Holiday Arts Tour

Art Talk Monday: Closing out the year

students from IA Lewis
students from IA Lewis

This week's Art Talk Monday is written by Jessica Slaughter, NCLAC Executive Director. Here we are nearing the end of 2014. At this time of year, the NCLAC office looks at our year in review, and we’d like to share with our readers the programs that we’ve finished the last few months, as well as look forward into the beginning of 2015. We are always evaluating our programs, considering our successes and failures, and looking for better ways to serve the community through the arts.

We began the Fall with our annual School Show Performance. A day before ARToberfest kicked off, we were busy at the Dixie Center for the Arts hosting Shreveport born soprano opera singer Brenda Wimberly for this year’s show. Each year NCLAC hosts a different genre of music performance for Lincoln Parish’s 6th graders, and this year there were 237 students and chaperones, including participants from: Montessori School of Ruston, Christian Homeschool Group, IA Lewis, and Simsboro High School. Thank you Ruston Civic Symphony Society for sponsoring this great educational experience for our local 6th graders. In addition to hearing international art songs and arias, they all had a great time learning to sing “pizza” like an opera star!

Jessica Slaughter, NCLAC; Jean Gourd, Brewer's Choice Winner; Hayden Legg, People's Choice Winner
Jessica Slaughter, NCLAC; Jean Gourd, Brewer's Choice Winner; Hayden Legg, People's Choice Winner

The next day was our fifth annual ARToberfest, which was better than ever this October at The Norton Building in downtown Ruston! About 450 attendees sampled the brews of seven different home brewers and the many other beers supplied by Marsala Beverage. There were also tasty foods to try with food truck vendors Wild Thang Meats, PowWow Cuban Sandwiches, and Taco de Güero on site for the first time this year. Congratulations to Jean Gourd, winner of the Devine Home Brewer Brewer’s Choice Award for his Voodoo Pumpkin Ale, and to Hayden Legg and Brandy Winfree, winners of the Devine Home Brewer People’s Choice Award for their Ruston Peach Hefeweizen. This fundraising event has gained popularity each year, and we look forward to seeing the wonderful mix of people who attend.

Viaggio Italiano, group exhibition at Studio 301 as part of Holiday Arts Tour 2014
Viaggio Italiano, group exhibition at Studio 301 as part of Holiday Arts Tour 2014

One month after ARToberfest was our 17th annual Holiday Arts Tour. Over four days, an estimated 500 local shoppers and traveling visitors took part in the Tour. With over 50 participating visual artists and 35 vendor locations, shoppers had plenty to do, including twelve musical performances, on-site art demonstrations, children’s art activities, and the free Community Variety Show on Sunday. The Decentralized Art Funding Grant that NCLAC writes each year makes it possible to pay our performing artists, but this year the Tour was also sponsored by Fine Line Art Supply, making it possible to generate more advertising and excitement for this event.

Currently we have an art exhibition on display at Parish Press (formerly Crescent City Coffee) by Shawn Hood. Shawn’s beautiful show of naturalistic photographic works will be on display till January 19, 2015. Works are for sale, and would make wonderful Christmas gifts. Call our office for purchase details.

photograph by Shawn Hood, on display at Parish Press
photograph by Shawn Hood, on display at Parish Press

For the Dixie Center Lobby, we have a new exhibition that will begin January 6. Sheila Trevillion Jennings of Jackson Parish will be exhibiting her colorful watercolor animal paintings. These works will be on display through March 27.

watercolor by Sheila Jennings, whose work will be displayed at the Dixie Center for the Arts in January
watercolor by Sheila Jennings, whose work will be displayed at the Dixie Center for the Arts in January

Lastly, I must mention our upcoming Silent Auction, which will take place at the Krewe of Allegro Mardi Gras Ball. This is one of NCLAC’s primary fundraising events, and we always have wonderful items for bid. Home décor, original artworks, jewelry, antiques and more will be on display February 7 at the Ruston Civic Center. Ball tickets are available now by calling the Dixie Center Box Office at (318)255-1450). 

If you’d like to help us continue our work in the region, we always appreciate volunteers and donations of any size. Give us a call or email; we’d love to speak with you. NCLAC office, (318)255-1450;

Holiday Arts Tour Stops: Park Avenue Antiques & Main Street Exchange

Holiday Arts Tour Stop: Park Avenue Antiques, 120 Park Ave. Bird Kiss by Loretta

Park Avenue Antiques is a trove of yesterday’s treasures made new again by their discovery and display. Wall to wall, ceiling to floor, there are all sorts of historic items here to charm the wandering shopper, even more so with the work of Loretta Shadow Owens joining in the mix.

Butterflies by Loretta

Loretta is a long time local that came to painting later in life, and hasn’t stopped since. Her work is always lively and colorful, full of pattern and meaning. Ask Loretta about her pieces, and as if describing any antique in the store, she can tell you all about their personal history and evolving significance as the work came into being. Usually most admire Loretta’s work though for the narratives they themselves derive from the pieces, so come by and see what tales you can uncover! Loretta will also have her recently published children’s book for sale.


Holiday Arts Tour Stop: Main Street Exchange, 122 S. Trenton St.

Collage by Maggie.

Even on an average day Main Street Exchange carries a variety of local artwork among its unique historic finds. The store also rotates the local non-profits and charities its art sales benefit, but you have to come at the right time to find it open. This is the why the Holiday Arts Tour is perfect time to see the store and its current resident artists Maggie Jones Boudreaux, and Shelly Nealy Edgerton.

Abstract painting by Maggie.

Maggie and Shelly will be exhibiting mixed media paintings, collages, and sculptural works. Both of these artists are also teachers, Maggie teaches art classes at A.E.Phillips Lab School on Louisiana Tech Campus, and Shelly teaches early childhood classes at Wildflower Montessori School in Ruston.

Also both mothers of small children, Maggie has cited how artists should cherish the daily inspiration young students can offer to their work, in the way that children create freely without censorship, and without the pre-determined rules of design that a fine art training might bear on an artist. Come by and see for yourself, the creativity and freedom these two great artists display!

Cain BuddsIf you make it by on Saturday, be sure to stop between 2-3pm to hear to local guitarist Cain Budds. While Cain plays many types of music, he will be performing classical guitar during the Tour, a rare treat in Ruston!

Holiday Arts Tour Stop: Re/Max Results Realty and Accent of the East

We have another Tour Stop by NCLAC intern, Jordan Whaley. Holiday Arts Tour begins tomorrow and runs through Sunday, with different activities each day. This page will give you all the details.

Holiday Arts Tour Stop: Re/Max, 201 N. Trenton St.



You definitely don't want to miss the Re/Max building on this year’s Holiday Art’s Tour. Re/Max is a full service real estate office serving all of North Louisiana. Marguerite Hogue and Emily Gautreaux will both have work on display upstairs in the Re/Max building.

Marguerite Hogue is a sculpture and a painter. Her work depicts aged structures and homes that are a direct influence from her experiences as a child. Emily Gautreaux is a painter and illustrator. Her work is mixed media and is influenced by still life, nature, pop culture and illustration.

On Friday evening, there will be a live performance by Elizabeth Vidos outside of the Re/Max building. She is a percussion artists who uses buckets as well as her body to make music. She has even toured with STOMP! This is not a performance you want to miss: 7-8pm Friday.

Holiday Arts Tour Stop: Accent of the East, 122 N. Trenton St. 


Accent of the East is a unique stop on this year’s Holiday Arts Tour. Ruth Yung and her husband  have been operating their business in the same building for 38 years. Year round you can find Chinese tea sets, Asian inspired home decor as well the owner’s Ruth Yung jewelry. Ruth uses unique stones to make beautiful jewelry. Ruth and her husband also offer clock repair.

This weekend the shop will also feature Michele McGehee’s jewelry. Michele enjoys making earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, and broaches out of vintage and antique watches for her personal business, Timeless Treasures Originals.

You can view her work at

On Saturday afternoon, Meihan Guo will give a special performance. Be sure to stop by Accent of the East to hear the beautiful Chinese harp: 1-2pm Saturday.

Holiday Arts Tour Stop: Frame of Mind & Pastry Moon

17th annual Holiday Arts Tour is this weekend! November 20-23 in downtown Ruston. Check out intern Jordan Whaley's post on the artists featured at Frame of Mind and Pastry Moon.

Holiday Arts Tour Stop: Frame of Mind, 203 W. Alabama Ave

On this year’s Holiday Arts Tour, Peter Hay will be featured at Frame of Mind, a small framing shop located downtown. Peter Hay is a printmaker and a painter who has recently received his Master of Fine Arts from Louisiana Tech University. His work has been described as “environmental realism" as he focuses on the ecological discussions of today. Peter is back in Oklahoma now, and is the Development and Public Relations Director at Living Arts of Tulsa. To find out more about Peter Hay and his work visit

Holiday Arts Tour Stop: Pastry Moon, 203 W. Alabama Ave



Gone fishin

Pastry Moon will definitely be bustling this weekend for the Tour! Be sure to stop by this quaint vintage and handmade shop to see all they will have to offer. Artist Maureen Hinton’s stained glass will be featured in the shop all weekend. She is a life-long illustrator and painter who recently began working with glass as a medium. Rickey Pittman will hold a special performance on Saturday afternoon; He will be singing traditional folksongs. Pittman is an author, storyteller and a folksinger. Also, as a special treat, Pastry Moon owner, Bonnie Ferguson will be putting on a Sprout Sunday activity with Maureen.



Holiday Arts Tour Stop: Turbo Goat

Today's Tour Stop post is written by guest writer Sallie Rose Hollis, NCLAC Board Member and retired LA Tech Journalism Professor  

San Antonio, by Shawn Hood

The art of today's featured tour artists will be displayed in stores that are side-by-side on Trenton Street: Turbo Goat Sporting Goods and Turbo Goat Bicycle Shop, both at 301 N. Trenton.


Shawn Hood has been enamored with cameras since she was 8 years old and has moved from someone who just loves taking pictures to a professional photographer who captures the wonderment of the world. The names of her various genres speak volumes: Louisiana Outback, Gems of America and Natural World, to cite a few.

"My art is not thematic as much as it is based on an immersion into the world around me," she says. "I am continuously documenting the experiences that provoke me to think, feel and love. A lonely and deserted alleyway can inspire me in much the same way as a majestic mountain … I am continuously documenting the experiences that provoke me to think, feel and love … I like the vibrant colors that nature gives us and I try to capture that. I love to use black and white photography as a means to express solitude, desertion, and the forgotten side of life … I want to fuel the imagination that allows an audience to tell their own version of a story."

artist Shawn Hood


In addition to her "art photography," Shawn also enjoys portrait, wedding and event photography.

Ruston's only downtown sporting goods store, Turbo Goat Sporting Goods, will be home for Shawn's photographs during the Tour.



It Came Out of Nowhere, by Whitney Caskey

The companion store, Turbo Goat Bicycle Shop, will feature the fairy-tale art of Whitney Caskey. Her fascination with drawing at a young age led to painting – and then while enrolled at Louisiana Tech, she began to move toward photography, which is now her main focus. Regardless of medium, a strong sense of narrative is found throughout her work, a narrative that viewers are allowed to decipher for themselves.

Whitney's love of stories – again, from when she was a small child – has influenced her work greatly. Indeed, she likens her work to Neverland. "Anything is possible in a story," she says. "Gravity can be reversed with a mere flick of the wrist. A simple picture frame can become a portal into another dimension … However, a childlike sense of imagination often comes with irrational fears. Fear that a monster could reside under your bed, or a boogeyman is sleeping in your closet. My work explores both sides of imagination: the dreams and the nightmares."

Whitney often places herself in her photographs, in many diverse scenes and situations and alternate realities.


In addition to serving as the locale for Whitney's Neverland during the Tour, visitors to the shop can enjoy the juggling of Bill Deese there on Saturday afternoon. Additionally, Turbo Goat Bicycle Shop is your local source for bicycles and skate decks.

artist Whitney Caskey


Holiday Arts Tour Stops: House of Flowers, Beau Monde, and Rumo's

Holiday Arts Tour Stop: House of Flowers & Cake Shoppe, 100 N. Vienna St.

Three Gas Cans by Julie Crews

House of Flowers and The Cake Shoppe is a lovely (and tasty!) stop on the tour. Winner of the 2013 Holiday Arts Tour  Judge's Choice Award, artist Julie Crews' oil paintings beautifully capture simple moments and familiar scenes.  Leigh Buffington's paintings, prints and boxes offer serene embellishments for the home.


Jewelry by Leigh Buffington.

Julie says of her work, "When I paint... I am also excited to push the limitations of my current skill level and challenge the tendencies of my past work, like rendering all my subject matter too tightly. Sometimes I paint from observation, documenting life as it happens, and other times I use study sketches and photo references. Sometimes I paint and ask myself, “What rule can I break? Will I be successful?”, and I measure my success through my experience of the process and product." To view more of Julie's work, check out her website at


An artist of various mediums, Leigh focuses on the "duality of flesh and spirit" to guide and unify her symbolic and ornamental work. Leigh says, "I am drawn to the ever present reality of the spirit world," and our experiences in the flesh are "vital to our process of learning" in this life. When you view the sense of balance of her carefully composed jewelry and art works you may sense your own spiritual awareness heightened.  


Holiday Arts Tour Stop: Rumo's Barber Shop, 203 W. Alabama Ste.3

The charming barber shop known as Rumo's will be hosting Todd Maggio during the Holiday Art Tour. Todd Maggio screen prints objects that people use in their everyday lives such as journals, cards and CD covers, infusing these mass-produced objects with the vitality and spirit of the artist's hand. 

Todd will be screen printing tattoos on Saturday, be sure to stop by and get yourself a (nonpermanent) fun tattoo work the weekend!


Holiday Arts Tour Stop: Beau Monde, 206 N. Trenton St.

Rachel Johnston at work.

Fiber artist Rachel Johnston will have a variety of work for sale at Beau Monde, one of Ruston's newest boutiques. While Beau Monde has its own variety of must-have scarfs and leggings, you may also have to take home one of Rachel's fabric creations as well! 

Rachel's offerings include handspun yarn and cold-process soap. She admires that what to her is a craft of joy, was once a craft of necessity to past generations. In Rachel's own words, " I need to be involved in this process of turning a raw fleece into something beautiful, something useful, or both. At the end of the day, my hands might be blistered. They might be rough and calloused. And I am okay with that because it means it means I’ve done something. It means these hands have created something that I can be proud of."

Rachel will demonstrate with her spinning wheel on Saturday. Don't worry Cinderella's, she'll be careful not to stick anyone! To view more of Rachel's work, check out her Etsy page at



Art Talk Monday: Holiday Arts Tour This Weekend!

This week's Art Talk Monday is written by Jessica Slaughter, NCLAC Executive Director. NCLAC is pleased to present its 17th annual Holiday Arts Tour in downtown Ruston, this weekend, November 20-23. Holiday Arts Tour is “all about the arts,” with music, visual artists, writers, dance and theatre.

Beginning on Thursday, November 20th, there will be live music each day, including jazz, bluegrass, country, barbershop harmony, classical, blues, Chinese harp, reggae and body percussion. Some of the participating musicians include Monty Russell, Elizabeth Vidos and Rhapsody Quartet.

Thirty-five downtown Ruston locations will play host to artwork by regional artists, as part of Ruston’s Main Street Christmas Open House. On Friday, artists will be on site in these shops selling their works from 5 till 9pm. One of the special parts of the Arts Tour is the artist-viewer dynamic; it’s an interactive weekend. Shoppers are encouraged to speak with the creators about their works and to get the inside scoop on these one-of-a-kind items.

Saturday’s hours are noon till 6pm and will expand to include artists’ demonstrations, such as oil painting, printmaking, and quilting. In the afternoon there will be a round-robin poetry reading featuring four regional poets: Genaro Ky Ly Smith, April Honaker, Veronica Schuder and Errol Miller. The poetry reading was added to last year’s Tour and was a great success.

On Sunday, from 1:30 till 3:30, will be Sprout Sunday, art projects for children with five of the participating Arts Tour artists. A book reading by a local children’s author, a fiber-based ornament and a paper-folded puppet are included in the roster. These activities will take place at 202 N Vienna.

A perfect ending is the Community Variety Show at 4:00pm on Sunday at the Dixie Center for the Arts. This show will include ball room dancing, vocal and instrumental music, ballet dancing, theatre and more. Joel Sharpton of Red Peach Media will emcee the event. It’s an entertaining line-up! Program sponsor for this year's Community Variety Show is Kim Dupree, State Farm Agent. Thank you, Mrs. Kim!

All of the performances and activities in Holiday Arts Tour are free to the public as part of NCLAC’s mission to foster opportunities for creative expression and build a region where the arts can thrive. If you'd like to see photos from last year's Holiday Arts Tour, visit our Facebook page here.

For a complete schedule, map and listing of artists and sites, please visit this page. Call our office with questions at (318)255-1450.

NCLAC would like to thank Patricia Willis of The Children’s Shoppe for the generous use of her space at 202 N Vienna. We will be using this storefront for artists, demonstrations, the poetry reading, as well as Sprout activities.

Thanks also to Fine Line Art Supply, our title sponsor for this year’s Holiday Arts Tour. HAT is 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 and administered by the Shreveport Regional Arts Council.



Holiday Arts Tour Stop: Sundown Tavern, Fine Line Art Supply and Stitchville

NCLAC's 17th Annual Holiday Arts Tour, November 20-23, 2014  -- a map and complete schedule can be found here Today's Tour stops include Sundown Tavern, Fine Line Art Supply and Stitchville.

Sundown Tavern, located at 111 East Park Avenue, is a favorite destination for turkey melts, MJ burgers, and music! For this year's Tour, they will be

Todd Cloe

hosting Todd Cloe and Emily Ezell, as well as music on Saturday evening. Todd Cloe is a fixture at Sundown each year for the Tour. His brings his beautiful wooden rings and they fly off his table.

ring by Todd Cloe

Much of Todd's inspiration comes from ancient artifacts and from Native American history as well as from nature. He combines this inspiration with his personal experiences to create beautiful, hand crafted works of art. 

Todd Cloe is currently employed in Louisiana Tech University's School of Design. Todd serves as the wood shop technician offering guidance and instruction to students so they will have the knowledge and understanding needed to turn their own ideas into completed works of art.

Emily Ezell will also be displaying work at Sundown. Emily is a talented painter who creates captivating portraits, as well as paintings that cater to childhood memories and fantasies.

On Saturday evening at 6pm there will be a performance by the Dan Sumner Quartet. The group will treat Tour-goers to straightforward jazz. Members of the group include Dan Sumner, Ken Carter, David Oliver and Chris Siripong.

Fine Line Art Supply is this year's Title Sponsor for Holiday Arts Tour. Thanks Fine Line! This art supply and print lab shop will be hosting Sienna

Sienna Haralson

Haralson for the Tour. Sienna is a painter. Of her work she says "The deer spirit totem represents gentleness, innocence, sensitivity and intuition. These are qualities I find in myself and thus chose the deer as a surrogate and decorate them with

Guardian, by Sienna Haralson

objects that symbolize spirituality and enlightenment. This body of work is focused on expressing emotions and telling stories through deer while allowing the viewer the chance to relate to the deer on an unusual level."

Fine Line will host The Taylor Outfit on Thursday evening at 7pm. This bluegrass group includes Lendel, Casey, Emmylou and Carson Taylor---a family band!

Inside Fine Line is Stitchville, a yarn shop plus so much more! Stitchville sells fabric, yarns and notions, as well as offers classes on various sewing and knitting themes. Owner Allie Bennett will be featured on the Tour, with items such as handmade bags and handspun yarns. Allie is experienced in the performing arts, with history both on stage and in costuming. She has taught drama camps and workshops for NCLAC, and also serves diligently on the ARToberfest Committee.

Allie Bennett's Stitchville


Holiday Arts Tour Stop: Art Innovations and The Townsend House

17th Annual Holiday Arts Tour, November 20-23, 2014, downtown Ruston Today's Tour stops are Art Innovations and the Townsend House. Let's get started...

Art Innovations installation shot

Jackie Cochran's space, Art Innovations, is just that: an innovative space for creating. For this year's Tour, the site has been transformed into A Walk in the Woods. Jackie hiked the Appalachian Trail this summer and was inspired to turn Art Innovations into a forest. A perfect fit for the forest, maker Francis Carson will be there selling his handmade bows (the hunting variety), bird houses, and rings. The beautiful rings he makes are hammered from coins. Francis is a first aid worker by profession, but has always enjoyed working with his hands. He began making multi-level bird houses and then ventured into designing bows made from PVC pipe.


bracelet by Laura Glen Lawson

At the Townsend House will be Laura Glen Lawson. She is a long-time participant with Holiday Arts Tour, as well as a member of the Louisiana Craft Guild and the Craftsmen's Guild of Mississippi. Laura Glen creates stunning jewelry, of which she says, "I want the people who wear my jewelry to feel a connection to the jewelry and know the piece was created with love and care. I believe this sense of connectivity is achieved through the synergy of seeking balance and harmony between metal and stone in a fluid, organic style. Inspiration for many of my designs comes from watching nature... the shapes of trees, the growth of wild vines and the curves of clouds." The Townsend House itself is worth a visit, as it's a wonderful gift shop, one of the oldest buildings in Ruston, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.


Holiday Arts Tour activities are free and the public is invited! Please join us!

Holiday Arts Tour 2014 Title Sponsor is Fine Line Art Supply & Print Lab. Thanks Fine Line!  Holiday Arts Tour is also supported 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 and administered by the Shreveport Regional Arts Council.

Holiday Arts Tour Stop: Rodeo Boutique, Social Bites & The Fabric Shop

17th Annual Holiday Arts Tour is November 20-23, 2014 Today's Tour stops are neighboring stores on West Park Avenue. Let's get started...

artist Cheyenne Morrow

Rodeo Boutique is a fun ladies' boutique for the young-at-heart. Rodeo will  be featuring Cheyenne Morrow.

work by Cheyenne Morrow

Cheyenne is a native Rustonian, and a Louisiana Tech University alumni with a degree in both studio art and communication design. She works as a packaging designer, packaging baby products. Cheyenne says she fills her time "doing art and exploring the world through science, sociology and mathematics. I spend time in nature as often as possible, which is an incredible source of inspiration for my art." Cheyenne will be displaying unique ink drawings that employ repetition as a conceptual tool.

work by Cheyenne Morrow

Bag of Onions, by Nicole Duet

Social Bites of Ruston has recently moved to a brand new storefront facing Railroad Park. The new space is super, and of course owner Heather is still focused on making sweet treats. Artist Nicole Duet is displaying her work here for the Tour. Nicole has an amazing touch with her drawings, and her oil paintings exhibit a lovely use of light. For this exhibition, Nicole will be displaying a special series of paintings created just for her site. Be sure to stop in and check them out! Nicole is an Assistant Professor of Drawing and Painting at Louisiana Tech.

Oyster Night, by Nicole Duet



Nicole Duet


Allison Vestal

The Fabric Shop of Ruston, owned by Louise and Ron Adams, is a fabric shop of course, but also your local source for Pfaff products. I bought my Pfaff machine from them years ago, and I can attest to their great knowledge base and strong customer support.  Allison Vestal will be displaying her fiber-based art works here for the Tour. Allison creates scenes of childhood memories from fabric, creating fairytale moments built with fiber and thread under her fingertips. Allison is a Communication Design student at LA Tech.

Castle Yellow, by Allison Vestal

Castlespace, by Allison Vestal

Holiday Arts Tour Stop: Blue Wire, Delta Dry Goods and Social & Leisure

17th Annual Holiday Arts Tour, November 20-23, 2014 Today's listings for the Tour include two visual artists and two bands on West Park Avenue.

Delta Dry Goods and Social & Leisure are concept shops presented by Patton's Downtown. Each of these shops will be hosting an artist for the Tour this year.

Golfworks by Richard Kordal

On one side you will fine Richard Kordal. Richard uses golfballs to create mid-century style clocks. He says:

Inspired by the mid-century modern clock designs of George Nelson, each clock is made after recycled golf balls are cut in half to reveal the unique colors and patterns which vary according to the manufacturer. Then the center dial is cut from alder and laser etched with a pelican design for the nature lover or for folks in Louisiana. It was then stained with a natural stain and finished with polyurethane for durability. The spokes are made of wooden dowels and are stained to match the clock face. They are finished with polyurethane for a lasting finish. The clock hands are brass. Each clock is one of a kind and is powered by a single AA battery.

Next door to Richard you will see Alice Morgan. She will be offering fused glass jewelry. Alice says:

pendant by Alice Morgan

Several years ago local artist Jack Lewis invited me to his studio to learn how to fuse glass and use his kiln. After that I was hooked. Fusing glass was a lot like ceramics: I never knew exactly how they would turn out and it made it that much more exciting to open the kiln and see these little gems of glass. So I started to make hand made jewelry with the glass. It is very rewarding as an artist to see my art in someone’s home, and I get that same feeling when I see my jewelry being worn by someone.


Just down the block Blue Wire Electronics will be hosting Stiff Necked Fools and The Bluesaholics. It's the first year for both of these bands to play Holiday Arts Tour, and we're so excited to offer them to you!

Stiff Necked Fools Friday night, Nov. 21, from 8-9pm.

Stiff Necked Fools

Stiff Necked Fools are a Reggae band based out of Shreveport, Louisiana. Dan Sanchez was an award-winning Blues artist from Los Angeles who was looking to do something new. His search led him to Reggae music, which soon became his passion and led him to form a project. Mr. Sanchez recruited the sounds of John Hoffman (the son of Stanton Hoffman of the Killer Bees) on drums, the fast fingers of Jason Ball on keys, and the explosive basslines of Greg Pitts. Unfortunately, just as the group was starting to blossom, Dan fell ill to cancer and passed away in March of 2010. Devastated, but determined, the Fools worked to pick up the pieces and keep on moving. Their persistence paid off. With more players added to the group and a new sound emerging, the weekly Reggae Thursdays jam at the Tiki started exploding. Rounding out the Fools are reggae 6 string extroirdinaire Chase Parker on guitar and the insane talent of Eddy Hoffman on drums. Also, the awesome funky horn playing of Ruston's own Mr. Jacoby Phillips on tenor sax. Today, they are easily the hottest Reggae/Jam band in this part of the country. With the group opening up for bands such as Rebirth Brass Band, Cowboy Mouth, Bonerama, and many others. Boasting 700+ shows to their credit and traveling the country side bringing their own style known as 'Bayou Reggae" to music lovers everywhere, Stiff Necked Fools has left heads spinning in disbelief everywhere they go. The impression they make with their unique sound and style is not easily forgotten, and many great things are bound for this one of a kind band in the future!

The Bluesaholics - Saturday afternoon, Nov. 22, from 3-4pm.

The Bluesaholics

The Bluesaholics are a six-piece band from North Louisiana. Their music is a gumbo cooked with some Mississippi soul, a bit of Memphis funk, and some Chicago blues - heavily seasoned with Louisiana heat. Their blues are Da BLUES. The Bluesaholics are currently playing clubs, festivals, and parties in Louisiana, Arkansas and Clarksdale, Mississippi. They consist of Dave P. Moore - harp and vocals, Bruce Gay – guitar and vocals, Fiddlin’ Tim Brogan – blues fiddle and vocals, Tony Cortellini - keyboards, Eli Drumgold -bass, and Professor Bill Deese - drums. Special guests often include the talented singers Judge Willis McGee or Miss Dorothy Prime.

Holiday Arts Tour programs are free for the public. The event is 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 and administered by the Shreveport Regional Arts Council. 


Holiday Arts Tour Stops: The Frame Up & Lewis Boutique

Holiday Arts Tour Stop: The Frame Up, 102 N Vienna St. Work by Hooshang.

Winner of the Holiday Arts Tour 2013 People's Choice Award, awarded to Tour attendees’ favorite artist and artwork display, Hooshang Khorasani has been supporting NCLAC as a professional artist and promoting local opportunities for artists to have chances to display their work, like they do with on the Tour, for over 20 years. It was our pleasure to reward his long history as a working artist last year as Hooshang showcased a new turn in his colorful body of art.

Hooshang's work on display at the 2013 HAT.

Regardless of whether you recognize Hooshang more from his dynamic flower still-lives, or one of his racing horse images he is nationally known for, all of his work vibrates with his vigorous color palette and mark making. If you haven't seen Hooshang’s work before, be sure to stop by the Frame Up to see if all on display! To view Hooshang’s work online, check out

The Frame Up is a professional framing shop that carries a wide variety of metal and wooded frames, archival framing, and more. The Frame Up also carries popular LA Tech Football prints, and other items that make great holiday gifts.


Holiday Arts Tour Stop: Lewis Boutique, 110 N Vienna St.

"Hundertwasser" House box

Lewis Boutique is an inviting upscale fashion and cosmetic store that normally carries a number of great gift items, like Vera Bradley accessories and stylish scarfs, and during the Tour this year it once again host German artist Christiane Drieling.

Christiane Drieling: dwarf marionettes, works in progress

Christiane’s love of her homeland’s story-telling traditions is evident in all of her work, from her classical “Kaspar” hand puppets, her traditional toy Christmas ornaments, to her jewelry and small boxes that feature the story line’s of her family’s favorite children’s books. 

Christiane says "The aesthetics I am drawn to and the way how I use materials is clearly rooted in my childhood. My family was not particularly artistic but quite resourceful, as they inspired me to pick up the empty match boxes from our gas stove and make them into little houses; I kept the red wax that sealed the cheese loafs and shaped it into tiny people.

'Small worlds' has been my constant theme in both my life and my art: the small worlds of the fairytales I grew up with, and the “real” small worlds I found myself in as a child and young adult. The “real” world felt rather limiting to me with all those cultural, social, and socioeconomic barriers that prevent free choice of which way to go.  The fairytale world, on the other side, fascinated and inspired me because anything could happen and everything was possible there."

In addition to her Swirling Swirls line of art-objects, Christiane also teaches. She is the art education teacher at Montessori School of Ruston, and also leads art  classes for children and adults at her Brush Hour Studio.

Christiane is also one of our Sprout Sunday artists. She will be leading children in a frog prince folded paper project. She's a great teacher-- be sure to bring your kids! (Sunday, 1:30-3:30, 202 N Vienna)

Lewis Boutique will also host the “a cappella harmony” of the delightful all-women Rhapsody Quartet on Thursday from 6-7pm, and an amazing magical performance by Michael Savage on Saturday afternoon.

Christiane's Blue Wizard Ornament




Holiday Arts Tour Stop: 202 N Vienna Special Events

17th annual Holiday Arts Tour, November 20-23, 2014 Yesterday we told you about the artists who will be exhibiting at 202 N Vienna, so today we need to finish this site with the special events that will be taking place.

On Saturday, Nov. 22 at 4pm we will be holding a Round Robin Poetry Reading featuring four regional poets. This event had its pilot year during last year's

Poetry Reading 2013: Veronica Schuder, April Honaker, Errol Miller, Genaro Ky Ly Smith

Holiday Arts Tour, and it was so well received we are bringing it back. The participating poets will be Veronica Schuder, Genaro Ky Ly Smith, April Honaker, and Errol Miller. I'm including brief descriptions for each of our poets, because their lists of publications and awards are extensive.

Veronica Schuder, instructor of English at Louisiana Tech University, received her MA at Ohio University and her MFA at the University of Arkansas. She will read a sequence of her  poems about the human condition, grounded in the personal perspective: wife, mother, woman, and person.

Genaro Ky Ly Smith teaches literature, composition and creative writing at Louisiana Tech University. He received the ATLAS grant by the Louisiana Board of Regents for 2013-14, and has previously received both the Louisiana Division of the Arts Artist Fellowship and minigrant. His  poems center around family diversity and history, and grappling with personal struggles. He had a big year with the publishing of his book The Land Baron's Sun: The Story of Ly Loc and His Seven Wives.

April Honaker is an instructor in the Department of English at Louisiana Tech. Her work has been featured in the 2River View, fall 2012 and she received a Louisiana Division of the Arts Artist Advancement Grant in 2012/13. Honaker’s poetry focuses on family and relationships through the use of metaphor, imagery, and dialogue.

Errol Miller, another recipient of a Louisiana Division of the Arts Artist Advancement Grant, creates works based on Southern people’s stories, hopes, dreams, and failures. He has been called “the Woolworth Poet of America,” publishing thousands of poems in magazines and journals since 1972.

After the readings the poets will be available to discuss their works. There will also be books available for purchase.

On Sunday, Nov. 23 from 1:30-3:30, NCLAC will offer Sprout Sunday for families. These free art activities will expose children to art processes and concepts, and allow them to take home projects and ideas from Holiday Arts Tour.

Christiane Drieling's Frog Prince

Christiane Drieling, of Brush Hour Studio, will be leading participants in a Frog Prince paper project. The Frog Prince can be used as a puppet as well as a catching game. (Christiane's site for her work on the Tour is Lewis Boutique.)

Maureen Hinton will offer a reading of her children's book, William's Troublesome Tongue. (Maureen's home site for the Tour is Pastry Moon.)

Rachel Johnston will show students how to make a woven ornament with yarn and fabric. (Her work on the Tour is

Maureen Hinton's children's book

displayed at Beau Monde.)

Bonnie Ferguson will lead children in a petri dish ornament project to accompany Maureen's book. (Bonnie is an artist as well as the shop owner of Pastry Moon.)

Adrianna Speer will offer a Picasso Portrait project that kids will be excited to take home. It's always good to learn about important artists! (Adrianna's site for the Tour is 202 N Vienna.)

Sprout Sunday 2012, with a reading by author Debra Faircloth

Sprout Sunday 2011, with a clay project at Follette Pottery

Holiday Arts Tour is a free event open to the public. It is supported by a grant form the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council and administered by the Shreveport Regional Arts Council.


Holiday Arts Tour Stop: 202 N Vienna

17th Annual Holiday Arts Tour, downtown Ruston, November 20-23, 2014 Don't miss the 202 N Vienna listing on this year's Holiday Arts Tour map. We will have 7 artists plus the Piney Hills Quilt Guild with displays, in addition to the Round-Robin Poetry Reading on Saturday and Sprout Sunday. We'll go over artists now and will cover the special events tomorrow. Let's get started...

Piney Hills Quilt Guild

First up, we have an exhibit of quilts by members of the Piney Hills Quilt Guild,which is based in Dubach, LA. The quilters will have large quilts on display that represent a number of quilting styles and methods, as well as some smaller art quilts. These will look amazing on the large walls in the building, as well as in the windows.

Dubach Quilt Guild

The next group of artists are currently MFA candidates at Louisiana Tech University. In case you don't know, Tech's School of Design is incredible, and these artists are examples of such. They will all have work at this stop on the Tour.

McCauley, House on Trail

Zachary McCauley - says "Growing up in the American South, I have always been surrounded by and been aware of ideas that the region is one of magic, pride, family unity, and rich history.... This ongoing collection of images represents the camaraderie and love that I share with displaced or forgotten spaces, moments, and objects foun during my recent period of uprootedness within the South from one state, both geographically and emotionally, to another."


Meredith McGregor, Pocket Aces

Meredith McGregor - Graphic Designer, Illustrator, and studio artist. Her work is a combination of her love for storytelling and a fascination with juxtaposing images. It is influenced by mysteries surrounding family history, her family’s relationships with each other, and the different demons that people cope with. Meredith says she has "chosen to work with collage because I would like for my pieces to have a surreal and fabricated quality. The process of finding, cutting, and tearing items allows me to have a wide range of color and texture as I bring my stories to life."


Adrianna Speer

Adrianna Speer - says "I inherited my love of painting from my grandmother, Granny Boots. From a very young age, Granny Boots would bring me “artin’” with her every week in Magnolia, Arkansas. I knew from the first day I picked up a paint brush I was going to be an artist. Since then my focus has been painting and drawing which has propelled me into earning my Bachelor of Fine Arts from Louisiana State University, studying in Ireland at Burren College of Art as well as studying in France at Atelier de la Rose." She enjoys exploring the relationships between color and space "to create a believable scape in a work of art."


Megan Landis, mugs

Megan Landis -  functional ceramic artist. Her work focuses on creating a new existence for lost and forgotten forms destroyed through time, fragility and commonness. She received Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Drawing & Painting and Ceramics from The University of North Texas in Denton, Texas in 2008 and has worked as a post-baccalaureate student in Ceramics at Collin College in Plano, Texas. She is now pursuing a MFA in Studio, concentrating in Ceramics. Her current work is an exploration of common historical forms, glaze experimentation and a study of firing techniques. Megan donated some fantastic mugs for NCLAC this year as part of our 2014 Membership Drive. Thanks, Megan!


Jenna Fincher, When the Levee Breaks

Jenna Fincher - comes from south Louisiana. She earned her BFA in studio art with a minor in art history from Nicholls State University in May 2012. There she focused on figure drawing. She is concentrating in Studio Art for her MFA. She creates artwork through experiments with media and traditional and technological processes. Her current work is informed by childhood memories of home, with an interest in the idea of human presence.


Hannah McCauley, The Rattlesnake Man

Hannah Cooper McCauley - received a BFA from Jacksonville State University in 2012. She enjoys working in narrative photography, both digital and analogue, and her most recent project Seven Days addresses the complexities of growing up based on the transitory nature of her childhood. Hannah's work has been exhibited in group shows at various venues internationally, including the Houston Center for Photography, Photoplace Gallery (VT), and the Pingyao, China International Photography Festival. In 2013, she was awarded the Board of Regents Fellowship at Louisiana Tech University, which serves as a collaboration between the Departments of Art, Engineering, and Science.

Cathy Crow, R & P

Kathy Crow - an artist interested in "how fairytales and mythology both tie into the real world and act as an escape from it....There is also a sense of wonder to these stories, as they are always filled with the understanding that the impossible things they describe are commonplace somewhere." Kathy's current body of work consists of using lasercut paper painted and floated on the wall to show not only direct representations of these stories, but to give a hint at the deeper meanings within.



A BIG THANKS to Patricia Willis, owner of The Children's Shoppe, for letting NCLAC use her empty storefront at 202 N Vienna for Holiday Arts Tour. It's been wonderful to have this large space to use for a variety of purposes. Her offer was very generous, and we appreciate it!

We'll be back tomorrow with the special events that will take place at this site during Holiday Arts Tour.


Holiday Arts Tour Stop: Kelly Moore Bag and Embellishments

17th annual Holiday Arts Tour, November 20-23, 2014 Today's Tour Stops include Kelly Moore Bag and Embellishments. Here you will see works by Joey Slaughter and Emma Melville, as well as hear the music of Monty Russell.

Ruston is fortunate in that Kelly Moore  Clark, of Kelly Moore Bag, is one of our local ladies. Kelly ships her camera bags around the globe and she's opened a brick and mortar store right here in downtown Ruston.

Joey Slaughter

For this year's Tour she will host Joey Slaughter. Joey's artwork investigates the "look" of digital information as it is transmitted around us, providing an overabundance of stimuli and therefore, distractions. He combines the hands-on acts of painting and sculpture with digital media, using a blend of tight and loose, machine and man, all working together for a unified whole. The combination of these traditional and non-traditional processes is important to Slaughter, and allows for a play between spontaneity and precision. Joey is Associate Professor of Art at Louisiana Tech's School of Design, as well as Graduate Coordinator and a Gladys Lawson Rogers Endowed Professorship in Liberal Arts. Check out this recent article about Joey in the November issue of Bayou Life.

Monty Russell will kick off the Tour's Friday performances with a show at Kelly Moore Bag from 5-6pm. Monty Russell is a singer, songwriter, Americana radio personality, and concert promoter based in Northern Louisiana. After having been taught to accompany himself by sliding a knife blade over an open E tuned guitar at the age of 8, and having been immersed throughout his youth with the honky-tonk, gospel, western swing, and blues music played by his Grandfather Leon Russell, a rural self-taught barrelhouse piano player, guitarist, and fiddler, Monty set out on a musical journey that has lasted over 30 years. He has played theatres, listening rooms, festivals, honky-tonks, churches, and any other place people would listen.

Monty Russell

Over the past decade, he has shared the stage with the likes of Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam, Billy Currington, Gary Allan, Little Feat, Merle Haggard, Reckless Kelly, Blues Traveler, Irma Thomas, Marcia Ball, Charlie Daniels, Confederate Railroad, Bucky Covington, Robert Earl Keen, Delbert McClinton, David Alan Coe, Pat Green, Jerry Jeff Walker, Paul Thorn, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Del McCoury, Radney Foster, Reckless Kelly, Pete Anderson, and many others.


Emma Melville, Chene Clay Company

Just down the street a bit is Embellishments, a privately owned shop that offers a wide selection of gifts, home decor, bamboo bedding, jewelry and more. Tanya Florence, shop owner, will be hosting Emma Case Melville. Emma is a local potter who's recently begun a line of functional ceramic items, called Chene  Clay Company. For this year's Tour she will be offering an assortment of niche items, such as shaving bowls and yarn bowls, in addition to other more traditional pieces. A shaving bowl--what a great gift for the hard-to-shop-for man! Of her new business Emma says, "My family comes from a place in Louisiana called Bayou Chene. They were a hard-working people who lived off the land and water. Though the community of Bayou Chene was forced to disperse to make way for a spillway, Chene Clay Company is a continuation of the spirit of my family and the people who worked hard to live good lives and give back to their community."  Emma made some beautiful mugs for NCLAC during our Fall 2014 Membership  Drive. Thanks, Emma!

Holiday Arts Tour programming is free and the public is invited to enjoy! HAT is 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 and administered by the Shreveport Regional Arts Council. 

Holiday Arts Tour Stop: Studio 301

Holiday Art Tour Stop: Studio 301 301 N. Trenton St.    Studio 301’s 1100 square feet of white-walled exhibition space will feature the “Viaggio Italiano,” for the Holiday Arts Tour. Kit Gilbert created this open two-story showing space and studio to help enliven Ruston’s downtown, and to give our local professional and visiting artists more exhibiting venues.

Photo by Jonathan Donehoo

All of the works in “Viaggio Italiano” were made in Italy, or were inspired by trips the artists made to Italy. Participating artists include Dean Dablow, Jonathan Donehoo, Dianne Douglas, Kit Gilbert, Patricia Tait Jones, Peter Jones, Phoebe Allen Mathys, Catherine McVea, and Annie Richardson.

The artwork in this show spans many years, and gives an intimate look at how each artist personally interpreted their Italian journey through drawings, paintings, and photography. If you haven’t gotten that trip-money saved up to take your own vacation to Italy, come live vicariously through the landscapes of this once in a lifetime show in Ruston!

Holiday Arts Tour Stops: The Children's Shoppe and Lagniappe Embroidery & Gift Shoppe

Holiday Arts Tour Stop: The Children's Shoppe 109 N. Trenton St., Suite A Patricia’s Willis’ children’s gift and clothing store has plenty of adorable things for youngsters, but during the Holiday Arts Tour this year it will host some wonderful paintings as well.

Painting by Nina Stephens

Painter Nina Stephens’s love of life and all the quiet moments we are given to appreciate it, resonate through her warm oil paintings. From the apiary tools of a beekeeper, to “The Man” (Nina’s resident rooster), her subjects softly occupy their frames and invite the viewer to visit with them for a while as they get to know each other. Nina will also be giving a life painting demonstration on Saturday, so be sure to come by and see who/what will be making its way onto her next canvas!

Whether you are looking for the perfect gift for that toddler this holiday season, or a new friend to show off on your mantel, The Children’s Shoppe and Nina Stephens are a great place to stop this Holiday Arts Tour. Check out her website at


Holiday Arts Tour Stop: Lagniappe Embroidery & Gift Shoppe, 130 Park Ave.

Allen with his work at 2013 HAT.

The newly opened Lagniappe Embroidery & Gift Shoppe will feature local woodcraftsmen Allen Tuten, and photographer Sonny Monteleone. If you haven’t stopped by to see what these ladies have to offer with their personal embroidered monogramming and more, you should! It would certainly be a shame to miss visiting while these great artists are here.

Allen offers an array of beautifully handcrafted wooden items, including wooden pens made from locally sourced woods, wine-stoppers, and intricate birdhouses. Each of Allen’s items makes great holiday gifts.

Photographic work by Sonny Monteleone

A Breaux Bridge local, Sonny specializes in photography that captures the Louisiana spirit, especially that of our serene natural environments. From south Louisiana’s aging plantation homes to the iconic bayous our state is know for, Sonny has photographed it all! Check out his work at

Holiday Arts Tour Stop: Chartreuse Pear and The Fashion of Ruston

17th Annual Holiday Arts Tour, November 20-23, 2014 Oyster V, by Caroline Youngblood

Chartreuse Pear and the Fashion of Ruston have such awesome locations on West Park Avenue.  They are neighboring shops in the historic Harris Hotel building. The Fashion of Ruston is a women's boutique with clothing, jewelry and shoes. Chartreuse Pear offers an eclectic mix of home decor, antiques, gifts, custom bedding, and rugs. In addition to the artists featured below, you can hear Karl Puljak play classical selections on the cello on Thursday evening, from 5-6pm.

Chartreuse Pear will be featuring paintings by Caroline Youngblood. Caroline says "Searching through junk drawers and closets overstuffed with ephemera left by four generations of family, I create art from an assemblage of objects discovered at historic Breston Plantation in Riverton, Louisiana." Caroline's work is in numerous private collections around the country, as well interiors of hotels, hospitals and more. One from her recent series of oyster paintings has such a stunning color palette it's hard for me to look away. Bits of Louisiana life, whether literal pieces through collage, or themes and icons, such as oysters and cotton, figure prominently in her work and are handled with beauty and passion.

Along with Caroline at this location will be Dorene Kordal, whose felt accessories can add some spunk to your life. Dorene has been featured at Chartreuse Pear the last few year for HAT so shoppers will know just where to find her. Hairbands, bags, jewelry, stockings and more fly from Dorene's fingers, and are incredibly gift-worthy.

stockings by Dorene Kordal


Peach Tree in Bloom, sketch, by Lacey Stinson

The Fashion will be hosting Lacey Stinson in the "carriage way" between the two shops. A Louisiana native, fine art painter of landscapes, portraits and surreal masterpieces, Lacey Stinson currently resides in north central Louisiana with his feline companion and muse Pip, who regularly sits in Mr. Stinson’s lap while he draws and paints. Lacey's drawings captured my eye when I first saw them several years ago, but his paintings are also incredibly beautiful. He will be showing some of these at this year's Tour; I'm excited to see them in person!

The Fashion will also be hosting artist Shalis Stevens. Shalis, an artist, graphic designer and puppet maker, has recently returned to Louisiana after  time studying at Savannah College of Design. For this year's Tour, she is making beautiful pendants-- handcrafted one-of-a-kind jewelry items that each wearer should feel proud to own. I love imagining her hands building each layer and stitch.

pin by Shalis Stevens


Holiday Arts Tour Stop: Carriage House

Holiday Arts Tour Stop: Carriage House 101 E. Maryland Ave. Angle of Repose by Patricia Tait Jones

The Carriage House of Ruston was founded by Patricia Tait Jones, and other local like-minded artists that wanted a place to come together to practice, teach, and celebrate making art. The charming historic building was in fact a carriage house at one time, and the resident artists revel in its authentic surfaces and details. Classes and shows regularly encompass many mediums, including drawings, paintings, collages, and 3-dimensional art.

Laura White Lewis at the Carriage House with her body of work.

The artists that will be on display during the Holiday Artist Tour are Becky Bennett, Nan Cole, Beth Holland, Laura White Lewis, Patricia Jones, Catherine McVea, and Annie Richardson. Seeing how the styles of each of these women overlaps one another’s as they learn from each other, and then how they differ as each widens their practice, is part of the joy of seeing group shows at the Carriage House.

Be sure not to miss this stop on the Tour, even if you have to walk a few extra blocks down Bonner Street to get there. Perhaps the rich artistic and historic environment might inspire you as well to sign up for a future art class at the Carriage House!

HAT 2014: Dixie Center for the Arts and Makers Union

The NCLAC office is ready to begin our array of descriptions for this year's Holiday Arts Tour artists. We will be listing each of the artists who will be participating this year, so that you can familiarize yourself with the talent and works that will be on display. Mark your calendars for November 20-23! HAT 2013 Award Winners: Julie Crews and Casey Parkinson

The first post for HAT 2014 is 212 N Vienna: the Dixie Center for the Arts. This location will serve as the information center for the Tour, and will be displaying a group art exhibit. The exhibition will feature most, if not all, of the artists in this year's Tour! The works will be a perfect way to get a visual idea of the variety of art available. The pieces will be for sale, and will remain on display until January 5th.

Also in the Dixie Center will be the ballot box for the People's Choice Award, to be given at the close of the Tour on Saturday evening. As you enjoy each Tour day, be sure to consider who your "favorite" artist is, and cast their name in the ballot box. The artist with the majority of votes will receive a cash award. Two of the artists in the Dixie exhibition will receive Judge's Choice Awards as well, judged by an art professional outside of Lincoln Parish.

Last year's Artist Awards winners were Julie Crews, Judge's Choice Non-functional Work; Casey Parkinson, Judge's Choice Functional Work; and Hooshang Khorasani, People's Choice Award.

Make sure the Dixie Center for the Arts is one of your stops on the Tour, and don't forget to cast your vote.

2013 People's Choice Ballot Box

Next door to the Dixie is Makers Union, an artists' collective where "makers" gather to share ideas and create. At this spot will be Frank Hamrick, displaying his handmade books and award-winning photography. Frank is an associate professor at Louisiana Tech University in the School of Design. His work mixes photography, storytelling, handmade books and found objects. Frank received his BFA from the University of Georgia and his MFA from New Mexico State University. NPR has written about Frank's handmade books and in 2012, Oxford American Magazine listed Frank as one of the 100 Superstars of Southern Art. His work is housed in collections including the Georgia Museum of Art and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. And yes, he lives right here in Ruston, LA, and will be here during the Tour selling his artwork.. Frank is a wonderful teacher and a thoughtful artist; be sure to stop in and say hi.a_rabbit_runs_in_a_circle_cover pulp_copy_work_037

Another element at the Makers Union site will be Bethany Raybourn's performance on Friday evening. Bethany is a singer-songwriter from our region whose alt-country originals are excellent... and  her voice is magic. If you've never heard her, don't miss this chance.