HAT: Create! at the Dixie Center for the Arts

This year is the 16th annual Holiday Arts Tour for NCLAC, and we have a wonderful year lined up. I'll start our "HAT web tour" at the Dixie Center for the Arts, corner of Alabama and North Vienna in downtown Ruston, where the Tour itself will begin on November 21-24. Tour-goers should make their first stop at the DCA to view the group exhibition, sponsored by Landry Vineyards, featuring each of the participating Holiday Arts Tour artists. You'll be able to see the well-crafted variety of works available, from calligraphy to photography, handmade books to oil paintings, soaps to wood-turned jewelry. In addition to the exhibition at the Dixie Center, there will also be a voting box for the People's Choice Winner. In an effort to reward our talented artists, we will be offering two awards this year: Juror's Choice and People's Choice. Upon looking at the Dixie Center exhibition, and/or after making stops at each Tour site, be sure to cast your vote for your favorite artist. Awards will be announced at the end-of-Tour artists' party on Saturday.

The Tour will begin again this year on Thursday, in partnership with the City of Ruston's Main Street Christmas Open House. Artwork will be on display for special Open House hours of 5-8pm. Stop in and visit with merchants and get a jump on the weekend.

Friday's Tour hours will be 4-8, so you'll have time to head downtown after work. At the Dixie Center, Landry Vineyards, north Louisiana's own vineyard and winery, will be holding a wine tasting. Artists will be on site in each Holiday Arts Tour location, ready to chat about their work. From 5-8pm at seven downtown Tour sites, musicians will be performing for visitors. These will be small ensembles who perform short sets so that you may talk with them about their music. At Pastry Moon, there will also be a round-robin style Poetry Reading at 6pm.

Saturday will be the big shopping day, with artists present in each of the Tour sites from 11-5. Many will be offering demonstrations, such as screen printing, spinning, flint napping, and calligraphy. Holiday Arts Tour is really a special event, as it gives you a unique opportunity in a relaxed setting to see and hear about art processes that may be unfamiliar.

Sunday will be a special day for the family. Three studios will be offering Sprout Sunday activities, which are free art projects for children. Stitchville, Brush Hour and Pastry Moon will each offer a unique activity for Tour-goers from 1-4pm. When Tour hours end, head over to the Dixie Center for the Arts for a free Community Variety Show at 4:30. Dancing, singing, theatre and more will be on the Dixie Center stage as a perfect ending to a big extended weekend. This is your perfect opportunity to check out the beautiful Dixie Center Theatre if you haven't been in in a while.

Artwork from the Tour will make wonderful gifts; how much better to spend your holiday shopping money in locally owned businesses?!

Here are the sites and artists included in the Tour this year. We will be posting about each of the sites with descriptions of the artists in the coming days. Check in here to stay in the know!

Dixie Center for the Arts featuring a Holiday Arts Tour Group Exhibition, sponsored by Landry Vineyards. Wine tasting on Friday. Community Variety Show on Sunday.HAT2013_PostCardFRONT

Makers Union, featuring  Jake Dugard and Joey Slaughter. Screenprinting demonstration on Saturday.

Kelly Moore Bag, featuring Nicole Duet and Stephanie Dugard. Olsen String Trio on Friday.

Serendipity, featuring  Leigh Buffington. Grace Notes Quartet on Friday.

Lewis Boutique, featuring Christiane Drieling.

Chartreuse Pear, featuring Dorene Kordal.

Embellishments, featuring Suzy Berry and Shannan Inman. Calligraphy demonstration.

The Frame Up, featuring Hooshang Khorasani.

House of Flowers and the Cake Shoppe, featuring Julie Crews and Casey Parkinson.

Sundown Tavern, featuring Todd Cloe and Emily Ezell. Ken Carter Quartet on Friday.

The Fabric Shop, featuring an embroidery class on Thursday and a quilting class on Saturday.

Rodeo Boutique, featuring Whitney Caskey

Patton's Downtown, featuring Allen Tuten and Geri Taylor. Cain Budds on Friday.

Rogers Furniture and Gifts, featuring Cindy Gibson and Julie Roane.

Fine Line Art Supply and Stitchville, featuring MC Davis and Frank Hamrick. Elizabeth Vidos on Friday.

Pastry Moon, featuring Bonnie Ferguson, Lora Lee and Frank Kelley, Jr. Poetry Reading on Friday.

Rumo's Barber Shop, featuring Rachel Johnston. Bethany Raybourn on Friday. Spinning demo on Saturday.

Turbo Goat, featuring Peter Hay.

The Lodge, featuring Sonny Monteleone. Fred Beavers and Sara Sullivan on Friday.

Studio 301, featuring work by Kit Gilbert.

Art Innovations, featuring an on-site art installation.

Percussive Arts Institute of Ruston, featuring sculpture created during a collaborative workshop.

Townsend House Gifts, featuring Laura Glen Lawson and Michelle McGeehee.

NCLAC's 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.

Member news, and other regional art updates and opportunities

It's spring, and the whirlwind of activity has my spirit full. Today's post is full as well, so let's get started with the news!

Member News:

First up, Hooshang Khorasani currently has a solo exhibition in Bossier City at 1800 Prime in Boomtown Casino, as part of Bossier Arts Council's exhibition series. His April 4 reception includes wine-tasting and a $15 entry fee.

Jerry Berg, of Louisiana Tech University, will be exhibiting at Livaudais Studio in Monroe for the April 4 Downtown Gallery Crawl. New works will be shown for this one night only event, and Jerry will give an artist's talk at 6pm.

Congratulations to Christiane Drieling of Brush Hour Studio, who has been hired to teach art at Montessori School of Ruston. If your child attends Montessory School of Ruston, they will learn so much from Christiane.

Jake Dugard, from Louisiana Tech's SoA Graduate program, will be interning at Hatch Show Print this summer in Nashville. Way to go, Jake!

Dorene Kordal of Fabulous Felt has been invited on an all expenses paid trip to Peru Moda because of her award winning wool felt stitch sampler. Peru--whoo-hoo! AND, Dorene will be blogging about her experience here on our blog upon her return.

At the Louisiana Tech Annual Student Show, currently on display in the School of Art, three NCLAC members won Red River Paper Honorable Mention Awards: Sophia Maras (our recently-moved Gallery Coordinator), Peter Hay and Casey Parkinson. Congratulations!

Next, our very own technical writing intern, Jennifer Downs, was awarded the opportunity to present a paper at the Sigma Tau Delta conference in Portland, Oregon last week. We are proud for you!

Calls for Entry:

Interactive Art Exhibition presented by Alexandria Museum of Art Friday, May 10, 2013, 4–9pm & Saturday, May 11, 2013, 9am–7pm SUBMISSION DEADLINE: April 11, 2013 Alexandria Museum of Art is seeking artists to participate in the first annual Interactive Art Exhibition taking place on public sidewalks, green spaces, and streets along the riverfront area of downtown Alexandria during the 2013 Annual Louisiana Dragon Boat Races™. Drawing over 10,000 attendees and 1,000 race participants, Louisiana Dragon Boat Races™ on the scenic Red River viewed from the amphitheater in downtown Alexandria, Louisiana is a spirited day of racing features more teams, food, elaborate costumes, and entertainment on and off the water than ever before. The Interactive Art Exhibition presented by Alexandria Museum of Art will feature art that is highly interactive and invites participation, inspired by local community themes and the spirit of the Louisiana Dragon Boat Races™. Artists will have an opportunity to create new work, showcase their creativity to a large audience, and interact with the public, alongside food vendors, live music, and race spectators. Interactive art may require human interaction to complete the piece; involve the community and the audience in its creation; prompt the viewer to act; incorporate multi-sensory elements; prompt people to interact with one another; respond to participants and its environment; cause people to reflect on the larger community; respond to the community’s culture, needs, and environment in an innovative and unique way. Honorariums in varying amounts will be awarded to each selected artist or collective. For more information on how to submit a proposal: https://www.facebook.com/events/478623825526828/

NCLAC's is now accepting artist entries for our exhibition spaces at Crescent City, Dixie Center Lobby, the Bridge Project with Bossier Arts Council, and early notification for large group shows in a new space being renovated at Louisiana Tech University's Student Center. Here is more information. The application is available in 'the box' at the bottom of your screen.Big_News_clip_art_88125135_std.329233502_std


The Twin City Art Foundation and the Masur Museum of Art are asking artists to help with our annual fundraiser. The Off-the-Wall Fundraiser will include a silent auction. Please consider contributing a work of art to this important cause! The money raised will help fund upcoming exhibitions, educational outreach, and educational programming for adults and children. It's your last chance to participate in this worthwhile and, frankly, very fun event! See more details here.

NCLAC's Keep the Arts Afloat fundraiser is here! This annual event makes the arts council possible. We sell only 250 tickets, for $100 donations, and then we give away $5000. It's great odds, and it's a great way to make a tax-deductible donation. See any NCLAC board member to make your donation and get your ticket, call our office t 255-1450, or stop by the Dixie Center for the Arts at 212 North Vienna, Monday-Thursday from 9-3.

Secrets of an Arts Administrator

“Secrets of an Arts Adminstrator” will be a weekly blog post featuring anecdote from regional administrators/educators in the creative field.  It is NCLAC’s hope that through these real life experiences artists in all fields can gain practical knowledge for the industry.  As the famous author C.S. Lewis once said “Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.” Topic Three: Just Apply

This is less of a life experience and more of a soap box post.  So excuse me as this little lady steps up and gives her opinion.  Currently the Louisiana Division of the Arts is taking applications for Career Advancement Grants for Artists.  I've been blabbing about this grant since I got the first announcement email and I feel like I am beating a dead horse but here goes again...

Apply.  http://www.crt.state.la.us/arts/guidelines2012-ca.aspx

Now for my soap box, these grant monies are available because people in the arts administrative world work for it.  They lobby, argue, and write defending the importance of art and money for individual artists.  They talk about it so much and so intensely they often find themselves yelling at complete strangers. (Okay, maybe not all of them but I have definitely yelled at a few people and not all of them were strangers.)  They work because they think your work is important, so important that they believe you deserve extra funding just to produce  it.  So if you are a visual artist, dancer, actor, musician, writer, or media artist APPLY.

Do it.  Your work is important and what you do deserves funding.

This weeks post is by Leigh Anne Chambers, Executive Director of the North Central Louisiana Arts Council.  

NCLAC is supported in part by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council. Funding has also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal agency.

NCLAC Member Frank Hamrick releases handmade book "Letter Never Sent"

 "Letter Never Sent" is Frank Hamrick's latest handmade book. 

Front Cover

Text from the book:

Some of the photographs in this book were made in Georgia and Louisiana, but most were made in Florida while helping Charlotte Lee develop film her father, Bud, exposed but never processed. Thanks for posing, Charlotte. Macon York helped identify the wooden letterpress type Jay Gould brought down from Minnesota. Jim Sherraden at Hatch Show Print has provided much guidance in person and over the phone. Thanks, Betsy Williamson, for encouraging me to make this book.

On the back cover of the book is this line from the letter, "Do you remember the trees we cut Charlottes Chairdown for fires we never burned?"
This first hardcover edition of Letter Never Sent is limited to 25 copies. A soft cover edition of 12 copies and 1 artist's proof preceded this hardcover edition. The images and text are inkjet and Laserjet printed on 50lb., double-sided, matte, Red River paper. Ruben is the title's typeface. The covers are cotton rag paper handmade at the University of Georgia's Green Street Press. The cover text was printed on an etching press at Louisiana Tech University using a polymer plate produced by Boxcar Press.


Purchasing Details

“Letter Never Sent”, can be bought online at:
Or checks can be sent to:
Frank Hamrick
PO Box 3175
Ruston, LA 71272
“Letter Never Sent” hardback, first edition is $60.00 plus $5.00 for shipping in the U.S. 
For More info, visit:

Homegrown: Holiday Arts Tour 2011

Homegrown will be a weekly post highlighting our Holiday Arts Tour artists. NCLAC would like to celebrate the artists living in our own backyard whether they were raised here, relocated, or just like to visit enough to call Ruston home. This years Holiday Arts Tour will be November 18, 19, & 20th. Watch here for more information and tour locations. This weeks post will be about Hooshang Khorasani long time tour participant and NCLAC member.


Hooshang is an internationally exhibited artist who maintains working studios inRuston,LA, andOrange County,CA. His background includes a BFA in painting, plus 12 years as a graphic designer and award-winning illustrator. He has worked as a self-employed artist inAmericaandSpainsince 1984. His paintings are displayed in private collections across Europe and theU.S.as well as in several corporate collections. They are included in the permanent collection of the Lake Eustis Museum of Art.

 Hooshang's work reflects a bold contemporary style, with hues alternating between muted and highly energized. His paintings are in acrylic and mixed media, and range from brushwork to washes to work with a palette knife. He paints on canvas and paper.

This award-winning painter (multiple Best of Show honors) has been featured in numerous exhibits, galleries and museums. For example, he was spotlighted in solo exhibitions at Church Street Gallery,Rockport,TX;Taylor's Contemporanea Fine Arts,Hot Springs,AR; Keathley University Center Gallery,MiddleTennesseeStateUniversity,Murfreesboro; andUniversityCenterArtGallery, LSU-Shreveport. Current affiliations include The Cottage Gallery inLaguna Beach,CA, and Xanadu Gallery inScottsdale,AZ.His work has been shown at such museums as theYellowstoneArt Museum,Billings,MT; Museum of Science & Industry,Tampa,FL; Fort Collins (CO)Museum; and Alexandria (LA)MuseumofArt.

 His works have also been featured in books such as Studio Visit, Masters of Today and New Art International. Bentley Publishing Group has published 32 of his works.


Abstract work:

For me, "abstract" is a feeling that finally turns into a form - a form that flows. I paint in layers, adding texture, but it’s as if the paint itself takes part in the creative process.  I’m the tour guide on the journey, but there’s another participant:  My hands are virtually channeled into a universal source of energy.  And that energy, in turn, pulses through the brushes and artist tools.

Equine work:

My equine paintings are part of a study of running horses.  All areas of these paintings are designed to make the horses gallop ahead, trying to escape from the canvas.  Every single color shows moving energy; each color cooperates with the next to handle this performance of power.  I want these horses to run for a while and to let the viewers witness that.


NCLAC: Who is your favorite artist and why? 

HOOSHANG:  Johannes Vermeer – because of his usage of light, the feeling of calmness that his paintings evoke, and the beautiful colors.  The look of his paintings show that he was a good artist at that time, and you still enjoy that feeling today.  "The Milkmaid" is one of my favorites.

NCLAC:  Is there any major change in your life you’ve always wished for but feel you can’t attain?

HOOSHANG:  Having working studios in several big cities throughout the world.

NCLAC:  What is your favorite book, television show, website, and/or magazine?

HOOSHANG:  My favorite TV shows and movies are cartoons.  Maybe it's because of the art aspect associated with them – in addition to the humor, of course.

NCLAC is supported in part by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, Funding has also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal agency.  In addition funding for the Holiday Arts Tour is supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council and administered by the Shreveport Regional Arts Council

Homegrown: 2011 Holiday Arts Tour

Homegrown will be a weekly post highlighting our Holiday Arts Tour artists.  NCLAC would like to celebrate the artists living in our own backyard whether they were raised here, relocated, or just like to visit enough to call Ruston home.   This years Holiday Arts Tour will be November 18, 19, & 20th.  Watch here for more information and tour locations. This weeks post is about Adrian Dean Gipson a Louisiana Native who is currently calling Ruston home while attending Louisiana Tech University.


Adrian Dean Gipson was born in Natchitoches, Louisiana and raised in Monroe, Louisiana.  He showed an interest and talent for art at an early age. Always encouraged by teachers, family and peers to pursue a career in art, he completed his Bachelors of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in communication design at the University of Louisiana at Monroe in May of 2007. Adrian is currently a Masters of Fine Arts candidate at Louisiana Tech University, with an expected graduation date of May 2012. His art uses a combination of organic and geometric abstract shapes to depict narratives concerning the processes of non-linear thinking and human creation.


My work deals with the concept of growth, progression and adaptation and how they occur along the path of life and invention. The birthplace of many ideas and solutions is reverie. These moments of reverie, which often take place during familiar and repetitive tasks, allow our brains to create ideas and solve problems. It starts at reverie, then moves into the idea or solution, and then finally the production. What once existed mentally migrates into the physical world and can be experienced by others. Along this path an idea may encounter unpredictable problems that must be adapted to. This adaptation and development occurs both in invention and life.

The finished piece starts as a group of loose sketches that is narrowed down through elimination. After choosing the strongest composition, I move onto my surface and medium of choice. Once there, I allow the composition to grow and change as needed. I use limited color palettes because the restricted choices make for stronger color composing. The geometric shapes reference the synthetic, while the organic shapes reference the living and natural. I use vibrant colors to represent movement and growth, and dark colors to represent the dormant. The repetition is used to guide the viewer along a path of progression. I want the viewer to see a clear sequence, and along with the man-made and natural references distinguish their own narrative.


NCLAC:  Who is your favorite artist and why?

GIPSON:  Vincent Van Gogh, because of the expession in his lines.

NCLAC:  How does doing art make you feel?

GIPSON: Focused and at ease.

NCLAC:  What gem of advice would you like to share that someone shared with you?

GIPSON:  If you are going to do something do it right, or not at all. 


NCLAC is supported in part by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, Funding has also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal agency.  In addition funding for the Holiday Arts Tour is supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council and administered by the Shreveport Regional Arts Council

NCLAC Member's Exhibit at Barnwell


 Beginning August 25, 2011, and ending October 9, 2011, the Barnwell Garden & Art Centeris pleased to present Cory Carlson and his “Natural Impressions”.   Mr. Carlson is an accomplished artist and show cases his amazing talent in the Main Gallery of the BarnwellGarden & ArtCenter.  Painting the Spirit of the Wild portrays nature’s timeless beauty and energy with his extraordinary wildlife paintings.  Carlson’s goals as a painter are clear when he says, “it’s not enough to just paint a good likeness.  I want my viewers to feel the emotions, struggles and triumphs of living free.”

Through Carlson’s personal travels and experiences he is able to bring such beauty and depth to his subjects.  From the wetlands of theAmericasto the sprawling African jungles, Carlson carefully observes wildlife in its natural environment, capturing rare moments with his skills in photography and sketching.  Bringing the beauty of Nature and the sense of freedom into people’s lives is Carlson’s primary artistic motivation.  Carlson recently discussed his motivation and amazing gift, when he replied “I’ve always been an artist as long as I can remember and I think I was born with a paint brush in my hand.”

Carlson began a lifelong devotion to art when he was a small boy.  His first painting sold at the age of thirteen, becoming a professional portrait artist by his fifteenth birthday.  Carlson has a bachelor of fine arts degree and is the recipient of several best of show awards.  Today his work is found in numerous corporate and private collections around the world.  Carlson’s work recently was selected as one of only 75 artists chosen from over 40,000 entries to be included in the 2011 book “Best of America Oil Artists.” 

Laura Glen Carlson is a creative jewelry maker whose love of nature’s graceful beauty is expressed through the art of sculpting precious metals into unique pieces of jewelry.  Her goals as a fine craft artist are clear when she says, “I want the people who wear my jewelry to feel a connection to the jewelry and know the piece was handmade with love and care.  She believes this sense of connectivity is achieved through the synergy of seeking balance and harmony between metal and stone in a fluid, organic style. 

Through her travels with her husband, the renowned wildlife artist, Cory Carlson, she finds fresh inspiration for her pieces from the natural world.  Expressing an element of timeless grace, Laura creates interesting pieces of jewelry expressing the flowing rhythms of life.

 Laura Glen participates in various shows and festivals, while winning numerous awards.  Her work is available in a selected number of galleries, including the Store at the Barnwell.  She has been interviewed by Louisiana Public Radio and has been featured in several newspapers and magazines including Louisiana Life magazine.  She is a member of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi, North Central Louisiana Arts Council, and the Louisiana Craft Guild.

NCLAC Member to Exhibit

NCLAC Member Melanie Douthit recently became a juried member of the Ouachita River Art Gallery in West Monroe, Louisiana. Ouachita River Art Gallery is the oldest and largest co-op guild in Louisiana and boasts 29 regional artists that include oil, watercolor, acrylic and mixed media artists, photographers, wood turners, potters, jewelry crafters and fused glass artisans. Melanie’s work includes French Quarter architecture scenes, vibrant florals and whimsical narrative collage pieces. She will be displaying her newest pieces at the Downtown Gallery Crawl on Thursday, October 6 from 5-9pm. The gallery is located a 308 Trenton Street, West Monroe, LA. The gallery is open Tuesday-Saturdays from 10am-5pm.

Q&Art with Russell Pirkle

This week: Neil Keen, co-owner of The Black Box, the new coffee shop/theatre in downtown Ruston. [wpvideo FkiQXNuu]

 When's your opening date?

 Well, we're shooting for this Friday. Don't know if we'll make that or not, but that's what we're shooting for.

 What's your hours of operation going to be?

 Monday through Friday, 7 in the morning to 11 at night, and Sunday noon to 10.

 What sort of theme or idea were you going for with the design of the place?

 Well it's a little more laid back, kind of warehouse chic look. We want it to be different from most places in Ruston, which it is. It's a little more contemporary. But it's still cozy. It's very cavey and dark. Real homey. It's pretty secluded. We've got that nice, solid wall between us and the street. So it blocks out all the sound and a lot of the light. We've got this unbelievable patio back here, which is perfect. So we're just kind of going with that. We wanted to focus on the coffee shop, with the theatre productions, the foreign films and independent films, concerts, things like that.

 Do you have any events lined up yet?

 We've got a few. We don't have anything in stone. We're trying to get open, get situated. In fact, we'll bring the food in two weeks after we open, after we get settled in. Then we'll start looking at our really big opening weekend, have a nice concert.

 Could you give me like a rundown of what you're planning for the menu?

 Truthfully, John Shirley at Campatori Catering is handling all that. He's catering it everyday, so that's completely up to him. So I don't have an idea just yet. It will be sandwich type food. But it will be more lunches.

 What sets the Black Box apart from other businesses of its kind in Ruston?

 Well, I think in the years past with the other things that we've done, we've really focused hard on customer service. Providing a very different atmosphere from what you get anywhere else. And a better quality product. Our products are very high end, and very well made and dispersed. We're just a customer-driven business. We focus on them, and they take care of us.

 Could you give me an overview of the other businesses and things that you've created over the years?

 Well, I had a partner of course that he and I started Frothy Monkey years ago. And I bought him out, and actually passed it back to him. So I've had that for six or seven years. I started Turbo Goat, the bicycle shop. Chris Bartlett took that from me, and he's recently sold it. We had the Bell Jar clothing store, and this will be the next deal. In the meantime, or throughout that time period, I've bought a lot of buildings and refurbished the buildings, either sold them or rented them out.

 And of course, we should mention your partner in this, the Black Box is . . .

 Jackie Cochran of art innovations.

 Is this your first time to work with Jackie?

 I've known Jackie for quite a while, but it is my first time to work with Jackie, yes. I actually bought the building from her. This is the old Art Innovations building.

 What motivates you to do this sort of entrepeneurial work that you do? What do you get out of it?

 I like working for myself. So that's the first and foremost. Myself and my family and my friends have a very strong desire to improve downtown Ruston. There's a lot lacking here. And we've focused really hard, and pumped a lot of money and time and effort, and blood sweat and tears into downtown. It's a constant battle for us. We see things that need to be changed and are really focusing hard on that, and trying to show other people that there are other options out there. Other than the status quo. We're working hard to just try to get people downtime, and improve the atmosphere. Try to keep the students here and keep the money here. It's really super important to support local businesses. That money gets turned over locally so many more times than a big chain store, or anything on the interstate. And we just want to give people options down here.

 How does doing the things that you do in a small town compare you think to trying to do the same sort of things in a larger city?

 Well I've done some of these things in a larger city, and it's much easier truthfully. You've got a higher population density. You've got people that already are familiar with your products that you're trying to sell. They know the benefits of supporting a downtown. Truthfully, it's harder to me to do anything here. We're looking at doing some work in New Orleans. There's a lot of grants. There's a lot of incentives. There's a lot of help to do something. Here, you're pretty much on your own. I lived in Wakeforest North Carolina. The second you walk in and say 'hey, I'd like to open a business here, what do you have?', they present you with a huge packet, hold your hand through the whole process, just really take care of you. We'd like to see improvements here, definitely. We'd like it to be easier to open something that could help turn that local dollar over.

 Can you tell me about what you've learned through your experience in the business world and what advice you might have?

 Well, I've learned a lot. Probably more things not to do than to do. But just to do it is the main thing. Everybody's scared to take that first step. But until you do, you'll never start down that road. If you're interested in it, you've just got to put your head down and keep to it. When problems pop up, you just push through them and hold on tight and hope for the best, and generally things seem to turn out okay. Keep your overhead low. And, like I said, we've picked a genre, we work downtown. And that's what we do. I think you've gotta specialize a little bit. It's a niche market world these days.

 How would someone get started if they wanted to open, say, a shop or any sort of business?

 Research. A business plan. And get your financing. That's the hard part, is getting someone to give you money. I've had some great local banks that have really helped me out by taking a big risk on me. And I've had great relationships with them. But getting that first loan was the biggie. Do your homework. Lay it out in a really organized format, and chase some fincancing.

 I think you're an artist yourself, is that right?

 I am.

 Could you tell me about your art?

 I do a little bit of everything. I haven't done it in a while, but I also just spent about a half a year in New Orleans learning how to blow glass. Which is something that I'm really passionate about. I love it. And I'd like to do that full-time in the near future. So hopefully this is kind of a stepping stone. This will give me a little place to sit and start that and try to grow into a larger scale business.

 Will we see any of your work in the Black Box?

 Eventually, yes. Hopefully by Spring.

 I think it's probably a moot question, since you say you haven't done any art work in a while, but still I'm always curious to know how people incorporate an artist lifestyle into the real world requirements of doing work, and running your business and things like that.

Well, I really like architecture, and the art world. And we do try to incorporate that into the buildings that I do. Just in the design layout. It's different. We don't just do the standard box deal. We like to incorporate friends and students' work, and local artists into everything we do. We've always had artwork up in the coffee shops. Chris, with the bike shop, has art shows there inside the bike shop. So you can incorporate it into whatever you're doing. The glass-blowing is something hopefully the coffee shop can help offset the costs of the material and labor to do that. So we can do anything from wall sconces to chandeliers to anything else we'd like to do. Ornaments, decorations, sculpture type work. And if you notice in there, there's a lot of artwork, sculptural artwork. So I guess that's how we incorporate it.

Given all the difficulties in opening a business in Ruston, and finding customers and things like that, what are the redeeming qualities of Ruston that make it a worthwhile place to live and do these things?

 There are a group of very interesting. And it's nice to see those people on a daily basis or weekly basis and maintain contact with that group of people. There's a lot of good people here. They're well-travelled. They're diverse. I think Ruston is a very diverse place. For a small town in North Louisiana. So I think that's the best part, is getting to see everybody. And just having those relationships.

 Did you go to college?

I'm still going to college. I've been going for a very, very, very long time. I'm going this quarter. I've gone to several colleges.

Tell me about your experience, what you've studied and what you've learned.

 Goodness. Art, geology, mainly art. Architecture. I've had years and years and years of art school. I enjoy it, but I don't plan on working for anybody else. It's just something I do because I enjoy it.

 As a working professional, what value do you see in going to college rather than teaching yourself or going to workshops or associating with other artists in real life situations?

 As someone that doesn't have to support myself with my artwork, I kind of have a different view I think. If I were having to support myself with my artwork, I would definitely be more concerned with the academic route. The degree, the learning plan, and the steps to go through that, to get a job and be able to support myself. As someone that does the art on the side as a hobby mainly. Or even if it were to make money, my main source of income comes from building improvements, property sales, and business ventures like this. So I think I'm a little bit of an odd duck, truthfully. But if I were going to support myself with my art, I would definitely be more concerned with the art program.

 I think that's about all the questions I have. Is there anything else you'd like to say about the Black Box?

 It's just going to be a very different, great place. We're going to have a lot to offer that you cannot get anywhere around. Different music. Theatre venues. The films. It's just going to be completely different. Everybody needs to come check it out.

 And to clarify, you're going to have live theatrical performances, and you're also going to be showing what sort of films?

 Just independent and foreign films. Things you can't run down to blockbuster and pick up.

 What sort of talent are you looking at for the theatrical performances?

 Jackie's heading that up. There are a lot of local guys that like to put on small plays. Jackie probably could answer that better than I could. But it's going to be local. She's coordinating with Tech also to let them do some small productions here. It will generally be local guys and students.

 Okay. Thank you very much for talking with me.

 Thank you.

Art Opening at Gallery Fine Art Center in Bossier

New paintings by Edwin Pinkston, Ruston artist and former Tech Art Professor, will be featured in a solo exhibition at Gallery Fine Art Center in Bossier, Louisiana, September 20 through October 28.

 An opening reception will be held on Thursday, September 22, from 6:00-8:00 pm. Edwin will give an artist talk about his work at 5:30.

 Gallery Fine Art Center is located at 2151 Airline Drive, Suite 200, Bossier City, LA 71111, and can be reached by phone at 318-741-9192. The gallery is open Tuesday - Friday, 11:00am - 5:00pm and by appointment.

Artist Statement

New Paintings 

I am very excited about the direction of my new paintings. Over the years I have done figure and landscape drawings in charcoal, semi-abstract collages, wall constructions of painted wood with earth and sky themes, pastels of still lives or landscapes, and abstracted mixed media pieces inspired by jazz music. But lately I'm enjoying a very challenging return to abstract painting.

 In this latest exhibition, I'm working primarily on Gessoboard mounted on a 2” deep maple frame. These hard surfaces can take a lot of physical paint application (or removal) and are used in a square format, thus providing a neutral dynamic, which leaves me free to generate my own visual velocities. These paintings investigate non-representational issues where color, texture, paint handling and spatial fields are explored.Extensively reworked, they feature layers that are sometimes translucent, sometimes opaque, and are filled with marks, lines, textures and scumblings. This concentrated strata of energy and pigmenets, which eventually unite to include a predominant color, hopefully suggests depths both literal and emotional.

 Tensions and counter forces are strongly cultivated, using a non-objective approach that is inspired by Paul Cezanne's still lives and landscapes. I try to set a stage where forms aren't fully reconciled to their positions, where color and mark-making struggle for dominance, and where surface and spatial considerations jockey for position. I try to give each section a role to play, composing holistically, and avoid centering any one element, to neutralize any dominating tendencies.

 I see these paintings as reactions to conflicting issues of human existence that we all face, such as personal freedoms versus societal regulations. Energetic brush action and strong colors depict a sense of abandonment and are juxtaposed against straight lines and geometric shapes representing life's constraints. Further, elements suggestive of being man-made, such as straight lines or geometric shapes, are contrasted with freely brushed, spontaneous and color dominated passages, which I see as emblematic of nature's embrace of growth, change and the unexpected.

 Edwin Pinkston

NCLAC Member News: Hooshang Khorasani

Hooshang's new abstracts in two museum auctions


Two of Hooshang Khorasani's abstract paintings are part of museum auctions – one at "A Russian Night in Taos" at the Taos (N.M.) Art Museum and one at theLouisiana State Museumin Baton Rouge as part of Louisiana Public Broadcasting's Art & Travel Auction. Khorasani is aRuston resident.

 The Taos exhibit is running from Aug. 1-27 and is associated with the museum's seventh annual Gala Auction, a black-tie-and-boots event. "Because of the quality of the art, patrons attend from all over the country," event chair Nat Troy said.

 Khorasani's piece is "Color Abstraction #3," a 36x36-inch mixed media on canvas that is part of his new Color Storm series.

 The Taos museum is dedicated to the region's early 20th-century art and the patrons who nurtured and preserved it. Housed in the Fechin House, the structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Russian-born Nicolai Fechin – regarded as one of the most important portrait painters of the 20th century – and his family moved toTaosin 1927. His paintings of Native Americans and of theNew Mexicodesert landscape are considered among his best works.

 The other show will be on view at theLouisiana State Museumin the Old State Capitol from Sept. 30 to Oct. 15 as a precursor to LPB's 2011 Art & Travel Auction, which will air live Oct. 23. The preview party and opening reception, LPB Art Rocks, is set for 7-9 p.m. Sept. 30. Online bidding also begins Sept. 30.

 The event will feature artworks from more than 100 artists and as well as travel packages and is an annual fundraiser for LPB. Khorasani's piece for this auction is also a 36x36-inch mixed media on canvas from his Color Storm Series: "Color Storm XIX."

 "When budget cuts hit, funding for the arts and education seems to be the first thing that goes," Khorasani said, "so I’m happy to donate my work for such a worthy cause. When the auction starts, please visit the LPB Art Auction site, auction.lpb.org, and bid on my piece – or some of the other excellent items being offered."

NCLAC's Holiday Arts Tour: Call for Artists!!

NCLAC is now accepting applications from artists to participate in our 14th annual Holiday Arts Tour. We want to serve the artists in our region first, so we’re inviting artists in Lincoln, Jackson, Claiborne, Bienville, and Union parishes to apply from August 15th-Sept 2nd.

Afterward, if there are host sites still available, we’ll extend the call for artists beyond our region for two more weeks. Late applications from artists in our region will only be considered if a second call is issued. To ensure consideration, we want to encourage artists in our parishes to apply before September 2nd.

To download an Artist Application Packet,  scroll down to the bottom of the page and look for our Shared Files.  If you need any assistance with your application, or if you have questions, please contact us at 255-1450, Wednesday –Friday between the hours of 11am-2pm. 

If you have participated before, you will notice some additional requirements in the application packet. For example, we are including a Supplemental Artist Info form that we will use in creating publicity materials. As we choose artists, musicians, and businesses to participate this year, we will also post “feature” articles about them on the blog in the weeks leading up to the Tour.

We are making some exciting changes this year, so even if you have attended or participated in the Tour in the past, we encourage you to check out what’s new this year. For more details and regular updates, please subscribe to our blog.

NCLAC looking for local authors

The North Central Louisiana Arts Council, a not for profit arts agency located in Ruston LA, is currently seeking out published authors from North Louisiana  who would like to do a public reading of their work.  These readings will be part of our Cultural Economy Initiative and will take place with our community partner, The Frothy Monkey Coffee House in Ruston, on a quarterly basis.    The Cultural Economy Initiative focus is to build our cultural economy in the following ways: turning creativity into sales, marketing our strengths, making culture an industry, and growing a cultural destination. CEI programs invest in the economic future of our community.  We strive to do this by helping provide artists a venue to sell their work while promoting the services of our host companies.

Those interested should email or mail a resume and writing sample to the following address: nclac5@gmail.com or PO Box 911, Ruston, LA 71273.  Please list “Monkey Project” as subject line of all e-mails or Attn: Monkey Project on all mailed correspondence.  Deadline for submissions is Friday, March 4th at 5pm.   For more information or questions please call 255-1450 or email nclac5@gmail.com.


The North Central Louisiana Arts Council recently announced the appointment of 9 new board members during their annual meeting at the Dixie Center for the Arts. Each of these officers has been extremely active on NCLAC’s committee and will serve the organization in a variety of capacities during the upcoming year.

“We feel that each of the newly- elected members will provide a unique perspective to the organization.  They are passionate, hard-working, and will proudly represent the Ruston community throughout the arts education and business world,” said executive director of NCLAC Leigh Anne Chambers.

New members include:

John Emory Jr. Property Management at Community Trust Bank.

Josh Shirley is the manager of Todd Grave’s, popular fast-food restaurant, Raising Cane’s Fried Chicken Fingers.

Lou Davenport Kavanaugh is a visual artist and the past Curator of Education at Masur’s Museum of Art in Monroe, LA.

Tsegui Emmanuel is a professor of management at Grambling State University

Nicholas Harrison is an instructor in Department of Theatre and Arts at Grambling State University.  In addition, Harrison serves as a producer and on-air talent for ESPN’s innovative radio station 97.7.

Laura Hunt is a talented artist from Ruston, LA.

Robert Brooks is an assistant professor for the School of Artchitecture at Louisiana Tech.

Joycalyn Skinner is an Arcadia representative.

Jennifer Dorsey is a Head Start employee in Farmerville, LA.

NCLAC’s Committee consists of 29 members selected by the Board. In addition, 14 board members are continuing their service and the Board reelected 6 board members through nominations from organizations outside the Board. Each Board member serves a 3-year term.

In addition, the President’s Awards were given to the following individuals for enhancing artistic expression around community.

The Arts Business of the Year was awarded to 102 A Bistro for providing artists and

the community with unique cuisine and art.

The Artist of Year was awarded to Monty Russell for sharing his singing and songwriting talent with the community and supporting fellow artist and Keith “General” Patterson for bringing back the North Louisiana Redneck with his songwriting abilities.

The Murad Award was given to Dolores Williams for her excellenct volunteer work and her distinguished service to the North Central Louisiana Arts Council.

The Patron of the Year was awarded to Chris Kilgore for generously supporting the Art Council’s endeavors.

The Volunteers of the Year was given to Megan Davenport and Meg Waters for their innovative, creative, and tireless service to the North Central Louisiana Arts Council and its programs.

2011 Art of Film Schedule

NCLAC and the Lincoln Parish Library announce the schedule for the 2011 Art of Film!!  Be sure to join us on the fourth Thursday of every month from 6-8pm at the Lincoln Parish Library.  Every film features trivia and a themed treat so bring your belly and your brain. 



  • January 27    The Country Girl
  • February 24    Wuthering Heights 1939
  • March 24    The Court Jester
  • April 28    Bright Star
  • May  26   Diving Bell & the Butterfly
  • June 23   Jane Eyre
  • July 28    Dr No 007
  • August 25   Take Me Out to the Ball Game
  • September 22   Spy Who Came in from the Cold
  • October 27    Sita Sings the Blues
  • November  10   The Awful Truth
  • December 8    Charade

We will be posting more detailed information right here so keep your eyes peeled.

NCLAC & the Dixie host Winter Drama Workshop for Kids

The North Central Louisiana Arts Council and the Dixie Center for the Arts will be holding a Drama Winter Workshop for children 6-10 years old.  The workshop will be Tuesday, December 28 from 8:30am to 3:30 pm at the Dixie Center for the Arts (212 N. Vienna, Ruston, LA).  Workshop participants will learn the fundamentals of theatre and do a project involving mask making and puppetry.  The workshop is $35 and includes all supplies and an afternoon snack.  Participants should plan on packing a sack lunch. 

Workshop will be led by Leigh Anne Chambers, Executive Director of the Arts Council.  Leigh Anne holds both a bachelors and master in theatre and has done children’s workshops in Louisiana and Oklahoma.  She has been both onstage and behind the scenes.  When asked what she likes most about working with children she responded, “I love their freedom in imagination and willingness to take risks”. 

In the morning the children will take a short tour of the Dixie Center for the Arts and learn about some of technical equipment that makes the “magic” happen.  The will then do exercises in improvisation, pantomime, and stage movement.  In the afternoon they will learn about the art of mask making and puppetry.  Each child will  make their own mask and puppet.

For more information and details about activities and projects visit http://nclac.wordpress.com.  To register or for any questions please call 255-1450 or email nclac5@gmail.com please leave your name and number and a NCLAC representative will contact you as quickly as possible.      


New American Painting Call for Submissions

Deadline: December 31, 2010 CALL FOR ARTISTS : South Region

Artists residing in: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia

Juror: Dan Cameron Founder and Artistic Director, U.S. Biennial, Inc., Organizer, Prospect 1 New Orleans

Online Submission Deadline: December 31, 2010 (Midnight EST)

To apply online you will need to prepare four jpegs of your work (no larger than 1200 pixels at their greatest dimension) and a credit card for the late entry fee of $40. All styles and media are welcome, as long as the work is singular and two-dimensional.

Click here to register and submit your entries to the South competition:


Apply online now to take advantage of our special offer! Subscribe to New American Paintings for $89/1-yr and your $40 entry will be free. This option is available to you when you register to pay for your competition.

Questions? Visit our New American Paintings Forum!

---------------- If you have viewed our FAQs and still have questions, please email us or call 1-888-235-2783

Louisiana Tech University Theatre Announces Cast for KAB Man

Louisiana Tech University

The Louisiana Tech University Theatre is proud to announce the cast for the upcoming production of KAB Man. Mr. Mark D. Guinn, Production Manager and Professor in the School of Performing Arts, will direct. KAB Man performances are scheduled to run January 12 – 15, 2011 at 7:30 pm in Howard Auditorium, located in the Howard Center for the Performing Arts. The Box Office, located in the lobby of Howard Auditorium, will open for general admission for this event beginning January 4. The Box Office hours are Monday – Friday, 1:30 pm – 4:45 pm, and their number is 318-257-3942. Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $5 for students (with a valid student I.D.), $6 for children 14 and under, $5 for seniors, $4 for groups of 12 or more, and $5 for continuing education.

 The cast for KAB Man includes:

Ryan Gentry as KAB Man, Amanda Tatum as Kee-La-Belle, Holly Bricker as K-Linc, Ben Porch as Styro, Jake Guinn as Cig-Man, Lito Tamez as BP, Stacy Trammell as Plastik, Noelle Smith as Alu-Mini-Anne, Tim Kersey as Wrapper Man, Thomas Comb as Re-Cig-Man, Joel Sharpton as Re-Styro, Kelsey Mardis as Re-Alu-Mini-Anne, Natalie Weaver as Re-Plastik, and Nick Mitchell as the Announcer. Trash Ninjas include: Thomas Comb, Joel Sharpton, Kelsey Mardis, Nick Mitchell, and Natalie Weaver.

 KAB Man, written by Mark D. Guinn and the Advanced Acting class, is a video game themed play action-packed with “trashy” villains and clean-cut heroes who promote the benefits of recycling, cleaning, and maintaining the earth. KAB Man (Keep America Beautiful) heads this pristine band of super heroes with Kee-La-Belle (Keep Louisiana Beautiful) and K-Linc (Keep Lincoln Parish Beautiful) by his side. They work together to salvage the earth by defeating and recycling the deplorable Styro, Cig-Man, BP, Plastik, Alu-Mini-Anne, and Wrapper Man as well as smiting down the plethora of Trash Ninjas that contaminate their paths.

New American Painting: Call for Artists

Deadline: December 31, 2010 CALL FOR ARTISTS : South Region

Artists residing in: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia

Juror: Dan Cameron Founder and Artistic Director, U.S. Biennial, Inc., Organizer, Prospect 1 New Orleans

Online Submission Deadline: December 31, 2010 (Midnight EST)

To apply online you will need to prepare four jpegs of your work (no larger than 1200 pixels at their greatest dimension) and a credit card for the late entry fee of $40. All styles and media are welcome, as long as the work is singular and two-dimensional.

Click here to register and submit your entries to the South competition:


Apply online now to take advantage of our special offer! Subscribe to New American Paintings for $89/1-yr and your $40 entry will be free. This option is available to you when you register to pay for your competition.

Questions? Visit our FAQ pages: General or Technical You may still apply by sending printouts. Please click here to find out how.

Art From the G.U.T: Call for Entries

Art From the G.U.T.Second Annual Enterprise Center Juried Student Art Exhibition

Exhibition Dates: February 18 – March 16, 2011 Reception will be held on February 18th from 6-8pm

Eligibility: The exhibition is open to all students enrolled in a degree program at the University of Louisiana, Monroe, Grambling State University or Louisiana Tech University. You must be enrolled for the current academic year. Students may submit up to 3 original works completed during college attendance at one of the listed universities.

Deadline for Entries: All submissions must be received by December 10, 2010

Juror: Benjamin Hickey, Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at the Masur Museum

For more info and Submission Requirements visit rel="nofollow" href="http://www.latechenterprisecenter.com/art-programs/artfromthegut" target="_blank">http://www.latechenterprisecenter.com/art-programs/artfromthegut