The work of seven North Louisiana artists is currently featured in the first area "gallery" to be spotlighted in the annual Louisiana Public Broadcasting Art and Travel Auction. Two other artists' work was slated to be in the gallery but was sold in the preview party held immediately before the online auction began. Artwork by Lana Langston and Lisa Mullikin was purchased at "LPB Art Rocks" Sept. 30. Additionally, a piece by one of the artists now showing online sold at the preview party – Whitney Anderson Caskey, who donated multiple items. A previous blog entry http://nclac.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/lpb-auction-to-exhibit-nclac-members/ explained how the gallery came to be, with the help of NCLAC board member Catherine McVea and Ruston resident Donna Ewing. McVea explained that a gallery in the LPB event features artists from the same locale or who are connected in some other way.
The "North Central Louisiana Arts Council – Dixie Center for the Arts – Ruston, La." gallery is one of approximately 20 galleries in the event that features 200 artists. Online bids for the donated works can be made at www.lpb.org/auction, and an exhibition at the Louisiana State Museum in downtown Baton Rouge through Oct. 15 also features the artwork. The statewide auction will be televised live Oct. 27.
Artists chosen for the Ruston gallery are as follows, listed with their donations and comments concerning their artwork, their reasons for donating and/or biographical information:
Mary Louise Carter, porcelain vase: "LPB enhances our community by bringing us quality programming not available through commercial television. Because LPB supports the arts, it is only right that artists should give back! Also, I currently have a show up at the Glassell Gallery located at the Shaw Center for the Arts in Baton Rouge. I appreciate the opportunity to gain exposure in South Louisiana."
Whitney Anderson Caskey, two photo/paintings (one sold at preview party) and an oil painting: "I have submitted three paintings that best exemplify the different directions that my art has been going. My work right now involves both photography and painting, so I included a little of both. I really enjoy the idea of a narrative, so each artwork involves a scene of some kind … (One) is a scene of the woods near my house that involves a hint of surrealism."
Josh Chambers, acrylic on paper: "The stories I create are presented through cryptic tableaus inspired by my personal life. The viewer is to use his or her own perceptions of the symbols to extrapolate underlining themes and create an entertaining narrative. In both painting and printmaking drawing plays a key role in the outcome of the artwork. I prefer the immediacy of painting with acrylic and drawing with ink."
Patricia T. Jones, oil sketch on board landscape: "As winter settled on the landscape and outdoors grew colder, I started painting the view from my studio windows. I did a series showing what I was seeing during the fall and winter months. My husband is in the wood business so he glues up maple panels that I paint on. I love the natural 'tone ground' that the wood gives and use it many times with my landscape pieces."
Peter Jones, oil panel still life: "I donated the work because I feel very strongly that public broadcasting should be actively supported and also because it provided an opportunity to highlight, by participating in a special gallery in the sale, the wealth of talent we have in this area. People from outside of our region need to discover that Ruston is a wonderful artists’ community."
Lana Langston, intaglio print (sold at preview party): "I submitted an intaglio print of a dragonfly wing titled 'Flight.' My work is inspired by patterns within nature. I am interested in their intricacies and structure. I grew up in a St. Francisville but moved to Ruston in 2007, where I pursued a degree at Louisiana Tech in Studio Art."
Catherine McVea, oil on canvas landscape: "We thought that a group of us exhibiting as a gallery in the auction would make a strong impression and increase awareness that North Louisiana has a lot of talented artists and craftsmen. For us as individuals and as an area it is an opportunity for publicity that we would never otherwise have."
Lisa Mullikin, oil on canvas board landscape (sold at preview party): "I'm an architect and teacher at Louisiana Tech. I began painting several years ago but last year took a course with (now retired) Tech professor Peter Jones. At that point I really began to see how painting could bring me complete joy - standing out in the world and trying to capture that spirit, the beautiful light, all the millions of things that are happening at that moment. That is my motivation and my goal."
Alexis Wreden, oil on canvas board: "I live in the woods in Ruston, Louisiana. The painting I donated is a study of trees in those woods. I’ve been watching Public Television for over 30 years. I used to practice yoga with Lilias Folan (do you remember her?) when was in college and I’m still practicing. So thanks to PBS I’m in good shape! When I think of LPB and Public Television in general, the word imagination comes to my mind. The programming is so compelling."