The River Gallery celebrates its 25th Anniversary!

ORAGbrendamcdaniel_adarichie_carolynfox Brenda McDaniel, Ada Richie, Carolyn Fox

ORAG_Brenda Brenda McDaniel demos at a Downtown Art Crawl

The River Gallery Celebrates its Silver Anniversary!

The month of July is The River Gallery’s 25th anniversary. WOW!  That’s a quarter of a century.  The artists/members will feature a memorabilia wall with photos and news stories from the past 25 years . Each artist will show a painting created just for the occasion using “silver” or “25” as the theme of the painting. The “Silver Celebration” exhibit will continue through Thursday, August 6 with a closing celebration during the Downtown Gallery Crawl.

The gallery started in the summer of 1990 with a group of local and regional painters, potters, photographers, woodworkers, and jewelry makers wishing to promote art, art education, and art appreciation to the people of this area. They formed the non-profit co-op named “The Ouachita River Art Guild.” Their first gallery was in the Glenwood Mall in West Monroe, and they later moved to Antique Alley in downtown West Monroe, growing into a much larger store front on Antique Alley at 308 Trenton Street where they are now located.  The River Gallery has now become the oldest art co-op in Louisiana. Each artist takes a turn at working in the gallery, while other details of running a business are spread out among the members. Membership in the gallery is through a juried process.

Workshops that anyone can attend, in various media, by well known artists are sponsored several times a year in different locations. As the co-op approaches its 25th anniversary, it continues to thrive and grow. Located at 308 Trenton St. in West Monroe on historic Antique Alley, it is open to the public free of charge Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM to 5 PM. Phone 318-322-2380. Web site:

www.ouachitariverartgallery.com

 

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 www.ouachitariverartgallery.com.

 

Melanie Douthit, June featured artist

Melanie_Web2

Enjoying the Journey, an exhibition of artwork by Melanie Douthit, June 2014 Featured Artist at the River Gallery

Melanie Fitzgerald Douthit, the June Featured Artist at the River Gallery, grew up in Union Parish. She loved drawing as a child and started painting at the age of 19 when she enrolled in an oil painting class taught by Ronnie Barnes. That class was the beginning of her never ending creative journey which has taken paths in watercolor, charcoal, pen and ink, acrylic, and mixed media.

Melanie says of her artistic process “Every painting is an adventure. I have a map of where I want to go, but at some point the painting drives itself, and I’m just there to enjoy the journey”

In 2000, Melanie started selling her work online. In 2002 she was contacted by a national chain restaurant, Mimi’s Café, to commission over 20 of her Mardi Gras Dachshund paintings for their new locations. She still receives commissions from people who see her work in various locations across the US.  Melanie’s current creations include French Quarter scenes, whimsical “wordy birdz”, mixed media collage pieces, and florals.

Melanie started showing her work regularly at the Downtown Art Crawl in 2010, and in 2011 she rejoined the River Gallery where she is the Marketing Director. Melanie was recently elected secretary for the Downtown Art Alliance, helping continue the vision to promote the visual arts in Downtown Monroe and West Monroe. She currently resides in West Monroe with her husband and two artistically gifted children, and she regularly volunteers her creative talents painting murals for the Strauss Youth Academy for the Arts where her daughter is an actress.

Stop by the River Gallery during the June 5th Downtown Art Crawl from 5-9pm to meet Melanie and see her new work. Her show will hang at the gallery through the end of June.

The River Gallery, is located 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. Call 322-2380 for more information or visit www.ouachitariverartgallery.com and don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook for sneak peeks of new art.