Peach Art Exhibit Winners Announced

  Dianne Douglas, Best in Show winner 2014

The North Central Louisiana Arts Council is proud to present the winners of the 28th Annual Peach Art Exhibit! For the Youth 9 & Under category, Honorable Mentions go to Starry Night Moon by Ben Boudreaux, Polka Dot Giraffe by Mia St. John, Aspens by Rebekah Webb; 3rd Place to Myself bySusie Welsh; 2nd Place to Thirsty Flowers by Valerie Chatellier; 1st Place to A Messy Room by Andy Lynn.

For the Youth 10 to 13 category, Honorable Mentions go to Calla Lilies by Olivia Roger, Spring Has Arrived! by Destiny Bearden; 3rd Place toKing of the Desert by Jamie Palmer; 2nd Place to Apple Still Life by Lyndsay Claire Hogg; 1st Place to Neon Polly by Leah Price.

For the Youth 14 to 17 category, Honorable Mentions go to Amber Waves of Grain by Rachel Lee, Les Aristocrats by Vivien Ballard; 3rd Place toPuppy Love by Leanna Epps; 2nd Place to Serendipity by Kathryn A. Bryan; 1st Place to Bengal Tiger by Morgan McCullin.

And the Best of Show for the Youth goes to Lauren Hartt, for her drawing Charlie.

Some of the Youth Winners in NCLAC's 2014 Peach Art Exhibit

For the Adult Miscellaneous category, Honorable Mentions go to Pulp, a handmade bookby Frank Hamrick, Purple Lotus, a digital paintingby Sherry Owens; 3rd Place to Leaving for La Foce, a mixed media piece by Kit Gilbert; 2nd Place to Reevaluation, a collageby Meredith McGregor; 1st Place to Life Cycle (Worm Rest), a printby Hillary Clary.

For the Adult Original Crafts category, the Honorable Mention go to The Agate Sisters, a ornamental glass pieceby Betsy Gouedy; 3rd Place to Papa’s Memory, a collage of weathered wood by Lana Benson; 2nd Place to Lewellyan’s Fallen Oak, a natural wood tableby Patrick Blanchard; 1st Place to Origami Crane, a metal sculptureby Morgan McGough.

For the Adult Photography category, Honorable Mentions go to The Gulls by Kori Teague, Blue Abyss by Shawn Hood; 3rd Place to Spearsville, LA, April 2014 by Laila Al-Agha; 2nd Place to Peaceful Fall by Kevin Beasley; 1st Place to Smooth Respite at 86th Street by Kevin Cuccia.

For the Adult Painting category, Honorable Mentions go to Metamorphosis by Rebecca Bennett, Old Pottery by SC Hartt; 3rd Place to Peaceful Place by Connie Bryan; 2nd Place to Pecan and Shell by Peter Jones; 1st Place to Moon and Rocks by Marlen Waters.

For the Adult Drawing category, 3rd Place goes to Vase of Flowers by Deondray Spivey; 2nd Place to Zentangle by Marlen Waters; 1st Place to Mike by SC Hartt.

And the Adult Best of Show goes to Dianne Douglas, for her watercolor Ponchatoulas.

Congratulations to all the wonderful artists on display. The show will be in the Ruston Civic Center until Saturday June 28. Artists should remember to pick up their artwork on Monday, June 30, between 10am-12pm when the show is over.

Masur Museum, with artist Greely Myatt

Here are the details about the upcoming visit and exhibition by Memphis artist Greely Myatt at the Masur Museum. This is an exhibition not to miss! All the programs take place at the Masur Museum of Art, 1400 South Grand Street in Monroe. For more info call 318.329.2237 Not Again?!                          

Greely Myatt--photo by Jim Weber, from GoMemphis.com


Work by Greely Myatt

On View July 2 – October 11, 2014


Studio 318 with Greely Myatt:

Special Patrons and Board Event in June:

Members with a Single Patron Membership or higher will be contacted with the details.

Members’ Reception and Artist’s Talk:

September 18, 2014

6:00 to 8:00 pm

Open to all members of the Masur Museum of Art.

Community Art Project:

September 19, 2014

3:30 to 5:30 pm

Open to the public, FREE admission. Come help Greely Myatt with an interactive crowd sourced work of art. Any visitor is welcome to contribute to this project throughout the whole exhibition, but Greely Myatt will be available at this time to lead the project himself. Visit with the artist while helping create a work of art for the exhibition.

Studio and Professional Practices Lecture by Greely Myatt:  

September 19, 2014

5:45 to 6:30 pm

Open to the public, FREE admission.

Artist’s Bio: Greely Myatt was born in Mississippi in 1952. His earliest experiences with art were intuitive, improvised with everyday materials, and well outside the auspices of an educational institution. These formative experiences continue to drive his art-making approach. He is the Sculpture Program Coordinator for the Department of Art at the University of Memphis. Myatt holds an MFA from the University of Mississippi, Oxford, and a BFA from Delta State University, Cleveland, Mississippi.

In a way Not Again?! is a homecoming for Greely Myatt. The second solo exhibition of his career took place at the Masur in 1979. Since then he and the Masur have grown a great deal. Not Again?! is also a fitting metaphor for thinking about Myatt’s studio practice. He is interested in the cyclical nature of life and symbols. Myatt often gives found objects and well-worn cultural cues new life while making art. His subject matter varies drastically from a painstakingly realistic depiction of an ice cream cone dropped mid-lick to an esoteric examination of how the Underground Railroad used quilt patterns to communicate in code. As a result viewing this exhibition is like life itself and runs the gamut from humor to tragedy; sometimes simultaneously (if you like ice cream). Specific subject matter aside, Myatt is most interested in communication as the theme within his work. He constructs art much like an author writes a sentence. In a sense, his materials provide a vocabulary and the means of fabrication becomes the punctuation that holds his work together; giving it a particular emphasis or sensibility. His titles often convey specific ideas about a work of art’s intended meaning, but as with most things it is up for debate. When different elements of a particular work of art are examined, things can change.

Not Again ?! will feature several new works of art including one site specific installation in the River Galleries. Myatt has exhibited his art in many venues including the Alexandria Museum of Art, Alexandria, Louisiana; The Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, Georgia; Frist Art Center, Nashville, Tennessee; Hunter College, New York, New York; Honolulu Academy of Art, Honolulu, Hawaii; Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, Boston, Massachusetts; Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, Tennessee; Portland Contemporary Art Center, Portland, Oregon; The Running Horse Contemporary Art Space, Beirut, Lebanon; The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

A N(ick)LAC Post - Claiborne Jubilee

Another week has passed, my second as an intern with NCLAC, and I've begun to slowly become accustomed to things. I returned to the office Monday to help with the newsletters we're getting ready to mail to our members, and while I was there I realized that that was around my fifth time inside the Dixie. I have lived in Ruston my entire life, have passed by the building countless times, but rarely have I actually been inside and seen the art display in the front, the stage and the seats. It was only just reopened in the late 90s, but still, I think I've done a disservice to myself by not coming here more often. It really is a beautiful place. Also, I began reaching out to other parishes as part of NCLAC's community outreach to see if we could help in any way. I reached out to Ms. Cynthia Steele, a nice lady who helps run the Claiborne Jubilee, an annual arts and crafts event in Claiborne Parish where they celebrate the art and artists of their parish. I could tell she was very enthusiastic about art, and she loved speaking with me about NCLAC, who is just as passionate as she is about helping bring art to the community. Currently she has been trying to set up a few classes with their local Boys and Girls Club, one of the classes featuring sewing and woodworking, as well as a program where the participants take “useless” items such as aluminum foil and transform them into art.

Claiborne Jubilee

Learning that Ms. Steele does this for her community is enlightening because there are probably more people who do the same for their community. With that in mind combined with the summer usually being pretty eventful, there is a lot to look forward to.

Dog Days of Summer - Art Crawls in downtown Ruston

Image Galleries and arts businesses will be participating in downtown Ruston’s Dog Days Art Crawls: June 4th and 18th, and July 9th and 30th. Arts enthusiasts are invited to each location to view work by local artists, enjoy live performances, and more. Participating sites include: Kelly Moore Bag, Makers Union, North Central LA Arts Council at the Dixie Center for the Arts, PAIR Gallery, Studio 301, Pastry Moon with Frame of Mind, Fine Line Art Supply with Stitchville, and Main Street Exchange.

Each location will feature its own art-happening, which will vary by location throughout the summer. Dog Days Art Crawl hours are 7-10pm, and the activities are free of charge.

Here at the Dixie Center for the June dates, NCLAC will be featuring fine woodworking by the Dudgedemona Woodcarving Guild of Jackson Parish. Members of the guild use techniques such as turning and carving to make beautiful art objects for the home.

Across the street at PAIR Gallery, Gallery Director MC Davis has assembled a show titled Local Art at Local Prices, featuring work by many of our region's artists...priced to sell.

Each of the participating locations will be open late, so enjoy these warm Wednesday nights and come out for the Dog Days Art Crawls!


For more information, contact the NCLAC office at nclac5@gmail.com, or by phone at (318)255-1450. For more details about activities, contact each location directly.

Art Talk Monday...on Tuesday

This week's Art Talk is written by Laura Hunt Miller, NCLAC's Executive Assistant Summer break is underway and parents everywhere are looking for ways to keep their kids occupied. If you have young ones ages 1st through 6th grade who love the arts, NCLAC’s Summer Art Camps are a great way for your children to spend a week this summer!

This summer NCLAC has three Summer Arts Camps: Ruston Camp 1, June 23-27; Ruston Camp 2, July 14-18; and Jonesboro Camp, July 7-11. For $65 dollars per child, your children will be supplied a daily snack, and instructed in 2D, 3D, and drama classes from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Monday through Friday the week of their camp session.


Local full-time drama instructor Beckie Huckaby will teach campers how to “become theatrical characters” during their drama classes, while Ruston Camp 1 and Jonesboro campers will make “accordion books” out of the 2D art projects they create in recent LA Tech MFA graduate Matthew Knopps’ classes. Ruston Camp 2 Instructor Lauren Dixon will teach her students how to create their own beautiful Impressionist “Monet Gardens” with acrylics and watercolor paints. These are just a few of projects in store for SAC campers! On Friday parents, family, and friends are invited to see the projects the kids have completed during their camp week, along with a theatrical performance the children have prepared in their drama classes. This is always a great confidence booster for the campers, and a fun event for the whole family.

All campers must be pre-registered for their camp session to assure space and materials are available. To register your young ones call the NCLAC office at (318) 255-1450 during our office hours, Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., or go to our website “Applications & Forms” page at www.nclarts.org/applications/ to download a registration form, and mail it to NCLAC, or drop it off at the Dixie Center for the Arts in Ruston, at 212 N. Vienna Street. We hope to see you and your campers this summer!

NCLAC would like to thank all of the Pick Your Picasso sponsors who donated a free week of camp this summer to kids who would have otherwise been unable to take advantage of this great creative summer learning experience. Thank you Ruston Kiwanis Club, John Emory Jr., Elizabeth English, Peter Jones, KLS Physics Group, T.L. James & Company, Hazel Hunter, Julie Roane, Shelly and Edwin Edgerton, Benjamin Denny, Yvette and John Broocks, Tom Boniol and Cathi Cox-Boniol, Jonathan Donehoo, Ruston Sunrise Kiwanis, Brittany Spencer, Carolyn Lewis, Julie Hardie Kaczvinsky, Diane and Dean Dablow, Nancy and John Wallace, Beth Holland, Quota International, and Dorene and Richard Kordal.


Peach Festival Art Exhibit - One Month Away!

  Today's Art Talk Monday is written by Laura Hunt Miller, NCLAC Executive Assistant.



     It’s almost time for NCLAC’s 27th Annual Peach Art Exhibit!  Artists of all ages may enter their artwork into the show on Thursday, June 19th, at the Ruston Civic Center, between 9am-4pm. Every year this is a fantastic showing of our region’s talent, including crafts, photography, paintings and drawings.

     If you are interested in entering artwork in the exhibit, there are three Youth categories, and five Adult categories that are outlined on the PAE Entry Form, which can be found on the NCLAC website here, or on the Ruston Chamber of Commerce website. And remember, all 2-dimensional works must be framed and wired to hang on the wall to be eligible to enter!

     The Peach Art Exhibit Opening Reception will be held at the Civic Center on Sunday, June 22nd, from 3-4pm, where we'll present awards. The show will remain on display through the weekend of the Peach Festival.

     NCLAC would love to thank our 2014 PAE Award Sponsors who are providing for this year’s awards: Community Trust Bank, The Peach 99.3, Kit Gilbert’s Studio 301, The Fashion, Bank of Ruston, Ponchatoulas, Catherine & Winston McVea, Kelly Moore Bag, Janine & Richard Lewis, Elizabeth English, Stitchville, Fine Line Arts Supply & Print Lab, Dawn & Edwin Pinkston, Donnie Bell Design, Kathy & Chris Stone, The Children’s Shoppe, David Hedgepeth Interiors, Nora’s Flowers, Nancy & John Wallace, Dianne Douglas & Saul Zalesch, Pastry Moon, Frame of Mind, and Tom Boniol & Cathi Cox-Boniol. 

**The following piece is now past-tense. However, you may contact Main Street Exchange's owner, Jane Watts, for an appointment to see her shop: mainstreetexchangeinfo@gmail.com 

Happening this weekend is an artist’s reception for Ed Pinkston at Main Street Exchange Occasional Shop in Ruston. Pinkston is exhibiting a range of works, including current abstracts as well as drawings from his time spent teaching in Rome. Shop hours this weekend are 10- 5pm Friday and Saturday. As a special treat, tomorrow you can mix and mingle with Ed at “Coffee with the Artist,” from 11-noon. Located at 122 S. Trenton, this unique shop is open two weekends each month. The shop always features an artist, and supports a charity.  This month’s proceeds go to the Junior Auxiliary’s Methodist Children’s Home Project.

**Going till June 19! There's still time to sing!

Also of note, area women are getting the chance to attend a free singing school offered by Piney Hills Harmony Chorus of Sweet Adelines. The sessions began May 15 and will continue each Thursday through June 19 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the fellowship hall of the Presbyterian Church of Ruston, 212 N. Bonner. Participants can attend any or all of the sessions free of charge.

Sessions include instruction on expressiveness, breath control, resonance, vocal placement, dynamics, vowels and other topics. The class is conducted in a group setting, and chorus director Sheila Nugent describes the approach as "user-friendly." Women of all ages and with all voice ranges are welcome; the ability to read music is not required.

In addition to learning techniques to improve their singing, participants will learn – alongside the chorus – a cappella versions of "Life Is a Highway," "Bless This House," "Lazy Day" and "God Bless the USA."

More information can be found at www.pineyhillsharmony.org or by calling Nugent at (318) 237-3331.

Between 13 Beings - LA Tech Studio BFA Exhibition

It’s time again for Louisiana Tech’s Annual BFA exhibition, and you're invited!

You are invited to the upcoming show, “Between 13 Beings,” featuring work by thirteen graduating seniors of Louisiana Tech's School of Art. The reception will be held Thursday, May 15th, from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibition and reception are free of charge and open to the public, and refreshments will be served.
The exhibition includes a full-range of media, including paintings, drawings, printmaking, photography, digital arts and mixed media.
These thirteen talented artists will be showing some of their incredible work:
Ashley Baker
Michael Broussard
Ariel Bzdil
Hillary Clary    *NCLAC intern!
Thomas Faulkner
Ellen Frautschi
Shane Greer
Sienna Haralson
Madison Kunz
Jennifer Nasser
Mike Nelson
Jordyn Riedmiller
Kelvin Spears    *NCLAC volunteer!

The event will be catered by restaurants from our surrounding area, including:
Social Bites
Jonny's Pizza
Head to the School of Art Building after work and see the show!

Art Talk Monday... Ruston Reflections

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


I was filled with so many positive emotions last week at Ruston’s first Downtown Gallery Crawl. I simply could not stop smiling. As a former resident of Monroe, and as an arts-worker, I am very familiar with the Downtown Monroe Gallery Crawls. They are fun, they’re well attended, they get great publicity-- and they use a LOT of Lincoln parish talent. So when Bonnie Ferguson of Pastry Moon told me a couple of months ago that she and some other arts-businesses were planning a Spring Gallery Crawl in Ruston, I was thrilled. In working for NCLAC, and with my relationship to Louisiana Tech’s College of Liberal Arts, I see firsthand the abundance of talent we have in our area. We have the artists, we have a beautiful downtown, and we have a community of people who support cultural programming, so it’s befitting that we should have art crawls.

One of my favorite NCLAC events is our long-running Holiday Arts Tour. One reason I enjoy it so much is that it allows me to interact with our artists and merchants in a personal way, and I get to invite others to share this experience. I feel a tremendous sense of pride in being a Ruston resident, and I really enjoy working downtown. For many of you, though, downtown isn’t part of your routine. You work elsewhere, you shop across town, you get caught up in life’s tight schedule, and before long you realize the flowers have changed in the planters and there are two new shops you didn’t know existed.

So back to the Crawl. Being with the public in our lovely downtown on a beautiful Louisiana spring evening looking at art, listening to music, and visiting with creatives was just what I needed. Apparently it was what many of us needed, as I’ve heard people talking about it all week. Ruston’s first Spring Gallery Crawl was a wonderful blend of community and university, and there was a mix of people both familiar and unfamiliar. I felt so proud for the arts-related merchants who joined together to build this evening. I was pleased with our residents, in that crowds of people came out to show support, many of whom made unique purchases that directly affect the lives of people in our community. I was excited for the artists who sold artwork. I was happy to be able to bring my kids to an event that was fun for me as well as them. And when it was over, I was grateful to be in MY town, not on the road driving home from Monroe.

There are plans underway for other Ruston “art crawls,” and NCLAC will help inform you of these in our weekly Art Talk article. If you missed last Friday’s event, be sure you don’t miss the next one. And if you attended last week, thanks for helping to make such a perfect night for so many, myself included. 

National Call for Entries - NightVisions V

The Flagstaff Arts Council invites artists to submit entries for NightVisions V. The exhibition will run from Sep. 20 - Oct. 29, 2014. The deadline to apply is July 1, 2014.
Here is a brief summary:
More than two-thirds of Americans live where they can no longer see the Milky Way galaxy because of light pollution. We have grown so isolated from night that in much of our culture it has become alien and fearful. NightVisions V seeks to re-open our positive connections to the natural night and to bridge the divide separating artistic from scientific perception, promoting the idea that science and art are two intertwined aspects of human experience.
More information about the Flagstaff Arts Council organization and the call for entries and application can be found on their website

NCLAC Needs Your Help to Keep our Kids Creating!


The North Central Louisiana Arts Council is holding an Art Supply Drive and it needs your help!

Every year NCLAC works hard to provide year-round opportunities for kids of all ages to participate in art-inspired events, from making their own seasonal crafts and tie-dyed clothing, to basic drawing and painting classes.

NCLAC relies on donations to furnish most of its art supplies, and this summer it anticipates exhausting its supply as it holds a series of children’s arts and crafts projects at the Ruston’s Farmers Market, held each Saturday morning in downtown Ruston.

NCLAC needs unused packages of construction paper, drawing paper, newsprint paper, fabric markers, fine tip markers, fat tip markers, Sharpie markers, acrylic paint, watercolor paint, tempera paint, foam brushes, oil pastels, chalk pastels, scotch tape, masking tape, Elmer’s glue, glue sticks, and baby wipes. Any donation is very much appreciated, big or small!

Donations may be brought to the NCLAC tent at the Ruston Farmer’s Market from 8:30-11:30am on Saturdays, or to the Dixie Center for the Arts Lobby from 10am-2pm Monday-Thursday.

Please call 318-255-1450, or email nclac5@gmail.com if you have any questions.

On tap this weekend...

Looking to make it an art-full weekend? Here's a list of happenings: VISUAL ART - Friday (tonight!)

BFA opening reception, Construct, at Rawle Enterprise Center, 6-8pm, 509 West Alabama. Annual show featuring Imagegraduating students in LA Tech's Photography program. Featured artists: Whitney Caskey, Austin Elgin, Morgan Kee, Hannah Merritt, Charles C. Rhea, Kevin H. Reddic Jr., Shradha Sharma-Bhandari, Cecily A. Stevenson

Ruston's Spring Gallery Crawl, on and near West Alabama in downtown Ruston, 6-9pm. Featured locations/artists: Makers Union- featuring the works of Mary Boothe Dunn; Percussive Arts Institute of Ruston (PAIR) - a student showcase performance followed by a talk about upcoming events, activities and class offerings; PAIR Gallery- presenting The Art of Music, an exhibition showcasing local art based on the concept and process of music; Fine Line Art Supply - featuring the intaglio work of Hillary Clary; Pastry Moon - showcasing the work of Whitney Caskey; Frame of Mind - presenting the cooperative works of the Artist Alliance from Louisiana Tech University.

THEATRE - Tonight (and beyond...at least for a couple more days)

All Because of Agatha, Ruston Community Theatre's spring production, directed by Billy Chandler. 7pm Friday and Saturday, 2pm Sunday. $12 for adults, $6 for students, at the Dixie Center for the Arts. In All Because of Agatha, set in 1974, Duff and Joan O’Hara relocate from California to Salem, Massachusetts. The historical property the real estate agent shows them has a suspiciously low price. They learn that in 1692 Agatha Forbes, accused of witchcraft, was burned to death right where the house sits, but before she died she swore she would come back every year on that date and terrorize the occupants right out the front door. In short, the house was haunted. Joan, a big fan of the occult, thinks that a resident witch is a great, challenging addition to the house and she persuades Duff that this is the perfect place for them. So of course Joan plans a party for the September date when Agatha will allegedly appear.

The cast includes actors Anna Alexander, Debbie Allen, Kevin Cuccia, Dusty Hampton, Hilary Hileman, Brenda Mitchell, Dixie Mitchell, Heather Peterson, Terry Stepp and Michael Tannerhill.

25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, LA Tech Department of Theatre's spring musical, directed by Cherrie Sciro, at Howard Auditorium on the LA Tech campus. Tonight and Saturday at 7:30. General Admission $20, Students with ID $10, Youth & Seniors $15, Groups (10 persons or more) $10/person. Winner of 2005 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical, The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee follows six students of Putnam Valley Middle School as they compete in the annual spelling bee. However, this is not the average contest as audience members will be selected to participate in the bee. With the competition on, it is a fight to the finish as only one student can be v-i-c-t-o-r-i-o-u-s!


Coming up Friday! in this week's Art Talk Monday

This week's Art Talk Monday is written by Jessica Slaughter, NCLAC Executive Director Friday night there will be several facets of our artistic community on display simultaneously, which will make for a wonderful weekend. We have such a rich artistic environment in our region, with a wealth of professional artists as well as student artists.  We are lucky to be a “university town” with such great programs in the arts. Theatre, music, visual arts, architecture, and literature each add considerable depth, beauty and warmth to our cultural landscape. In addition, we have many professional artists living in our region who create music, paintings, quilts, sculpture, photographs and more. Some of these artists travel and exhibit worldwide. It’s easy to take one’s home turf for granted, and to miss opportunities for experiencing the wealth of talent we have in our own backyard.  Next Friday is an opportunity not to miss this talent.

"Stuck Inside" by Kevin H. Reddic Jr., part of BFA Photo's Construct exhibition

The annual BFA Photography Exhibition will be having its opening reception at the Rawle Enterprise Center, 509 West Alabama Avenue, from 6 till 8pm. The show, titled Construct, features work by: Whitney Caskey, Austin Elgin, Morgan Kee, Hannah Merritt, Charles C. Rhea, Kevin H Reddic Jr., Shradha Sharma-Bhandari and Cecila A. Stevenson. The exhibition will be on display through May 23rd, weekdays from 8am till 5pm. More information about this can be found by emailing Dorene Kordal at dorene@latech.edu  This reception and exhibition are free to the public.

Drive down West Alabama into downtown Ruston for a Spring Gallery Crawl, from 6-9pm. The public is invited to view new work from local artists, live performances, and enjoy tasty snacks and beverages. Each of the galleries and arts businesses is nestled conveniently on or near West Alabama Avenue, so visitors can park, walk and enjoy the spring evening. The following locations will be participating: Makers Union- featuring the works of Mary Boothe Dunn; Percussive Arts Institute of Ruston (PAIR) - a student showcase performance followed by a talk about upcoming events, activities and class offerings; PAIR Gallery- presenting The Art of Music, an exhibition showcasing local art based on the concept and process of music; Fine Line Art Supply - featuring the intaglio work of Hillary Clary; Pastry Moon - showcasing the work of Whitney Caskey; and Frame of Mind - presenting the cooperative works of the Artist Alliance from Louisiana Tech University. For more information about the Spring Gallery Crawl, email shop owner Bonnie Ferguson at pastrymoonsoaps@yahoo.com or visit any of the galleries during normal business hours. This gallery crawl event is free to the public.

In addition to the visual arts and music that have been mentioned, NCLAC’s partner, Ruston Community Theatre, will be holding its spring production, All Because of Agatha. The comedy, which tells the story of a couple, a haunting, and a bewitching party, begins at 7pm. The performance will also be held on Thursday, May 1, Saturday, May 3, and Sunday (matinee performance.) Tickets are $6 for students, $12 for adults, and they are available at the Dixie Box Office, (318)255-1450,as well as at the door the night of the show. While in the Dixie Lobby waiting on the performance, be sure to note the artwork on display, as it is a collection of works from the Bienville Parish Talented Art Students, taught by Caleb Clark. NCLAC coordinates with the Dixie Center for the Arts to display artwork from regional art groups.

All too soon it will be hot and steamy, and we won’t want to be out and about. Enjoy the Louisiana springtime, enjoy the fun happenings that are scheduled, and enjoy what our special town has to offer.

Three opportunities for Louisiana Artists...

Here are a few opportunities for exhibitions around the state...

First, just next door to Lincoln Parish, the Monroe-West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau is holding their annual Wish You Were Here photo contest. Here's a link to the details. The deadline is April 30. Top cash prize is $300. Surely some of our photographers out there have amazing photos that have been taken in Ouachita Parish. Find them and submit!

Next, The Walls Project is holding a Call to Artists for its 2015-16 projects.The Walls Project began as a small grassroots movement in Baton Rouge in 2012 and has grown into an organization whose mission is to stimulate the creative arts economy across the globe by delivering public art works that inspire urban and rural beautification, dialogue and unity. The Walls Project uses a collaborative approach with local communities, where partners select from a pool of juried artists and work with an experienced Design Team to create public art works ranging from abstract-figurative-realistic murals to large-scale sculptures. 

Their search is on for world-class muralists, sculptors, LED lighting and 4D video projectionists to add to the Walls' current pool of artists. Selection is based on a range of criteria including conceptual and aesthetic quality and feasibility of project completion; artists with documented public art projects will be given primary consideration. Visit this link to apply. 

Finally, it's time for Art Melt! Forum 35's Art Melt is the largest multi-media, juried art exhibit in the state of Louisiana. Now in its 11th year, Art Melt strives to promote professional artists throughout the state of Louisiana while providing an opportunity for the public to experience the best of local fine art, music, and performing arts. This show is open to Louisiana resident artists only. This year's deadline is June 1st. First place award is $2000. Here's how to apply. 


Main Street Exchange Will Have Art Opening Thursday Night

Main Street Exchange: thoughtfully created, thoughtfully chosen, thoughtfully benefiting a greater good Main Street Exchange Occasional Shop is a unique place for treasure hunting. They have a carefully selected assortment of furniture and home decor items, as well as earth-friendly products. Each month they feature an artist and a charity. It's a lovely concept, and a lovely space. The opening this week is a perfect opportunity to stop in.

This occasional shop, located at 122 S. Trenton Street in Ruston, is open the second and third weekend of each month, with a curated selection of repurposed handmade goods and art to support carefully chosen charities. With an evolving collection of Mid-Century,  Industrial,  Primitive, Vintage, Reclaimed and  Repurposed Goods, and Gifts made from discarded and recyclable material.

This month's featured artists are NCLAC members Laura White Lewis and Patricia Tait Jones. Laura is a multi-disciplined artist whose work includes drawing, painting, and mixed media assemblages.This show will feature Laura's ceramic work. Patricia will display her landscape, oil sketches created in Lucca, Italy. Please help Main Street Exchange celebrate these very talented artists within our community!

In addition to Thursday's reception from 4-6pm, the shop will also be open April 11-12 from 9am-5pm, and  on Easter weekend, April 18-19, from 9am-5pm.

Main Street Exchange Occasional Shop

Join them each month as they support a unique artist and the work of a chosen charity!



Art Talk Monday: Summer Camp Scholarships

This week's Art Talk Monday is from the NCLAC office, located upstairs in the historic Dixie Center for the Arts. It’s Time to Pick Your Picasso!

Each summer the North Central Louisiana Arts Council holds a series of art camps that offer two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and theatrical art classes. These classes expand children’s capacity for learning and self-expression as they explore their imaginations and boost their self-confidence through the creation of their own artworks and dramatic performances.

Although we make every effort to keep our camps affordable, there are still children in our area who are interested and talented in the arts but are unable to attend camp due to financial constraints. This is why five years ago we founded the Pick Your Picasso campaign, which raises funds for Summer Arts Camps scholarships.

We’ve sent over one hundred students to camp since the inception of this program, and our goal this year is twenty more.  A $60 donation sponsors one child for a week of camp, including art supplies, a daily snack, and a free Summer Arts Camp t-shirt. A donation of any amount helps provide supplies and art educators to teach the students. Any additional funds we raise through the campaign go to support our other arts education programming, such My Vision, My Voice, a six-week program that combines journalism with photography, in order to teach pre-teens and teens to tell their stories, utilizing their own voices and points of view. These programs are also free for participating students.

We honor our Pick Your Picasso donors in our Art Talk article, and publish donor names on our Summer Arts Camp webpage on our website. Donors who give before April 11th, 2014 are also listed on our 2014 Summer Arts Camp t-shirts. We are nearing time to send the scholarship award letters to prospective students, so please send your Picasso donation no later than April 18. We must ensure the number of scholarships before awarding them to students.

It is amazing to watch how much these one-week sessions affect the lives of the children who attend. We hope that you will consider giving a child the gift of creativity, self-confidence, and the new friendships they will gain at Summer Arts Camp this year! You may download a donor form from our website, nclarts.org, and donate via Paypal, or pick up a form at the Dixie Center for the Arts and donate by mail: NCLAC PYP, Po Box 911, Ruston, LA 71273

NCLAC’s Summer Arts Camps are held for five days, Monday through Friday, from 9am-noon. They are for students in first through


sixth grades, with three classes offered each day. Our schedule is set for this year, so check the dates on our site and download a registration form. Space is limited at each camp, so take care of your child’s paperwork soon.


Summer Arts Camps - Now Taking Registration

NCLAC's annual Summer Arts Camps are back for 2014! For more than twenty years, NCLAC has offered art camps for students enrolled in 1st through 6th grades in Visual Arts and Drama. These five-day camps, held Monday-Friday from 9am-noon, are taught by artists and art educators. Weeklong camps are $60 if you register and pay by May 1; $65 after May 1. Camp fee includes supplies and a snack. Ruston camps have early drop-off available for $10 per week. Call our office for more details about this convenient option. photo courtesy of Jaime Johnson

Camp schedule is as follows:

Ruston 1, June 23-27 at First Baptist Church, Ruston

Jonesboro, July 7-11 at United Methodist Church, Jonesboro

Ruston 2, July 14-18 at First Baptist Church, Ruston

Space is limited, so check your schedule and register your child today! Those interested may register by phone at (318)255-1450, or by downloading a registration form here at nclarts.org. Forms and checks should be mailed to NCLAC, PO Box 911  Ruston, LA 71273

Back this year will be favorite teachers such as Matthew Knopps, Adrian Gipson, and Rachel Johnston. New this year will be teachers like Lauren Dixon of art-at-Simsboro-school fame, and Beckie Huckaby, from Cedar Creek. Students always have a wonderful time at NCLAC's Summer Arts Camps, and this year will be no different. Take care of registration now, and tell a friend!



It's Time to Pick Your Picasso!

Each summer we holds a series of art camps that offer two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and theatrical art classes. These classes expand children’s capacity for learning and self-expression as they explore their imaginations and boost their self-confidence through the creation of their own artworks and dramatic performances. students at a Chatham camp in 2013

Although NCLAC makes every effort to keep our camps affordable, there are still children in our area that are unable to attend due to financial constraints. This is why five years ago we founded the Pick Your Picasso campaign. So far we have sent 100 kids to camp for free, and this year we hope to be able to sponsor another 20 children. 

A $60 donation sponsors one child for a week of camp, including art supplies, daily snacks, and a free Summer Arts Camp T-shirt. Any additional funds we raise through the campaign go to support our other arts educational programming, such My Vision My Voice, a six-week program that combines journalism with photography, in order to teach pre-teens and teens to tell their stories, utilizing their own voices and points of view. These programs are also free for participating students.

We honor our Pick Your Picasso donors in a printed “Thank You” article in the Ruston Daily Leader, and publish donor names on our Summer Arts Camp webpage on our website. Donors who give before April 11th, 2014 are also listed on our 2014 Summer Arts Camp t-shirts. We are nearing time to send the scholarship award letters to prospective students, so please send your Picasso donation no later than April 18. We must ensure the number of scholarships before awarding them to students.

students at a Ruston camp in 2013

It is amazing to watch how much these one-week sessions affect the lives of the children who attend them. We hope that you will consider giving a child the gift of creativity, self-confidence, and the new friendships they will gain at Summer Arts Camp this year! You may print and mail the Pick Your Picasso form (found below) to NCLAC PYP, Po Box  911, Ruston, LA 71273, or drop it off at the Dixie Center for the Arts, 212 North Vienna, Ruston. You may also donate online via paypal through our website.



SPRING IS HERE! Monroe's Downtown Gallery Crawl: Thursday, April 3, 5-9 pm

From our arts associate, Ann Bloxam Smith, in Monroe: 

After a long, cold winter, northeast Louisiana folks are ready to get out of the house and GO DOWNTOWN for the Downtown Gallery Crawl, produced by the artists of ten Downtown Arts Alliance galleries, their friends and sponsors. With nine galleries in downtown Monroe and one in downtown West Monroe, there’s lots of variety in art and other offerings—variety that provides fun for the whole family. 

The Downtown Gallery Crawl happens on the first Thursday of every other month, when northeast Louisiana has a great opportunity to see and buy high-quality visual art. Further, many of the galleries provide refreshments and live music, along with artists’ talks. Resident and guest artists are always on hand to talk with patrons about their art. Many guests simply enjoy visiting with their friends (and meeting new friends) at this joyful occasion. And while art lovers are making their way from one gallery to another, they’ll be able to enjoy the music of RIVER JAM at Bry Park on the corner of DeSiard and South Grand—more music, more variety, more fun!


Speaking of South Grand Street, that’s the location of one of Monroe’s outstanding galleries--Livaudais Gallery and Studio. Owner/artist Joli Livaudais, along with her husband Jason Grisham, will host talented photographer Ashley Feagin during the Downtown Gallery Crawl. Feagin will give an artist talk at 6 pm, followed by Q & A with attendees. Her work seeks to bridge the divide between viewer and artist. Effort is given to transform the viewer into a participant who collaborates in the storytelling process. The images she created in “Conveyance” were inspired when her “…personal life began a stage of evolution and adaptation, [and she] began wondering photographically.” She states, “I discovered that I was capturing places that felt familiar even though I had no physical/emotional connection.” Feagin’s work is featured in several books published by Vermont Photography Workplace, and she has presented lectures for the Society for Photographic Education at their regional and national conferences. Feagin received her BA in photography from McNeese State University and her MFA from Louisiana Tech University. Currently she is the Visiting Assistant Professor of Art at Albion College in Albion, Michigan.


The River Gallery (Ouachita River Art Gallery on Trenton Street in West Monroe) will feature Linda Snider Ward during the month of April, including the April 3 Downtown Gallery Crawl. Ward will be giving an artist’s talk at 6:30 pm during the Crawl. Her exhibit, Enter Equus, consists of a new series of paintings created in watercolor, acrylic, and mixed media. She states, “This new series of paintings is about the spirit of the horse, not the actual physical appearance of the horse. I want my art to reach out to the viewer….There is a quiet language without words between my horses and myself….Their beauty, grace, and intelligence inspire me.” Ward is a Louisiana artist with degrees from Louisiana Tech and the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Her work is often shown at the New Orleans Arts Market, a juried venue sponsored by the Arts Council of New Orleans. Guitarist John Farmer will be the musician during the Gallery Crawl.

Along with the DOWNSTAIRS gallery and Arender Studio on Art Alley in Monroe (North 2nd Street just off DeSiard Street), several other art galleries will be presenting a variety of original art. At 428 DeSiard Street is a new gallery, Luna Blue, owned by Kim Batteford and curated by Kelsea McCreary. Luna Blue Yoga Studio and Gallery is proud to host the works of six Louisiana Tech students who are helping to restore and improve downtown Monroe by collaborating on a mural on the side of this beautiful building. Art professor Nick Bustamante is heading up the project and guiding the students as they undertake this large-scale project. Exemplifying the talent of our local and upcoming artists are Whitney Causey, Jennifer Nasser, Mike Nelson, Jesse Suggs, Beth Dixon and Hillary Clary. Crawlers will be able to see the work, visit with the students, and view progress on the building’s mural.

At the UPSTAIRS Gallery on Art Alley, the "featured artist" is actually a duo made up of resident artist Victoria Smith and revisiting artist Betsy Putnam. Their collaborative show, Fragmented Nostalgia, will show works that both artists have had a hand in making while exploring memories. An artist talk for the collaborative show is scheduled for 7 pm the night of the Crawl. Come out and hear Victoria and Betsy explain the means behind the madness. 


Next door in the Big Room, Christen Parker with show her mixed media wonders as well as Emily Caldwell with her fantastical mixed media works and Amy Ouchley with her nature-inspired jewelry. Art Professor Joey Slaughter’s Louisiana Tech students will also be joining the gallery show with a themed display of the “young collective.”  To round out the group, ULM sculpture majors Lacy Mitcham and Ben Bennett will have works for all to see, while Ricky Sikes will show new paintings including his unique portraits. Louisiana Tech painter Nicole Johnson is a newly discovered artist who will also be exhibiting work.

On DeSiard Street, free spirits wanting a new experience should visit the Palace Gallery, where friend- of-the-Gallery Eric Sutherland will present an interactive photography display. Crowd participation will be welcomed and needed.

MAD Gallery at 130 Art Alley will present Music and Lyrics--acrylic and mixed media paintings by Melanie Douthit.  This is a playful collection of work inspired by music; as Douthit says, “Many times a song lyric will give me a visual image that I feel compelled to put on canvas.” Melanie incorporates this theme in her whimsical style with saturated colors, visual fun, and texture. “Many of my collectors use the word happy to describe my art,” says Douthit. Her paintings are in collections throughout the nation and the world, with one of the most popular being “Mardi Gras Dachshund,” which hangs in twenty-five Mimi’s Café Restaurants. Douthit has exhibited her art in various regional exhibits and galleries. She is a juried member of the River Gallery in West Monroe and was featured as the Bayou Artist for the July 2013 issue of Bayou Life magazine. As usual, MAD music during the Crawl will be provided by crowd favorite Gray Matter.

Across Art Alley from MAD Gallery is Sugar Gallery, where Burg Ransom will be showing some of his larger, gallery-wrapped, metallic photographs. Stacy Medaries will be showing new works in aluminum colored with alcohol ink, and Leah Smith Reitzell will have new acrylic paintings to show.  Mary Thompson will have new works in oil paint, and Dianne Rosenberg will display her beautiful jewelry. Scott and Crystal Stone will be showing new paintings as well.

Sponsors, led by presenter Creed and Creed Law Offices, are Monroe-West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau, Northeast Louisiana Arts Council, Sir Speedy, The News-Star, KEDM Public Radio, DeltaStyle, Louisiana Division of the Arts, Restaurant Cotton, BancorpSouth, Heck Law Firm, Rawls DeSigns, Community Trust Bank, Cross Keys Bank, Hollis and Company Jewelers, Atmos Energy Corporation, Lavalle Salomon Law Office, Warehouse Restaurant, Charles Kincade Law Office, and Marsala Beverage.

Art Talk Monday: The Search for Talent

This week's Art Talk Monday is written by John Emory, Programming Director for the Dixie Center for the Arts. 

In addition to the upcoming Dixie Horizon Entertainment Search, the Dixie stage will be busy this weekend, Saturday, March 15, with Krewe of Swing, a group of super talented jazz musicians. Tickets are on sale now, and will also be sold at the door. Admission with a Dixie season ticket, $10 general, or $5 for students. Call the Dixie Box Office for more information at (318)255-1450.


The Dixie Horizon Entertainment Search will be held on Friday, March 21 at 6:30 at the Dixie Theater in Ruston this year. Contestants from all over north Louisiana will compete for cash prizes and a chance to perform at the Joe Woods Wildwood Express Showcase. The Host for this years show will be Johnny Mohawk and The Fly N Lion. Johnny's dog, Austin, was stolen 2 years ago. Then last summer, Johnny received a call from northern California saying Austin had been found in a shelter there. Dog and owner were reunited and have since been featured at several shows in this area. Johnny is a very talented singer/songwriter and will perform at the piano as well as MC the show. Admission to the event is $7 for adults and children under 12 free. Contestants are encouraged to sign up early as it is first come first serve. Contestants may pick up an entry form at the Dixie. More information and forms are available at dixiecenter.org. The $40 entry fee and entry form is due by March 19 at 3pm. Contestants will be judged on talent, showmanship and stage presence. The top two winners will receive cash prizes of $100 and $50. And the winner goes on to appear in the Joe Wildwood Express Show April 12, 6pm For more information, contact Melinda Thigpen, Director at 318-609-1001 or email at adat71270@gmail.com. All types of acts are invited to participate!! Thanks for keeping the Dixie star shining bright!! 

Masur Museum of Art Annual Juried Competition

The 51st Annual Juried Competition at the Masur Museum of Art showcases contemporary artists throughout the United States of America working in any medium.  This year's Annual Juried Competition features 79 works of art from 42 states.   The reception* begins at 6:00 p.m. followed by a Gallery Talk by the Juror at 6:30 p.m.  The Masur is located at 1400 South Grand Street, Monroe, Louisiana, 71201  

*The reception is for members of the Twin City Art Foundation (the TCAF is the 501(c)3 that supports all Masur programming), Exhibiting Artists, and their guests.  Becoming a member of the TCAF is easy and affordable.  To become a TCAF member visit masurmuseum.org or call 318.329.2237. 

Exhibiting Artists

Paul Sisson, Arvada CO, Phillip Scarpone, Athens GA, Kristin Reeves, Muncie IN, Frank Hamrick, Ruston LA, Ricky Sikes, Downsville LA, Zachary McCauley, Ruston LA, Anna Maranise, Cordova TN, J.C. Lenochan, Orange NJ, Linda Wilson, South Bend IN, Jackie Branson, Pawling, NY, Kate Shannon, Mansfield OH, Will Holub, Groton CT, Russ White, Chicago IL, Greg Sand, Clarksville, TN, Jonathan Sherrill, Candler NC, Regina Loch-Elvert, Baton Rouge LA, Jimmy Salmon, Longview TX, Mary Margaret Morgan, Birmingham AL, Grant Newman, Lyons IL, Peter Everett, Provo UT, Peter Jones, Ruston LA, Zahra Nazari, New Paltz NY, Harriet Bellows, Wake Forest NC, Drew Nikonowicz, Saint Louis MO, Jason Nelson, Monroe LA, Anna Garner, Tucson AZ, David Howe & Anita Cruz-Eberhard, New York NY, Dianne Douglas, Ruston LA, Jenny Ellerbe, Monroe LA, Véronique Gambier, Brooklyn NY, Hannah Hiaasen, Baltimore MD, Sky Shineman, AL, Gregory Martin, Starkville MS, Keith Dull, Ashland OH, Julie Plasketes, Opelika AL, Linda LaBella, New York NY, Lucinda Cobley, Houston TX, Erin Elizabeth, Bloomington IL, Viviane Silvera, New York NY, Stanley Stalewski, Woodbury MN, Jane Ogren, Pittsburgh PA, Joe Ford, Jonesboro AR, KalinaWinska, Valdosta GA, William Tarnowski, Boston MA , KendricTonn, Wooster OH, Carole Loeffler, Philadelphia PA, Erin Fitzpatrick, Baltimore MD, Julie Crews, Ruston LA, Kathleen Thum, Liberty SC, Jong-un Choi, West Lafayette IN, Anna Valdez, San Rafael CA, Avery Falkner, Malibu CA, Carol John, Athens GA, Morgan Everhart, Denton TX, Shan Bryan-Hanson, Sturgeon Bay WI, Nadege Morey, New York NY, RhendaSaporito, Metairie LA, Christina Renfer Vogel, Chattanooga TN, Aliza Morell, Highland Park NJ, Isabel Gouveia, Lake Worth FL, Randy Akers, Savannah GA, Chloë Feldman Emison, Lee NH, Joyce Pommer, New York NY, Echo Lew, Diamond Bar CA, John Baran, Santa Barbara CA, Jave Yoshimoto, Alva OK, Michele Taber, Hershey PA, Joshua Chambers, Bossier City LA, Grace Troxell, Harrisburg PA, Marcus Michels, Hattiesburg MS, Corey Escoto, Pittsburgh PA, Benny Melton, Oxford MI, SethThibodaux, Oxford MS, Benjamin Adelmann, Chatsworth CA, Nils Hasche-Vasquez, Brooklyn NY, Sasha Waters Freyer, Richmond VA, AnjaFoerschner, Sherman Oaks CA, Taehee Kim, Conroe TX, Christopher Atkins, Minneapolis MN.

*artists in bold are regional artists, several of which are NCLAC member artists 


Kelly Shindler, Juror

Kelly Shindler has worked in the field of contemporary art programming for over ten years. She is Associate Curator at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (CAM), where she has worked with many artists including Lari Pittman, Anthony McCall, Ed Ruscha, Rosa Barba, Mika Taanila, and Josh Faught. Her current projects include solo presentations of work by Nicole Eisenman and Takeshi Murata. Prior to joining CAM, Shindler was an independent curator. In that role she organized exhibitions such as Chicago-Scope: The Films of Tom Palazzolo 1967-1976 at The Art Institute of Chicago (2010) as well as film and video programs for art spaces and festivals worldwide, including Australian Cinematheque, Brisbane; Sequences Festival, Reykjavik, Iceland; Scandinavia House, New York City; and the Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago. From 2003-2011, Shindler worked at Art21. She holds Master’s degrees in Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism, and Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

About the Masur Museum of Art

The Masur Museum of Art is the largest collecting and exhibiting institution of modern and contemporary art in Northeast Louisiana.  We are dedicated to bringing dynamic public programming to our community that emphasizes artists from Louisiana, the Southeast, and around the world.

The Masur Museum of Art is a division of the City of Monroe's Department of Community Affairs.  Exhibitions and educational programs are funded by the Twin City Art Foundation.  The Masur Museum’s mission is to provide a quality visual arts experience through temporary exhibitions, educational programs, and collections management for the citizens of Monroe and the community of Northeast Louisiana.  Supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by a grant from the Louisiana State Arts Council through the National Endowment for the Arts as well as the Louisiana Division of the Arts, the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council, CenturyLink Security Systems, Yellowbook360, and DeltaStyle