Brand new on the block is Makers Union, an artists' collective organized by architect Cassidy Keim. Makers Union is a shop & studio featuring work from artists and craftsmen in a variety of disciplines. For this year's Holiday Arts Tour, the shop will feature Jake Dugard and Joey Slaughter.
Jake Dugard is a designer and 3rd year MFA candidate at Louisiana Tech. Jake is working to erase the line between fine art and design. Like most kids growing up, Jake wanted to be an astronaut or a professional athlete, but he always enjoyed writing and illustrating stories. It wasn’t until a visit to Louisiana Tech University in 2005 that Dugard learned about design. Four years later, he graduated with his BA in Communication Design and started working full time for a marketing firm and as freelance designer. Now he's back in school for his Master's Degree in Communication Design, is a partner in Makers Union, is an active member of Guild (the design club for Tech's School of Art), and is married to Stephanie Dugard, another artist on this year's Tour. Jake is responsible for the brand new logo for the Arts Tour this year that's at the bottom of this post. Last year he was at Rumo's, and screen printed on site, which was a big hit. He also had some Ruston map prints that sold like hot cakes. I'm ready to see what he'll have this year!
Joey Slaughter is Associate Professor of Art and Graduate Program Coordinator at Louisiana Tech. He's also my husband, which makes this post sort of hard to write. Joey is a maker that crosses boundaries. He makes paintings and sculptures, but not in the traditional sense. He's involved in the "new" blending of digital and traditional, where laser cutters and Illustrator factor into his work as much as paintbrushes and pencils. His work is inspired by our modern world and the technology we use to communicate. Before I gush I'll give an example: we renovated a house last year. He used old door frames, original paint and all, to make frames for assemblages. These frames were seamlessly integrated into the art pieces themselves, which depicted contemporary imagery that he designed based on instruction manuals. They were basically 3D wooden paintings, and I really liked them. Now, I'll move on before I sound biased...
Rumo's Barber Shop is a stop on the Tour again this year, with Rachel Johnston and Bethany Raybourn. Rumo's is a good-looking barber shop, and that's just how you feel after you leave from getting a cut or color....or hot towel shave I suppose. Their tag line is the barber shop evolved, and that's an apt description. The crew there includes, among others, the Moore brothers, Ross and Russell, and they're always friendly and ready to help (like when your son cuts his own hair...)
Rachel Johnston is a fiber artist who spins her own wool into yarn. Yes--she does. From a big fleece from a sheep. And it's really neat. (And she's going to do a demonstration on Saturday of the Tour!) Rachel will have hand-spun yarns for sale, that she colors with natural dyes, as well as cold process soap and other small fiber-based items. Rachel hasn't participated with Holiday Arts Tour before, but she has worked with NCLAC, both as a former guest blog writer (Art Ed Wednesday) and Summer Arts Camp teacher. She says much of her work "lies in the gray area between art and craft;" she is passionate about her artisan skills, and keeping these historical traditions alive. Rachel is a caring individual, and has many volunteer projects under her belt, including nine trips to Latin America with humanitarian organizations. These trips inspired beautiful projects Rachel planned for students at Arts Camp last summer.
Bethany Raybourn will be on site Friday night, 11/22, from 5-8 playing her guitar and singing those songs of hers...you know...those SONGS....beautiful and haunting and perfect. I truly love her voice and her lyrics and I'm thrilled she's joining the Tour again this year. Her style is nestled in there with indie, folk, and alt-country. You may have seen Bethany play with the Goodness Gracious at ARToberfest or other places around town. And then you may know her from her previous life as a server at Sundown Tavern. Bethany's day-job now is as an English teacher in Farmerville, and she also worked with NCLAC this summer on the daily coordination of Summer Arts Camps.
Holiday Arts Tour this year is November 21-24. Here is the complete schedule.
Holiday Arts Tour is supported in part by a grant from Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council as administered by the Shreveport Regional Arts Council.