BATON ROUGE, LA.-Baton Rouge Gallery will be featuring the work of four of its Artist Members, all of whom have a very different artistic voice. The juxtaposition of sculptors and painters will surely make the July show one that will stick out in Baton Rouge's collective memory long after the show has ended. From monkeys to birds, from kaleidoscopes to three-dimensional fabric constructions, BRG's July show has something for everyone.
Anne Boudreau has been an Artist Member at BRG for over ten years and even served as the gallery's director from 1990-1993. She received her B.F.A. from The University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1984 and her M.F.A. from The University of South Carolina in 1997. Since that time, Boudreau has successfully juggled her studio practice and efforts to create a concentrated visual arts program at a New Orleans public high school.
Boudreau's exhibit that will be on display throughout the month of July is entitled Hope. The exhibit includes mixed media collages and suspended mixed media fabric constructions. Boudreau often finds inspiration in the intrinsic structure and efficiency of nature as well as her own contemplation of the concept of balance.
Paul Dean, a professor of color theory, typography and graphic design history at LSU's School of Art, has been one of Baton Rouge Gallery's most easily recognizable artists since 1993. Dean also serves as a freelance graphic designer and performs as a DJ. His weblog, djmisc.com, connects listeners to other DJs and vice versa through links and internet streams. His work as a collage artist, however, is how he is most known throughout Baton Rouge.
With Kaleidoscope Eyes, Dean's latest BRG exhibit, he calls on elements of pop-art, op-art, post-impressionism, and neo-psychedelia, among others. Inspired by faceted diamonds, the collages that comprise Kaleidoscope Eyes do not focus on the diamond's status as material wealth or their role in global trade. Instead, Dean focuses on the diamond's suggested "spiritual realm, where the anxiety of our consumer culture and war-mongering state is briefly eclipsed by the fundamental human experience of color and light."
Specializing in working with colored pencils and watercolors, Mary Lee Eggart has been an Artist Member at Baton Rouge Gallery since 1989. She received both her B.F.A. and her M.F.A. from Louisiana State University in Printmaking. She is currently employed as a research associate in cartographic design and scientific illustration, as well as serving as an instructor in cartographic design at the LSU Department of Geography and Anthropology. Her artistic work, however, often focuses specifically on avian wildlife and other natural forms.
This has been a love of Eggart's since her childhood. She has always found herself drawing pictures of nature and the animals within it. She has an affinity with late medieval artists who portrayed accurate, carefully observed animals while simultaneously expressing a spiritual message with them. Her July exhibit, Nesting, was inspired by a pair of tenacious house finches who built a nest in the front porch light fixture of her mother's home. "Watching the tiny female weave her intricate bowl of twigs piqued my interest in the diverse ways that birds create their nests," says Eggart.
Michaelene "Mikey" Walsh grew up in the Chicago area and received her B.F.A. in Crafts from The University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. In 1995, she received her M.F.A. in Ceramics from The University of New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred. Since moving to Baton Rouge, Walsh has taken on a position as Associate Professor of Art at LSU and joined Baton Rouge Gallery as an Artist Member (2004). Recently, her sculptural work was featured in Lark Books' The Figure in Clay.
Walsh's exhibit at BRG during the month of July is entitled Menagerie. The show focuses on Walsh's love of both animals and dolls. She claims that her interest in both of them is driven by the inner-life they seem to possess. She is fascinated by their ability to both haunt and enchant both children and adults alike with their ambiguous presence. "Both dolls and animals alike align with what is untamed, instinctual, pre-verbal, corporeal and irrational within each of us and both have strong links to the wisdom of those latent parts of our being, too," asserts Walsh.
An opening reception will be held to honor the art and artists featured in Baton Rouge Gallery's July Exhibition on Wednesday, July 2 from 7 9 p.m. The show will be on display through Thursday, July 31 and will be open to the public from 12 noon 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.