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.


Carriage House Artists

Hello Everyone! My name is Sophia Maras and I am working for NCLAC as the Gallery Coordinator. As we all anticipate the upcoming Holiday Arts Tour this November, several artist introductions are being made! Today, I will be introducing some of the artists who will be at the Carriage House studio.

Owned and run by Patricia Jones and Laura Lewis, the Carriage House is a studio located at 101 E. Maryland St. in Ruston, LA. Patricia and Laura’s dream for the studio is to give the artist community a venue for occasions such as art workshops, social gatherings, or art exhibitions.For this years tour, the Carriage House will be hosting the following artists: Patricia Jones, Laura Lewis, Maggie Boudreax, Andi Moran, Robert Moran, Casey Parkinson, Catherine McVea, and Annie W. Richardson.

Exciting right?! All of these amazing artists in one studio stop! Today, I will introduce the artists working with painting, drawing and collage…

Patricia Jones, a local Rustonian, has been painting since her early years in her undergrad at Louisiana Tech, where she received her Bachelors in Fine Arts as well as a Masters in Art Education.Patricia’s artwork is inspired by old, crumbling and deserted buildings that make us value what history and mystery is left in the architecture. Using the old master’s palette she has recently begun exploring the beauty and unique artistry which some of the simplest things in life may bring to her artwork with her series entitled, “At My Feet.”

Catherine McVea works in a similar manner to Patricia,with her still life and landscape paintings and drawings.  She approaches her subjects formally, studying the relationships and simplicity of its beauty. By using alternate materials and mediums, such as collage and oil or soft pastels, Catherine explores the multitude of ways to express something about a subject matter.

Maggie Boudreaux was surrounded by artists, such as her mother Patricia Jones, grandmother Joy Tait, and family friend Catherine McVea. Through that encouragement and experience, Maggie became a fine artist, who also now works at AE Phillips teaching Talented Art and Art Classes.  Maggie’s work explores her questions about life and is inspired by our every day’s natural beauty. With her work she hopes to evoke an emotion from her audience through artistic elements such as line, shape, and color. She uses a variety of techniques and mediums, including painting, various types of papers, glue, stitching, or stitching.  Each piece of her artwork is uniquely experimental and exciting!

Annie W. Richardson allows her intuition to play a large part in her creative process, through which she creates work representing passages in time. Through different techniques, such as mixed media application, brush stroke variations, calligraphy additions, and mark making, Annie creates paintings that speak from the heart and represent her personal history.

Stay tuned to the blog for tomorrow’s continuation of the Carriage House artists! I will then introduce the sculptural, architectural, and ceramics side of this studio space!

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.

Color Storm Symphony, 48x48 inches, Acrylic mixed media on canvas

 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? 

Smooth Runner #3, 36x48 inches, Acrylic on canvas

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