“Girls in Field”
“A Venice Canal”
The Ouachita River Art Gallery (The River Gallery) located on Trenton Street in West Monroe is Louisiana’s oldest artists’ cooperative, featuring original artwork from 20 to 30 artists in media including painting, photography, woodwork, and jewelry. During the April 7th Art Crawl, Rachael Hudnall will be our featured artist. Rachael has a successful history in graphic design and only recently discovered the passion that is painting. As a lover of history, her style tends to reflect a long ago, far away feel. The subject matter is typically of an ordinary event, and viewers may anticipate a connection to their own lives, finding their story within her paintings.
Additionally, the gallery will proudly introduce a captivating exhibit of fine art paintings, drawings, and photography of its five newest members: Billy Albritton (photography); Allison Dollar (pen and ink, pencil and acrylic); Rachael Hudnall (acrylic); Mary May (water color and acrylic); Staci Albritton Mitchell (photography). The artists invite you to view and discuss their work, enjoy refreshments, and listen to the live music of singer song-writer Amanda McDowell in the River Gallery at the Downtown Artcrawl, Thursday, April 7th, 5-9pm.
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
Nancy Shutt (left) and Branda McDaniel (right) welcome new River Gallery member Mary May (center). River Gallery members enjoyed a large crowd of visitors during the Downtown Art Crawl Thursday, October 1st (not pictured is new member Rachel Hudnall).
New River Gallery member Brett Moreland stands in front of his paintings during the Downtown Art Crawl.
Saturday Night Before Sunday Service
Exhibition Theme: “Faith, Religion, and God’s Creations in Nature”
Joyce Beauvais has been a member of the “River Gallery” co-op since 2012. Beauvais’ work will be on display August 7 -31. Her paintings, in both oil and watercolor, feature churches, landscapes, a river baptism, a cross with flowers, and a Saturday night of fun before Sunday Services. The artist’s exhibition follows The River Gallery’s celebration of twenty-five years in operation as Louisiana’s oldest artist co-op.
Brenda McDaniel, Ada Richie, Carolyn Fox
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:
From Florence to Rome by Phoebe Allen Mathys.
The Ouachita River Art Gallery will feature Phoebe Allen Mathys, retired Louisiana Tech School of Art and Architecture Professor Emeritus, in June 2015. This show, “Rome with a View,” is a series of paintings taken from Phoebe’s sketch books and memories of her travels to Rome, Italy. Painting primarily in water media, Phoebe’s love of color and playful nature is obvious to anyone viewing her work. She says, “To create means to cause to come into existence. It is hard work. Every time I sit down to paint I try to do something in image or essence I’ve never seen or done before. I hope to know my subject well enough so that my mind, eyes, and hand are working together.”
In addition to the regular gallery hours, the River Gallery will be open until 9pm on Thursday, June 4 for the Downtown Gallery Crawl. There will be refreshments, wine and music.
Phoebe is a native of north Louisiana and earned her B.A. and M.A. in Art Education with additional hours in Fine Arts. She taught 33 years at Louisiana Tech in the School of Art and the School of Architecture in areas of basic two-dimensional design, color theory, and advanced media and presentation techniques. She has exhibited in over a hundred juried and invitational exhibitions as well as many local, regional and national art exhibitions. Phoebe has received many honors for both her teaching skills and her fine art work and has been published in several volumes and articles.
The Ouachita River Art Gallery, voted Best Art Gallery in 2014, 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 of Louisiana. 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 visitwww.ouachitariverartgallery.com.