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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bossier Arts Council Gift Shop

It's that time of year again!!  The holidays are among us, and if you are at a loss to find unique, handmade, gifts for friends and family then look no further.  The BAC Gift Shop features arts and crafts from some of the most talented artists in the region.  We have: 
                                                                    Sculpture...and yes, MARTINI GLASSES and so much more!
                                                                    So come check it out, open Tuesday-Saturday, 11-6pm


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Movies & Moonbeams Canceled

Just a reminder that Saturday, October 27th showing of Movies & Moonbeams at Mikewoods Parks has been canceled due to standing water at the location.  We will resume the series on Saturday, November 10th with Grease at North Bossier Park.

Pollyanna Opens Next Weekend

One of the most exciting things about Bossier Arts Council's (BAC) East Bank Theatre is that such a variety of individuals utilize it for their productions.  Opening next weekend (November 2nd) The Academy of Children's Theatre (ACT) will start their season with a production of Pollyanna.  The well loved children's play is based on the novel by Eleanor porter and tells the story of Pollyanna, a missionary child, who becomes an orphan after both her parents die.

I had a moment to sit down and speak with Cynthia Hawkins-Whitaker about the production after their rehearsal this afternoon.  (I must say I was pretty impressed by what I saw before the interview).

BAC:  Why did you select Pollyanna to be your season opener?

WHITAKER:  Pollyanna is the 5th production in our Children's Literary Series.  In the past five years we've put on a variety of productions based on classic youth novels including, but not limited too, The Diary of Anne Frank, Little Princess, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

BAC: Can you tell us a little more about your Children's Literary Series?

WHITAKER:  The goal is to introduce a modern audience to children's classics.  The production was made popular by a very famous Disney movie from the 1960s but younger individuals are less familiar with it.  We hope to encourage our audience to learn more about these classics through an approachable manner.

BAC: Do you think choosing literary classics influence your actors?

WHITAKER:  Yes, I do.  Many of the kids read the novel to get ready for auditions or to learn more about their specific characters.

BAC: What do you think the central message is in Pollyanna?

WHITAKER:  I think it's a simple one.  Always find the good in every situation.  I think that's a message that everyone needs to hear, particularly now.

BAC: Why do you work with children in Theatre?

WHITAKER:  I worked in Los Angles for the longest time as an equity actor.  Then I decided to go back to school for education.  I think mostly because I wanted to give back to all the teachers who influenced me.

BAC: What is one reason why people should come see this production?

WHITAKER:  It is a great family show.  Also it's an obscure piece in the fact that it features period costumes, sets, and props.

If you are interested in catching a performance of Pollyanna be sure to get your tickets while some are still available.  The production runs November 2nd & 3rd at 7pm, November 4th at 2pm and the November 9th & 10th at 7pm, and ends on November 11th at 2pm.  Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by calling the box office at 318-741-8310 Tuesday-Friday from 11am-6pm.  For more information about the Academy of Children's Theatre you can visit their website.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Little Brush That Could- week 16

Since Movies and Moonbeams was cancelled this week due to the weather, I was a little bummed that we wouldn't be doing our kids craft on Saturday. Instead,  I decided to put it on my blog for today.
Homemade play dough
1 cup salt
1½ cups flour
½ cup water
2 Tablespoons cooking oil
Food coloring, if desired
In a large bowl, mix 1 cup salt, 1½ cups flour, ½ cup water, 2 Tablespoons oil with your hands or a spoon. Add a couple drops of food coloring if you’d like colored dough. (If you use food coloring, stir into the dough with a spoon to prevent staining on your hands.) Play, then store in a resealable container.

BAC’s Emerging Artist Gallery features Heather Evans

The Bossier Arts Council Emerging Artist Gallery is thrilled to announce an exhibition of artwork by regional artist Heather Evans.  Her show will feature a variety of mediums and subject matters and will be on display throughout the month of November.
In Celebration of Overcoming by Heather Evans

Evans, a native of the Shreveport-Bossier area, is a contemporary experimental artist driven by a strong desire to challenge limits set by herself and her environment.  She draws much of her inspiration from day-to-day experiences with other people, as well as from local artists and craftsmen.
When asked about why she creates she responded “I want to encourage and inspire the viewer to face their challenges head-on. I hope that this inspiration and encouragement could somehow bring about a sense of contentment and confidence in the individual. I believe that we are only able to see the degree of success and happiness as it relates to the equal opposites of struggle and sadness.” She sees her current body of work as just a preview of what is to come.

The Emerging Artist Gallery is a project of the Bossier Arts Council and is committed to promoting art work of regional artists.  It is located in BAC headquarters at 630 Barksdale Blvd. right off of I-20.  You can visit the gallery Tuesday-Saturday from 11:00am-6:00pm or by appointment. 

For more information about Heather Evans or the Bossier Arts Council feel free to call us at 741-8310 or visit our website at

Saturday's Movies & Moonbeams has been Cancelled

We are so sorry to say that because of standing water at Mikewoods Park the Movies & Moonbeams has been canceled for Saturday, October 27th.  We will be resuming the series on Saturday, November 10th with Grease at North Bossier Park.  We are sorry for any inconvenience.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Stop over Saturday Series presents: Studio Spotlight

Bossier Arts Council is proud to present our next installation of the Stop Over Saturday Series, Studio Spotlight.  This is an opportunuity to meet our artists in residence and tour the bac facility.  The artists will be giving demonstrations, allow you an inside view of their work process and answer any questions you may have.  The tours are at 10am, 12pm and 2pm at 630 Barksdale Blvd.  Bossier City, Louisiana, for questions please call (318) 741-8310  This event is free to the public.  We look forward to seeing you here!

Movies & Moonbeams #2

BAC & Robinson present Movies & Moonbeams Wallace & Gromit: The Case of the Were-Rabbit at Mike Woods Park

The Bossier Arts Council, Robinson Film Center, and Bossier Parks are thrilled to announce their second film in the fall line-up of Movies & Moonbeams Wallace & Gromit: The Case of Were-Rabbi.t  The film will show on Saturday at October 27th at Mikewoods Park (Dennis Street).  BAC will be providing free kids craft (make your own play-doh) at 5:30pm with the movie starting at dusk. 

This 2005 film has been awarded numerous awards including “Best Animated Feature Film” at the 78th Academy Awards.  Wallace and his loyal dog, Gromit, set out to discover the mystery behind the garden sabotage that plagues their village and threatens the annual giant vegetable growing contest.    

So bring a picnic dinner, some blankets, and your movie watching self and join the Bossier Arts Council and the Robinson Film Center for a good time!!

For more information about Movies and Moonbeams or the Bossier Arts Council feel free to call us at 741-8310 or visit our website at learn more about the Robinson Film Center visit their website at  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Business of Art- Opportunity

     Recently at the Bossier Arts Council we were given the opportunity to expand our gallery space beyond the walls of our headquarters. This is becoming a gem in the community because local businesses see the potential to increase the appeal of their spaces while at the same time giving local artists a space to display their artwork. 

     I had a conversation about this expansion with an artist and was completely shocked by their response of "My artwork can only hang in a gallery." As a person whose job it is to match buyers and sellers I found this opinion to be against the basic principles of business. If you have artwork to sell and an opportunity opens up for you to sell the artwork, TAKE IT!! 

     Many artists in this area have closets/studios full of artwork that no one sees and are simply collecting dust. I feel that it is the responsibility of artists and arts organizations to raise awareness of original art and find ways to display it. Please let us know of ways we can help you as an artist promote your artwork and sign up for our Artist One Stop classes to learn about what it takes to be an artist both creatively and financially. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Experience @ Pet Savers (article by Carson Grill BAC Mentee)

Photograph by Carson Grill
Visiting Pet Savers was very sad and moving.  There were lots of dogs and cats; some of the dogs were not in cages and could walk around, but most of the dogs were in pens. They do get out every once in a while to play and use the bathroom. The dogs were very sweet, as the ones that were not in cages came up to me and were very happy to see me. The cats were nice as well and they also were able to lounge around, as they not in cages as well.

The stories of the animals were the saddest part of visiting the shelter. Most had been abandoned or surrendered to the shelter. Some of the dogs, especially the Pit Bulls, had been or, will be, at the shelter their whole lives. Many of them, especially the ones that have been there a long time, are never adopted.  Some of the owners who surrender their dogs put their dogs over the fence, thinking they are saving them, but they really are not as some of the dogs kill them.

Photograph by Carson Grill
One story about one of the dogs was particularly moving and sad. One look at this dog and you would know that it was loved and cared for. It had a pink sweater on and was very energetic. It looked confused like it didn’t know what it was doing there. Its owners had abandoned their dog at the shelter after they learned that they were expecting a baby and decided they couldn’t keep the dog.

It is a sad story that could have been prevented. Dogs are not disposable just for your convenience.  There are many other dogs and cats like these who need a home. It is people like you who can make a difference. One is by adopting at an animal shelter, or if you are not ready for that commitment yet, you can make a donation to an animal shelter like Pet Savers. If you would like to donate, please come by my art show which is on November 10th, and make a donation if you wish. I hope to use art to make a difference in an animal’s life since just helping one animal can make a big difference.

Many animal shelters are in dire need of donations and supplies to keep caring for and loving these animals. Also, spay and neuter your pets to prevent more animals from entering animal shelters.

Featured Gift Shop Artist

Bossier Arts Council is proud to announce that our featured artist for the bac Gift Shop this week is Carola Nix!
Carola Angrick Nix was born and raised in Germany. She studied Interior Design and Architecture before arriving in the US. she is a member of the Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA) Texarkana Chapter 222, the Shreveport Art Club, Bossier Arts Council, the Creative Art Connection of Bossier City, and roster member of the Northwest Louisiana Artist Directory of the Shreveport Arts Council. Occasionally teaching workshops in colored pencil art. All my art work is listed under my maiden name "Carola Angrick". 

Come in and purchase some of her amazing prints or post cards.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Life in Pastels

Life in Pastels 

By Trey Bryant

Pastel Society 2013 "Unique Pastels"

      The Pastel Society 2013 gathered at the Bossier Arts Council last night to celebrate the opening of their gallery exhibit "Unique Pastels". Artists specializing in the craft of the pastel  medium were able to admire, appreciate, and even purchase unique works of art from local professional artists. The gallery opening saw a turn out of nearly one-hundred guests, artists, and patrons who were treated to wine and refreshments all here at the BAC Gallery.

Refreshment Bar

     The exhibit, "Unique Pastels", will be on display until November 30th of this year. So, if you are fan of pastels, or a coneseure of the arts do not miss your chance to see, appreciate, and even own some of these remarkable pieces created by local Shreveport/Bossier area artists.

    Steven Belk (BAC Gallery Coordinator)      
Leigh Anne Chambers (Executive Director)


Frank L. Herbert
""Snakes and Flowers"
    Friday also saw the inaugural celebration for Frank L. Herbert's exhibit in our Emerging Artists Gallery. Herbert's Exhibit, "Snakes and Flowers",  will be on display until October 27, 2012 and is part of our on-going dedication to showcase blossoming talent in the area. When in the downtown area, do not forget to stop by and check out these two amazing Galleries, and show your support for our local artists!

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Little Brush that Could-week 15



Liquid Watercolors from

 Up-cycled Dried-Out Markers


 soaking the ink reservoirs from dried-out markers in plain water

Liquid watercolors are a versatile art supply that kids love to create with.
You know you have dried-out markers lying around- so why not make your own liquid watercolors for free and in the process break down those plastic markers and use for recycling and up-cycling.
To begin, take the markers apart- you’re aiming for that ink reservoir inside the marker barrel, but since you have to tear the marker completely apart to get it, you might as well finish the job and recycle what you can! Even if your markers aren’t Crayola brand, the method for getting out the ink reservoir will be just about identical, although you’ll probably have to just trash those marker barrels if you can’t determine if they’re recyclable.
Separate the ink reservoirs by color into containers with well-fitting lids to hold the liquid watercolors. If you have a ton of dried-out markers, you can use containers as large as Mason jars for this project. Recycled pill bottles and spice bottles would also be great containers.

finished liquid watercolor

Fill each container about three-quarters full of plain water, then put one end of each ink reservoir into the water. You’ll immediately notice the bottom end of the ink reservoir turn white, but otherwise the ink will dissipate into the water very slowly, so you may not see a difference for a while. The containers will need to sit for several hours, preferably a full 24 hours.
After about 24 hours, you should notice that the container of water is well tinted, but nevertheless milk any remaining ink that you can squeeze out of the ink reservoirs as you remove them from the containers–this is SO messy, but quite worth it! (Gloves will prevent temporary staining of your fingers).

Thursday, October 18, 2012


One of my favorite things about working for the Bossier Arts Council is that we rent our space at an affordable cost to other arts organizations and groups.  One of those very exciting clubs is the Shreveport Writers Club.  We are very proud of their members accomplishments.  Last night Dr. Anil Minocha shared with me the release of his newest book A Guide to Alternative Medicine and the Digestive System.  If you are interested in purchasing a copy click here.  Below you will find the publisher description.

  A Guide to Alternative Medicine and the Digestive System

A Guide to Alternative Medicine and the Digestive System is unique in that it provides answers to many practical medical questions, all in one comprehensive resource.

This single-authored handbook by Dr. Anil Minocha contains content supported by close to a 1,000 scientific citations. A Guide to Alternative Medicine and the Digestive System discusses the supportive evidence, and addresses safety issues, side-effects, and drug interactions.

Dr. Anil Minocha is Board-certified in gastroenterology, internal medicine, nutrition as well as fellowship trained in clinical pharmacology and medical toxicology. This extensive background brings a systematic approach to evaluating, treating, and managing patients with alternative medicine options when treating conditions related to the digestive system.

Readers will find more than 70 chapters of succinct information written in a user-friendly format inside A Guide to Alternative Medicine and the Digestive System.

“Dr. Anil Minocha is well-known for writing useful, practical guides for quality care. His newest text, A Guide to Alternative Medicine and the Digestive System is no disappointment. This is an eloquent and elegant evidence-based approach to a challenging area.”
                -Jack A. Di Palma, MD, University of South Alabama, Former President of the American College of Gastroenterology

“Dr. Minocha is to be applauded for his courage in tackling an issue, CAM, that the medical profession has traditionally chosen to ignore in the hope that it would simply go away. That CAM has stubbornly refused to disappear is a testament to its popularity with the general population and demands that we take it seriously, analyze why it is used and by whom and critically assess its efficacy and risks. For providing us with an accessible, fair and comprehensive critique of CAM in the context of modern medical practice, we all owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Minocha."
            -Eamonn Quigley, MD, University College Cork, Ireland , Former President of the American College of Gastroenterology

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Opportunity for Students


The Bossier Arts Council’s Wine Art Music (WAM) is thrilled to announce an exhibition of artwork by regional artist Jerry Berg.  His works will be on display in 1800 Prime Steakhouse at Boomtown Casino from October 11th to December 2nd with a WAM opening reception on November 1st from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. There is a $15 entry fee for this event for a selection of wine and hors d’ oeuvres.   

Berg, a contemporary realist painter, has been drawing, painting and printmaking from a very early age. After working in graphic design, Berg began working with traditional oils based on the old master techniques. When asked about his creative process he answered “I owe obvious and conscious debt to the great masters of 350 years ago. With every brushstroke, I strive to meet the example they set; in balanced and graceful composition, clear observation and precise execution. That being said, I live and work very much in the present day. Although the influence is usually subtle, the modern sensibility inevitably expresses itself. I take a real delight in discovering the marriage of these two worlds.”

WAM is a group initiative between the Bossier Arts Council, Boomtown Casino and the Shreveport Symphony committed to promoting art work of regional artists.  It is located in 1800 Prime Steakhouse at 300 Riverside Drive, Bossier City, LA. The hours of operation are Wednesday and Sunday 5-9pm and Friday and Saturday 5-10pm. 

For more information about Jerry Berg or the Bossier Arts Council feel free to call us at 741-8310 or visit our website at

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Opportunity for Visual Artists

Stop Over Saturday Series: Studio Spotlight

Bossier Arts Council is proud to present its' Stop Over Saturday Series: Studio Spotlight

Studio Spotlight, Exploring the Artists in Residence
Saturday, November 3, 2012 tours are at 10am, 12pm and 2pm . We will provide a tour of the artists’ studios, where they will give a live demonstration on the making of their art, as well as, answering any questions tour patrons may have. 
Admission is free

We look forward to seeing you here!!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Little Brush that Could-week 14

Q: Why don't mummies take vacations?
A: They're afraid they'll relax and unwind.

Continuing with the Halloween theme...this week we are making Yummy Mummy Pizza.
As many adults know, cooking is as much an art as it is a science. The process of tasting and adding new ingredients is an endeavor that children are excited to undertake . Like adults, little ones have their own ideas about how things should be done, which of course includes cooking. The mess and extra time spent going at a slower pace is all worth it when that smile creaps across your little ones face!
 I started baking with my kids every Friday night as soon as my oldest was big enough to stand in a chair.
Each Halloween we make these pizzas. The ingredients are so simple and can be adapted to suit any diet. 
I personally like using Grands Biscuits for the crust, but you can also use English muffins or bagel halves. 

What You Need

1 can large biscuits
1 jar pizza sauce
1 pkg Mozzarella String Cheese
1 can (sliced) black olives

Make It

HEAT oven to 400ºF.
ROLL out each biscuit to 1/4 inch thickness
SPREAD sauce over biscuit dough. Pull cheese into thin strips; place in random criss-cross fashion on top to resemble mummy bandages.  Add olives for the eyes.
PLACE on baking sheet.
BAKE 10 min. or until biscuits are done and cheese is melted.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Carson Grill's Senior Project Check-In

An art show featuring pets and celebrating all animals will be held at the Bossier Arts Council Annex to help raise money for Pet Savers, a local animal shelter that helps find homes for homeless animals and is a forever home for many of their animals that seek refuge there.  The works will be by local artists and will be on display and for sale at the annex on November 10th.   Benton High School senior Carson Grill has planned this show as part of her senior project, with the help of many wonderful people in the community.

Pet Savers is a local, non-profit organization that shelters many homeless animals who have been abandoned either by their previous owners, or picked up from the streets.  Helping this local shelter will allow them to continue to care and love for these animals.  The artwork at the show will feature animals to help raise donations for this wonderful organization.  Don't miss out on this chance to help make a difference in an animal's life!

The Bossier Arts Council is committed to promoting art work of regional artists.  It is located in the BAC headquarters at 630 Barksdale Blvd. right off I-20. The BAC annex is next door to the main BAC building. You can come visit the gallery and/or make a donation Saturday from 3:00 pm--6:00pm.

For more information about the Bossier Arts Council, feel free to call them at 741-8310 or visit their website at  If you would like more information about Pet Savers you can visit their website at  

Coming to East Bank Theatre

The Academy of Children's Theatre will open its ninth season with the children's classic drama, Pollyanna. The well loved children's play based on the novel by Eleanor Porter tells the story of Pollyanna, a missionary's child, who becomes an orphan after both her parents die.  She comes to Vermont to live with her spinster aunt and her joyous and positive attitude changes a town of bitter unhappy and miserable people.  

The production will be staged Nov. 2, 3, 9. and 10 at 7:00 p.m. and Nov. 4 and 11 at 2:00 the East Bank Theatre in Bossier City.  Tickets are $15.00 each and reservations can be made by calling the box office at 

The production features 40 community theatre and youth actors and is directed by Cynthia Hawkins-Whitaker with costumes by Sara Archer, sets by Eugen Crook, sound by Robin Jackson, and music by Daniel Ley.  Starring in the title role is Gabrielle Stimits.  Joining her are Jan Reedy as Aunt Polly, Rose Smoak as Nancy, Graham Montgomery as Jimmy Bean, Eddie Tinsley as Dr. Chilton, Jeff Cowley as Rev. Ford, Jeff Luce as the Mayor, Kate Davis as Millie, Carly Braswell as Mrs. Tarbell, and Kolby Ledbetter as George.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Intermediate Photoshop

The Bossier Arts Council is the proud home to Artist One Stop the only business resource center managed by an Arts Council in Louisiana.  The center is here to help artists on their journey as entrepreneurs.  In the spirit we are pleased to announce our additional fall class “Intermediate Photoshop”.  The classes will be held at the Bossier Arts Council at 630 Barksdale Blvd, Bossier City, LA 71111.  This workshop will be taught by BAC’s Board President and local photographer Jennifer Robison.  This hour and half long class are for those more experienced in Adobe Photoshop.  Each participant should bring five images to work on during the course of the class.  Two sessions will be offered on the evening of Tuesday, November 20th.   

·         5:30-7pm
·         7-8:30pm

To register for the class please call 318-741-8310 or email us at  Space is limited and will be given first come first serve.  Classes are free to Bossier Arts Council Members.  Memberships are $25 for individuals and last for 12 months. 

For more information about the Artist One Stop or the Bossier Arts Council feel free to call us at 741-8310 or visit our website at

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Unique Pastels in East Bank Gallery

The Unique Pastel show, featuring artists from the Shreveport Pastel Society, will be in the Bossier Arts Council's East Bank Gallery from October 16th - November 30th with a reception on October 19th at 6pm.

Lisa Young
Coral Rose by Lisa Young

Lisa Young

Since I was very young I always loved painting, drawing and anything to do with art. I've never had any formal art training so what I do is all self taught. Eventually my interest and love of creating art became one of my passions, and I am so grateful that it happened that way. With the support and encouragement of dear friends I decided to pursue my passion and develop my skills to the next level. Although I'm still learning and developing my skills I'm happy to show you Young Heirloom Fine Art. - Lisa Young

Barbra Rushing 

Barbara Rushing 
Yellow Daisy
Barbara McMahen Rushing has a B. S. degree in Science, Business and Art Education from Centenary and has studied art with several nationally known artists.  She paints in oils, pastels, watercolor, acrylic media.  She enjoys learning, teaching, and painting.  She's participated in numerous art shows and won awards in watercolor, oils, acrylics, and pastels.

Barbara McMahen Rushing loves color and enjoys trying to paint the effect of  light.  Art is a fantastic activity!!!

Judy Horne 
Judy Horne 

After a long, varied and satisfying career in education, I retired, content with what I had accomplished and eager to explore other facets of life that I had put on hold for so many years. Freed from the constraints of daily work responsibilities, and joined in pursuits of an artistic nature by my supportive photographer husband, we are able to travel some and life is great.

As I have discovered in all the other phases of my life, the more one learns, the more there is to learn, and that is what I am about: reading, listening, observing, going to workshops and demonstrations, experimenting, stretching, failing, reevaluating, and sometimes, to my delight, succeeding.  Although I have no formal art education, I have enjoyed study with many nationally known artists in watercolor and pastel.

In addition to being a visual artist, I am a professionally trained voice actor.  It is so exciting to explore an area so different from my other pursuits, something that I have wanted to do for a long time. An opportunity to study the field came along quite unexpectedly and I am thoroughly enjoying the adventure.  My goals in this area are to use my speaking and mimicry skills to bring audio pleasure to listeners of all ages.  This may take the form of commercials, PSAs, instructional and training materials or audio books.  Incorporating my Scottish heritage and my Spanish language training adds a unique dimension to my voice work.  

You may see and hear samples of my work at

Pamela Viviano

A Detroit native who has lived in Shreveport for 22 years, Pam studied drawing and printmaking with an emphasis on portraiture at Michigan State University, where she earned her B.A. in Studio Art and Psychology. She holds certificates as an assistant pre-school Montessori teacher and yoga teacher and was program director for the Youth Enrichment Program in Shreveport. In 2010, she directed a 21-parish project for the Shreveport Regional Arts Council’s Arts-in-Education program. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology at LSUS.

In the last few years her professional pursuits have included art. Her photographs, in which she documents her trips around the state and country, have been featured in several exhibits, including artspace, Bossier Arts Council, and the Meadows Museum Triennial Competitions I and II. In addition, she had her first solo show of pastels of nature, The Language of Trees, at the Bossier Arts Council in 2011. In 2009 she participated in Katfish 4 Kids, a public sculpture fundraiser for Volunteers For Youth Justice, with two designs: Mark Twain-Fish and Bistineau Blues-Fish. Pam contributes regularly to the LPB Art and Travel Auction.
Wedgewood Bottle by Pamela Viviano

Pam has also taught yoga since 1994. Concurrent with program directing and teaching after school classes at the Renzi Art and Education Center and ArtBreak, Pam conducts workshops on art and yoga and teaches private yoga classes for children and adults. She enjoys public speaking and has presented workshops to many clubs and groups in the Shreveport-Bossier area. She is a member of the Shreveport Pastel Society.

Fran Barlow 

Trysts by Fran Barlow
Almost Okra by Fran Barlow

Pastel is Fran’s favorite medium.  At the end of her third painting, Fran Barlow is hooked.  The dust on her hands while working reminds her of helping her grandfather pick up potatoes from his garden and her hands had to be washed often.  But what is a little dust?  She loves the immediacy and boldness of pastel, the firmness of hard sticks when delineation is needed or the soft buttery sticks that shout, "Look here first and take a guided tour through this work.”

Kitty Wallis pastel paper is Fran’s first choice of support.  She enjoys the clean, white paper.  But for a change she uses a hard red stick to tone the paper.  It is such fun painting on the red.  Once the focal point is established Fran begins laying in color spots all over the paper.  Her progression is from hard to soft pastel and from top to bottom.  With continued perseverance he scraggly stage begins to take form.  It’s as if the work takes on a life of its own.   Fran and the work are in close communion.  It is going so well.  Fran is ecstatic, flying high, and so very appreciative of this gift.

The ultimate validation is when people engage me in conversation perhaps telling of an incident in their lives that relates to the work, or how the work flows, or how the colors, mood excite them, or this particular little gem is just what’s needed by the reading chair

Kay Smith 

Kay Smith

Born in 1946, in Hope, Arkansas, Kay Smith is a Pastel Artist.  Although having no formal art training, Kay has taken various workshops in oil painting and pastel painting as well as studying under Christie Cassell, a gifted portrait artist in Shreveport.  Studying with Christie, Kay gained much knowledge and skill in painting with pastels ,mainly learning to paint portraits in pastels.
Floral Colors by Kay Smith
Kay has received numerous awards for her work and is a member of the Shreveport Pastel Society, Bossier Creative Art Connection and the Shreveport Art Club.

I have several different interests which include gardening, reading, enjoying my grandchildren and a primary interest in art.  Pastels, pencil studies and pen and ink are my major focus.  My main subject matter is people, animals and landscapes.  I enjoy bright colors and am striving to be more impressionistic in my work rather than quite so controlled.

Robert Smith

Candle by Robert Smith
Born in Amarillo, Texas in 1945, Robert moved to Shreveport, Louisiana area in 1949.  He graduated from Woodlawn High School in 1963.  His love of drawing/painting was put on the back burner in order to provide for his family, but when he retired from being an AC-Technician he finally began seriously painting.  Robert’s mother said the first time (age 4) she gave him a pencil and some paper, he amazed her by drawing a dog.  He drew with pencil and charcoal until age 44.  At 44 he experimented with other mediums such as watercolor, pastels and acrylics.  A whole new world opened up!
As a self-taught artist, he has learned from art magazines, books and the internet.  Robert hopes to inspire other individuals, that love art, it is never too late to follow your dreams. Robert is a member of the Shreveport Art Club and Shreveport Pastel Society.

I paint for the sheer joy of creating something where there was nothing.  At this point in my career, I paint only that which I wish to paint.  That is to say, I paint for the color, reflections, shadows and refractions that catch my eye.  I do not paint abstractly, although I may try that style someday.  I have only lately begun to sell my art work, but many of my works are on display in the homes of friends and family, which gives me great satisfaction.
I work mostly with pastels and some acrylics and watercolor.  I paint a variety of subjects; landscapes, still life, seascapes, animal life and portraits.  My choice of medium depends on the subject.  Subjects with hard edges and/or reflection/refractions are generally composed with acrylics and the softer subjects are composed in pastels.  I try to invoke memories from places and things we have all probably experienced.
Each new painting is also a learning experience.  I paint for me and hope someone else will enjoy it too.

Melba Miller

Melba Miller

  I love art and painting nature, animals, birds, landscapes, the light and I love color.  There is so much beauty to paint, art helps to see the beauty in our world.  People think they can’t afford art for their homes, but they can and should have it to enjoy.

I’ve been painting more than 25 years and have 
Boxer by Melba Miller
taken many workshops.  I painted in oils for 10 years before I learned watercolor, acrylic, pastel and collage.  I learned art and the medium doesn’t matter.  My mentors are June Tyler, Luphilla Middlebrooks and Shelia Parsons. The more I learn, the more I want to learn – you never stop learning. I’ve been a member of the Shreveport Art Club, the LA Society of Animal Artists and the Pastel Society for many years and won many awards.  I’ve participated in the Artport Show at the Municipal Airport for many years and have sold from these shows.

Ginger Elliot Briggs 

Ginger Elliot Briggs
Jellyfish by Ginger Elliot Briggs

Ginger’s formal art education began in 1978 at the age of 12 under the tutelage of Larry Casso, owner of Baton Rouge Fine Arts Academy, which she attended for five years.  At BRFAA, Ginger learned the “Old Masters” technique of drawing and painting while working in several mediums: charcoal, pastel, pencil, scratchboard, pen and ink, watercolor, gouache and acrylic.  Today, Ginger’s most recent works include landscapes and animals in pastels and watercolor, and several abstract pieces in watercolor and mixed media.  Ginger is currently a member of the Shreveport Pastel Society and Bossier Arts Council.

Carolyn Pitts

Carolyn Pitts
 Carolyn Pitts is a Louisiana wildlife artist and photographer who lives with her husband in Benton, Louisiana. A wildlife conservationist at heart she specialists in landscapes, wildlife and pet portraits. She fell in love with the outdoors in South Louisiana hunting and fishing with her husband, Jeffrey.
Mike by Carolyn Pitts
It is through Pitts' personal travels and experiences that she is able to bring such beauty and depth to her paintings. She has traveled as far as the South Louisiana wetlands, to the Ozark Mountains, Colorado's Rocky Mountains, Montana, Yellowstone National Park, East and West Coast in the United States collecting information and observing wildlife for her references for her paintings. Her travels has also, taken her to England, Italy, Kruger National Park and Tshuksudu Game Reserve in South Africa. Pitts experiences in the wild, observing wildlife in its natural environment, capturing rare moments with her photography and paintings brings her great artistic motivation. She enjoys sharing  the beauty of nature and the sense of freedom with others through her photographs and paintings.
Among the techniques Pitts use are oil, pastel, watercolor, and acrylic. She has studied under wildlife artist  John Seerey - Lester, Kobus Moller, Don Edwards, Cory Carlson, Allan Flattman, Virginia Vaughn, Kitty Wallis, Mike Windberg, Dalhart Windberg , Mark McHaffey  and Morgan Samuel Price. 
Pitts' is an active member  in Louisiana Society of Animal Artist, Shreveport Pastel Society and  Shreveport Art Club and Shreveport Hoover Society.  She  teaches  art  at her studio. 

I am a self-taught artist and a Shreveport native.  Most of my life has had some form of art exposure.  My mother used pastels and pen & ink in most of her work which I always admired.  She is the reason I wanted to learn to work in the pastel medium.
The acrylic work came about when I was commissioned to do an abstract piece and found that I loved the heaviness, boldness and color.
Marion Davis
Guidance has been provided by Barbara Russell and Fran Barlow.   
This summer, I was fortunate enough to take a workshop with Alan Flattmann.  It was wonderful!  I find I like to work large and a little strong in color. There is a lot to learn and I am headed in that direction.

Although I have been an “artist” most of my life, I have just recently put this talent to work by exploring acrylics and pastels.  My mother is an artist and I remember fondly some of the commissioned work she did when I was younger, in pastels.  So, I have ventured there.
The texture and boldness of acrylics makes me happy, so I work with them too.  

Christie Cassell

Like many artists I  spent countless hours as a child doodling on my Big Chief pad, and painting with my set of Prang watercolors. One of my favorite pastimes was sketching from old black and white photos of people. As a teen I discovered art classes in high school and  became totally enthralled with drawing fashion ads and faces from magazines, as well as class projects such as drawing still-life setups, and landscapes. In college I pursued a degree in Advertising Design (before computers!), in which most of my classes were fine art based, and illustration became my strength. So it’s not surprising today that as a professional artist I lean toward the realist tradition and that my first love is still portraiture and figure painting.
The mediums with which I paint are primarily pastel and oil, and occasionally charcoal or conte crayon, although for years I focused on watercolor and still love its’ unbelievable transparency.
Althea & Plums by Christie Cassell
  In still-life, landscape, or floral painting it is the lighting that intrigues me most: from the soft shimmer of low light, to the halo of back-lighting; or the bright and streaming sunshine kissing those objects and giving them form, life, and dazzling color. My focus this year has been on painting from life, therefore the still-life paintings in this exhibit are just that: painted directly from a set-up in my studio.  In portraiture, each time I paint I fall in love with the glowing skin tones and subtly reflected colors under various lighting conditions.
     My ultimate delight remains portraiture and figures; in seeing that person “come alive” on my canvas or paper. The very act of painting for its own sake is an adventure and extremely rewarding, but the icing on the cake is the appreciation from that person as they see themselves, or a beloved family member, captured forever with only paint and paper.  It makes me smile.
    Painting is truly, for me, a celebration of the gift of life!  The joy of creating and constantly learning is the gift I’ve been given to share, and I’m deeply grateful.