From our pal-in-art, Ann Bloxam Smith, with the Downtown Arts Alliance in Monroe/West Monroe:
Downtown Gallery Crawl, Thursday, December 4, 2014: Holiday Art Party!
The December 4th Downtown Gallery Crawl will be a free “art party” for all ages! As always, the first Thursday of December will afford all the opportunity to see wonderful art while enjoying party foods and listening to festive music at eleven galleries in downtown Monroe and West Monroe.
Original art will be for sale, too, with no sales taxes charged because the galleries are in an official cultural district. All are invited to the party, 5-9 pm!
Holiday Variety is the theme at The River Gallery. This artist-run gallery hosts twenty-five artists working in all media from paintings to woodturning, pottery, jewelry, glass art and photography. In addition to the exquisite offerings of fine art, the gallery will be featuring gift items for December. These include smaller art, handcrafted wine stoppers, jewelry, unique ornaments, and notecards. Guest musician John Farmer will provide music while Landry’s Vineyard will serve wine, and gallery members will provide great refreshments. This gallery is the oldest and largest co-op gallery in the state and is located at 308 Trenton Street, West Monroe.
Staying in West Monroe, the Crawler can visit new Downtown Arts Alliance member Hamilton House Gallery (318 Trenton Street), which will host self-taught artist John Ramage Adams with his show “CTRL+ART+DELETE.” Adams’ medium is mixed media on canvas, using an amalgamation of found Internet images combined with his own photography and paintings. Adams is from Winnsboro, having studied art history at LSU. He’s worked at such institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, NY, and has been involved with the international “Massurrealism” movement since 2007. He has “a keen interest in the blurring of artistic boundaries with new technology.”
Another new Antique Alley gallery is Sacred Expressions, 314 Trenton, West Monroe, where owner Lori A. Brown will be exhibiting her own work including various media. She is a licensed counselor and art therapist, using art as a method of helping others.
Moving to Monroe’s Art Alley, the Crawler will find MAD Art Gallery, where the featured artist is Doug Duffey. Best known as a singer/songwriter, pianist, and international recording and concert artist (inducted into the Louisiana Hall of Fame and the National Blues Hall of Fame) he is also known as a serious, multi-genre visual artist using collage, drawing, painting, photography, mixed media, digital drawings, digital collage, digital scans and video. His artwork has been exhibited in galleries and museums in Louisiana and Europe in one-man and group shows. He is a member of the 10/20/40 Art Group (along with: Lynda Benglis, Enoch Doyle Jeter, and Sarah Davidson). A native of Louisiana and a long-time resident of New Orleans/Monroe, he has resided and worked in both Louisiana and Europe for the past twenty years. "In my drawings, I am heavily influenced by my Louisiana culture, heritage, traditions, everyday life and scenery,” he explains. Also on display and for sale is “Azalea Blossoms” by Juanita Cochran. Proceeds are for the benefit of local non-profit ARCO. In the foyer will be Cynthia Cloud with her iCyndi Creations, while inside the gallery Gray Matter will provide live music.
The Sugar Gallery, also on Art Alley, is back in December with a fresh new look and new art by its stable of diverse artists. The gallery has gotten an amazing revamp by its own William Holley, with new paint and lots of beautiful touches. Holley will also have new ceramic pieces; Stacy Medaries will have new mixed media pieces that always delight; Melanie Douthit will have rich, colorful mixed-media pieces; Mary Thompson will have her beautiful photorealistic landscapes; Leah Reitzell will be debuting some new colorful, constructed bayou pieces; and Burg Ransom will have some wonderful wildlife photography on the walls. Add some music, food and drink, and the Sugar is sure to please!
The Palace Gallery, 220 DeSiard Street, will be doing its fourth annual Christmas Gifts Show. Works created by several artists make for great Christmas gifts, including jewelry, bags, and accessories from the ladies at the Peace House (www.facebook.com/peacehouserwanda). The Palace is also excited to present Tommy Matthews. He will have his amazing watercolors, artsy illustrated decorations and more for all to share with loved ones.
Down DeSiard Street, Luna Blue Yoga Studio and Gallery (428 DeSiard) will present a show of sculpture by Monroe artist Lacy Mitcham. She will be joined by Baton Rouge writer Collette Keith in a collaboration exploring the feminine roles in today’s society.
ARENDER studio + gallery on Art Alley presents Making/Decisions--art by Joey Slaughter, an art professor at Louisiana Tech University. Slaughter will display colorful sculptures representing themes of communication, choices and technology in today’s world. His work has been displayed in shows around the U.S. and has been an annual favorite at Arender Gallery.
Guest artists in Art Alley’s The Big Room are Ghofran Thiga, a student at Louisiana Tech showing photographs; Sara Beth Howard, a ULM student showing works on paper including mono print, silkscreen and collographs; and Alyssa Guidry Posey, a ULM student exhibiting ceramic sculptures and mixed media block prints. ULM sculpture students Ben Bennett and Lacy Mitcham are also exhibiting again in The Big Room, as well as resident artists Jon Aiken, Christen Parker, Ricky Sikes and Victoria Smith with oil, watercolor and acrylic paintings and mixed media work.
At UPSTAIRS artists are celebrating five years as a gallery with the OG (Original Gangstas) Show. Three founding members--Emily Caldwell, Jason Byron Nelson, and Anna Schriefer--are exhibiting their work together. Together again! Their works include sculpture, oil painting, collage and mixed media pieces.
DOWNSTAIRS gallery (137 Art Alley) is the final gallery that will be open for the Downtown Gallery Crawl.
Presenting Sponsor Creed and Creed Law Office leads a group of faithful sponsors to support the Downtown Arts Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging the fine arts and developing the downtown areas of Monroe and West Monroe. Other sponsors include Fiesta Nutrition Center, BancorpSouth, The News-Star, Sir Speedy, Monroe-West Monroe CVB, DeltaStyle, KEDM Public Radio, Northeast Louisiana Arts Council, Atmos Energy Corp., Heck Law Firm, Hollis & Company Jewelers, Community Trust Bank, Cross Keys Bank, Val Salomon Law Office, Rawls DeSigns, Marsala Beverage, Restaurant Cotton, Warehouse #1 Restaurant, and Choice Brands.
Celebrating the season, Downtown Monroe and West Monroe will have a holiday ART PARTY complete with original art, food, music, and friends on Thursday, December 4, 5-9 pm—and will celebrate again on the first Thursday in February—Thursday, February 5, 2015.