Tess Talk: Dugdemona Woodcarvers

Today’s post is by Tess Stickney, NCLAC Gallery Coordinator Intern.Tess is working with our exhibitions this summer, including Dixie Lobby shows, Dog Days Art Crawls and Peach Art Exhibit.

It was late one summer afternoon in downtown Ruston and families of incoming freshmen were roaming the streets and store fronts. Louisiana Tech University and the city of Ruston hosted their first Dog Days of Summer, a series of events introducing students and families coming through orientation to the community by way of walking tours and art crawls. With maps in hand these adventurers wandered the local businesses in town, making one of their stops the Dixie Center for the Arts. Inside the lobby they would find  the walls and tables covered in years of woodcarvings by the Dugdemona Basin Woodcarvers Guild.

Guild member, Bob Rubens, speaking with a guest

Guild member, Bob Rubens, speaking with a guest

Woodpecker, carved from cypress by Guild member Emmett Blundell

Woodpecker, carved from cypress by Guild member Emmett Blundell

This group of artists have worked together for over twenty years in Jonesboro, Louisiana, beginning as a small interest group and growing into a collective of woodcarvers. The exhibit displays a variety of styles and techniques in wood carving, and it also shows the fun a creative side of this ancient art. Reliefs of eagles, walking canes with lovable characters such as E.T. and Uncle Sam, and Louisiana themed bowls, sculptures, and reliefs line the walls of the Dixie. The talents of its members shine through these works of art, especially in pieces like a walking cane entirely made up of carved train cars moving downward. If asked to pick which piece is their favorite in the show, they cannot simply pick one. They can, however, pull out a small Kodak photo album and flip through a few photographs of pieces that could not fit in the show, such as a totem pole that was a collaborative effort by the group.

The night ended with hundreds of maps being colored in and just a few cups of lemonade left, but the room was never empty with people to view the work. If you missed out on the first Dog Days of Summer, don’t worry. This exhibit will last through the month of June, including the Ruston Peach Festival. Come see the wonderful art created by these local artists and celebrate twenty-five years of art with them.

The next Dog Days Art Crawl date is Wednesday, June 18, from 7-10pm. Stop in and see the Guild’s work! July dates are the 9th and 30th, with featured artist Nina Stephens of Dubach.

some of the works displayed in the Dixie Center Lobby

some of the works displayed in the Dixie Center Lobby

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