Today's Tour Stop post is written by guest writer Sallie Rose Hollis, NCLAC Board Member and retired LA Tech Journalism Professor
The art of today's featured tour artists will be displayed in stores that are side-by-side on Trenton Street: Turbo Goat Sporting Goods and Turbo Goat Bicycle Shop, both at 301 N. Trenton.
Shawn Hood has been enamored with cameras since she was 8 years old and has moved from someone who just loves taking pictures to a professional photographer who captures the wonderment of the world. The names of her various genres speak volumes: Louisiana Outback, Gems of America and Natural World, to cite a few.
"My art is not thematic as much as it is based on an immersion into the world around me," she says. "I am continuously documenting the experiences that provoke me to think, feel and love. A lonely and deserted alleyway can inspire me in much the same way as a majestic mountain … I am continuously documenting the experiences that provoke me to think, feel and love … I like the vibrant colors that nature gives us and I try to capture that. I love to use black and white photography as a means to express solitude, desertion, and the forgotten side of life … I want to fuel the imagination that allows an audience to tell their own version of a story."
In addition to her "art photography," Shawn also enjoys portrait, wedding and event photography.
Ruston's only downtown sporting goods store, Turbo Goat Sporting Goods, will be home for Shawn's photographs during the Tour.
The companion store, Turbo Goat Bicycle Shop, will feature the fairy-tale art of Whitney Caskey. Her fascination with drawing at a young age led to painting – and then while enrolled at Louisiana Tech, she began to move toward photography, which is now her main focus. Regardless of medium, a strong sense of narrative is found throughout her work, a narrative that viewers are allowed to decipher for themselves.
Whitney's love of stories – again, from when she was a small child – has influenced her work greatly. Indeed, she likens her work to Neverland. "Anything is possible in a story," she says. "Gravity can be reversed with a mere flick of the wrist. A simple picture frame can become a portal into another dimension … However, a childlike sense of imagination often comes with irrational fears. Fear that a monster could reside under your bed, or a boogeyman is sleeping in your closet. My work explores both sides of imagination: the dreams and the nightmares."
Whitney often places herself in her photographs, in many diverse scenes and situations and alternate realities.
In addition to serving as the locale for Whitney's Neverland during the Tour, visitors to the shop can enjoy the juggling of Bill Deese there on Saturday afternoon. Additionally, Turbo Goat Bicycle Shop is your local source for bicycles and skate decks.