Art Talk Monday!!!

Art Talk April Honaker 7/29/2011

The art exhibition “Ruston En Plein Air” hosted by the North Central Louisiana Arts Council (NCLAC) and 102 a Bistro (102 Monroe St.) will close Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. to make way for “Sifting the Exotic and Familiar, ” which will open on Wednesday, August 3, at 5 p.m.

“Ruston En Plein Air,” a collection of landscape paintings depicting Tech Farm and Ruston, includes work from 15 artists who participated in Peter Jones’s last painting class at Louisiana Tech University’s School of Art.

Of the 15 participating artists, three have sold one or more works: Whitney Anderson, Derek Poole, and Noula Rodakis. Congratulations to these artists!

As the “Plein Air” artists pick up their work on Monday, new artists will be moving work into the Bistro. Julie Crews, Melanie Douthit, and Jan Thibault will be featured in “Sifting the Exotic and Familiar.”

An opening reception honoring these new artists will take place from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, August 3. NCLAC and 102 a Bistro will provide wine tasting and light h’or doeurves.

Their works, though distinctly different, still complement one another. While each of these women has a unique style, they share a passion for the creative process. About painting, Douthit said, “I love the limitless possibilities that can be achieved through letting go and stepping ‘outside the lines.’”

Similarly, Thibault said, “Painting is a joy filled journey involving color, energy, and spirit that transcends everyday life. All can be abandoned to allow creativity to flow.”

Crews said the advice and “rules” she gains from teachers and other artists influence her, but at the same time, she values playfulness and sometimes asks, “What rule can I break?” She said her creative process and the end result both play a role in how she gauges the success of her work. Each of these women also has a unique background that contributes to her work.

Thibault is originally from Ruston, grew up in British Columbia, attended Louisiana Tech University, and ultimately settled here. When she was given her first painting class as a gift about ten years ago, she started painting, attending workshops regularly, and never looked back.

Douthit is originally from Farmerville and began painting at nineteen in an art class taught by local artist Ronnie Barnes. She currently lives in West Monroe where she has continued to study under various other artists and has been selling her work online since 2000. Her work is also currently in the Mystic Art Gallery in West Monroe and in the Great Artists Collective Gallery in New Orleans.

Julie Crews grew up in Asheville, NC, received an Associate’s degree in Illustration from Brigham Young University in Idaho, and is currently seeking a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Louisiana Tech University.

All three new artists will attend the reception honoring them Wednesday, so as you enjoy wine and appetizers, ask them about their work and what inspires them.

Afterward, stay and have dinner. 102 a Bistro is not only a place to experience great art, but also a place to experience great food.

If you are interested in purchasing a work from “Ruston En Plein Air” or “Sifting the Exotic and Familiar,” please contact NCLAC’s Executive Director Leigh Anne Chambers at 318-255-1450, or stop by the Dixie Center for the Arts Tuesday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. We look forward to seeing you at the Bistro.

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