Regional Arts News

Art Talk Monday: Don't be late for the Ball!


This week's Art Talk Monday is written by Jessica Slaughter, NCLAC Executive Director. Mardi Gras Ball Tickets are now available at the Dixie Center Box Office. Call Libby to reserve your seat for the Ball at (318)255-1450 Come dine, dance, and support the arts with us this February!

It’s time to mark your calendars for the upcoming Krewe of Allegro Mardi Gras Ball and Silent Auction. Ruston’s “party of the year” will be February 7, which will be here before we know it. This annual event, whose theme this year is “the Arts,” has been a highlight of the Mardi Gras season in Lincoln Parish for many years; 2015 will be the 16th year!

Last year the Ball was given a facelift: a new floorplan; a new Ball Committee; larger attendance, many of whom were new to the event; new tiered ticket prices; and a new purpose: to support the Dixie Center for the Arts’ Sustaining Building Fund.

The historic Dixie Theatre, built in 1928, is home to the Dixie Center itself, as well as other arts nonprofits: Ruston Community Theatre, the North Central Louisiana Arts Council, Troupe Dixie, and the Ruston Civic Symphony Society. Each of these groups pooled our efforts last year to make the Mardi Gras Ball bigger and better, and it was a lovely success. We are all working together again this year, and we hope you will join us!

Angie Biscomb, Ball Committee Chair, says “This is a great time of year for the community to get together and have a good time, while recognizing how fortunate we are to have so many avenues for the arts in our community.”

The King this year will be David Hedgepeth, and he has chosen as his queen Melinda Maxwell. David has been a supporter of the arts community for years, and we are pleased to honor him in this way. We will be announcing the Royal Court after the holidays. These individuals are chosen by each of the nonprofits at the Dixie, as a way to recognize and honor people who have made a difference to the respective organizations.

This year’s Ball, sponsored by Bank of Ruston, will be held February 7, from 7pm until midnight, at the Ruston Civic Center. Tickets may be purchased in person, or over the phone, at 318-255-1450, Mon.-Fri. from 9am-2pm, through the Dixie Center Box Office. Lord & Lady tickets are $40, for persons ages 40 and under, and Baron & Baroness tickets are $60, for persons 41 and over.

Individuals may reserve round tables that seat 8 persons when they purchase their ticket at the Dixie Center for the Arts. Each ticket grants two complimentary drink tokens for a beer or wine beverage from the bar. A cash bar is available, and no outside drinks are permitted.

There will be a table decorating contest this year, with a cash prize for the winning table. Be sure to ask Libby in the Box Office about this fun opportunity when you come in for your ticket.

One highlight of the Ball each year is NCLAC’s Silent Auction. This is a wonderful way to “win” treasures, such as trips and casino stays, one-of-a-kind artworks, and antiques. Details about some of the available auction items will be given in early January.

If you have any questions, please call the Dixie Center Box office at (318)255-1450. Follow the Krewe of Allegro Mardi Gras Ball on facebook to stay in the loop about the event.

2nd line at the 2014 Mardi Gras Ball
2nd line at the 2014 Mardi Gras Ball
2015 King David Hedgepeth, at the 2014 Krewe of Allegro Ball
2015 King David Hedgepeth, at the 2014 Krewe of Allegro Ball

Perspicacious Ninnyhammers: Panel Discussion and Art Exhibition at LA Tech

Louisiana Tech University's School of Design welcomes you to a closing reception for Perspicacious Ninnyhammers, a group show featuring paintings and multi-media constructions by Alex Paulus, Isaac Powell ninnyhammersand Jonathan Syltie. The related panel discussion will be interdisciplinary in nature and includes Jana Giles, PhD, Assistant Professor of English at ULM; Benjamin Hickey, curator, Masur Museum of Art, and Andrew Wasserman, PhD, Assistant Professor of Art History and recent addition to Tech's School of Design faculty. The panel is moderated by the show's curator Nicole Duet, Assistant Professor of Drawing and Painting, and will include dialogues around the creative practices of these artists, the concept behind the group show, and questions related to the problems of interpretation.

When: Tuesday December 9th, 2014
Show Title: Perspicacious Ninnyhammers
Location: Bethea Gallery, in the F Jay Taylor Visual Arts Center, on the campus of Louisiana Tech University
Details: 5pm Panel Discussion VAC room 103 
              6pm Closing Reception, refreshments provided
For more info on LA Tech's galleries and visiting artist program: 

Art Talk Monday...on Tuesday

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever Opens December Fourth

This week's Art Talk Monday is by Hilary Hileman of Ruston Community Theatre. Don't miss this production-- it's a wonderful way to kick off your holiday season! Call the Box Office at a (318)255-1450 to purchase your tickets.  10407583_10152517084258325_7886323627448344766_nRuston Community Theatre’s next production is the popular holiday play The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,  written by Barbara Robinson. It is sponsored by The Lewis Family (of Lewis’ Boutique), opens December 4th at The Dixie Center for the Arts and is being directed by Mitch Dufour.

The young Herdman clan, savvy connoisseurs of juvenile delinquency, show up at church for the first time after hearing that there is a free all-you-can-eat snack buffet. Grace and Bob Bradley are simultaneously attempting to produce the Christmas pageant after the director breaks her leg. In desperation, and despite protests from other church members, they cast the hardened hooligans in starring roles. As a result, the Herdmans reenact the traditional Christmas tale in a rather unconventional fashion.

Director Mitch Dufour says, “Once again, I’ve had the pleasure of being involved with the some of the most wonderful people in North Louisiana. It is always enchanting to watch a script come to life as actors, technicians, costumers, backstage workers and many others lend their talent to a production. The magic of this particular production has been especially sweet. Please come out and see this fun family show. You don’t want to miss the best Christmas pageant ever!”

Ruston Community Theatre is posting individual videos from cast and crew members on Facebook.  Be sure to check out our Facebook page at www.facebook/RustonCommunityTheatre.

The dates for The Best Christmas Pageant Ever are Thursday, December 4th through Saturday the 6th at 7:00 p.m. and a Sunday December 7th matinee at 2:00 p.m. at The Dixie Center for the Arts in Ruston. Tickets at the door are $12 for adults and $6 for students/children. Additionally, Ruston Community Theatre and The Lewis Family are proud to sponsor two sold-out school performances of this play. Visit RCT’s website at and Twitter page at Twitter@RustonCoTheatre.


Art Talk Monday....NCLAC's "thankful" list

This week's Art Talk Monday is written by Jessica Slaughter, NCLAC's Executive Director. Let’s use this week to share some of our “thankful list” from the NCLAC office.

Work by Hooshang Khorasani

First, I am thankful for dedicated community partners who support the arts in our region. One of these is Bank of Ruston, who holds an annual art exhibition each December featuring regional artists. This year’s show will feature Hooshang Khorasani and Dianne Springer. Hooshang is a painter. Whether viewing his romantic florals, or his racing horse images that he’s nationally known for, all of his work vibrates with his dynamic color palette and mark making. Dianne Springer is a quilter-extraordinaire. In addition to making quilts, teaching and traveling with quilts, she also has her own line of quilting fabrics. Bank of Ruston will hold a reception for these artists on Tuesday, December 2, from 5-7pm.



Whitney Caskey's photo, Conversation

Another of our community partners who support the arts is Parish Press. NCLAC displays artwork in Parish Press, creating a rotating exhibition that coordinates well with the vibe in this great new coffee shop. I am also thankful for hardworking, talented local artists like the one currently exhibiting at Parish Press: Whitney Caskey. Whitney is from Jackson Parish, and is a multi-facted artist. Using the theme of fairytales, Whitney uses drawing, painting and photography to convey her story. In 2014 she had a one-person exhibition with the Bossier Parish Arts Council, and last month she had a solo-show at the Jackson Parish Museum. There will be a closing reception for Whitney at Parish Press on Wednesday, Dec. 3, from 5-7pm.


Finally, I’m thankful for other regional arts organizations. We are all working together to cultivate and promote the arts in our unique state. One of these organizations is the Piney Hills Harmony Chorus. This group will join with Noteorious men's chorus from Monroe to present "An A Cappella Christmas" in Monroe's Strauss Theatre on Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.  The concert is a benefit for Angel Ministries, a non-profit organization that cares for those unable to care for themselves and also teaches them to help themselves. $15 tickets are for sale at the Strauss, with Piney Hills Harmony members, and at the door.



1) Thursday evening from 5-9pm is the Downtown Gallery Crawl in Monroe/West Monroe. Several NCLAC-member artists will be featured in this exhibition that includes 11 galleries.

2) This weekend is Ruston Community Theatre's Christmas play. This year's show is The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, directed by Mitch Dufour. The show runs Thursday-Saturday at 7pm, and Sunday at 2pm, at the Dixie Center for the Arts. More details will follow in tomorrow'w post.

Monroe's Downtown Gallery Crawl, Dec. 4

From our pal-in-art, Ann Bloxam Smith, with the Downtown Arts Alliance in Monroe/West Monroe: Downtown Gallery Crawl, Thursday, December 4, 2014: Holiday Art Party!


work by John Adams at Hamilton House

The December 4th Downtown Gallery Crawl will be a free “art party” for all ages! As always, the first Thursday of December will afford all the opportunity to see wonderful art while enjoying party foods and listening to festive music at eleven galleries in downtown Monroe and West Monroe.

Original art will be for sale, too, with no sales taxes charged because the galleries are in an official cultural district. All are invited to the party, 5-9 pm!

Holiday Variety is the theme at The River Gallery. This artist-run gallery hosts twenty-five artists working in all media from paintings to woodturning, pottery, jewelry, glass art and photography. In addition to the exquisite offerings of fine art, the gallery will be featuring gift items for December. These include smaller art, handcrafted wine stoppers, jewelry, unique ornaments, and notecards. Guest musician John Farmer will provide music while Landry’s Vineyard will serve wine, and gallery members will provide great refreshments. This gallery is the oldest and largest co-op gallery in the state and is located at 308 Trenton Street, West Monroe.

Staying in West Monroe, the Crawler can visit new Downtown Arts Alliance member Hamilton House Gallery (318 Trenton Street), which will host self-taught artist John Ramage Adams with his show “CTRL+ART+DELETE.” Adams’ medium is mixed media on canvas, using an amalgamation of found Internet images combined with his own photography and paintings. Adams is from Winnsboro, having studied art history at LSU. He’s worked at such institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, NY, and has been involved with the international “Massurrealism” movement since 2007. He has “a keen interest in the blurring of artistic boundaries with new technology.”

Another new Antique Alley gallery is Sacred Expressions, 314 Trenton, West Monroe, where owner Lori A. Brown will be exhibiting her own work including various media. She is a licensed counselor and art therapist, using art as a method of helping others.


work by Emily Caldwell at Upstairs Gallery

Moving to Monroe’s Art Alley, the Crawler will find MAD Art Gallery, where the featured artist is Doug Duffey. Best known as a singer/songwriter, pianist, and international recording and concert artist (inducted into the Louisiana Hall of Fame and the National Blues Hall of Fame) he is also known as a serious, multi-genre visual artist using collage, drawing, painting, photography, mixed media, digital drawings, digital collage, digital scans and video. His artwork has been exhibited in galleries and museums in Louisiana and Europe in one-man and group shows. He is a member of the 10/20/40 Art Group (along with: Lynda Benglis, Enoch Doyle Jeter, and Sarah Davidson). A native of Louisiana and a long-time resident of New Orleans/Monroe, he has resided and worked in both Louisiana and Europe for the past twenty years. "In my drawings, I am heavily influenced by my Louisiana culture, heritage, traditions, everyday life and scenery,” he explains. Also on display and for sale is “Azalea Blossoms” by Juanita Cochran. Proceeds are for the benefit of local non-profit ARCO. In the foyer will be Cynthia Cloud with her iCyndi Creations, while inside the gallery Gray Matter will provide live music.

The Sugar Gallery, also on Art Alley, is back in December with a fresh new look and new art by its stable of diverse artists. The gallery has gotten an amazing revamp by its own William Holley, with new paint and lots of beautiful touches. Holley will also have new ceramic pieces; Stacy Medaries will have new mixed media pieces that always delight; Melanie Douthit will have rich, colorful mixed-media pieces; Mary Thompson will have her beautiful photorealistic landscapes; Leah Reitzell will be debuting some new colorful, constructed bayou pieces; and Burg Ransom will have some wonderful wildlife photography on the walls. Add some music, food and drink, and the Sugar is sure to please!


work by Leah Reitzell at Sugar Gallery

The Palace Gallery, 220 DeSiard Street, will be doing its fourth annual Christmas Gifts Show. Works created by several artists make for great Christmas gifts, including jewelry, bags, and accessories from the ladies at the Peace House ( The Palace is also excited to present Tommy Matthews. He will have his amazing watercolors, artsy illustrated decorations and more for all to share with loved ones.

Down DeSiard Street, Luna Blue Yoga Studio and Gallery (428 DeSiard) will present a show of sculpture by Monroe artist Lacy Mitcham. She will be joined by Baton Rouge writer Collette Keith in a collaboration exploring the feminine roles in today’s society.

ARENDER studio + gallery on Art Alley presents Making/Decisions--art by Joey Slaughter, an art professor at Louisiana Tech University. Slaughter will display colorful sculptures representing themes of communication, choices and technology in today’s world. His work has been displayed in shows around the U.S. and has been an annual favorite at Arender Gallery.

Guest artists in Art Alley’s The Big Room are Ghofran Thiga, a student at Louisiana Tech showing photographs; Sara Beth Howard, a ULM student showing works on paper including mono print, silkscreen and collographs; and Alyssa Guidry Posey, a ULM student exhibiting ceramic sculptures and mixed media block prints. ULM sculpture students Ben Bennett and Lacy Mitcham are also exhibiting again in The Big Room, as well as resident artists Jon Aiken, Christen Parker, Ricky Sikes and Victoria Smith with oil, watercolor and acrylic paintings and mixed media work. At UPSTAIRS artists are celebrating five years as a gallery with the OG (Original Gangstas) Show.  Three founding members--Emily Caldwell, Jason Byron Nelson, and Anna Schriefer--are exhibiting their work together.  Together again!  Their works include sculpture, oil painting, collage and mixed media pieces.

DOWNSTAIRS gallery (137 Art Alley) is the final gallery that will be open for the Downtown Gallery Crawl.

Presenting Sponsor Creed and Creed Law Office leads a group of faithful sponsors to support the Downtown Arts Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging the fine arts and developing the downtown areas of Monroe and West Monroe. Other sponsors include Fiesta Nutrition Center, BancorpSouth, The News-Star, Sir Speedy, Monroe-West Monroe CVB, DeltaStyle, KEDM Public Radio, Northeast Louisiana Arts Council, Atmos Energy Corp., Heck Law Firm, Hollis & Company Jewelers, Community Trust Bank, Cross Keys Bank, Val Salomon Law Office, Rawls DeSigns, Marsala Beverage, Restaurant Cotton, Warehouse #1 Restaurant, and Choice Brands.

Celebrating the season, Downtown Monroe and West Monroe will have a holiday ART PARTY complete with original art, food, music, and friends on Thursday, December 4, 5-9 pm—and will celebrate again on the first Thursday in February—Thursday, February 5, 2015.

Art Talk Monday: The Classical Singer

This week's Art Talk Monday is written by Jessica Slaughter, NCLAC Executive Director. NCLAC had an exciting week last week, as we held our beer-tasting fundraiser, ARToberfest, as well as our annual School Show Presentation.

Opera soprano Brenda Wimberly presented her show, The Classical Singer, to 232 students and chaperones at the Dixie Center for the Arts.

Brenda warming up before the performance

NCLAC holds a musical presentation for Lincoln Parish middle school students each year at the Dixie Center. This year’s participants included students from IA Lewis, Simsboro High School, Ruston Christian Homeschoolers, and Montessori School of Ruston. Her stage show included a portion of Puccini’s Vissi d’arte from Tosca, which brought tears to my eyes. It was breathtaking. Ms. Wimberly sang works in English, as well as Italian, French and German. The performance included arias, art songs and musical theatre. The students were a very respectful audience, and Brenda says she was “amazed” at the experience and “the way that I (she) was received by the students.”

Ms. Wimberly offered an interactive element to the show with a student sing-a-long and a question and answer session. She led the audience in a vocal exercise using the word pizza. Their 200+ voices singing together sounded angelic. Brenda walked around and answered questions offered by the students, such as how long she had been singing, what inspired her to sing opera, and “Are you famous?!”

This unique, private educational performance was made possible through sponsorship by Ruston Civic Symphony Society and NCLAC’s partnership with the Dixie Center for the Arts. In addition, Lincoln Parish Achieve provided bussing for the public schools, making this educational field trip free for each of the schools and students. Thank you so much to these wonderful sponsors who help NCLAC in our art education programs.

Wimberly is a Louisiana native who has studied opera around the globe. She holds degrees in vocal performance from Prairie View A&M University, where she received the Presidential Citation in Performing Arts from NAFEO, and the University of Michigan. She has also studied with the Metropolitan Opera of New York, the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, and the San Francisco Opera. She was accompanied by pianist LaDonald Ensley from Monroe.

It is proving more difficult each year to secure student attendance for this annual performance. Perhaps it’s testing, changing school policies, a tighter academic timeline … I’m sure there are many reasons for the change. The NCLAC office has pondered if perhaps bringing performers to the schools, rather than bringing schools to the theatre, would be a better plan. However, as I was sitting in this historic theatre experiencing Ms. Wimberly’s program, I decided that it is necessary to continue to bring students to this space.  There is definitely a time and place for bringing artists to schools – it is essential as well! – but there is also something incredibly magical about seeing an artist in an environment dedicated to his/her craft. So as long as we’re able to coordinate these shows and bring students on site, we will continue to plant the seeds and cultivate an appreciation for the arts.

If you would like to see more photos from this performance, visit our facebook page.


Brenda Wimberly with accompanist LaDonald Ensley

SSP2014_ 43

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.

Troupe Dixie Gearing up for Halloween Movie Night at the Dixie

This week's Art Talk Monday is written by Elizabeth Lewis, Troupe Dixie member. Elizabeth has over 15 years of experience in marketing and advertising. She currently splits her creative time by passionately working at two local companies: Innesto Marketing and McKinney Honda. What to do? Where to go? Where’s the fun? We all find ourselves asking these questions. It’s human Troupe Dixie Spooktacular 2014_FINALnature for us to yearn for something new and different yet to stick with what we know… same events, same food, same people, same time, same place. However, that same-ole-same-ole routine can certainly get boring. Luckily for us here in Ruston, we have many local organizations that host unique cultural events throughout the year which entice us to step out of our comfort zone. The Dixie Center for the Arts is home to a vibrant and energetic network of young volunteers who work hard to continue to offer fresh, new events that appeal to the whole community.

On Thursday, October 30, Troupe Dixie will host its 4th annual Spooktacular Night at the Dixie featuring the 1989 film The 'Burbs. The pre-party for the event will kick-off at 6:00 p.m. with the show starting at 7:00 p.m.  Come early to enjoy light fare and brews followed by plenty of popcorn for movie time. Patrons are encouraged to come dressed in their best costume and enter the costume contest. There will be lots of fun to be had, plus a few tricks and treats at this year’s festivities.

”This is a great, inexpensive opportunity to gather with friends, enjoy food and drinks, and watch a fun Halloween movie” says Kristi Lumpkin, the Economic Development Administrator for the City of Ruston and Troupe Dixie Chairperson. Lumpkin added, “The Dixie Theatre is a historic building located in downtown Ruston.  It is a great location to watch all types of shows and there is not a bad seat in the house.  The Dixie is an important piece of Ruston's history and should be valued for generations to come”.

General admission tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance at the Dixie Theatre and at Fine Line Art Supply in downtown Ruston. Tickets will also be available at the door. The event is sponsored by Marsala Beverage, Sundown Tavern, and Celebrity Theaters.

Troupe Dixie, founded in 2010, is a group of young professionals who support Ruston's Dixie Center for the Arts and are dedicated to generating awareness and involvement at the Dixie among Ruston's forty-, thirty- and twenty-somethings. The Dixie Center for the Arts, located at 212 North Vienna Street in Ruston, is a non-profit volunteer-driven organization that works in partnership with The North Central Louisiana Arts Council, Ruston Community Theater and Ruston Civic Symphony Society.  Learn more about Troupe Dixie hosted events at

Enterprise Center Features Damon Caldwell

This week's Art Talk Monday is written by Hannah Bustamante, Administrator/Gallery Director for the LA Tech Enterprise Center. The Enterprise Center Gallery Presents a New Exhibition:

I’m Planning to be Spontaneous… Tomorrow

The Louisiana Tech Enterprise Center Gallery is pleased to showcase a series of new quilted works by Damon Caldwell titled I’m Planning to be Spontaneous... Tomorrow. Within these works Caldwell explores the parallels between the layered constructions of quilts to the layered construction of walls.  Much like the designing of a structure, one must plan and consider all the materials, patterns and inner workings of the design before that actual process of constructing the quilt.  This process leaves very little room for spontaneity, and through this series Caldwell attempts to find ways for ‘planned spontaneity’. He jettisons the use of traditional block assembly in favor of subtractive and reactive interplay on the studio wall with the hope that in all cases, each piece will embody and evoke a sense of emotion, landscape, dance, depth, surface, and movement.

Damon Caldwell currently teaches architecture and interior design in the School of Design at Louisiana Tech University, where he is a tenured Assistant Professor and Graduate Coordinator for the Master of Architecture program.

We invite everyone to join us for the opening reception Thursday, October 23rd from 6 pm – 8 pm.  The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public. The exhibition runs October 23rd –November 14, 2014, and is open Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm.

For more information about the Enterprise Center’s  programs and exhibitions, please contact Hannah Bustamante by email at or call her at (318)257-5281. The Rawle Enterprise Center is located at 509 West Alabama Avenue in Ruston.



From the NCLAC office: We are looking forward to this week’s ARToberfest! Make sure you get your tickets to this beer-tasting fundraiser that will be held Friday, October 24 at the Norton

Lyla, age 8

Building in downtown Ruston. Tickets, both $30 Early Bird and $20 General Admission, are available at Fine Line Art Supply as well as the Dixie Center for the Arts. When you stop into the Dixie, be sure to notice the paintings on display. We are showcasing work by students of Renee Hunt at The Art House. These elementary-aged students have painted their interpretations of a Matisse work titled The Roofs of Collioure. These will be on display till November 10th.




Holiday Arts Tour Sites and Artists

NCLAC is pleased to announce its artist roster for this year’s 17th annual Holiday Arts Tour. This year will be the largest arts tour on record, with 35 Tour sites, and a wide array of performing arts offerings. The following downtown merchants will be displaying artists' works for the 17th annual Holiday Arts Tour, November 20-22. Musical performances, as well as demonstrations by artists, will take place at select locations.

Carriage House: Patricia Jones, Catherine McVea, Annie Richardson, Laura Lewis, Becky Bennett, Nan Cole, Beth Holland

Rhapsody Quartet, HAT 2013

Townsend House: Laura Glen Lawson

Sundown Tavern: Todd Cloe, Emily Lawson; music by Dan Sumner Quartet

House of Flowers & Cake Shoppe: Julie Crews, Leigh Buffington

The Frame Up: Hooshang Khorasani

Embellishments: Chene Clay Company

Lewis Boutique: Christiane Drieling; music by Rhapsody Quartet

202 N Vienna: Adrianna Speer, Meredith McGregor, Zachary McCauley, Cathy Crow, Jenna Fincher, Hannah Cooper McCauley, Megan Landis; Piney Hills Quilt Guild; poetry reading; Sprout Sunday activities

Kelly Moore Bag: Joey Slaughter; music by Monty Russell

Makers Union: Frank Hamrick; music by Bethany Raybourn

Dixie Center for the Arts: group exhibition of Holiday Arts Tour artists

Art Innovations: Jackie Cochran, Francis Carson

Studio 301: Jonathan Donehoo, Dean Dablow, Peter Jones, Patricia Jones, Annie Richardson, Kit Gilbert, Catherine McVea, Phoebe Allen Mathys, Dianne Douglas

Turbo Goat Sporting Goods: Shawn Hood

artist Frank Hamrick with handmade books at HAT 2013

Turbo Goat Bicycle Shop: Whitney Caskey

Rumo's Barber Shop: Todd Maggio

Pastry Moon Soaps: Rickey Pittman, Maureen Hinton; music by Rickey Pittman

Frame of Mind: Peter Hay

Beau Monde: Rachel Johnston

Fine Line Art Supply: Sienna Haralson; music by The Taylor Outfit

Stitchville: Allie Bennett

Re/Max Results Realty: Marguerite Hogue, Emily Gautreaux; music by Elizabeth Vidos

Accent of the East: Ruth Yung, Michele McGehee; music by Meihan Guo

The Children's Shoppe: Nina Stephens

Chartreuse Pear: Caroline Youngblood, Dorene Kordal

The Fashion of Ruston: Shalis Stevens, Lacey Stinson; music by Karl Puljak

Main Street Exchange: Maggie Jones Boudreaux, Shelly Nealy Edgerton; music by Cain Budds

Lagniappe Embroidery  & Gift Shoppe: Allen Tuten, Sonny Monteleone

Social & Leisure: Alice Morgan

Delta Day Goods: Richard Kordal

Park Avenue Antiques: Loretta Owens

Blue Wire Electronics: music by Stiff Necked Fools and the Bluesaholics

Schuder, Honaker, Miller and Smith: poets during HAT 2013

Rodeo Botuique: Cheyenne Morrow

Social Bites of Ruston: Nicole Duet

The Fabric Shop: Allison Vestal


A Round-Robin Poetry Reading will be held on Saturday afternoon with readings by poets Errol Miller, Veronica Schuder, April Honaker and Genaro KyLy Smith.

Sprout Sunday Projects will  include a book reading by a local children's author,  fiber arts projects, ornament making, and more.

A Community Variety Show will be held Sunday afternoon at the Dixie Center for the Arts featuring performances by the following: Elizabeth Vidos, Mike Sullivan Dance Studio, Marc Faulkner, Meihan Guo, LG Dance Studio, Ruston Community Theatre, and Grambling University Choir, with Emcee Joel Sharpton

More details about Holiday Arts Tour will be added as the date approaches. Follow along with news about the Tour on our facebook page.

NCLAC’s Holiday Arts Tour is 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.

Art Talk Monday: ARToberfest Is Almost Here!

This week's Art Talk Monday is written by Jessica Slaughter, NCLAC's Executive Director 2014 logo designed by Rosalynne Fluty

The countdown is on to this year’s ARToberfest, which will be NCLAC’s 5th annual beer-tasting fundraiser. This tasty evening will be Friday, October 24, from 5-10pm, at the Norton Building in downtown Ruston, giving us more room than ever to showcase the region’s home brews, a variety of commercial beers, and to provide hours of musical entertainment. Tickets for the event can be purchased at Fine Line Art Supply and the Dixie Center for the Arts. Two options are available. Early Bird tickets, at $30 each, provide 5pm entry, a commemorative pint glass, and a pretzel necklace. Only 100 of these are available, and they’re going quickly. General Admission tickets, at $20 each, provide 6:30pm entry. Each option offers the ticket holder tastings of beers until 10pm and access to live music. Pint glasses will be for sale, as well as pretzel necklaces and raffle items. New this year will be food trucks, offering sales of food that pair well with beer, so be sure to bring cash for dinner. The music line-up for this year includes Ken Carter; Bethany Raybourn and the Goodness Gracious; Danny Lee and Dave; and the Swinging Richards.

Let’s talk about who is making this event possible. First of all we have Marsala Beverage as Grand Title Sponsor, providing 70 commercial beer varieties. These give attendees the opportunity to try many new beers that are available for purchase in our area without committing to an entire six pack at the store. Next, Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living is our Title Sponsor, providing clean, smoke-free air for this indoor/outdoor event. For our dedicated home brewers, Devine Wines and Spirits Plus is once again offering the Devine Home Brewer Awards, with handsome trophies for our People’s Choice and Brewers’ Choice winners. The Norton Building itself is our Site Sponsor, assisting with our new, larger venue. Sundown Tavern is the After Party Sponsor, so be sure to head over to Sundown when ARToberfest ends to finish your night right. For our hardworking volunteers, including brewers and musicians, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers is providing dinner, and Super One Foods, our Snack Table Sponsor, is providing bar snacks for ticket holders. Behind the scenes we have our fabulous ARToberfest Committee who has been working for months to make this night the best it can be: Meg Waters Allen, Allie Bennett, Cain Budds, Nicole Duet, Amanda McCoy and Elaine Thompson.


Steve Parks, Brewer's Choice 2013; Ryan Nestrud, People's Choice 2013; Jessica Slaughter, NCLAC Executive Director

We are grateful for the support of so many people with this event because it raises funds for Holiday Arts Tour, scheduled for November 20-23. This year’s Tour, the 17th annual, is the largest in memory, with 35 downtown locations participating. Our roster of artists this year includes 60+ visual and literary artists, and 15+ musical performances, including a Community Variety Show on Sunday, Nov. 23, that will feature ballroom dancing, singing, international music and more. We will again offer Sprout Sunday activities for children, artists’ demonstrations, a poetry reading, and artists who are ready to share insight into their works with you. Mark your calendars for Holiday Arts Tour next month, and visit to get more details about the weekend.

So, now that you’re in the know about all-things-ARToberfest, be sure to get your tickets! Once again, they’re available at Fine Line Arts Supply and the Dixie Center for the Arts. No one under 21 will be allowed at the event. For more information, visit our ARToberfest facebook page, or our ARToberfest page on our official site .


'Til Beth Do Us Part - Opening Thursday

Art Talk Monday this week is by Hilary Hileman-Hyacinth of Ruston Community Theatre. Call the Box Office at (318)255-1450 to get your tickets to this week's performance. Ruston Community Theatre’s next production is a two-act comedic play titled ‘Til Beth Do Us Part, a Jones-Hope-Wooten comedy.  The play is sponsored by Northwood RCT_TilBethDoUsPartMedical Center and opens October 9th at The Dixie Center for the Arts in Ruston.  The director is Satish Bharadvaj.

Bharadvaj says, “'Til Beth Do Us Part is a comedy play. The cast is great! Some cast members are born comedians while others fall in situation where they become funny for the viewers just to be in such situation. The cast of six characters create a hilarious synergistic results. I enjoy every moment of being part of the production.”

The protagonist, Suzannah, is a frazzled career woman climbing the corporate track at her dream job but she gets no help from Gibby, her slothful spouse whose glory days are long past. Enter Beth, a southern belle on steroids who promises to whip Suzannah’s life into shape as her new personal assistant. Everything goes smoothly until Gibby realizes the steel magnolia from hell’s newest plan for efficiency involves moving him right out the front door. He enlists Suzannah’s best friend Margo and her ex-husband Hank to help him derail Beth’s plans for world domination. Will they succeed before Suzannah’s British boss from Carmichael’s Chocolates arrives?

The dates for ‘Til Beth Do Us Part are October 9th, 10th and 11th at 7:00 p.m. and an October 12th matinee at 2:00 p.m. at The Dixie Center for the Arts in Ruston. Tickets at the door are $12 for adults and $6 for students/children. RCT season tickets are now available for $40.00 for ‘Til Beth Do Us Part and the three remaining productions:  Holiday comedy The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, classic drama To Kill A Mockingbird and award-winning musical Bye Bye Birdie. Visit RCT’s website at, on Facebook at www.facebook/RustonCommunityTheatre, and on Twitter @RustonCoTheatre.

This Thursday in Monroe, 10/2

News about this week's Downtown Gallery Crawl in Monroe. Read for the details: First Thursday—time to enjoy the festive atmosphere of the Downtown Gallery Crawl in the cultural districts of Monroe and West Monroe—time to be inspired, to indulge your senses, to share the joy of art and life with neighbors and friends! Thursday, October 2, 5-9 pm, is the time, and it’s free. Music will be playing on both sides of the Ouachita River, at both ends of the Endom Bridge at both Bry Park and Antique Alley. Food and drink will be available at many galleries, and artists will be on site to talk with guests about their work.

Besides the River Jam band in Monroe and the Twin City Hot Club rocking out in West Monroe, there are more special events, highlighted by the ART BATTLE on Monroe’s Art Alley, sponsored by the Masur Museum from 5-7 pm, when five teams of artists compete to create the best art. Teams from the Downtown Arts Alliance, Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University, University of Louisiana at Monroe, and the Masur Museum will create their entries right in front of Crawl guests, and then the public will be invited to vote on their favorites by dropping money in donation jars. The five creations will be displayed all evening.

The party continues in the galleries, where both resident and guest artists present new, fresh exhibits. Some of the 50+ artists will be giving talks sharing their inspirations and methods, and most of the art will be for sale—a great opportunity to expand a personal collection or to buy the perfect gift for a loved one. Galleries are on DeSiard Street and Art Alley in Monroe and on Antique Alley (Trenton Street) in West Monroe. Several other Antique Alley shops will also be open on the night of the Gallery Crawl.

All are invited to the party! You can begin wherever you’d like—on either the east or the west side of the River.

Right in the midst of the eleven galleries, on Art Alley, you’ll find the MAD Art Gallery, where the featured artist is Downtown Arts Alliance president Stacy Thomas Medaries, an instructor of fine art at Louisiana Delta Community College. The show is titled “Rummaged, Recycled, and Reused,” a one-person show of new paintings and sculpture. Each piece contains at least one old and rusted “found” object. The images are sculpted from paper pulp and then painted with acrylic paints.  Each piece is colorful and imaginative, culminating in an exhibit that will delight its viewers.


collage by Em J Cruz and Ali Hijazi

Just down the block, the Palace Gallery, 220 DeSiard Street, is pleased to present Daniel Adams, a printmaker and professor at Harding University. He says of his work, “I love to observe the world around me and then translate the overlooked design into visual form so others can see what I have seen. Sometimes these overlooked design elements are emotional or spiritual relationships, at other times, very interesting bits and pieces of physical reality.”

Down DeSiard Street at Luna Blue Yoga Studio and Gallery (428 DeSiard), the show is “You Are Here” by EmJ Cruz and Ali Hijazi. The duo’s collection focuses on the frustrations associated with being a stagnant product of an environment—technology all around us, chronic transitional stages, evolutionary processes—all are parts of our existence. By using a variety of mixed media including sculpture, oil, acrylic, and photography, Cruz and Hijazi explore their radius. They will further explain their work in an artist talk at 6:30 pm.


Brooke Foy, Monday's Dispute

Brooke Foy, instructor of art at ULM, received an MFA in sculpture from the University of Memphis after earning a BFA in sculpture from ULM. Her exhibition at UPSTAIRS on Art Alley is called “Domestic Discussions”--a playful response to a glimpse into some of the most private moments of domestic lives, the best and worst of days, including reflections of the artist’s own family. Materials for this show showcase fabric, concrete, string, wood and paper. As the daughter of a contractor, Foy saw every day how to make things that functioned but was drawn to make things in a different, playful way. She will share more about her art in an artist talk scheduled for 7:30 pm.

Artists exhibiting in The Big Room (also on Art Alley) include guest printmaker Stefan Nodarse.  Ben Bennett and Lacy Mitcham—the last two students to graduate from ULM with degrees in sculpture--are exhibiting sculptural work as well as paintings. Resident artists Jon Aiken, Emily Caldwell, Betsy Putnam, Ricky Sikes, and Victoria Smith are showing ceramics, mixed media work and paintings.

ARENDER studio + gallery presents Cognitive Dissonance--digital artworks by Gabe Cardinale. Gabe is a Monroe native who left Louisiana for Los Angeles and now resides in Dallas, Texas. Next door, Sugar Gallery has something for everyone:  Mary Thompson’s oil paintings; acrylic paintings by Leah Smith Reitzell; colorful acrylic paintings and mixed media collage by Melanie Douthit; mixed media aluminum/alcohol ink art by Stacy Medaries; award-winning beautiful photography by Burg Ransom and William Holley.

Gabe Cardinale, I Do Believe I'm In Love With  You


DOWNSTAIRS gallery (137 Art Alley) presents PEDAGOGY, by Michele Whitley Olinde, a native of Morgan City. She earned a BFA in drawing and digital graphics at ULM, then returned for her teacher’s certification. She is now a permanent resident of Monroe and is the Fine Arts Department chair at West Ouachita High School.  Most of her paintings are inspired by the beauty found in a country landscape. Mixed media drawings and pen and ink are the two most common media in the collection. Pedagogy needs to be explored through the thinking and practice of those educators who look to accompany learners, care for and about them, and bring learning into life. As we learn through Michele, teaching is just one aspect of their practice. “Creating art is a journey I take by myself, and my work reflects the experiences I have along the way,” Olinde says. Her artist talk will take place at 7 pm.

Rusty Patterson is the featured artist for the Ouachita River Art Gallery at 308 Trenton Street in downtown West Monroe. A life-long resident of Monroe, Patterson developed a fascination for wood in the early 1980’s after a brief conversation with his now deceased grandfather. With his grandfather’s words of wisdom and encouragement, the journey began. His work is available for viewing during October, Tuesday–Saturday, 10 am- 5pm, as well as during the Downtown Gallery Crawl. This self-taught wood turner travelled throughout the South from the early 1980’s through the early 1990’s, participating in various art shows where he won numerous awards, including Best of Show as well as monetary awards for his works. Early works of Rusty’s can be seen in museums including the Fine Arts Museum in Mobile, Alabama, and the Snyder Museum in Bastrop, Louisiana.

Presenting Sponsor Creed and Creed Law Office leads a group of faithful sponsors to support the Downtown Arts Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging the fine arts and developing the downtown areas of Monroe and West Monroe. Other sponsors include BancorpSouth, The News-Star, Sir Speedy, Monroe-West Monroe CVB, DeltaStyle, KEDM Public Radio, Northeast Louisiana Arts Council, Atmos Energy Corp., Heck Law Firm, Hollis & Company Jewelers, Riddle Builders, Community Trust Bank, Cross Keys Bank, Val Salomon Law Office, Charles Kincade Law Office, Rawls DeSigns, Marsala Beverage, Restaurant Cotton, Warehouse #1 Restaurant, and Choice Brands.

Downtown Monroe and West Monroe will be partying with art, fun, food, music, and friends on Thursday, October 2nd—and will rock again on December 4th at the next Downtown Gallery Crawl!

Art Talk Monday....The Shadow Box

  This week's Art Talk Monday is written by King Godwin, Chair of the Dept of Visual & Performing Arts, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, at Grambling State University. Call the GSU Box Office at 318-274-ARTS (2787)

Director Dr. King Godwin


Welcome to a “Season of Family Matters”

The Floyd L. Sandle Theatre Company of Grambling State University will open its 76th production year with Michael Cristofer’s The Shadow Box, directed by Dr. King David Godwin, Dean of the College of Arts Sciences.  The production will focus on three distinctly different family groups and their abilities to handle death and dying.  The psychological and emotional complexities of both care giver and victim to be are explored in great detail.   In keeping with the theatrical theme of “Family Matters," this production drives home the revelation of humanity’s sometimes inability to accept the ultimate realism that we are all going to die.  More importantly, it reminds us all that we must live in each moment.  Death is no respecter of personal status, gender, age or person. The characters in the play cut across varied demographic elements.  There is a middle age father and mother who struggle with trying to find the right approach and best time to tell their only child, a teenage boy, that his father is dying. A non-traditional couple and an ex-spouse must reach beyond their personal differences, political, social and religious convictions to accept the inevitable while at the same time dealing with their own demons and sensitivities.  Lastly, there is an elderly mother who lives in yesteryear longing for her eldest daughter to return home, while her younger daughter, who is her caregiver, must strive to keep her comfortable and peaceful.

This production will make you laugh, cry and think.  The script is well written and runs about one hour and thirty minutes.   Characters include, Roman Higgins, Anthonia Hall, Melanie Williams, Franklin, G. KaDarius Gray, Roderick King, Leon Norvell, Ericka Good- Perry, and Jaleshia  Williams.  Set Design is by Joseph Osborn, a senior visual and performing arts major, Technical Consultation and oversight is under the tutelage of Professor Mary Fran Crook, Teshia Lincoln is costumer and make- up artist, Jamelia Hickman, Stage Manager  The production will run September 30-October 3,2014 with curtain time at 7:00 PM, in the Floyd L. Sandle Theatre of the Fine Arts Center.  The production will take place on the main campus of Grambling State University.

World War I Ephemera Exhibition

This week's Art Talk Monday is written by Hannah Bustamante of the Louisiana Tech Enterprise Center. North Central Louisiana Art Council’s partner in the arts, Louisiana Tech Enterprise Center Gallery, is excited to present a collection of WWI Posterephemera, curated by Saul Zalesch, spanning the duration of World War I. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the First World War. Each piece in this Exhibition gives us a very real and often intangible glimpse into this important time in our global history. It is divided into four sections: before the United States went to war; service during the War; the Home Front; and the Aftermath. Within each section there are publications, images and propagandistic materials from the U.S. and abroad ranging from the initial American opposition to intervene all the way to the end of the war, which includes monuments, memorials, and support for veterans.

Saul Zalesch, an art historian at Louisiana Tech University, organized and curated this show.  He acquired all of the artifacts that will be on display in the gallery throughout the course of his research into American popular arts and culture. Additional images of his collection of ephemera can be found on his website


It is a tremendous honor for us to join with people collectively around the world during this time to remember The Great War and how it changed and affected the lives of so many.  We invite everyone to join us for the opening reception Friday, September 26th from 6 pm – 8 pm, at the Rawle Enterprise Center, 509 West Alabama Ave. in Ruston. This reception is free and open to the public. The exhibition is also on view Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm, until October 17. For more information about Enterprise Center programs and exhibitions, call the office at (318) 257-5281, or email


A note from the NCLAC office:

An exhibition of sculptural works by artists Andi and Robert Moran are on display at Studio 301 in downtown Ruston (301 North Trenton)  The show is a visual treat and should not be missed. An opening reception will be held on Sunday, September 21, from 2-4pm. It’s not often that we have the opportunity to see a sculpture exhibition in our area, and Studio 301 offers a perfect space for these works. Andi and Robert are quite the do-it-yourselfers, and have years of experience with architecture, metalwork, ceramics, lighting and more. To pique your interest, take a look at their site    Take some time to stop by and see this fine artwork.

Reminder: Two days before, on Friday evening, September 19, there will be a Fall Crawl from 5-8pm. Studio 301 will be open that evening, with the Moran work on display, as well as several other shops hosting visual artists and musicians. It will be a great way to spend a pleasant fall evening. I’d like to think things will have cooled off a biy by then. A listing of locations and artists can be found at




Monroe Art Crawl, Oct. 2

We've just received word of two exciting aspects of the upcoming Art Crawl in Monroe, which will be held Thursday, Oct. 2, from 5-9pm.

The Masur Museum of Art and the Twin City Art Foundation will present an Art Battle on Art Alley from 5:30-6:30, and voting will take place from 5:30-7, at which time the winner will be announced.  Five teams of artists will compete to create an original work of art in one hour in front of a live audience! The public will choose the winning team by depositing tips into their favorite team’s tip jar. This fun and friendly competition will provide a great opportunity to see art being made live! Competing teams will include art students from Grambling University, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and Louisiana Tech, as well as artists from the Downtown Arts Alliance and a Masur Museum team led by local artist Vitus Shell.


DOWNSTAIRS Gallery will be presenting PEDAGOGY, by Michele Whitley Olinde, with an Artist's Talk from 7:30-8

Olinde - Is this the End - at Downstairs Gallery

A native of Morgan City, Michele Whitley Olinde realized when she arrived at Northeast Louisiana University that she was not as prepared for art classes as the majority of the other art students. Her home town was warm and friendly but very limited in opportunities for training in the visual arts. With art and the creative process all encompassing, and entirely undaunted, Michele earned a B.F.A. with concentration in drawing and digital graphics, then returned to Northeast for her teaching certification and permanent residence in Monroe where she is now an educator and the Fine Arts Department Chairperson at West Ouachita High School.

Teaching was difficult at first because Michele wanted to be actively creating her own art. As she gained experience as an instructor, her students became the inspiration.

“Most of my paintings are of nature and inspired by the beauty found in a country landscape. Mixed media drawings and pen and ink are two of the most common media found in my portfolio. The ink pen has always felt natural in my hand. My first obsession was with pattern created with pen and ink techniques. I love to see strange and unusual textures created with the blending of different materials. When I paint, I concern myself with the effect of light so I tend to choose photographs taken late in the day or early in the morning.  My style of painting varies between realism and Impressionism.”

Pedagogy needs to be explored through the thinking and practice of those educators who look to accompany learners; care for and about them; and bring learning into life. As we learn through Michele, teaching is just one aspect of their practice.  “Creating art is a journey I take by myself and my work reflects the experiences I have along the way.”

Fall Crawl Is Nearing...

  works by Andi and Robert Moran

Now that we have passed Labor Day, I find myself yearning for Fall. Most of September is officially the fall season, even though Louisiana weather often disagrees. However, everyone is back in school, football has begun, and our minds begin to wander toward pumpkins and cooler weather. To celebrate this new season and enjoy an early evening outdoors, be sure to come downtown for the Fall Crawl. Several arts-businesses in downtown Ruston are joining together for a great evening on September 19, from 5-8pm.

Fine Line Art Supply will be featuring Frank Folino, OFM, of St. Thomas Aquinas. Father Frank’s mixed media paintings, with bold color and deep relief, are expressionistic and engaging. Kelly Moore Bag will be featuring husband and wife photography team Hannah Cooper McCauley and Zachary McCauley. These artists are Masters Candidates at Louisiana Tech and each has been recognized, awarded, published and exhibited nationally in the last year. This is a great opportunity to buy works by artists on the rise. Kelly Moore Bag will also be hosting music by Josh + Jenn.

Be sure to stop by Main Street Exchange, who will be featuring toys created by Christiane Drieling, whose craftsmanship is impeccable. Main Street Exchange’s featured nonprofit of the month is NCLAC—so sales at the shop will support our organization this month! Makers Union will have James Gilcrease from Day Old Blues Records with a pop-up shop chock full of vinyl. He’ll be spinning records, of course, so head over to treat your ears.

Just down the street at Studio 301 is another husband and wife team, Robert and Andi Moran, who will be exhibiting sculptural works.  Robert and Andi are a creative powerhouse, with experience as designers of furniture, ceramics, lighting and more.  Around the corner at Pastry Moon, owner Bonnie Ferguson will have her new autumn soaps as well as the artists she regularly features, such as Dorene Kordal’s felt, Whitney Caskey’s photography, and Lora Lee’s jewelry. I hear a buzz about a musician at Pastry Moon as well... Frame of Mind will be exhibiting new works by artist Peter Hay, who recently graduated from LA Tech’s MFA program, but has since moved back to Oklahoma. Peter is a fine printmaker and painter, with a style rooted in surrealism, often depicting beautifully illustrated animal imagery.

At the Dixie Center for the Arts, Dubach artist Nina Stephens’ oil paintings will be featured. As a self-taught artist, Nina channels her emotions and energy by creating pieces that represent personal journeys along with locally inspired pieces and animal portraits. Art Innovations is joining the Fall Crawl, and will have an installation titled A Walk in the Woods, featuring bird houses and bows by Francis Carson, and small paintings by Jackie Cochran. Alexandria Bozeman will be on site creating “Energy Portraits,” and there’s rumor of hot dogs and s’mores!

painting  by Frank Folino, OFM

Plans are still begin generated, with conversations about food, music, and book readings, so be sure to mark this date on your calendar. If you remember, there was a Spring Crawl earlier this year, and there were people everywhere! It was a wonderful night. Let’s make it happen again. Grab a friend and head downtown after work. Join our facebook event for continued details.

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

My Vision, My Voice set to begin

  My Vision, My Voice in Bienville Parish 2011

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


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


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


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


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

My Vision, My Voice 2011

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



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


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



Calls for Entry....Artists take heed!

Happy Friday to you! Today we are bringing you 4 Calls for Entry for Visual Artists. Take a look at these and shoot for the stars! CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

The Jackson Parish Museum & Fine Arts Association is currently booking solo and group exhibits for the Winter/Spring 2015 season. We are a small museum but do have specific criteria and guidelines so potential artists must apply before being approved for a show. Artists who are residents or natives of Louisiana will be considered first, with Jackson Parish artists getting priority. This is a family-oriented arts association so artists with adult themes need not apply. Spots are limited. For more information please contact museum manager Leah Beth Johnston at



45th Annual River Road Show deadline is fast approaching!!!  Submissions for this prestigious national juried exhibition will be accepted up to September 1, 2014 (postmark or email).  The exhibition will take place at the Louisiana State Archive Building from December 3-December 29, 2014. We are honored to have as our judge this year Morten E. Solberg an acknowledged Master Artist who is versatile in all mediums.  Louisiana Art and Artists’ Guild is also sponsoring a workshop given by Mr. Solberg in conjunction with the exhibit. For more information on the River Road Show and the River Road Show Prospectus visit .  For information on the Morten Solberg workshop visit .



We, the North Central Louisiana Arts Council, are now accepting applications from visual artists to participate in our 17th annual Holiday Arts Tour. TheHAT2014_Text Block event is a celebration of the arts in Louisiana, featuring visual artists, musicians, writers, and other performing artists. NCLAC will place artists from its five parish region of Lincoln, Jackson, Claiborne, Bienville, and Union parishes first, but if enough host sites are available, artists from elsewhere in the state may participate. Applications will be accepted through September 22nd.

This page will give you more information about the Tour, and and this page is where you can download an Artist Application. For assistance or questions about the Holiday Arts Tour and the application process, please contact the NCLAC office at (318)255-1450, Monday-Friday, 9am-3pm.

Visual artists who participate will have work reproduced in the full-color brochure, as well as featured posts on the NCLAC site. The Tour weekend, November 20-23, will promote visual, literary, and performing artists, and will draw visitors from around the state. NCLAC wishes to receive entries from artists in: ceramics, painting, photography, printmaking, jewelry, fiber arts, mixed media, fine woodworking, etc.

NCLAC’s Holiday Arts Tour is 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.



DigiFest South, presented by Bossier Arts Council, is an annual digital technology expo and arts festival, scheduled this year for Sep 16th-18th. DigiFest South celebrates how digital technology combined with artistic creativity shapes modern society.

DigiFest South seeks the most innovative and progressive companies, organizations, and educational institution to showcase their contribution to the digital age and inspire young minds to seek careers in the digital media industry. So, pretty much any concept of combining art and technology to influence our culture and/or way of life. DigiFest South 2014 will feature:

• Technology Expo Floor Show • Digital Industry Workshops and Panels • Video Game Design Competition • Digital Media Presentations • Digital Art Exhibition • Digital Music Concert • Talks on Creativity & Technologyaccepting entries for its art competition.

DigiFest South includes a digital art exhibit and competition by independent artists. The exhibit will showcase  digital art genres made possible by the latest technologies.

Categories Include:

•Art Film – Please keep submissions between 21/2 to 3 minutes. High Resolution file will be required. •Animation – Please keep submissions between 21/2 to 3 minutes. High Resolution file will be required. •Interactive/Webiste/App: Please describe logistics for user interaction. •Digital Photography- Must be printed, framed, mounted and wired to hang. •Architectural/Drafting- Must be printed, framed, mounted and wired to hang. •Graphics- Must be printed, framed, mounted and wired to hang. •High School Students- Student work will be judged separately from all other submissions •College/University Students- Student work will be judged separately from all other submissions

 $15.00 per submission, limit of 2 submissions per artistic category

All applications & entry fees must be received by TUESDAY, SEP. 3rd by 5:00PM to Bossier Arts Council (630 Barksdale Blvd. Bossier City,LA)  via email at    Here is a link with more details and an application.



Gallery Crawl in Monroe

Just down Interstate 20 in Monroe is a Downtown Gallery Crawl this Thursday night. These are great evenings that are worth the short drive east. from Ann Bloxom Smith:

Thursday, August 7, is another chance to see great local art with the opportunity to purchase original pieces—as well as to visit with friends and neighbors, enjoy

collage by Emily Caldwell

the beautiful downtown areas of Monroe and West Monroe, hear good music, and partake in “cool” food and drink during this hot month. More than sixty cool, eclectic artists are members of the Downtown Arts Alliance, which, along with its sponsors, produce the Downtown Gallery Crawl every other month on the first Thursday, 5-9 pm.

UPSTAIRS gallery will be a good starting point. It’s upstairs, of course, at 135 Art Alley (N. 2nd Street) in Monroe. Two guest artists will show an extremely innovative, extremely COOL version of storytelling via video and mixed media. Austin Bantel and Kelsea McCrary will be collaborating on this show called “Watch the Throne,” a commentary on how we show and tell through digital media. They’ll be giving an artist talk at 7 pm.

Right next door is the Big Room, which welcomes “cool” visiting artists Kay McDonald, Lacey Mitcham, and Alyssa Posey showing paintings and mixed media work, and Josh Mitchell with functional and sculptural woodwork made predominantly from reclaimed materials.  Resident artists include Rick Sikes exhibiting oil portraits; Christen Parker, paintings; Victoria Smith, narrative illustrations; Emily Caldwell, collages; and Amy Ouchley, nature-inspired jewelry. Betsy Putnam, a new resident artist, will exhibit her mixed media work. As a special treat, Putnam will also show work upstairs at Cotton Restaurant.

Sugar Gallery, 133 Art Alley, will have something for everyone: mixed media aluminum and alcohol ink art by Stacy Medaries; award-winning photography by Burg Ransom; Mary Thompson’s oil paintings; acrylic paintings by Leah Smith Reitzell; and watercolor and mixed media art by Melanie Douthit. Sugar Gallery will also host photographer William Holley in the loft area.

MAD Art Gallery at 130 Art Alley will welcome three guest artists at this Crawl. Lora Lee, a local metalsmith/artist living in Calhoun, Louisiana, will be showing the beauty of creating with salvaged materials including coins, copper, and paper. Her sculptures will show women in various forms: the Maiden, the Mother, the Warrior, and the Dreamer. She will also have some of her handcrafted forged jewelry on display. Second, Heather Ramsey Miles is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of Louisiana at Monroe with a concentration in Ceramics. After many years in the banking industry she decided life would be more fulfilling as a full-time artist, creating and helping other people unlock their creative potential. In addition to ceramics, Miles works with wood, paint, sculpture, welding, and sewing. Finally, a special guest artist, Cynthia K. Cloud, will be featured in the foyer of the gallery with her “Sea Scapes” sculptures—each completely unique and natural. These pieces have no dyes added and are waterproof so that they can be displayed outdoors or indoors.

Luna Blue Yoga Studio and Gallery, 428 DeSiard Street in Monroe, will be showing a mixed media series of large-scale portraits--a solo show by Ian Blaylock

Liwet, by Lora Lee, NCLAC member artist

titled "Mixed Emotions." He will give an artist talk at 6 pm, explaining his art and answering questions. The series is about the pains, obstacles, and successes of life told through the faces of women.  He says, “My hope is to give insight that struggles are a natural part of life, offering the opportunity for us to get to know ourselves better and to learn about our strengths.  Then we can become happier and more confident people."

The Palace Gallery on DeSiard Street will show a body of work titled A Portrait of Mississippi, by Erin Austen Abbott, from Tupelo, Mississippi. She studied photography at the Museum School of Fine Arts in Boston and at the Photographic Center Northwest in Seattle. She has had shows in several European countries as well as across the United States. Her work is even studied in the art curriculum at the University of Milan in Milan, Italy. She is also the creator of the “One Night Stand Motel Art Show Series,” a series of art shows transforming a motel and its rooms into a one-night art show, giving artists a chance to show their work in a non-traditional setting. Erin has had her work published in Esquire, Teen Vogue, Alternative Press, LA Times, Uppercase, and Southern Spaces.  Erin is also the owner of Amelia, a shop on the historic Oxford square, and is currently living in Water Valley, Mississippi.

Other Monroe galleries that will be open and displaying new art are the DOWNSTAIRS gallery and Arender Studio, both on Art Alley. Arender will be displaying art by Joshua Chambers, a Shreveport artist working in mixed media.

In downtown West Monroe, more COOL art will be shown at two new galleries as well as at the oldest and largest art co-op in Louisiana—Ouachita River Art Gallery—all three conveniently located on Trenton Street (Antique Alley). To add to the convenience for art lovers, the trolley will be running all evening, giving free rides among the galleries on both sides of the river.

One of the new galleries is Sacred Expressions, 314 Trenton, West Monroe, where owner Lori A. Brown will be exhibiting her own work including various media. She is a licensed counselor and art therapist, using art as a method of helping others. The second new gallery is Hamilton House, at 318 Trenton.

Finally, the featured artist for the Ouachita River Art Gallery’s Crawl is Margaret Mays Ellerman of Winnsboro. Ellerman is an art educator, teaching classes at Franklin Parish High School. Her show “Between the Lines” is the culmination of a yearlong study of making hand-decorated paper and artist-altered commercial papers for use in sketchbooks and collage paintings and working with continuous line drawing. She says, “In looking for a way to utilize contour and gesture drawing to portray humor in my work, I hit upon the idea of using my drawings, paint, decorated papers, glue, and words in mixed media paintings.” Her work has been accepted and has won many awards in national and regional art competitions. The show will hang at the gallery through the month of August.

The weather may be hot, but these shows will be COOL! And so are the sponsors. Led by Creed and Creed Law Offices, sponsors include Bancorp South, Monroe-West Monroe Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, Sir Speedy, Northeast Louisiana Arts Council, the News-Star, KEDM Public Radio, the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Delta Style, Restaurant Cotton, Atmos Energy, Heck Law Firm, Rawls DeSigns, Community Trust Bank, Cross Keys Bank, Hollis and Company Jewelers, Marsala Beverage, Lavalle Salomon Law Offices, and Charles Kincade Law Offices. Many thanks to them!