HAT: Create! at Kelly Moore Bag

Our block is becoming a hub of activity with two new neighbors who renovated and moved in next door to the Dixie Center for the Arts. One of these is Kelly Moore Bag.  Kelly Moore Clark is a Ruston-gal who has Nicole Duet

made quite a career for herself, first as a photographer, and now as a bag designer. Her new brick and mortar store is a beautiful space, with a super-tall ceiling and exposed brick walls. For her first year with Holiday Arts Tour, she will host Nicole Duet and Stephanie Dugard, as well as the Olsen String Trio on Friday.

Nicole Duet is an artist originally from New Orleans and currently working as Assistant Professor of Drawing and Painting at the School of Art at Louisiana Tech University. Duet received her MFA in Drawing and Painting from California State University Long Beach and was awarded the College of Liberal Arts highest honor for Distinguished Achievement in Creative Activity. Teaching credits include Otis College of Art and Design, California State University Northridge and ongoing summer classes for the animation union at the American Animation Institute in Los Angeles. Nicole has exhibited paintings and drawings in museums and galleries on both coasts and nationwide. Her work is included in several private collections and the public collections of California State University Long Beach and Los Angeles City College.

Nicole's statement says, "We are made to feel our own presence in the act of seeing. My paintings begin from the point of view that the challenge of seeing the self, the world, and others relates to the difficulty of knowing the self, the world, and others....For me, the interplay between the painted and the photographed, between the seen and the sensory experience is mysterious and fascinating. I am drawn to photograph, and then subsequently paint moments where an underlying pulse of possibility hovers at the edges of what we immediately recognize. At these liminal moments it is possible for us to become lost, transformed, or transported by the act of seeing. Painting is a way of finding my way through and communicating the indefiniteness of experience."

On a personal note, I think Nicole's oil paintings are a textbook definition for "beautiful use of light." They are luminous and lovely. Her drawings are amazing as well, capturing moments in the lives of people she loves.

Stephanie Dugard is an artist who has a line of items called Teal Annie. She re-uses cast-off items in fun, new ways. For last year's Arts Tour she sold her handmade jewelry. Stephanie turns such things as vintage bracelets and broken bits into brand-spanking new necklaces and earrings. They're fun and funky (and I'd really like one of these!)

Stephanie Dugard

Stephanie says, "Teal Annie originated from my desire to create and produce things with a unique story. The name is pretty simple...Teal because I like the color and Annie because Ann is my middle name as well as the parrallel with orphan Annie (I like her and orphans! ;) I enjoy fashioning the old with the new into unique pieces that have a special story. My favorite mediums to use are old existing fabrics and materials.  At this time the heart of my craft revolves around creating goods and donating a percentage of the profits to friends who are adopting a child."  This is the site for the adoption of which Stephanie is speaking, which has a shirt designed by Jake Dugard, Stephanie's husband, who is another of the artists on this year's Holiday Arts Tour. Talented family, huh?

For the Tour this year Stephanie will be selling her apparel items, which are  cut, dyed, reassembled and embellished. She has items for little girls and ladies, too.

There's another special treat at Kelly Moore Bag, as the Olsen String Trio will be performing on Friday, Nov. 22, from 5-8pm. These three talented young sisters will be playing classical and pop string music. Catherine, Leah and Sophie will perform short sets so that they can speak with Tour-goers about their music during breaks.

So, mark your calendar for this year's Tour, November 21-24, and be sure to stop in at Kelly Moore Bag, 204 North Vienna in downtown Ruston.

Teal Annie, by Stephanie Dugard

drawing by Nicole Duet

Teal Annie, by Stephanie Dugard

painting by Nicole Duet