Art Squared presents 'Art-ober'

October's featured artist is Charlie Rehfeld, creator of Tejas Cigar Box Guitar Company. Rehfeld handcrafts guitars out of cigar boxes for a one-of-a-kind instrument and sound. PHOTO COURTESY OF ARTS SQUARED ARTS MARKET

We welcome the arrival of fall, its cooler weather and the upcoming “Art-ober” - the Art Squared Arts Market, on Saturday, Oct.14.

We anticipate a lovely autumn day, with over 50 artisan vendors from across the region exhibiting and selling their work under the beautiful oak trees of the Hays County Courthouse lawn in downtown from 9 a.m.to 4 p.m. Art Squared will also feature live local music from 1 to 4 p.m.

The Art Squared Arts Market, sponsored by the San Marcos Art League, is funded by Art League memberships, donations and the city of San Marcos Arts Commission. Market Manager Kelsey Huckaby is pleased to help grow and develop the creative arts in San Marcos.

“We are eager to highlight so many talented individuals and groups in our community,” Huckaby said. “Each month, a variety of artists display and sell their works under the shady oaks, local musicians perform throughout the afternoon and we spotlight an organization that provides important services.”

The featured artist for October is Charlie Rehfeld, a San Antonio artist and businessman who makes a variety of musical instruments and accessories from cigar boxes for his business, Tejas Cigar Box Guitar Company. While he works primarily with wood, plans are in the works for cigar box guitars made of metal and tin, and more unusual objects.

Rehfeld built his first cigar box guitar for his son. Seeing how much he enjoyed it, he built another, then a few more for friends and family. Attending his first Cigar Box Guitar Fest in Kansas City, Montana, was pivotal. With the inspiration of builders and musicians he met there, Charlie has not stopped building since and Tejas Cigar Box Guitar Co. was born. He now sells his instruments at artisan markets and festivals throughout Texas, and has made trips to festivals in Louisiana, Missouri and Mississippi, where he enjoys showing and introducing his guitars.

His cigar box guitars have been sent all over the country. and overseas to Australia, Japan, Norway and England. Since his retirement in 2016, Charlie is building full-time and enjoying it even more, taking pride in creating handcrafted, one-of-akind, custom stringed instruments. They are built to represent old school tradition with modern upgrades. View some of Rehfeld’s unique cigar box instruments online.

This month features outstanding musicians from the Austin area. The music kicks off at 1 p.m. with Rose Gabriel. An El Pasoborn songwriter, Gabriel picked up a guitar at age 13, which was a natural thing to do in her family. Her father was a regular fixture at The Lobby, a lounge across the border in Juarez, Mexico, where he sang and played piano. Her stepfather taught her to play guitar, starting with songs by Johnny Cash and Joan Baez, two artists that still influence her songwriting.

On her 2017 debut EP, Desert Flowers, Gabriel writes songs that were born on the Rio Grande, like “El Paso Blues,” “Maria,” and “Pastel Boxes.” She creates lyrics about people on the border who are honest, hardworking and compassionate. Drawing on her childhood and personal experience in her songs, she’ll take you through grit and soul, ballads and honky tonks, love and loss, heartache and gratitude.

Gabriel’s melodies groove with Latin influences and swing with a bit of country. Her driving rhythms will linger in the soul and ears. Listen to her music on her bandcamp.

Music continues at 2:15 p.m. with an extended set by the very talented duo Ordinary Elephant. A collaboration of the husband and wife duo, Crystal and Pete Damore, Ordinary Elephant captivates listeners with insightful writing, effortless harmonies and intertwined banjo and guitar.

The Damores met at a weekly songwriter night in Bryan, Texas, in 2009, and began co-writing and developing their sound. Their debut album, “Dusty Words & Cardboard Boxes,” garnered a nomination for Vocal Duo of the Year at the 2014 Texas Music Awards. Since then, they have won recognition and many awards for their songs and music.

While influenced by musicians such as Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Guy Clark, Darrell Scott and Mary Gauthier, they have a style all their own. Pete’s understated and melodic banjo weaves through Crystal’s steady rhythm guitar, and poetic lyrics are purposefully delivered in rich harmony.

Their 2017 release, “Before I Go,” established them nationally and internationally, with the album reaching No. 2 on the Folk DJ Chart. The Damores have lived the song’s message – being moved to create, perform and put everything into what they do.

Today, Ordinary Elephant happily calls the road home after shedding most of their possessions in 2014 to take on nomadic life. Living full-time in a van and travel trailer with their dogs, they are exploring the country and finding attentive audiences with whom to share the conversation of their music. Preview their music online.

The featured organization this month is the Hays Caldwell Women's Center (HCWC). Founded in 1978, the HCWC provides essential services to women, children and their families by providing education, violence prevention services and crisis intervention to victims of family violence, dating violence, sexual assault and child abuse. Their mission is to create an environment where violence and abuse are not tolerated in the communities they serve.

The Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center operates two major facilities; one is the McCoy Family Shelter, a domestic violence shelter, which features a 24-hour monitored security system and special security fencing with automatic gates, along with private suites for families in crisis. The second is Roxanne’s House, which includes a Children’s Advocacy Center, a Counseling and Resource Center and the Center for Community Partnerships, where the public can visit to learn more and support their mission.

The Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center provides vital services to women, children and families throughout the San Marcos community.

Share your art supplies and resources, courtesy of the San Marcos Art League, as they host the final Art Supply Swap for the 2017 season. Clear out art and craft supplies you are no longer using and trade them for something new to you. All items should be in good condition and from a smokefree environment. Those participating are asked to put them in small containers or clear plastic bags. All leftover items will be donated to Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos for use in their children's art classes. The swap takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. inside the Courthouse.

An ongoing feature of the 2017 Art Squared Art Market is the Kid’s Craft Table. Developed by a local arts educator, each month’s project will be a fun mini-lesson, teaching through creating on topics such as ecology, river stewardship, being a responsible citizen and much more. This activity is free and open to kids of all ages.

A free one-hour yoga class starts at 9 a.m.on the Courthouse lawn, led by Nicole Marie and Betsy Robertson, both certified yoga instructors. People with all levels of yoga experience are welcome; the class consists of a gentle yoga appropriate for beginners, but offers options for those who want more challenge. If interested, bring a yoga mat. The instructor will have extra mats available to loan, if needed.

The Art Squared Arts Market, sponsored by the San Marcos Art League, takes place on the second Saturday of each month, from March through December. Learn more about the Art League and how to offer your support online.

San Marcos Daily Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666