New Brush Hour Schedule...

NCLAC Artist Member Christiane Drieling has announced this year's Brush Hour Schedule. Christiane is a wonderful teacher, and she offers interesting projects for children and adults. For registration and more information please call Christiane  at 318-255-7422, or e-mail:

Classes for Grown-Ups

Sculpting ladies with finished heads

Sculpting Faces in Clay

September 17–24 (2 weeks)

Wednesdays, 9-11am or 7-9pm

Sculpture is one of my favorite art forms, and I love to share what I know about it. In this course, we will focus on the human face, on position and proportion of features, and how to bring out certain expressions. This time, we will work with self-hardening artist clays. – If you have taken my previous “Sculpting Faces” class, please bring your paper mache model.

This is a class for new and returning students.

Fee: $ 35 + $ 10 for supplies.

Amazing Stamps – How to Make Them

October 1–8 (2 weeks)

Wednesdays, 9-11am or 7-9pm

I will show you how you can create fantastic stamps from a variety of materials and share a few surprising printing ideas with you.  We will start with easy, yet effective, cutting techniques, and then proceed with carving more intricate designs into rubber. These stamps can be used to make beautiful stationery, wall art, clothing and accessories, linens, even jewelry.  Making stamps is so much fun. Even if you have taken this class before, you will enjoy finding out about more great stamp-making ideas.

This is a class for new and returning students.

Fee: $ 35 + $ 10 for supplies.

Amazing Stamps – How to Apply ThemStampsinBox

October 15 – November 12 (5 weeks)

Wednesdays, 9-11am or 7-9pm

Now that you have created all these amazing stamps, you are going to use them for making a variety of unique items.  We will incorporate the stamp images into larger designs and create rapports, while combining them with various painting media and techniques, or adding stitching and beading. Projects include scarves, pendants, pillows, note cards, boxes, and/or bowls.  – Please bring all of your handmade stamps to this class.

This class is for students who have taken the class “Amazing Stamps – How to Make Them” before.

Fee: $ 80 + $ 30 for supplies.

Wreathe the Wreath (weekend workshop)

Friday, November 28, 7-9pm,

and Saturday, November 29, 10am – 12pm

In Germany, preparing the advent wreath for your home marks the beginning of the Christmas season. The decorated wreath will be hanging from the ceiling or sitting on the coffee table, and the fragrance from the fir branches will add to the festive atmosphere of the season. Four Sundays before Christmas Eve the family will gather to light the first Advent candle; they will enjoy each other's company, enjoy homemade Christmas cookies and hot tea, and sing or listen to Christmas music. Every following Sunday one more candle is lit until all four are shining bright.

In this weekend class, I will show you how to make a  classic advent wreath from natural greenery with all the traditional trimmings, so that you will be ready to light the first candle at home on November 30th.

Fee: $ 35 + $ 15 for supplies.



December 3

Wednesday, 9-11am or 7-9pm

Dressing up the windows of your home for the holidays is an essential part of German Christmas traditions.

In this class I will share with you how to make stunning window decorations from large sheets of colorful transparent paper using intricate folding techniques. This specialty paper is not available here, therefore I have brought authentic materials from Germany, especially for you!

Fee: $ 20 + $ 5 for supplies.

After-School Classes for Children and Teenagers

Drawing (10 years and up) - N E W  C L A S S !ZeichnungHase

September 16 – November 11

(9 weeks)

Tuesdays, 4-6 pm

This is going to be a fun and varied class with lots of captivating projects where the young artists will learn and practice in detail the essential drawing concepts.

They will explore the choices of shading, line variety, and blending, and learn about perspective, symmetry, and composition.

In addition to working with pencils,  the students will also work with water color, pastels, and ink as I show them line-and-wash or resist techniques, and how to use dip pens.

Fee: $ 150 + $ 25.


Medieval Times (8 years and up)

October 3-17 (3 weeks)

Fridays, 4-6 pm

The kids will study typical medieval colors and patterns and take inspiration from them for their own artwork. They will paint beautiful ceramic goblets, and sew and decorate medieval belt bags.

Fee: $ 50 + $ 15 for supplies.

(More) Crazy Dream Houses (6 years and up)

September 19

Friday, 4-6 pm

Lots of you have asked me, if I could do this course project again. Of course, I can!

For this collage project, a shoe box will be transformed into a house. The kids will decorate the walls and floors and make all the furniture and appliances they need for their home. They will cut, glue, and paint, while working with fabrics and papers, ribbons, wire, plastic things and wooden parts, egg cartons, bottle caps, and lots of other cool stuff that I have in my studio. I can't wait to see what the children will come up with this time!

Fee: $ 20 + $ 5 for supplies.

Walking with Lanterns (6 years and up)

Walking with Lanterns 2013

December 2

Tuesday, 4-6 pm

For this year's event the children are going to create beautiful lanterns, shaped like an owl!

Younger children (4 or 5 years old) are also welcome to this class, if at least one parent will attend to help her or his child.

The idea behind lantern walk comes from an old German tradition: In late fall, when the days get shorter, German children like to gather to take their (handmade) paper lanterns for a walk through the night while singing old songs to the stars above. This tradition is still popular and quite magical, and something I would like to share in its entirety with your children. – As an option, parents, siblings, and friends are invited to come and join the children at 6 pm for an illuminated lantern walk through the neighborhood (about 20 min), and enjoy some German cookies and hot cider afterwards.

Last year, lots of families came together to spend the cold but heart-warming evening hours with each other in a very special atmosphere. I look very forward to sharing this joyful time with you.

Fee: $ 20 + $ 10 for supplies.

“Wake up to Art” for Preschoolers (4-6 years)

Cats on Strings

October 13 (Columbus Day, no school)

Monday, 9 am – 12 pm

The children will have fun making a sweet or a spooky cat marionette.  This cloth marionette has three strings only and is easy to operate for little hands.

Fee: $ 30 + $ 10 for supplies and snacks.

My Family

Wreathe the Wreath 2013

November 10 and 14

(2 days; no-school at MSR)

Monday and Friday, 9am – 12 pm

Getting ready for Thanksgiving, each child will create a large relief sculpture of her or his family – including pets, loveys, and (imaginary) friends! The kids will work with cardboard and wood pieces to build the relief structure. Using paint and oil pastels, I will show them how to create a fascinating blackboard effect. These wall pieces are quite personal and always turn out amazing.  They make great gifts, too!

If you would like a “complete” family made by your child, please send a list of all the family members that you would like to be included.

Fee: $ 60 + $ 15 for supplies and snacks.

Brush Hour, Christiane Drieling, 803 Glendale Drive, Ruston, Louisiana

My Vision, My Voice set to begin

  My Vision, My Voice in Bienville Parish 2011

Beginning on September 2, the North Central Louisiana Arts Council will hold a photojournalism workshop entitled My Vision, My Voice for youth involved with Seeds of Light in Homer, LA. Seeds of Light is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to help communities restore justice by offering support to at-risk families and children affected by crime.  Their vision is that these families and children will grow into productive citizens who will eventually contribute to the public good.


Over the course of the six week program, My Vision, My Voice students will use the journalism tools of storytelling, historical and social documentation, and interviewing, to investigate and tell stories about themes of self, dreams, community, and family. Photography basics will be implemented, including considerations of lighting and composition, to go hand in hand with the writing themes. The project gives students a chance to view themselves and their community in a unique, personal way. The program will close with an exhibition of the students’ photographs and writings on Tuesday, October 7 at the Seeds of Light Ministry.


My Vision, My Voice is fashioned after a model program in Durham, North Carolina, called Literacy Through Photography, where children are encouraged to explore their environments through photographic images, and then use these images as a springboard for writing. NCLAC last held My Vision, My Voice in Bienville Parish, in partnership with an after-school program, the 21st Century Community Learning Center.


We are pleased to bring photographer Katrina Parker and multi-media journalist Dacia Idom to work with the students in Claiborne Parish. We strive to foster opportunities for creative expression, and believe in the power of arts education to promote creativity, innovation, discipline and teamwork. We have been unable to hold the program for three years due to lack of project-specific funding. However, thanks to funding from the Plum Creek Foundation, we are all set for this year! The program is free for participants, and all materials will be provided.


The Plum Creek Foundation supports non-profit organizations that improve the overall quality of life in the communities where Plum Creek operates.  The

My Vision, My Voice 2011

Foundation board meets quarterly to review submitted grant applications.  Visit to download an application and learn more about the foundation grant program in addition to other ways that Plum Creek is serving its communities.



As a reminder, we sent out our quarterly Membership Newsletter last week. If your NCLAC membership is expiring, please take a moment renew. We have special membership perks for early renewals this year! If you enjoy reading the Art Talk each week, hearing about the arts programming in our area, and have never been a NCLAC member, we would love to have you! Take a look at our site at to find out how you can join. Memberships begin at $15, and each of our members plays an important role in the fulfillment of our mission. We appreciate your support!


 This week's Art Talk Monday is written by Jessica Slaughter, NCLAC's Executive Director



A (Nick)LAC Post - Summer's End

This is my last blog post for NCLAC, and I have to say that it doesn't feel as satisfying as I thought it would. Two weeks ago I was involved with the Summer Arts Camp, the same week I started my new job. It was a crazy week, and by the end of it I felt readier than ever for the internship to end. But I don't feel that way now. "making something with NCLAC" at our Ruston Farmers Market booth

Now that it has actually happened and I have time to look back on the summer, I find myself a bit depressed.

When the summer started, I was afraid it would be like every other summer since I graduated two years ago, filled with many applications and much less luck. But thanks to NCLAC, I was able to occupy my mind with something much less random and much more fulfilling. I remember during the interview telling Ms. Slaughter that my motivation for applying was based on the fact that I was sick of the familiar and I wanted to do something new. This internship delivered everything. If it wasn't for this opportunity, I never would have visited the Farmers' Market and I never would have participated in the Summer Arts Camp, the two weeks of which were the highlight of my summer. I met some great people, too: Ms. Jessica and Ms. Laura, as well as my fellow interns Hillary, Tess and Rosalyn. It was by way of Hillary that I came into my current job.

Reflecting on the summer, I realize that I received everything I could have possibly hoped to gain from the internship and now that it's over I can't do anything but feel kind of sad. This has been one of the best and most eventful summers of my life. Thanks for everything, NCLAC, I hope you continue succeeding at the mission and have a good rest of the summer.

The Horizontal Line...At The Carriage House

One of our artist members, Patricia Tait Jones, is holding a class at her wonderful art space, Carriage House Art. See the details below: The Horizontal Line: Exploring the Landscape

This class is designed to push the experienced (mid level) painter and to introduce the novice to beginning and finishing a painting. All levels will be accommodated in this workshop.

Painting will be done en plein air in the neighborhood of The Carriage House. We are outside not because there is any advantage in subject matter, but because there is an urgency and immediacy to painting where the light is changing and time is moving.

Emphasizing loose and direct painting, alla prima that shakes us from our preconceived rituals, and put us solidly into the moment.

An advantage of this is we become more child like and learn experimentation and play…no “finished trophy” paintings.

Just continuing our journey through painting.  The horizontal line in sight…

Instructor:  Patricia Tait Jones

Registration:  Class size is 8. Reserve your space early. Ensure your space now with a $100 deposit. Payment of the remaining $150 is due by April 10, 2014

Material list will be given to each member when signing up for the class.

Carriage House Art

April 25-27, Fee $ 250

Friday 4:00 – 7:00

Saturday 10:00 – 6:00

Sunday 10:00 -12:00


101 E. Maryland

Ruston, LA 71270


Carriage House Art

Looking for Interns!

The North Central Louisiana Arts Council is looking for paid Interns for the 2014-15 Academic Year.



Graphic/Web Design         Promotion/Marketing            

                         Arts Administration            Arts Education        

Fundraising                Grant Writing/Research

                             Gallery Management                     Event Coordinating­

Internships are awarded by semester or on a quarterly basis, starting Fall 2014. Interns typically work 8-10 hours/week, depending on their school schedule. Post-graduate interns are also welcome to apply.

Internship Applications Must Include:

  • A completed Internship Application­: This may be downloaded below, or from NCLAC’s website, or picked up in person from the Dixie Center for the Arts.
  • Cover Letter: Indicate skills you currently possess that would make you a good candidate, and skills you would like to gain through an internship with NCLAC.
  • Resume: List past jobs, significant volunteer work, and any other experiences that demonstrate your positive work ethic, pertinent talents/skills, or leadership abilities (limit experiences to the past 5 years).
  • 3 Professional References: Attach to your Resume a list of 3 persons; include their Name, Job Title, Place of Employment, Phone Number and Email Address. These references should be professors, employers, coaches, or other non-family member persons that can testify to your work ethic or skills if contacted by NCLAC.
  • Current Collegiate Transcript: Please try to obtain a transcript that covers your entire college career up to the last quarter/semester you completed. If you are a post-graduate applicant who graduated 5+ years ago, a transcript is not needed.

The application form is available here:  Internships2014-15_ApplicationONLINE

Email us for more information at

Our office telephone is (318)255-1450

NCLAC is a Ruston-based non-profit that seeks to foster educational experiences through the arts for young people, provide exhibition opportunities for amateur and professional artists, and establish a strong thriving presence for the arts in our region.

Interns Jess VanAlstyne and Caitlin Craighead

GSU Professor Mary Fran Crook with NCLAC intern Klervae Stinson

Brush Hour Spring and Summer Schedule

NCLAC Member artist Christiane Drieling's Brush Hour studio is ready with its Spring/Summer schedule of classes.  from Christiane:

Happy New Year, happy new classes! There are lots of new projects on the Brush Hour agenda,  and I hope they will excite and inspire you.

For grown-ups, I have planned a sculpture class where we will focus on the human face, as well as unique upcycling and paper craft projects. These classes are scheduled for Wednesday evenings, and – this is new – also for Wednesday mornings!

“Fiber Frenzy” is a 10-week after-school class taking place on Thursdays (new day!) for children 8 years and up. In addition, I have prepared a few Tuesday afternoon classes (single sessions). For these after-school classes, I have chosen particular projects that spark a lot of creativity and are very relaxing at the same time. – Just the right thing after a long school day!

Again, you will find “Wake up to Art” classes with playful activities I have designed especially for preschoolers for no-school days. These classes are very small (only 4 spaces per class) and provide a very quiet and creative atmosphere for the very young ones, allowing them to stay focused on their projects for a long time and to enjoy the process and results.

My summer art camps will be happening during the weeks of July and August. You may want to have a look now, even though summer seems so far away … As the main focus during these weeks, the kids will learn about some of my favorite artists and art styles from diverse cultures, and make fantastic collages, paintings, and sculptures accordingly.

“Brush Hour” is meant to be the opposite of “rush hour”, a place for creation and recreation. It can give you a fresh start into the day, or it can help you wind down after a busy day at work or school, as you make something beautiful with your own hands and mind.  You can challenge your artistic abilities or practice your technical skills; you can learn something new or just do what you love to do – with friends or friends-to-be.

Classes are now open for registration. I am excited about sharing this new season of Brush Hour with you!

P.S. Ask about birthday parties!

The Classes:

Classes for Grown-Ups

Morning Classes

Amazing Stamps

March 5– 19 (3 weeks)

Wednesdays, 9-11am

You will make fantastic stamps from a variety of  materials.  We will start with easy, yet effective, cutting techniques, and then proceed with carving more intricate designs into rubber and linoleum. I will show you how these different stamps can be combined to make beautiful stationery, wall art, clothing, linens, even jewelry.

Fee: $ 45 + $ 15 for supplies

Sculpting Faces

April 16 – May 14 (5 weeks)

Wednesdays, 9-11am

Sculpture is one of my favorite art forms, so I am excited to teach you a few things about it. In this course, we will focus on the human face, on position and proportion of features, and  how to bring out certain expressions. First, you will build a head from paper mache; this layering technique is slow and controllable and will help you create the kind of face that you want for your final piece. You will then use self-hardening artist clay to sculpt a head based on your paper mache model.

Fee: $ 75 + $ 15 for supplies

Evening Classes

Upcycling Paper

February 26 – April 2 (5 weeks; no class on March 26)

Wednesdays, 7-9 pm

Junk mail, old phone books, used gift wrap – there are lots of great ways of what you can do with your growing piles of paper. In this class, I will show you several unique and fun-to-make projects. You will try some new paper-making ideas, by using the pulp for sheets, bowls, beads, and ornaments. Other projects are based on quilling or weaving techniques by which you can turn those old catalogs and magazines into stunning canisters and picture frames.

Fee: $ 75 + $ 10 for supplies

Sculpting Faces

April 16 – May 14 (5 weeks)

Wednesdays, 7-9 pm

Sculpture is one of my favorite art forms, so I am excited to teach you a few things about it. In this course, we will focus on the human face, on position and proportion of features, and  how to bring out certain expressions. First, you will build a head from paper mache; this layering technique is slow and controllable and will help you create the kind of face that you want for your final piece. You will then use self-hardening artist clay to sculpt a head based on your paper mache model.

Fee: $ 75 + $ 15 for supplies


After-School Classes

For Children 8 Years and Up

Fiber Frenzy

February 27 – May 15 (10 weeks; no classes on March 27 and April 10)

Thursday, 4-6 pm

Imagine all the amazing things we can do with yarns, threads, and fabrics. Among other projects, we are going to finger-knit a fun bracelet, make a silly sock monster puppet, sew a fancy Indian pouch,  batik a snuggle pillow, and felt some colorful juggling balls.

Fee: $ 150 + $ 30 for supplies.

This class is open for drop-ins also. Children can join for single sessions, if space is available. Please call ahead. ($ 25 per single session)


For Children 6 Years and Up

“Tangrami” means the fusion of Tangram and Origami: Triangular modules are folded origami-style and then puzzled together. Tangrami is very versatile: With simple shapes only, you can create 2- or 3-D  decorations for all kinds of occasions, or make little toys. This technique is great for practicing fine motor skills and precision. It encourages creativity and imagination, and also teaches children patience and perseverance in a playful way.

Tangrami I:  Pets (easy)

March 11

Tuesday, 4-6 pm

In this easy class the children are going to combine five or six modules to make simple but delightful tangrami animals, such as turtles, fish, and dogs.

Younger children are welcome to this class, too, if they are accompanied by a parent who will stay to help her or his child.

Fee: $ 20 + $ 5 for supplies

Tangrami II:  Chickens and Bunnies (easy)

April 1

Tuesday, 4-6 pm

In this easy class, five or six modules are used to make cute ladybugs, chickens, and bunnies, – just in time for Easter!

Younger children are welcome to this class, too, if they are accompanied by a parent who will stay to help his or her child.

Fee: $ 20 + $ 5 for supplies

Tangrami III:  Flowers and Peacocks (advanced)

April 29

Tuesday, 4-6 pm

This “Tangrami” class is a little bit more advanced than the other ones because the construction of each piece requires a larger number of modules and is more complex in itself.  We will start with folding flat ornamental flower and heart shapes and then continue with 3-D peacocks.  These pieces can be mounted on origami boxes to create beautiful Mothers' Day gifts.

Fee: $ 20 + $ 5 for supplies


“Wake up to Art” for Preschoolers (4-6 years)


Playing with Stamps  

February 17 (Presidents Day, no school)

Monday, 9-12 pm

The children will have fun making their own sets of stamps while exploring lots of different mediums and surfaces. Next, they will create their own matching games by using all their fantastic stamps. And then we will play a few rounds!

Fee: $ 30 + $ 10 for supplies and snacks

My Crazy Dream House

May 2 (no-school day at MSR)

Friday, 9-12 pm

For this collage project, a shoe box will be transformed into a two-room house. The kids will decorate the walls and floors and make all the furniture and appliances they need for their home. They will cut, glue, and paint, while working with fabrics and papers, ribbons, wire, plastic things and wooden parts, egg cartons, bottle caps, and lots of other cool stuff that I have in my studio.  I am curious to see what the children will come up with!

Fee: $ 30 + $ 10 for supplies and snacks


Summer Camps for Children and Teenagers


Camps for Children 8 and up

Platypus and Kangaroo

June 30 – July 3

Monday through Thursday, 1-4 pm

In this class, we will look at typical examples of aboriginal art, the painting techniques, and the characteristic symbols, colors, and patterns. Then, the children will build rock animals and rain sticks and paint them in aboriginal style.

Fee: $ 85 + $ 20 for supplies and snacks

Castle and Sun

July 9-11

Wednesday through Friday, 1-4 pm

This course will be driven by the diverse and colorful work of Paul Klee, a significant German-Swiss artist of the modern era. Children of all ages can easily relate to Klee's style because of his artworks' playfulness. The summer campers will make their own renditions with oil pastels and  water colors.

Fee $ 70 + $ 20 for supplies and snacks

Handmade Beads

July 21-25

Monday through Friday, 1-4 pm

This class was so much fun last summer and the results were so amazing that I am happy to offer it again! We are going to make clay beads, paper beads, felted beads, and fabric beads. Then we are going to combine them with seed and other small glass beads  and create unique pieces of jewelry.

Fee: $ 100 + $ 25 for supplies and snacks

Medieval Times

July 30 – August 1

Wednesday through Friday, 1-4 pm

Many great projects for imaginative play are on this week's agenda. The kids will work with lots of different materials as they build a draw well, paint goblets, and sew and decorate medieval bags and jester shoes.

Fee: $ 70 + $ 15 for supplies and snacks

Building Worlds with Hundertwasser

August 11-15

Monday through Friday, 1-4 pm

Friedensreich Hundertwasser, an important contemporary Austrian artist, is known for his bold colored paintings and, even more, for his unconventional architectural design of living spaces. Characteristic of his art pieces are an abundance of circles, spirals, ornamental details, and uneven lines. The young artists in this class the will stretch their imaginations and, first, create an ornate multi-textured wall piece. For their second project, they will construct and paint a model of a Hundertwasser house, avoiding as many straight lines as possible.

Fee: $ 100 + $ 20 for supplies and snacks


Camps for Children 6 and up

The Red Balloon

July 7+8

Monday and Tuesday, 1-4 pm

This course will be driven by the diverse and colorful work of Paul Klee, a significant German-Swiss artist of the modern era. Children of all ages can easily relate to Klee's style because of his artworks' playfulness.The children will experiment with various techniques to make their own whimsical pieces in Klee style.

Fee $ 50 + $ 15 for supplies and snacks

(More) Milk and Eggs

July 28+29

Monday and Tuesday, 1-4 pm

A last summer's favorite! We will give milk and egg cartons a second life by turning them into fantastic toys. This time, however, the projects include a monster hand puppet, a cute little tea set, an airplane, and a house for a mouse.

Fee: $ 50 + $ 15 for supplies and snacks

For registration and more information

please call me at 318-255-7422,

or e-mail:



Winter Arts Academy Classes

There are three Arts Academy classes coming up in December and January here at the Dixie Center for the Arts.  NCLAC's Arts Academy classes are part of our mission to foster opportunities for creative expression, as well as offer employment opportunities for regional artists to share their areas of expertise.

In preparation for the holidays...

Make a keepsake ornament!

Paper Pulp Ornaments

In partnership with Louisiana Tech University’s MFA program, we are offering Paper Pulp Ornaments on Saturday, December 14 from 10-noon. 3rd year candidate Brittany Spencer will teach students, ages 7-12,  how to create their own paper through recycling scrap paper pieces to form new sheets as circular Christmas ornaments. Students will be free to choose colors and decorations in the form of imbedding and layering materials. These ornaments will make great keepsakes that families can keep on Christmas trees for years, or give out as gifts! The fee for the class is $10 for NCLAC members, $15 for non-members. Students should bring one empty soup can, with both ends removed, and one empty coffee can, lid isn't necessary. All other supplies are included with your class fee. After the workshop, the ornaments will need to dry for two days before pick-up.

Brittany Spencer is a third-year MFA candidate focusing on communication design. Her design work has led her into creating playful artwork through various paper making processes. Her artwork serves as a reminder to adults to never forget the magical experiences they had as children.

who: ages 7-12

when: Dec. 14

where: Dixie Center for the Arts


Perfect gift certificate ideas for the artists you love...

Learn to use that camera!

Basic Photography

Photographer, Sonny Monteleone, will teach a two-day workshop, Sat/Sun, January 25-26, 1-5pm, that will help dispel the fears of your camera. Basic Photography will cover basics such as holding technique, buttons, exposure, settings and composition. The only supplies needed are a camera, preferably with manual settings, and the camera manual. Cost for the weekend workshop is $160 for NCLAC members, $170 for non-members. A pre-registration fee of $25 is required to hold your space, as class size is limited for personal instruction. This fee will go toward your total cost.

This class is perfect for someone who's receiving a new camera for Christmas, or for those people you know who have cameras they're afraid to use. Gift certificates are available.

Sonny Monteleone is a photographer living in Breaux Bridge, LA, He works as an art photographer, framer and workshop instructor throughout southern Louisiana. You may have seen his work at this year's Holiday Arts Tour, where he exhibited at The Lodge.

who: teens-adults

when: Jan. 25-26

where: Dixie Center for the Arts


Wanna learn to make your own painting surfaces?

Surface Prep

Are you spending too much money painting on store-bought canvas?  Surface Prep for Painting can teach you some cost-effective alternatives. Another class in our MFA series, 3rd year candidate Peter Hay will cover how to create an affordable painting surface by the exploration  of cost cutting measures, hand tools, construction craft, and other surface options. Participants will leave with an 8"x10" stretched canvas and panel prepared with a homemade gesso. The class will be held January 25. Email or call our office for more information,as some specific details are still being determined.

This class is perfect for a budding artist, or for established artists who still rely on store-bought canvas and panels. It will be a great opportunity to explore some new options on which to paint. Gift certificates are available.

Peter Hay is a painter and printmaker working on his Master of Fine Arts at Louisiana Tech University. His work is based on embellishments of current ecological issues, which could be described as environmental realism. He has worked with NCLAC on several programs, as well as taught classes at Louisiana Tech.

who: older teens-adults

when: Jan. 25

where: Dixie Center for the Arts


Class size is limited, and pre-registration is necessary in order to adequately prepare supplies. For registration or more details,  by call our office at (318)255-1450 or email me at NCLAC is supported in part by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal agency.

HAT: Create! Sprout Sunday

  Sprout Sunday 2012 with author Deb Faircloth at Pastry Moon

Back for it's 3rd year, NCLAC is happy to present Sprout Sunday on November 24. From 1-4pm, three Ruston studios will offer free children's activities as part of our 16th annual Holiday Arts Tour. NCLAC's mission includes fostering opportunities for creative expression, and with so many talented artists in our region, we are pleased they are willing to share their talents with our youngsters.

Pastry Moon, in its new location at 203 West Alabama Suite 2, will show sprouts how to design and create doll clothes and armor. Bonnie Ferguson, owner and artist at the shop,  is talented and has her hands in many things. Soap-making, knitting, repurposing jewelry, store-running and more keep Bonnie busy, and your children will love working on a project with her.

Sprout Sunday 2012 at Follette Pottery

At Allie Bennett's Stitchville, 207 North Trenton, Sprouts will be using raw wool fibers for "felting" in order to create an ornament. Allie held drop-spindle spinning at the first Sprout Sunday in 2011, and participants enjoyed seeing how raw wool can be turned into yarn. I'm certain everyone will enjoy participating in the felting process as well, as there seems to be an element of magic to it.

At Brush Hour Studio, with Christiane Drieling, children will be able to hand-paint and decorate a wooden fairytale character that can be used as a Christmas ornament. Christiane teaches art at M0ntessori School of Ruston, as well as holds classes at her Brush Hour Studio. The results of the projects in her children's classes are lovely, and of course her own work is amazing. Be sure to drive over to her space for this special project.

Directions to Brush Hour (803 Glendale Drive) from the Dixie Center for the Arts (212 North Vienna):

Sprout Sunday 2011 with Allie Bennett at Stitchville

Drive north on North Vienna toward Interstate 20. Cross over the interstate; pass Super One Foods; turn left onto South Chatauqua Road; take first left onto Ridge Drive; turn right onto Glendale Drive and your destination will be on the right.

Sprout Sunday activities are free, hand-on projects for children. Please take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to share interesting art processes with your children! Be sure to go to each location and experience the wonder of creating with your kids.

These activities, and the Holiday Arts Tour as a whole, are supported in part by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council as administered by the Shreveport Regional Arts Council.


Music, Visualized

NCLAC is excited to partner with Louisiana Tech's MFA program on a new series of Arts Academy classes. These classes will be taught by 3rd year MFA candidates, promoted by 2nd year candidates, and assisted by 1st year candidates. This is a wonderful opportunity for these Masters students to work with a nonprofit in the community, to continue their teaching experience, and to create unique class opportunities for both children and adults.  The series will kick off with Matthew Knopps' class titled Visual Rhythm, as described below by Mary Dunn. The class requires pre-registration and class size is very limited due to the nature of the process.

Come be a part of Ruston’s arts and culture community! NCLAC is partnering with Louisiana Tech’s MFA program to present Visual Rhythm, a workshop combining public, collaborative art with music. Led by MFA candidate Matthew Knopps, workshop participants will create an original art installation to be displayed in the new Percussive Arts Institute of Ruston (PAIR) just in time for this fall’s Holiday Arts Tour. The workshop will take place on November 9, 2013, from 9am–4pm at the Dixie Center for the Arts, and will focus on principles like variety, unity and repetition.

Teams of one adult and one child age 10–16 are encouraged to sign up soon, because space is limited! The fee ($20 for non-NCLAC members; $15 for members) covers all materials and a snack, but bring a sack lunch. Register now by calling (318) 255-1450 or emailing

This is a wonderful opportunity for creative parents and kids to work together to make an art piece that will be on exhibit during NCLAC's 16th annual Holiday Arts Tour in downtown Ruston. The dates for the Tour are November 21-24.

NCLAC Member News: Brush Hour Classes for Summer

Coming up at Brush Hour, with NCLAC member artist Christiane Drieling: Art from Scratch – Art camp for children 6 and up June 17-21, Monday through Friday, 1-4 pm In this class, the children will learn how to be creative – literally! First, we will teach them Imagehow to make paper. Then they will make their own set of brushes, and finally they will paint with their handmade brushes on their handmade paper. And to top this off, the children will also build frames for their masterpieces. Fee: $ 100 + $ 15 for supplies

Handmade Beads – Art camp for children 8 and up June 24-28, Monday through Friday, 1-4 pm Beads can be made in so many ways from so many materials. We are going to make clay beads, paper beads, felted beads, herbal beads, and fabric beads. Then we are going to combine them with seed and other small glass beads and create unique pieces of jewelry. Fee: $ 100 + $ 10 for supplies.

Playtime! – Art camp for children 8 and up July 8-12, Monday through Friday, 1-4 pm The children will learn how to build a marionette from wood parts and fabric and discover how to play it. They will also build a little stage and props from cardboard. Finally, we will write short scripts together and perform them. Fee $ 100 + $ 15 for supplies.

Paint something! – Art camp for children 10 and up July 15-19, Monday through Friday, 1-4 pm The participants can choose their projects – jewelry boxes, picture frames, chalk boards – and get to know the process from preparing the unfinished item to detailed decorative painting. Depending on their individual skill level, I will teach them how to paint simpleImage yet effectful repetitive patterns, and how to translate and incorporate their own icons and symbols. Fee: $ 100 + individual costs for supplies.

Milk and Eggs – Art camp for children 6 and up July 22-26, Monday through Friday, 1-4 pm You will be amazed what you can make from milk and egg cartons! I am going to show the children how to transform the most common package materials into masks and crowns, flower bouquets and birdhouses, and even a pirate ship! Fee: $ 100 + $ 10 for supplies.

Back to School – Art camp for children 10 and up July 29 – August 2, Monday through Friday, 1-4 pm Get back into the mood with cute sewing projects for school. The participants will discover the relaxing effect of sewing by hand while making book covers, little pouches, and a pencil roll. As they go, they will learn a variety of decorative stitches and how to make appliqués. Fee: $ 100 + $ 15 for supplies.

If you would like to register, please call Christiane at 255-7422 or send an email to

Art Ed Wednesday: Outdoor Fun

  tray cubes

   Art Ed Wednesday is written by Rachel Johnston, a Jackson-parish fiber artist and early childhood art educator.


With the weather getting warmer, it’s the perfect time for some outdoor art projects! Here’s an idea for ice    painting, to get your kids creating out in the sunshine!

Fill an ice cube tray with water. (Dollar stores usually offer a variety of trays in fun shapes.) Add one or two drops of food coloring to each cube, and freeze. When ice is frozen solid, remove from trays and take outside with some


paper. Let kids “paint” the paper with the ice cubes, creating a watercolor effect as the ice melts.  Children can also experiment with different types of paper to see how the colors blend on different textures.






The Kids Need Your Help

Summer Arts Camp is almost here! We have one month until the first camp in Ruston. We are preparing as much as we can to make sure the kids have a great experience and you could be a part of that.

Before I tell you how you can help a kid have the best time that they can, let me tell you what makes their time so special.

Have you ever had the opportunity to create something out of nothing? Maybe it's trying a new recipe. Or working on a flower bed in your yard. Or maybe even starting up  your own business.

Do you remember the rush you got when you first began? The struggle to give up when it got difficult? And the elation and pride you felt when you put away your tools and were able to look at what you've completed?

The students get that same opportunity with Summer Arts Camp. They get to branch out and try things that many of them probably haven't done before, including 2D art (painting, drawing, etc), 3D art (sculpture), and even drama. They have the chance to create something from nothing. To feel that pride of accomplishing something.

Doesn't that excite you?

poster design by Caitlin Angel

I said before that you could help these kids out. We want to give these kids every opportunity to create that we can. Which means options. Options in materials, projects, and tools. We could use your help in making sure the kids have everything they need to create their masterpieces during Summer Arts Camp. Here's a list of materials that would be very beneficial to us:

Basic craft supplies you may have lying around the house Paints Markers Pipe cleaners Kid scissors Small paper bags Paper plates Glue
A special item we will need this year is shoeboxes (lids not necessary). We are also taking donations for Mardi Gras beads for a community mosaic project.
If you have any of these items lying around, please bring them by the NCLAC office located in the Dixie Theatre in Ruston. For more info, call us at 318.255.1450
Thanks for your help!

Art Talk Monday: Summer Arts Camps Almost Here!

Art Talk Monday this week is written by Jennifer Downs, NCLAC technical writing intern and LA Tech graduate student. In just a few short weeks, schools across north Louisiana will be letting out for summer vacation. If you are looking for a way to nurture your child’s creativity and keep him/her occupied, check out the North Central Louisiana Arts Council’s upcoming Summer Arts Camps! NCLAC’s camps offer a great opportunity for students entering grades 2 – 7 to engage their imagination with 2-D, 3-D, and performing arts classes taught by talented local artists and MFA students from Louisiana Tech University.

NCLAC is offering camps throughout our five-parish area of Lincoln, Bienville, Claiborne, Jackson and Union.

poster design by Caitlin Angel

In Ruston, there will be two week-long camps. Each camp will have different projects, so we encourage you to attend both!

RUSTON 1 (June 3-7) will be at the First Baptist Church, 200 S. Trenton St., and will be taught by Carolyn Smith, Peter Hay, and Matthew Knopps.

RUSTON 2 (July 8-12) will also be at First Baptist Church and will be taught by MC Davis, Carolyn Smith, and Adrian Gipson.

JONESBORO (July 15-19) will be held at United Methodist Church, 402 4th St., and will be taught by Peter Hay, Rachel Johnston and Carolyn Smith.

We also offer three Super Saturday camps!

The FARMERVILLE camp (June 8) will be held at the First Assembly of God, 900 S. Main St., and will be taught by Carolyn Smith and MC Davis.

The ARCADIA camp (June 29) will be at First UMC, 2122 Myrtle St., and will be taught by Carolyn Smith and Emma Case.

The HOMER camp (July 27) will be at Homer City Hall, 400 E. Main St., and will be taught by Mary Dunn.

Tuition is $65 for the week-long camps and $20 for Super Saturday camps if you register and pay at least ten days before the camp (or $25 afterwards). Tuition covers all supplies and a daily snack. All camps start at 9am and last until 12pm.

We are incredibly grateful to our partners throughout the region who donate spaces for our art camps. NCLAC partners with the following organizations: First Baptist Church in Ruston, United Methodist Church in Jonesboro, First Assembly of God in Farmerville, First United Methodist Church in Arcadia, and Homer City Hall and the Claiborne Jubilee in Homer.  In addition, a grant from Entergy assists with the cost of supplies for the camps. This support is essential in keeping the costs of our camps reasonable for families year after year.

If you are interested in enrolling your student in a camp, you may register by phone at 255-1450, or by downloading a registration form from our site ( Forms and checks should be mailed to NCLAC, PO Box 911  Ruston, LA 71273

Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to spark your student’s imagination with exiting 2-D, 3-D, and performing arts activities! See you at camp!

Art Ed Wednesday: Chalk it up

Art Ed Wednesday is written each week by Rachel Johnston, a Jackson Parish fiber artist and early childhood art educator. Handmade chalk and chalkboards can be a fun project for kids (and adults!). For the chalkboards, decide which surface you want to use as a board. We used small clipboards from the dollar store.  Give each child a small bowl of chalkboard paint and let them paint their board. With very young children, the surface will probably end up uneven and bumpy, but that’s okay. This is about the process, and they will be proud of their finished chalkboard no matter how it turns out. To make chalk, mix up plaster of paris according to directions on package, and pour into silicone ice trays or muffin pans. Food coloring can be added before pouring into the molds if you want chalk in different colors. Allow chalk to dry completely before removing from molds. Give each child a small sponge to use as an eraser once the boards and chalk are finished. This is also a fun project for kids to make as a gift for a friend, sibling, or cousin.  It is a very messy project though, so it works well outdoors on a nice day to minimize clean up.

DSC05370 DSC05373 DSC05374 (1)

Beautiful weather is perfect for volunteering

Spring is here, although it sort of feels a bit like summer already, and our office is in full swing for educational and community activities.We have many events coming up for which we need volunteers, and everyone knows volunteering does a body good. Take a look at our list and pick something you love, or something you'd like to learn more about!

Community Outreachfarmer's market

Ruston Farmers Market--assist at the NCLAC booth with a children's art activity

June 1  8am-noon

July 4  8 am-noon


Bead Mosaic Calendar Project--cut, glue, and generally assist with a bead mosaic project

Each Wednesday and Thursday at 3:30, Presbytery of the Pines, 210 North Bonner

This is a community-wide mosaic project, that will ultimately be turned into a calendar that will benefit area nonprofits and schools.

Call Jackie Cochran at the church at 255-6177 if interested



Peach Art Exhibit Check-in--check in art, fill out entry forms, take fees, digitally create tags

June 13 at the Ruston Civic Center. Come meet someone new; two volunteers will work each shift.








Peach Art Exhibit Hanging--move & hang artwork, hammer nails; bring a hammer, nails are provided

June 14 at the Ruston Civic Center. Bring a friend for this gig; four two-person teams are needed.

9am until completed, which is usually around noon.



Peach Art Exhibit Reception--provide refreshments for the Peach Art Exhibit Reception

June 16 at the Ruston Civic Center. Like to cook? You can help us with tasty refreshments for our community reception!

You should bring your food/drinks at 2:30pm sharp, and take leftovers and/or dish home at 4 (unless it’s disposable)       

two providers of:

savory (ex:  cucumber sandwiches, deviled eggs)

snack plates (ex:  fruit, cheese, chips/dip)

dessert plates  (ex:  cupcakes, cookies, brownies)

drink item with cups  (ex:  tea, lemonade, punch w/25-50 paper cups)

one provider of:

napkins  (ex:  50-100 small paper napkins)

small plates (ex:  25-50 small paper plates)


Art Education

Summer Arts Camps--assist teachers in a classroom of children making art projects

We've been holding Summer Arts Camps for over 20 years, and they are so much fun! Come see what it's all about--

June 3-7 in Ruston  8:30am-noon, Monday-Friday

July 8-12 in Ruston 8:30am-noon, Monday-FridayOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


Are you ready to help?

Give us a call at 255-1450, or an email at, and we'll sign you up!




SAC Teacher Feature: Rachel Johnston

Another week, another Teacher Feature -- we are counting down to Summer Arts Camps! NCLAC has selected the best and brightest arts instructors in our area to lead these camps. This week, I want to introduce you to Rachel Johnson, a self-taught fiber artist who uses natural materials in her work to achieve an earthy, rustic quality. Her artistic skills include fiber arts, leather work, and soap-making.

Textile Talk: Dream Weaver

Allie Bennett, owner and operator of Stitchville, on weaving. Weaving is a time honored craft, and can create one of a kind and wonderful works of art.


No no no, not that kind of weave.  This:


Weaving consists of 2 distinct sets of yarn- one going horizontally and one vertically- or, if you'd rather, the weft and the warp.


The warp is thread that runs longitudinally .  The fabric is created when another thread is run back and forth horizontally.  This also creates the type of fabric, the three most common being plain weave, satin weave, or twill.  These types of weaves are created by running the weft over and under certain strings of the warp.

Weaving is an ancient art, having numerous allusions in the bible, and can be done without a fancy loom (as looms were not invented until much later in history).  So, don't let it scare you.  If you are interested in weaving, take a tip from this guy, and just use what you've got on hand.  Necessity is the mother in invention.


Art Ed Wednesday: Candle Holders

Art Ed Wednesday is written each week by Rachel Johnston, a regional fiber artists and early childhood art educator.  I love this idea for lighting up these nice spring evenings... Have a candlelit dinner outside!mason jars

Today I have a simple idea for making cute jar candleholders.

This is a fun and easy project for kids 3 and up.


You will need:

Small glass jar (mason jelly jars work great)

Tissue paper torn into small pieces

White school glue



Dilute glue with water. A 50/50 mixture works well. Use paintbrush to apply glue to the jar, and stick tissue paper to it. Brush more glue on top of tissue paper. Repeat until jar is covered, and allow to dry. Once dry, the jar can be used as a candleholder, but be sure to keep it out of reach of children and pets! These jars are also great for storing pens, and pencils, or whatever small treasure your child wants to keep in it.


This is another project where recycled materials can be used, as well. Jars used for pickles, jams, etc. can be cleaned and reused. And instead of tissue paper, you can have children cut pictures from magazines for collage jars!

Art Talk Monday: North Louisiana Youth Percussion Ensemble Festival

This week's Art Talk Monday is written by Greg Lyons, Assistant Professor in the Department of Music at Louisiana Tech University.  He directs the Percussion Ensemble in multiple concerts on and off campus each year. The event discussed was held last weekend; however, the article offers a wonderful glimpse of the event in case you missed it!  On Friday and Saturday, April 5 & 6, 2013, the Louisiana Tech University Percussion Studio will host the 2nd North Louisiana Youth Percussion Ensemble Festival in Howard Auditorium (corner of  Dan Reneau Dr. and Adams Blvd.). A festival opening concert will take place on Friday at 7:30 PM featuring guest artist/clinician, Dr. T. Adam Blackstock. The event continues on Saturday from 1-4:30 PM and concludes with a festival closing concert at 7:30 PM. Admission is $5/adults, $3/students w/id. A complete schedule of events is available at (click Outreach).


 “The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”    

 --Marcel Proust

North Louisiana is home to many outstanding school percussion programs, several of which will be featured this weekend at Louisiana Tech University as part of the North Louisiana Youth Percussion Ensemble (NLYPE) Festival. The Ruston High School Intermediate and Advanced Percussion Ensembles as well as the Marimba Band will perform along with the West Ouachita High School Percussion Ensemble and the Ouachita Jr. High School Percussion Ensembles.

This year marks the second occurrence of the NLYPE Festival, which is hosted by the Louisiana Tech University Percussion Studio. Performer and educator Dr. T. Adam Blackstock (Troy University) will appear as a guest artist/clinician and will be joined by Implosion Percussion Group (Mel Mobley, John Pirkey, Michael Holdiness, and myself) for the Friday evening concert. That concert will include Steve Reich’s Drumming (I.) and Toru Takemitsu’s Rain Tree along with several solo works performed by Dr. Blackstock.

The school percussion ensembles start at 1 PM on Saturday. Each group will receive a short clinic with Dr. Blackstock following their performance. Dr. Blackstock will also present an hour clinic on a percussion topic at 3:30 PM. Capping off the festival is a closing concert at 7:30 PM, which will include a performance by the Louisiana Tech University Percussion Ensemble. Also featured on that concert will be the Honors Youth Percussion Ensembles, comprised of select students from the participating schools. Dr. Blackstock will coach these young musicians each afternoon in preparation for this unforgettable performance.

The idea for the NLYPE Festival was born in May 2010 during a presentation I attended as part of the National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy at the University of Oklahoma. The presentation offered several reasons for creating this type of festival:

  • Provides an opportunity to showcase local advanced student performers
  • Addresses the fact that students often have a limited amount of performance opportunities
  • Gives students the opportunity to see and hear more advanced performers
  • Exposes students to a more diverse array of percussion literature
  • Brings an atmosphere of seriousness to the art of percussion performance
  • Offers students more experience on more instruments
  • Fosters a sense that we are all in this together
  • Allows college students to take on a practical role from a teaching/administrative perspective

Please come hear and support some of the best young percussionists in North Louisiana at this weekend’s NLYPE Festival. Bring your new eyes and discover great music right here in Ruston.

Visit to learn more about related events in the percussion studio.

Art for the Garden....Art Ed Wednesday

Art Ed Wednesday is written each week by Rachel Johnston, a regional fiber artist and early childhood art educator. Since it's spring now, kids might have fun doing garden related projects. My classes recently made collages with pictures from seed catalogs, and painted clay flower pots. You can also make your own seed starting pots with newspaper, egg cartons, or small yogurt containers. Have kids come up with their own ideas about what other items could be recycled for seed starting. Chalkboard paint can be used on clay pots so that kids can decorate them with chalk and write the name of whatever is planted in it. Gardening is full of opportunities for children to experience creative sensory play!

painting a pot