Art Talk Monday

Next week begins week five of the North Central Louisiana Arts Council’s Summer Arts Camps. Up to now, the summer has seen camps in Farmerville, Homer and Ruston, with happy campers and parents throughout. Scholarships have been awarded to ten students so far, thanks to generous donations via Pick Your Picasso. Pick Your Picasso is a program that grants scholarships to students with strong interest and talent in the arts who have financial need. For three years, NCLAC has awarded twenty-five of these scholarships each summer thanks to our devoted supporters who take pride in supporting arts education initiatives. We have fifteen additional scholarships and recipients registered and waiting for their respective camps to begin. July 9-13 will be our Jonesboro camp, held at First United Methodist Church, 402 Fourth Street. Campers next week will be working on a musical in Drama. Costumes and props have been gathered to make the Final Friday performance special for both students and parents. In Visual Arts, artist and art educator Joshua Chambers will be instructing the students in both two- and three-dimensional projects. Mutant Sock Monsters and Bobble-Head Sculptures are sure to be instant favorites.

July 16-20 will be our third Ruston camp, held at First Baptist Church, 200 South Trenton. In the 2D class, campers will be investigating the face and body, learning to draw proportionally. Instructor Russell Pirkle, of the Masur Museum of Art, will have students create a booklet based on the week’s instruction. The 3D and Drama classes will be working together to create and perform a puppet show! Large foam sheets will be manipulated to build shield-like puppets that will then be used for the Final Friday performance. This week will certainly be exciting for campers.

July 23-27 will be the last camp for the summer, held in Arcadia at United Methodist Church, 2122 Myrtle Street. This camp will end the summer perfectly, with fiber arts projects, masks and small shadow puppets. Cedar Creek art teacher Mary Ann Willoughby will be heading up the Visual Arts classes. Under her instruction, weaving and needlework will be introduced to even the youngest students.

There are still spaces available for students at each of these camps. NCLAC strives to keep our camp fees low, so each one week camp costs only $60. Camps run from 9am to noon, and campers receive all supplies and a snack with their tuition. To register your student, please call our office at 255-1450, or stop by the Dixie Center for the Arts, at 212 North Vienna in Ruston. Pre-registration is required, so that we may adequately prepare supplies.

Our camps have been made possible this year thanks to a grant from Entergy, our Pick Your Picasso sponsors, and the caring groups who have opened their doors to us: First Assembly of God in Farmerville, Seeds of Light in Homer, First Baptist of Ruston, First United Methodist in Jonesboro, and United Methodist in Arcadia. We are incredibly grateful for your generosity.

Many thanks are due as well to the helpful volunteer assistants we’ve had this summer at our camps: Emma Case, Danielle Milton, Alex Bishop, Cameron Vidos, JoAnn Grafton, Bethany Raybourn, MC Davis, Chloe Kaczvinsky, Peter Hay, Adrian Gipson, Jaime Johnson, Sarah Peshoff, Mary Peshoff and Aubrey Crook. Your helpful hands have made many campers and teachers smile this summer; thank you all.

Peach Art Exhibit Sponsors & Winners

The North Central Louisiana Arts Council is proud to announce that our 25th Peach Festival Art Exhibit was our biggest yet at almost 200 entries!  The work currently on display during this week is a visible example of the large amount of talent in our region.  We could not have hosted this event without our generous sponsors!!  Below you will find a list of sponsors and our winners!!!
Ages Eight and Under
1st Place Untitled by Sylas Slaughter.............................................................................................. Sponsored by Joshua & Leigh Chambers
2nd Place Cadapitter by Camille Smith........................................................................................... Sponsored by Joshua & Leigh Chambers
3rd Place Trent's First Motorcycle by Hudson Paul........................................................................ Sponsored by Joshua & Leigh Chambers
Ages Nine to Twelve
1st Place Wolf by Kira Jordan........................................................................................................ Sponsored by Dianne Douglas & Saul Zalesch
2nd Place Untitled by Ben Denny................................................................................................... Sponsored by Mary Ann & Bill Willoughby
3rd Place Perspective Study by Mia Howell.................................................................................... Sponsored by May Ann & Bill Willoughby
Honorable Mention Hat by David Madix
Ages Thirteen to Eighteen
1st Place Guinea Pig by Katelyn Vaughan....................................................................................... Sponsored by Nancy & John Wallace
2nd Place Young Sleeping Lizard by Gabriell Harpel...................................................................... Sponsored by Nancy & John Wallace
3rd Place Boots on the Bayou by Austin Riley................................................................................ Sponsored by Nancy & John Wallace
Children's Best of Show
The Frog by John Madix................................................................................................................. Sponsored by Kathy & Chris Stone
1st Place Daisy Mae by Tess Stickney.............................................................................................. Sponsored by 99.3 X Radio
2nd Place Lemon and Jar by Peter Jones........................................................................................ Sponsored by Friend of the Arts Council
3rd Place You won't remember it this way by Joshua Chambers.................................................... Sponsored by Bank of Ruston
1st Place Solitude by Angela Gamble............................................................................................... Sponsored by Beta Sigma Phi
2nd Place Festival Along the Cane River by Dianne Douglas........................................................... Sponsored by Community Trust Bank
3rd Place A Boy's Valuable Rocks by Wanda Collins....................................................................... Sponsored by Elizabeth English
1st Place H.G. Wells Potato by Jay Gould........................................................................................ Sponsored by Friend of the Arts Council
2nd Place Mary in Chains by Jonathan Donehoo............................................................................ Sponsored by Janine & Richard Lewis
3rd Place Pins & a Map by Bess Bielucyzk....................................................................................... Sponsored by Elizabeth English
Original Crafts
1st Place Domino by Wilton Fridge................................................................................................. Sponsored by Community Trust Bank
2nd Place Counterfeit by Alice Aber............................................................................................... Sponsored by Stitchville
3rd Place Mystic Mesquite Vase by Neill Kirkland.......................................................................... Sponsored by Elizabeth English
Honorable Mention Handmade Louisiana Cedar Talbes by Patrick Blanchard
1st Place This will work for right now by Adrian Gipson................................................................ Sponsored by Fine Line Art Supply
2nd Place Letter Never Sent by Frank Hamrick.............................................................................. Sponsored by Dawn & Edwin Pinkston
3rd Place Untitled by Erin Hollis.................................................................................................... Sponsored by Drew & Patricia Jones
Adult Best of Show
Thread of Life by Jerry Berg.......................................................................................................... Sponsored by Catherine & Winston McVea

Peach Art Exhibit Drop-Off 1-week From Today!

We have one week to go before work is due for the NCLAC Peach Art Exhibit! Anyone who wishes to enter work into the show should print out Entry Forms from the NCLAC website, and fill out one set for each piece they wish to enter. And remember! All hanging pieces, such as drawings and paintings, must be wired to hang! Below is an example of what “wired to hang” means.

Of the two forms you fill out for each piece, one will be attached to your artwork, and the other will be turned in to record the registration of your piece(s).

So don’t forget, work will be accepted on June 14th from 9am to 6pm at the Ruston Civic Center! Only dry, framed, and wired pieces will be accepted. Winners from the show will be awarded when the show opens on June 17th, at 2pm. See you soon!

Laura Hunt Miller Peach Art Exhibit Chair

Art Talk Monday (Crescent City Opening)

On Sunday, June 3rd, the North Central Louisiana Arts Council (NCLAC) will present an exhibition of recent paintings from artist Joshua Chambers at Crescent City Coffee, located at 1007 N. Trenton St off I-20, Exit 85. There will be an opening reception from 2-4 pm, and food and drinks will be served, including coffee and a sweet treat. The artwork will stay on display through the summer months for patrons of the coffee shop to enjoy. Joshua Chambers received his Master of Fine Arts from Louisiana Tech University in 2009, and he is currently a teacher for the Talent Art Program of Oauchita Parish Schools. His work has been featured in national and international exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe, and he has been published in New American Paintings, Creative Quarterly, Studio Visit Magazine, and The Red Clay Survey. He also has permanent collections at the Lessedra Gallery in Bulgaria and the Osage Gallery in the Gilcrease Museum of the Americas.

The title of the exhibition “Between Two Unlike Things” comes from the definition of “metaphor,” or the application of seemingly unrelated cultural symbols to create an idea. Chambers is interested in using his highly symbolic artwork to generate a dialog with his audience. In his artist's statement, Chamber's writes that he creates “cryptic tableaus” inspired by the emotions and decisions of everyday life. His paintings and prints feature characters who are deep in thought and suspended in “depthless landscapes of saturated color.” By applying new perspectives and theories to traditional artistic methods, he has created a series of unique paintings for this exhibition.

“Between Two Unlike Things” is one of several art exhibitions organized by North Central Louisiana Arts Council and featured at Crescent City Coffee. For more information on future arts shows or if you would like to purchase a piece, please contact NCLAC's offices at (318) 255-1450 or stop by the Dixie Center for the Arts between 9am – 2pm on Monday through Thursday. Come join us at Crescent City Coffee on June 3rd at 2pm for this memorable opening reception!

Art Talk Monday: Peach Art Exhibit

The North Central Louisiana Arts Council is gearing up for our annual Peach Festival Art Exhibit which displays work from community artists during the famous Squire Creek Peach Fest.   This year marks the 25th year that NCLAC has hosted the exhibit.  The work hangs from June 18th-23 at the Ruston Civic Center and is seen by thousands of individuals. All artists from student to adult professional to amateur are encouraged to participate.   Adult artists may participate in the following categories: Opaque, Transparent, Miscellaneous, Original Crafts, and Photography. Children/Youth may participate in one of three age-based categories: 8 and under, 9 to 12, and 13 to 18. Great cash and ribbon awards will be given in all categories, in addition to a Best of Show award for Adults and Children/Youth. Entrants in the Children’s division can as win as much as $75, and Adults as much as $150 for best of show.

Every year the Peach Festival Art Exhibit is judged by a different individual.  This year the exhibit will be judged by Evelyn Pell Stewart, Director of the Masur Musem in Monroe, Louisiana.  In addition to Best of Show, and First, Second, and Third Place in each category Ms. Stewart can also award a limited number of honorable mentions.

Artwork must be checked in, framed and prepared to hang on the wall, Thursday, June 14th between 9 am to 6 pm at the Ruston Civic Center. Artists may enter as many categories as desired, but will be limited to two works per a category. A non-refundable $20 entry fee will be charged for every Adult category an individual enters, and $10 for each Child/Youth category.  If you are interested in entering the exhibit you can download an entry form from NCLAC blog at or fill one out when you drop-off your work.

An opening reception will be held on Sunday, June 17th from 2-4pm at the Ruston Civic Center.  Awards and cash prices will be presented around 3pm.  In addition NCLAC will be drawing the winning ticket for Arts Afloat!   We encourage all area residents to stop by and see some of the talent that our community has to offer.  For more information please call 255-1450 or email us at

Art Talk Monday! (Let's meet our SAC Teachers!)

NCLAC’s annual Summer Arts Camps are in full preparation mode, with supplies arriving, registrations rolling in, and teachers prepping class materials. This year we have a handful of new teachers, as well as a number of repeats. Seeing familiar faces is always exciting to our campers and parents, and our teachers enjoy seeing the students’ growth each year. Last year was my first summer with NCLAC, and I saw happy signs of familiarity each Monday, as repeating campers and teachers met again after another school year. We will be seeing Paul Crook again as Camp Coordinator. Paul is an Associate Professor at Louisiana Tech University, where he teaches both undergraduate and graduate acting and directing courses and supervises all student directing projects in the Department of Theatre. He also serves as the Director of Recruiting for the Theatre program. Paul has directed and acted in theatres around the nation. He has previously served as the Associate Artistic Director for the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival, a summer rep theatre in Durant, OK and currently serves as the Artistic Director of The B & B Theatre, a company that he formed with his wife, Mary Fran, a theatre professor at Grambling State University. Standing tall and proud, Paul is a perfect camp coordinator: he greets campers each morning with nametags, serves them snacks with a smile, and keeps tabs on everything in between.

Also returning this year is Nick Bustamante, Associate Professor of Art at Louisiana Tech University. Nicholas was born in Los Angeles, California, but now resides in Lincoln Parish with his wife Hannah.  In 2000 he received his Bachelor of Art degree from Humboldt State University in Arcata, California.  He then went on to earn his Master of Fine Arts degree from Long Beach State University in Long Beach, California in 2003, and has been teaching at Louisiana Tech since 2004. Recently, Nick has been working on a large-scale community mural in Homer, the Homermural Project, where he will also be teaching a summer arts camp. As a university professor, Nick enjoys working with NCLAC in the summers, as the young students offer an energetic and youthful outlook on life. He will be teaching in both Homer and Ruston, leading projects such as Contemporary Diorama and Magnetic Space Mural.

In the Drama classes, Allie Bennett will be back for several camps. Allie is the owner of Stitchville, a local fabric and yarn shop, located in downtown Ruston. Allie, in addition to being a sewing and knitting wiz, is a seasoned performer, with experience both in front and behind the stage. Allie graduated from Louisiana Tech University in 2004 with her Bachelor of Theatre. While there she studied acting, costuming, and stage combat.  She and her husband then moved to Germany with the U.S. Army where Allie became an active participant with the Terrace Playhouse, a major element in the Department of Defense’s Morale, Welfare, and Recreation program. During her time there, she was extremely involved in costuming, where she designed and constructed shows including Alice in Wonderland and Seussical the Musical, and also spent a great deal of time on stage, where some of her roles were in I Remember Mama, Sleeping Beauty, and A Few Good Men. Allie is a frequent collaborator with NCLAC, having just instructed another round of our Drama Warehouse program that was held in Jackson Parish this year.

As you see, NCLAC’s arts camps are staffed by qualified, caring teachers. They care enough, in fact, to continue to work with us year after year. If you haven’t registered your child yet, please take care of that today by calling our office at(318)255-1450. If you would like more information about our camps and other educational programming, please visit our blog at

Art Talk Monday (Pick Your Picasso)

Since 1990, the North Central Louisiana Arts Council has offered annual Summer Arts Camps in five parishes: Lincoln, Jackson, Bienville, Claiborne and Union. We currently have seven camps scheduled for 2012 and have begun taking registration. NCLAC’s camps are offered to students who have completed 1st-6th grades. Camp participants will have classes in 2-D art (drawing, painting); 3-D art (sculpture, pottery, fiber arts); and drama. Lessons range from well-known artists and playwrights to artistic movements, with classes taught by local artists and art educators. Our camps are held Monday through Friday from 9am to noon. Campers receive a snack each day, and the week closes with an informal performance and art exhibit, showcasing the week’s work.

In addition to providing a specialized experience different from what children get in their schools, NCLAC strives to make its camps accessible to students of all income levels.

We are offering a sponsorship program, "Pick Your Picasso," in order to provide $1,500 in scholarships to 25 students with financial need. Teachers and counselors in each parish have been asked to nominate recipients based on need, a love of the arts and a talent for the arts. Then if sponsored, these students will receive a paid-in-full tuition for the Summer Arts Camp in their parish.

With the help of our sponsors, NCLAC can offer these students a chance to become Picassos for a week, and hopefully, a lifetime. A donation of just $60 will sponsor one child in full. A donation of any amount will help with the cost of supplies, snacks and educators for your Picasso. Last year's Pick Your Picasso scholars received an amazing experience that they otherwise would have missed.

Picasso donors will be thanked by name in the August 3 “Art Talk” of The Ruston Daily Leader. This column will also be sent to newspapers in each parish we serve.

Please consider partnering with us in support of arts and education in north central Louisiana. We look forward to bringing our camps to the region this summer. If you have any further questions or would like more information, please or call the NCLAC office at (318)255-1450.

If you would like to register your child for NCLAC’s arts camps, here is the schedule for the summer:

  • June 4-8 Farmerville
  • June 11-15 Homer
  • June 18-22 Ruston 1
  • June 25-29 Ruston 2
  • July 9-13 Jonesboro
  • July 16-20 Ruston 3
  • July 23-27 Arcadia.

Art Talk Monday (Upcoming Bistro Show!!)


The North Central Louisiana Arts Council and 102 a Bistro will be presenting the work of Dean Dablow and Peter Jones at the opening reception of Elusive Precision on May 2nd at 102 a Bistro (102 S Monroe St, Ruston, LA) from 5-7 pm. The exhibit will feature Dean Dablow’s constructed paintings and Peters Jones’ digital photography.

Dablow spent his childhood between North Dakota and Wisconsin, where he graduated high school in 1964. He began his undergraduate training at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point as a painter/sculptor. The camera became increasingly intriguing as an art-making tool and his graduate training was done at the University of Iowa where he received his MFA in photography in 1974. Dablow retired from teaching at Louisiana Tech University in 2007 where he had been the head of photography since 1976 and had been appointed Director of the School of Art in 1997. He also currently holds the rank of Professor Emeritus at Louisiana Tech.

In Dean Dablow’s current body of work, he has gone back to his painting roots. The pieces are on hollow core door panels giving the appearance of typical canvas depth. The edges are painted and some are even shaped by cutting into the rectangle, introducing a third dimension and consequently suggesting a sculptural weight and 3-D relief instead of a two-dimensional surface. Dablow mentions in his artist statement, “For me, they are a combination of both: painted sculpture or sculpted painting.”

Jones completed his MFA at the University of Iowa in 1969 and taught at Louisiana Tech from 1980 until

2011 when he retired. After graduating with his MFA, Jones turned to realist painting when he discovered the abstract, formalist qualities he sought after could be better achieved painting directly from life. Jones prefers “to work from life, as the nuances of light captured by the human eye exceed the capability of the single photographic frame.”

Jones has done documentary photography over the years and since the digital revolution, has become more actively involved in documentary work. He has covered the projects of the North Central Louisiana Arts Council, the Louisiana State Fiddle Contest, and the Dubach Chicken Festival. In the past several years, his renewed interest in photography has led him to exploring the ways of the new digital medium and its capacity for subtle color adjustment that can be used to support his particular manner of working. Jones has been drawn to photography “for its own sake, as an extension of [his] interest in painting.”

Peter Jones’ digital photography, presented at a small scale, and Dean Dablow’s paintings that are quite large, 40”x18”, will complement each other and present a dynamic feel for the exhibit. The opening will be on May 2 from 5-7 pm at 102 a Bistro in Ruston (102 S Monroe St). All works of art will be for sale. Dean Dablow’s paintings will be $200 off during the opening only and will return to their original price after the opening reception.

Support NCLAC's "Keep the Arts Afloat"

Area residents have an opportunity to Keep the Arts Afloat for the coming year, plus the chance to win $10,000. Those rewards will come to winners in the North Central Louisiana Arts Council annual Keep the Arts Afloat Benefit. Ticket sales started in March and will continue until the drawing on Sunday, June 17th at the Peach Art Exhibit opening reception.

The North Central Louisiana Arts Council supports visual, performing and literary arts. Among its featured programs are:

  • Drama Warehouse, which teaches students the fundamentals of theater from auditions through performance. More than 300 young people have benefited from this project during the past 16 years. Such activities provide children literacy skills, public speaking and self-confidence, Chambers said. Another youth-centered project, Summer Arts Camp for Kids, has impacted more than 2000 children.
  • Holiday Arts Tour, which showcases area artists and musicians for a weekend each November, allowing them to interact with the public and sell their work. Over 650 attend this event annually, adding an estimated $64,480 to the area economy.
  • Peach Festival Art Exhibition – Since 1987, this community art show has occurred during the annual Squire Creek Louisiana Peach Festival.

"We are deeply grateful for the area's past support of NCLAC's largest fundraiser," Chambers said. "Without support from our community we would not be able to continue our current level of programming.”

"As in the past, 250 tickets will be available," Chambers said, "which provides an excellent probability of winning."

As always buyers need not be present at the drawing to win.

The $100 tickets can be purchased from any NCLAC board member or at Piney Hills Gallery in the Dixie Center for the Arts in downtown Ruston.

For more information, callNCLACat 255-1450 or call Jones at 251-9468.

Art Talk Monday

The North Central Louisiana Arts Council is now selling tickets for our Keep the Arts Afloat fundraiser.  Our goal is to sell 250 tickets at $100 each and give away $10,000.   Our final drawing is scheduled for Sunday, June 17th, during the Peach Art Exhibit Opening reception.   This means you only have three months to get your tickets this year so do it fast!  Act really quickly and you can win the early bird drawing on April 9: the prize is a $350 gift certificate to Lewis Boutique. You need not be present to win. Just ask last year’s winner, Josh Shirley, Store Manager at Ruston’s Raising Cane’s Chicken!  I’m sure he would tell you all about his awesome trip to Ireland, but I think he might also mention the good feeling he got from knowing what his $100 went towards.

The profits from the fundraiser will help support the following:

  • · Arts in Education Programs:
  • · Scholarships for At-risk Youth:
  • · Historical and Fine Arts Exhibition:
  • · Professional Development for Regional Artists
  • · Cultural Economy Projects:
  • · Rural Outreach & Much More…

NCLAC is a non-profit organizations whose mission is “believing that the visual, performing and literary arts are a necessary enhancement for all individuals, seeks to enrich the region by fostering opportunities for creative expression; to establish a strong presence of the arts wherein the artists, arts organizations and community can thrive; and to share our diverse cultural heritage, celebrating not just who we are, but what we can become.”  The North Central Louisiana Arts Council serves the five parishes of Lincoln, Bienville, Claiborne, Jackson, and Union.

Some of NCLAC’s programs are ongoing and annual, but NCLAC also continually seeks new ways to serve our parishes with accessible and high-quality arts programs. To allow for innovation, growth, and partnerships, we've divided our programs into three categories that serve as umbrellas, including our signature programs, as well as new and temporary opportunities.  The three areas of NCLAC’s service are Diamond Programs, “Making Art Reach Kids” Programs, and Cultural Economy Initiatives.

To learn more about NCLAC and their programs, staff, and dreams visit our blog at or our website

You can purchase tickets by speaking to a Board Member (a complete list can be found at or by calling NCLAC at 255-1450.

Be sure to get your tickets today we are only selling a total of 250!

Art Talk Monday

The moon is a surprised white face over the darkening river

Even before a pair of blue-gray wings swoops down

Between the O of its mouth and the O of a surfacing fish,

And the phone rings, and it’s you inBaton Rouge

Grilling a silver catfish and staring at the moon.

Julie Kane, “Moonrise overCaneRiver”,

from Rhythm & Booze (2003)

Much of Julie Kane’s poetry is about surprises, surfacings, and strangely appropriate coincidences—the kinds of moments that cause us to wonder if there might not, in fact, be something more at work than mere chance or choice.  That’s not to say that her poetic world is magical or mystical in nature—in fact, it tends to strike one as insistently real and everyday; a world of normal people living normal, if sometimes painful and confusing, lives in places that we might walk past, or work in, or live in ourselves.  What allows for its surprises is more often our own narrow expectations, the limits we place on our own thoughts, desires, or imagination, because life or experience has led us to believe that some things are impossible, even unsayable; that is, until the phone rings, and our vaguest, most unconscious thoughts are suddenly made real and present.  Kane herself, who was recently appointed the newest Poet Laureate of Louisiana, has said of poetry, more generally, that it must, “bring to light what has previously been hidden from conscious awareness—states of consciousness, realms of inner and outer experience. I hold with the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas that if you bring forth what is within you, it will save you, but if you don’t, it will kill you.”*

Kane’s work, while it sometimes gestures towards the possibility of being killed by what remains unexpressed, more often than not finds salvation in those tiny, unexpected moments of awareness that come to us, like the timely phone call, partly by chance, and partly by a kind of willful imagining, a bringing into being of the thing we need most from the elements that we find all around us—a dark river, a catfish, a rising moon, a friendship. It’s because of the imaginative power of those everyday objects that place seems to play an important role in Kane’s work—in particular, its connection to the Louisiana landscape.  Although not a native ofLouisiana (she was born and raised inBoston), her attachment to the state, its culture, and its people runs deep. She has written that, “A poet with an inborn sense of place needs a place to be from—its wildflowers and weather and landscape and history. I suspect that is why I’ve found it so hard to leave my ex-husband’s native state ofLouisiana.”*  Not only has she not left it, she has adopted, adapted, and assimilated it into her poetic vision. Having lived for extended periods in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and currently, Natchitoches (where she teaches at Northwestern State University), Kane has experienced much of the uniqueness and diversity of Louisiana culture, and found in it a rich and seemingly endless vein of creative material—from the vibrant, jazzy, smoke-filled lounges and literary hangouts of New Orleans in the late 70s to the more quiet and meditative banks of the Cane River in more recent years. She has also explored her own and the state’s emotional ups and downs through poems revealing the devastation and loss of the post-Katrina Gulf Coast, the economic and social hardships of life in the rural south, and, more recently, through  upbeat and humorous light verses that demonstrate the capacity for survival and even joy in the face of so much loss.

It would be a shame to miss out on the experience of hearing Julie Kane’s poetry or meeting the poet herself during her visit to northernLouisiananext week. It is bound to be an evening full of surprises and revelations.

Julie Kane’s reading is sponsored by the Louisana Tech Department of English and the George E. Pankey Eminent Scholar Chair in English.  The reading is free and open to the public.

*Julie Kane, Interview with Leslie Monsour, Eratosphere, 11-27-2008,

This weeks Art Talk was contributed by Dr. John Edward Martin, Assistant Professor of English.

Art Talk Monday

A Fool’s Art What is art?  How does one define what is “good” and what is “bad”?  These are questions that have been plaguing art critics, patrons, and artist for years.  In fact the definition is so subjective that when googling a variety of definitions, images, and concepts appear.  Local gallery Art Innovations will explore these themes in their upcoming show, A Fool’s Art, on Sunday, April 1st from 7:00-9:00pm.  According to the facebook event page “this juried competition will make you question beauty, aesthetic, and the basic assumption of art forms”.

When asked about the nature of this particular theme Jackie Cochran, gallery owner, responded “I was inspired by a film called Untitled.”  The film is a comic take on the state of contemporary art.  “I wanted to start a dialogue about what is art?  I wanted to point out that it is perceived differently by different people”.

It’s no coincidence that the date of the show falls on April’s Fools Day.  Cochran said she was hoping the holiday would encourage gallery goers and artists to approach the work with a sense of humor.  She said that along with pondering such a serious topic that viewers would be able laugh about the show in general.

But don’t’ be deceived this show is anything but an informal affair.  Cochran has placed a dress code on this evening out.  The gallery asks that no “blue jeans” be present and that people come prepared for an upscale event.  The Gallery will have heavy hors d'oeuvres and drinks served by a wait staff and will have a bouncer with strict instruction to “bounce” anyone not dressed appropriately.  Art Innovations will also be hosting a musical presentation during the hours of the exhibit.

Artist in addition to an exhibiting their work will be eligible for first, second, or third place prizes.  But the prizes don’t stop at the artistic, patrons will be able to vive for the best dressed awards given in both female and male categories.  However, all participants must be present to win.

The Gallery is currently seeking participants for this innovative and thought provoking show.  Interested artists should bring their work on Saturday, March 17th from 1:00pm-7:00pm to Art Innovations Gallery (112 W. Alabama).  The work should be framed and wired for hanging. All artists will be notified Wednesday, March 21st regarding juror’s decision.  All work not selected must be picked up Saturday, March 24th from 1:00pm-7:00pm.

For more information about Art Innovations and their upcoming show you can visit them on facebook at or call Jackie Cochran at 318-237-2653.

Art Talk Monday

The North Central Louisiana Arts Council and 102 A Bistro will be featuring the work of local artists Henry McCoy and Tym Toussaint. An opening reception for their show, “Translating Chaos,” will be held on March 7th from 5-7 pm.

Henry McCoy graduated in 2007 with his Bachelor of Visual Arts in photography from Southeastern Louisiana University. Beginning his career in 2005 in event photojournalism, Henry was able to quickly establish his own style for his artwork. McCoy and his wife soon moved back to Ruston and opened Fine Line Art Supply and Print lab. When asked about his most recent work, McCoy explains, “Working as a photojournalist over the past few years, abstract photography is a way for me to clear my mind and refresh.  The source of the subject is familiar in varying degrees to practically everyone.  It is ever changing and seemingly without control.  The source conjures feelings of stress for myself.  Photographing it provides me the ability to freeze that stress and beautify it.   The source conjures feelings of stress for myself. Photographing it provides me the ability to freeze that stress and beautify it. ”

Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Tym Toussaint pursued many areas of interest including football, coaching, music and cars. In 2005 however, his life was changed when Hurricane Katrina forced his family to relocate. From this tragedy, Tym gained the inspiration for his work. Having received his Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in photography from Louisiana Tech University in 2011, Toussaint is now opening up about how the events in his life led him in a whole new direction.  Toussaint describes the intimacy of his work by saying, “ My work is a reflection of a huge disaster that occurred in my life, Hurricane Katrina. I have avoided this topic for a long time, but I finally feel it’s time to express myself in my artwork through the use of different symbols of hurricanes or storms; like clouds, water, rocks, levees, boats, and sandbags, and compositing them together to make images that represent my story of the hurricane and the aftermath.

The work of both artists is bold and endearing.  They make use of deep blacks, used as voided space or silhouettes of figurative gestures. In McCoy’s work with light, the motion and colors that are created draw the eye deeper into the image. When describing the genuineness of each piece, McCoy says, “Freeing myself from the somewhat scientific calculations used to create the majority of my photography, I am able to manipulate the way in which my camera, and consequently the viewer, perceives the subject.  By moving the camera in a confined manner throughout the exposure, I am able to bend the light during its travel thereby creating a unique portrait of light.  This uniqueness evolves even more as I explore different locations to capture the subject of light.”

Symbols used in Toussaint’s images represent his “emotions and reactions to Katrina.” He further explains, “ The symbols and the gestures

combine to form memories of places, events, and times before and after Katrina; images that define my life.” In combining his memories from before the disaster to his experiences after, Toussaint creates a window into his world. The works McCoy and Toussaint combined both illustrate moments in time, whether the moment was created with light and captured with a camera, or created by a natural disaster and captured in the mind of the artist himself.

NCLAC and 102 a Bistro invite you to join us for wine and appetizers on March 7, 2012 from 5-7 to view the artist’s work. The pieces will be on display at 102 a Bistro until May 1st.

Art Talk Monday!!!

The North Central Louisiana Arts Council is eagerly preparing for the 2012 Silent Auction to take place tomorrow, February 18th, at the Krewe of Allegro Mardi Gras Ball.  This year, through generosity of others, NCLAC has assembled quite a tempting spread of items.  Everything from fine art, classic antiques, sweet treats, and weeklong get away will be present to tempt even the most cautious spender. While many other Silent Auctions take place during the year in Lincoln Parish, NCLAC can’t help but think that ours is special.  While the items are impressive we are always more impressed with how generous our community continues to be, regardless of our current economic climate.  The funds raised from the Silent Auction are crucial for NCLAC success and without them we would have to discontinue many of our programs.

We are here weekly to provide a voice for the arts in Lincoln Parish and our surrounding area and we always find it uplifting to know we never have to search too long to find something to write about.  That says a lot about our community and their support for the arts!  So thank you to all those wonderful individuals, businesses, and organizations that donated items.  If you see these people around let them know how much we appreciate them and if you are one of these special people, thank you.

  • Acorn Creek
  • Alexa Hickey
  • All That Jazz
  • Art Innovations
  • Beck Bennett
  • Bess Bieluczyk
  • Bodie's Furniture
  • Brad Arender
  • Caleb Clark
  • Catherine McVea
  • Charlotte Crume
  • Children Shoppe
  • Christiane Drieling
  • Cleaners of Ruston
  • Counter Culture
  • Dara Engler
  • David Hedgepeth
  • Dixie Center for the Arts
  • Dean Dablow
  • Debbie & Gary Click
  • Deep Steam Clean
  • Dianne Douglas
  • Doug Walton
  • Embellishment
  • Emily Ezell
  • Fine Line Art Supply
  • Follette Pottery
  • Frank Hamrick
  • Gary Hauser
  • Gaylon & Linda Head
  • Grambling State University
  • Hannah's Quilts & Crafts
  • Hart Associates
  • Hooshang Khorasani
  • Jackie Cochran
  • Jan's Optical
  • Jay Gould
  • Jes Schrom
  • Jessica Slaughter
  • Joey Slaughter
  • Joshua Chambers
  • Julie Crews
  • Karen Armstrong
  • Karen Webre
  • Locker Room
  • Louisiana Tech Concert Association
  • Maggie Jones Boudreaux
  • Marie Bukowski
  • Marlen Waters
  • Mary Kay Cosmetics
  • Mary Louise Carter
  • Masur Museum of Art
  • Matthews Leon Knopps
  • Megan Davenport
  • Meg Waters
  • Michele McGehee
  • Nicole Duet
  • Noula Rodakis
  • Patricia Jones
  • Paul & Kathy Smith
  • Peter Hay
  • Peter Jones
  • Ponchatoulas
  • Rogers Furniture
  • Saul Zalesch
  • Stitchville
  • Stone Theatre
  • Sundown
  • The Fabric Shoppe
  • The Fashion
  • The Frame Up
  • The Pewter Company
  • Timeless Treasures
  • Townsend House & Gifts

102 a Bistro Art Opening: Translating Chaos

The North Central Louisiana Arts Council with 102 a Bistro will be featuring the work of local artists Henry McCoy and Tym Toussaint. An opening reception will be held on March 7th from 5-7 pm for the show titled "Translating Chaos."

In his recent work, Henry McCoy, professional photographer and owner of Fine Line Arts Supply and Print Lab, said, " Working as a photojournalist over the past few years, abstract photography is a way for me to clear my mind and refresh. The source of the subject is familiar in varying degrees to practically everyone. It is ever changing and seemingly without control. The source conjures feelings of stress for myself. Photographing it provides me the ability to freeze that stress and beautify it. " The use of colored light designed in a spiral motion draws the eye deeper into each image. When describing the genuineness of each piece, McCoy says, " Freeing myself from the somewhat scientific calculations used to create the majority of my photography, I am able to manipulate the way in which my camera, and consequently the viewer, perceives the subject. By moving the camera in a confined manner throughout the exposure, I am able to bend the light during its travel thereby creating a unique portrait of light. This uniqueness evolves even more as I explore different locations to capture the subject of light."

Having received his Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in photography from Louisiana Tech University in 2011, Tym Toussaint is now opening up about how the events in his

life led him in a whole new direction. In his images, the use of silhouettes and symbols represent his "emotions and reactions to Katrina." Toussaint further explains, " The symbols and the gestures combine to form memories of places, events, and times before and after Katrina; images that define my life." In combining his memories and experiences after, Toussaint creates a window into his past.

NCLAC and 102 a Bistro invite you to join us on March 7th at 102 a Bistro (102 North Monroe Street) from 5-7 p.m. for wine and appetizers. The pieces will be on display at 102 a Bistro until May 1st.

To learn more about NCLAC and their programs visit To learn more about the artists Henry McCoy or Tym Toussaint click on their names!!

Kinnebrew Mural Coming in March

A mural depicting some of the agricultural history of Claiborne Parish will be started soon on the north side of the Kinnebrew Building on the Southwest corner of the Square. On behalf of the artists, the Claiborne Jubilee is seeking donations of various supplies which could be lent to the project for the month of March. Ed Watson has already agreed to let the artists use his scaffolding for the project, but items such as tarps to cover the sidewalk, rags, five gallon buckets, rope to lower the buckets from the scaffolding,  paint trays, paint rollers, roller handles and extension handles are also needed. In addition brushes with angled tips in the following sizes would be appreciated: 1 1/2” , 2”. 4” and 6”.  Even plastic containers such as Cool Whip or margarine tubs are helpful for mixing small quantities of paint. Claiborne Parish artist Judy Buckner is creating the design which will be transferred to the building by professor Nick Bustamonte and a group of his senior art students from LATech. They are working with Jubilee coordinator Cynthia Steele on the design and implementation of the mural. Building owner Jim Ross of Shreveport is arranging to have the entire building washed and painted prior to the start of the mural.

Among the features of the mural will be scenes from the Kinnebrew Cotton Gin which is presently located in the Louisiana Cotton Museum in Lake Providence, LA. If anyone has photographs of the Kinnebrew Gin from the days it was in operation, the Jubilee would like to borrow them to copy. To arrange for pick up of any of the above items please contact Cynthia Steele, 927-2566 or

The mural is being made possible by a grant to the Claiborne Jubilee through the Town of Homer from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism cooperating with the Louisiana State Arts Council and administered through the Shreveport Regional Arts Council. The Homer Industrial Foundation is funding the special paint needed for the project.

Art Talk Monday

The North Central Louisiana Arts Council and Crescent City Coffeehouse will feature artist Bess Bieluczyk work during the months of February and March.  An opening reception will be held on Sunday, February 5th from 2-4pm for the show titled “Assembling Intimacy”. Bieluczyk’s digital photography focuses on “dealing with the pleasures and anxieties of domestic life”, when asked about her work she said “I’ve found unexpected pleasures in nesting and making a home. The scenes I capture are a document of our everyday lives. Some exist already, while even the elaborately constructed images remain in their place for a long period of time as a new part of our new reality and a means of coping and appreciating what has been built."

Bess’s work is both soft and feminine but at the same time inquisitive and engaging.  Although tied to such intense questions of happiness and contentment it demonstrates a playful look into daily life and activities. Bess hopes that “people are able to relate to it and take something away.”  She says that she chooses to photograph still life’s so people can role play with the images inserting themselves into the scenes she creates.

Bieluczyk was born and raised in the Connecticut suburbs. She received her MFA in Photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design and her BA from Sarah Lawrence College.  Bess first became interested in photography her Freshman year after a failed attempt to register for film making.  “I tried to register for film making and it was full so I signed up a photography class…and found I liked it.”

NCLAC and Crescent City invites you to join us on Sunday, February 5th at Crescent City Coffeehouse (1007 N. Trenton St.) from 2-4pm for sweet treats and a cup of coffee.  Bess Bieluczyk will be available for any questions and all the work is for sale.  If you miss us on Sunday Bess’s work will be hanging until the end of March.

To learn more about NCLAC and their programs visit or  To learn more about Bess Bieluczyk work visit her website at

"Assembling Intimacy" to Open Sunday

On Sunday, February 5th, from 2-4 p.m., the North Central Louisiana Arts Council (NCLAC) and Crescent City Coffee will present “Assembling Intimacy” an exhibition of recent work by regional artist Bess Bieluczyk.

Join NCLAC and artist Bess Bieluczyk, in a look into domestic life captured through the use of photography.  When asked about her artwork Bess replied “I've been living in the same house for over four years, the longest I've lived in one place since I moved out of my parents' house. Being settled, especially with a partner, has forced me to deal with my anxieties about domesticity and "settling down".”

Bess’s work is both soft and feminine but at the same time inquisitive and engaging.  Although tied to such intense questions of happiness and contentment it demonstrates a playful look into daily life and activities.

Bieluczyk was born and raised in the Connecticut suburbs. She received her MFA in Photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design and her BA from Sarah Lawrence College. She is an active, exhibiting photographer and an arts administrator at Louisiana Tech University.

Crescent City Coffee is a full scale coffee bar serving a variety of beverages.  In addition they have pastries, salads, and a delicious lunch menu.  Open daily from 6:00am-12:00pm they offer a fresh brewed cup of Joe anytime.

If you are interested in purchasing a work in “Assembling Intimacy ” look forNCLAC’s Executive Director Leigh Anne Chambers at the reception, contactNCLACat 318-255-1450, or stop by the Dixie Center for the Arts Monday thru Thursday between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. We look forward to seeing you at Crescent City Coffee.

Art Talk Monday

Call for Interns Jessica Slaughter, NCLAC Educational Coordinator


The North Central Louisiana Arts Council, a 501c-3 non-profit, is currently taking applications for a variety of intern positions for 2012-2013. There are both paid and unpaid internships available. Positions may begin as early as April, and continue throughout the summer into the fall. There are internships available in Graphic Design, Promotion/Marketing, Arts Administration, Educational Outreach, Grant Writing, and Gallery Management.

NCLAC’s intention is to provide opportunities for student interns so that they gain practical and professional experience, or so they may simply have an outlet for helping the community we serve. Russell Pirkle, former grant writing intern, said of his experience, “My internship at NCLAC was extremely beneficial to my career goals. I learned so many things that I have used and will continue to use. Also, with NCLAC I was able to build a well-rounded resume and make valuable connections with professionals in my field.”

To be accepted as an intern, candidates must submit a resume packet, undergo a reference check, and be interviewed by NCLAC’s staff and Board of Directors. The interview process will begin in March.

If appropriate placements can be made, student interns will be assigned to work under NCLAC staff and Board, who will see that they adhere to a work schedule, are evaluated, and observe the same rules and codes of conduct as all employees of NCLAC. Hannah Greer, former marketing intern, said the internship provided projects that suited her interests and “provided a lot of opportunities for me to create something of my own.”

The qualified intern will provide creative support and clerical services to the North Central Louisiana Arts Council, assisting in areas such as Programs, Special Events, Public Relations, and Development.

The intern will assist in planning, implementation, and execution of: Holiday Arts Tour, MARK Programming, Piney Hills Gallery, Summer Arts Camp, Peach Art Exhibit, and various other special programs. The intern will have the opportunity to assist in public relations, promotional materials, press releases, e-marketing, tracking press clippings, and editing print pieces. The intern will aid in fund-raising, with opportunities in grant proposal and report writing. The work is full of variety.

Both interns interviewed said the experience gave them confidence in their abilities and allowed room for creative, professional growth. Pirkle said he “transitioned from being a student who had not done very much in the real world to being a professional with things to contribute and value. My internship at NCLAC was an extremely empowering experience.”

NCLAC seeks individuals with good communication and organizational skills, self-motivation, and the ability to work within an established system and time frame. The hours required are 8-10 hours per week, but hours are flexible depending on the intern’s school schedule. Greer was especially pleased with the “great amount of flexibility in work schedule and assignments.”

If you are interested in applying, send a cover letter, resume, transcript and references via email to Jessica Slaughter, Educational Coordinator, at  To learn more about NCLAC and our programming, visit our blog at, and our site at