Charlie Heck, Featured Artist February 2016


After the Storm (photography)


Mardi Gras Indian (photography)

Local Monroe attorney and photographer, Charlie Heck, is the featured artist at The River Gallery, 308 Trenton Street, in West Monroe. He will present a gallery talk at the Monroe-West Monroe Downtown Gallery Art Crawl Thursday, February 4th, 2016, 6:30 PM.
Charlie’s first serious exposure to photography came after his graduation from Louisiana Tech, during a tour with the United States Air Force. Through kind and patient instruction of an elderly sergeant who managed the base photo lab, he was gradually introduced to the full gamut of photography. He still remembers the thrill of working in a wet darkroom, watching the negatives or papers develop and the magical appearance of the images.
This early experience bred a continuing involvement with cameras and producing images. With the advent of digital photography and its challenge to the advantages of film, his work progressed to embrace the use of Photoshop and inkjet printers. He now personally uses technology to expose, print, and frame his images using only archival materials and processes.
Charlie’s initial interest was nature photography, and he periodically visited wildlife refuges and preserves. Currently, he is experimenting with high resolution scenic images. His many honors include judging the professional division of the highly popular Black Bayou Lake NWR Photography Competition in 2015 where he helped develop a photographic blind. His work has been nationally and regionally published in books, periodicals, and has been selected for book and wildlife refuge brochure covers.

Charlie’s work has been included in many juried competitions and in several museums including the Louisiana Museum in Baton Rouge, the Masur Museum of Art, Louisiana Tech University, and featured at the Old P. O. Museum in Winnsboro, the Schepis Museum in Columbia, and the Snyder Museum in Bastrop.
Charlie Heck is the featured artist in the January 2016 Bayou Life magazine. You may view this article on line at

Margaret Ellerman, Featured Artist for August

Margaret_BeachBuddies  Beach Buddies (mixed media)  Margaret_PelicansFinished What Cha Lookin’ at Dude? (mixed media)

Margaret Ellerman, Featured Artist for August 2014, presents an exhibition of new works titled Between the Lines. A reception for the artist coincides with the Downtown Art Crawl, Thursday, August 7th, 5 – 9pm.

Mrs. Ellerman has degrees from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and Louisiana Tech; she is an art educator, teaching art classes at Franklin Parish High School. Her show, Between the Lines, is the culmination of a yearlong study of making hand decorated paper and artist altered commercial papers for use in sketchbooks and collage paintings and working with “continuous line drawing.”

 “I worked with my students this past year at Franklin Parish High School making handmade stamps and mixed media sketchbooks. Multimedia, altered books, collaged sketchbooks, journals and papers have interested me for quite a while, and with a little preparation work students produced amazingly beautiful papers to use in their sketchbooks. Their results inspired me to construct my own “stamps” and use them to make decorated papers for collage for my show.”

The name collage is coined from a French word that means “to glue,” and is actually an art form that can be traced back hundreds of years but in the 20thcentury reappeared in the works of Picasso and Braque. John Lennon’s drawings that recently sold at Sotheby’s in New York, although not collage, were based on continuous line drawing – gesture and contour.” This type drawing usually injects humor in the pieces.

“In looking for a way to utilize contour and gesture drawing to portray humor in my work, I hit upon the idea of using my drawings, paint, decorated papers, glue, and words in mixed media paintings.”

 Mrs. Ellerman has taught high school art classes and painting workshops for high school students, children and adults for many years. Her work has been accepted and has won many awards in national and regional art competitions.

 The show will open at the next gallery crawl, August 7, 5:00 until 9:00PM, and will hang at The River Gallery, 308 Trenton Street in West Monroe through the month of August.

Ouachita River Art Gallery is the oldest and largest co-op gallery in the state. We are grateful to the local community for the continued support of the arts in our area. The gallery is at 308 Trenton Street, West Monroe, and is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Admission is always free. Call 322-2380 for more information or visit


Join us tonight at the Downtown Art Crawl!


Shop tonight at the River Gallery during the Downtown Gallery Crawl! You’ll find gifts for everyone and art for all kinds of art lovers: pottery, wood turning, paintings (oil, acrylic, watercolor), jewelry, photography. You’ll find wonderful art items uniquely created by area artists.

We’re located in West Monroe at 308 Trenton Street. Enjoy great music, good food tonight, and meet many of the River Gallery artists.

Don Hudnall, August Artist-of-the-Month

dhudnall_justforfun2  donhudnall2

Don Hudnall’s Just for Fun, greenware.

Don (also known as Dirt Dauber) described his work as “his fun.” Being creative and trying new things is his passion, so along those lines, he is trying new things. Perhaps it’s a modification from things he has seen elsewhere.  Perhaps it is a happy accident.  Whatever it is, it is not going to be sets of dishes.  All works created for this show will be totally unique and created “in the moment.”   Don will have cups and mugs available, but each one will be totally unique.  He does admit, however, that the mugs will lean toward his Celtic heritage.  The Celtic Fest scheduled for October 5th at Kiroli Park has been on his mind lately, and it’s leaking out onto his cups and mugs. Intrigued? Stop by the gallery on August 1st during the DAA Art Crawl to meet Don and see his works in person. The gallery will be open during its regular hours and late for the Art Crawl (10am-9pm on August 1). We’ll have live music with guitarist John Farmer. Stop by to meet Don and the other River Gallery artists and hear Don’s gallery talk at 7:00pm.  Don will also be at the gallery from 10am-5pm on Saturday, August 3.

The River Gallery, 308 Trenton Street, West Monroe, invites you to come by and see this special show of Don’s work during the entire month of August. When you shop at your local gallery, you not only help our economy by keeping your money in the area, you also save on taxes and shipping. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check out our workshop table for upcoming art classes. Admission is free. Paintings and photographs  by gallery members can also be seen at ORAG’s extension gallery located in the lobby of Ouachita Independent Bank/Bankers Mortgage Plaza at 18th and Louisville in Monroe. Call 322-2380 for more information.

Jerry W. Jones, featured artist of June 2013


Three Kings of the East (acrylic) by Jerry Jones.

Wildlife Artist Jerry W. Jones is the River Gallery’s featured artist for June. The focus of Jerry’s work is capturing wildlife and the great outdoors on paper and canvas. “When I look at the beauty and complexity in nature, I am blown away, almost to the point of being overwhelmed by it all. Then, like all artists, I begin to look for the obvious form and color, the big things that I can see and capture. Once I get started is when the fun begins, as I try to express the essence of what drew me to the subject matter in the first place.”  In his recently completed “Three Kings of the East,” you can see that reality as one of the Eastern wild turkeys is already stretched to the alert position and turning away. Jerry says he was recently challenged by another local (and respected) artist, Anya Lincoln Dunn, to “Keep perfecting your craft.” That is the goal, the challenge, and what makes it so much fun.  Jerry believes that “God truly is the first Creator.  The rest of us are just doing studies of the Old Master’s work.”

A reception for Jerry’s show will coincide with the Downtown Art Alliance’s Gallery Crawl, Thursday, June 6 , from 5-9pm. In addition to Jerry’s work, the gallery will have new art, pottery, wood turning, photography, jewelry and more from over 25 regional artists. Guitarist Evan Hebert will be playing at River Gallery for the Art Crawl. You can also meet Jerry Jones at the River Gallery Saturday, June 8, 10am-4pm, with a reception 1-4pm.

The Ouachita River Art Gallery, voted Best Art Gallery in 2011, is at 308 Trenton Street, West Monroe, and is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The gallery is the oldest and largest co-op gallery in the state. Many of the artists accept commissions, so if you see a style of work that you like, don’t be afraid to inquire about having one of the artists create a custom piece. Admission is always free. Gallery member’s work can also be seen at ORAG’s extension gallery located in the lobby of Ouachita Independent Bank/Bankers Mortgage Plaza at 18th and Louisville in Monroe. Call 322-2380 for more information or visit and don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook for sneak peeks of new art.