For the first time, a gallery of North Louisiana artists will be featured in the annual Louisiana Public Broadcasting Art and Travel Auction. Nine local artists will be spotlighted in the "North Central Louisiana Arts Council –DixieCenterfor the Arts –Ruston,La." gallery. They will join artists in approximately 20 other "galleries" and 200 other artists in the statewide auction, which will be televised live Oct. 27.
Donated works will be available for online bidding beginning Sept. 30 at www.lpb.org/auction and will be part of an
exhibition at theLouisianaStateMuseumin downtownBaton Rougefrom that evening through Oct. 15.
Catherine McVea, NCLAC corresponding secretary, explained that a gallery in this event features artists from the same locale or who are connected in some other way. McVea began the project afterRustonresident and LPB board member Donna Ewing approached her. Additional LPB and NCLAC board members helped bring the project to fruition.
"We thought that a group of us exhibiting as a gallery in the auction would make a strong impression and increase awareness thatNorth Louisianahas a lot of talented artists and craftsmen," McVea said. "For us as individuals and as an area it is an opportunity for publicity that we would never otherwise have."
McVea said the gallery name comes from the fact that NCLAC's offices are located in the historical building in downtownRustonthat houses theDixieCenterfor the Arts.
Kate Bradshaw, LPB's art auction manager, said activities kick off in theStateMuseumfrom 7-9 p.m. Sept. 30 with an opening titled LPB Art Rocks, which she termed "a celebration for artists and art lovers of all ages." In addition to visual art, attendees can partake in live music, performance art, food and spirits. "It's also a great venue for potential buyers to examine the pieces and meet the talented artists," Bradshaw said.
Concerning the live auction on Oct. 27, McVea said, "It's kind of fun to see your name in lights and to have your name on TV. People watch it from many places, and it heightens awareness of our whole community." She plans to make the gallery an ongoing project, featuring different artists each year.
The live event will be telecast on LPB channels inAlexandria,Baton Rouge,Lafayette,Lake Charles,Monroe,New OrleansandShreveport.
Participating local artists this year, listed with their contributions, are as follows:
Mary Louise Carter, porcelain vase; Whitney Anderson Caskey, two photo/paintings and an oil painting; Josh Chambers, acrylic on paper; Patricia T. Jones, oil sketch on board landscape; Peter Jones, oil panel still life; Lana Langston, intaglio print; Catherine McVea, oil on canvas landscape; Lisa Mullikin, oil on canvas board landscape; and Alexis Wreden, oil on canvas board.
Several of the pieces focus on scenes from theRuston area.
All the artists spoke passionately about their support and love of LPB and why they are donating to an event in which they claim none of the monetary rewards.
Caskey's viewpoint spans her entire lifetime: "I was recently given an assignment that basically asked, 'Why are you an artist?' After much deliberation … I decided that one of my biggest reasons was the television shows that I watched on LPB as a child. The emphasis on reading, music and art have impacted me tremendously, and I could not be where I am today without it. It only makes sense for me to give back to something that has given so much to me."