Brenda McDaniel, March Featured Artist

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Brenda McDaniel’s Featured Artist Show is titled “Looking Up” and consists of large oil paintings of skyscapes. The artist says, “When the world crowds in on me, and I grow weary of dealing with everyday problems, I go outside and look up. It puts everything in proportion and refreshes my view of life. Sometimes we are so focused on what is right in front of us we forget the big picture.”

A native of Mer Rouge, LA who traveled over much of the world complements of a military husband, Brenda gained knowledge that is reflected in her wide range of interest and subjects. Besides independent studies, private lessons and attending several universities around the country she considers herself primarily a self-taught artist. Before deciding to paint full time she was a commercial artist employed in the advertising field where she received numerous local and national awards. Brenda has commissions of homes, portraits of people and pets, landscapes and still lifes hanging in private and corporate collections in the U.S.A., Europe, and The United Kingdom.

Brenda helped organize and open the Ouachita River Art Gallery, which is now the oldest, and possibly largest, co-op art gallery in the state. The gallery is open to the public free of charge Tuesday through Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM. A large and varied membership offers paintings in all media, jewelry, photos, wood works and pottery. Purchases of original art are tax free.

Doug Breckenridge, Featured Artist February 2015

DougB1 Afternoon on the East Bank of the Ouachita River

Doug says, “There exists in everyone’s life those brief moments that lift one up out of  life’s daily routines and allow one to exist for time, on a different plane.  It is these very moments that if left undocumented, would drift ever so quickly back into the continuous stream of everyday existence.  For the artist, to capture such a moment and document it through an expression of art is sheer enjoyment.  To portray such a moment with a degree of skill that affords others a glimpse into an otherwise private experience is priceless.” 

…….a Father and Son moment, each posed against a Bierstadt landscape of canyons and waterfalls with the ghostly mist of the river rising just beyond their reach.
…….a fall morning of fly fishing the Firehole with illusions of distant geysers dancing on the horizon, obscured now and then by falling snow and subtle shifts in the wind; and then – the bombastic strike of a rainbow at the end of the line!
…….the last rays of sunlight casting images of afternoon subtleties along the banks of the Ouachita, revealing forms illuminated in brilliant hues of yellows and oranges, pronounced against a grey blue sky.
…….those long ago Sunday afternoon strolls along a California beach, watching people watching sea lions stretched out on the warm sands – dreaming sea lion dreams.

These are the artist’s special moments and through artistic expression, you are invited to share these experiences and step temporally out of the stream of everyday life for only a brief moment.
Doug Breckenridge originally began to paint in the mid-70s; however, marriage, children and a career, required that this activity be put on hold.  It wasn’t until after the many years of ball park nights – clandestinely sipping frozen margaritas from ball park cups – that he was able once again to take up this passion.  His paintings spring not from the aspect of pure design, but from an aspect of displaying those moments that meant so much to him, both visually and emotionally……and if he could again envision those now distant ball parks nights, he would also paint them and dream margarita dreams.

The gallery will also be open until 9pm on Thursday, February 5 for the Art Gallery Crawl. Stop by and meet Doug in person.

The River Gallery is located at 308 Trenton Street in the heart of Antique Alley in West Monroe, LA.  Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00-5:00.  The gallery is in a tax-free art zone, so all original art work is tax-free.  Come visit “the best-kept secret” in town and add some local, original art work to your collection. Phone: 318-323-2380.
Web site:  http://www.ouachitariverartgallery.com

 

 

December in the River Gallery

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Holiday Variety is the theme at The River Gallery during December. This artist-run gallery hosts 25 artists working in all media from paintings to woodturning, pottery, jewelry, glass art, and photography. In addition to the exquisite offerings of fine art, the gallery will be featuring gift items for December. This includes smaller art, handcrafted wine stoppers, jewelry, unique ornaments, and notecards. Sales of the original works are tax exempt under the Louisiana Cultural District, so visitors not only support local artists but also save sales taxes when shopping. 
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. We are thankful to our Delta Style readers who voted our gallery “Best Art Gallery” in 2011 and 2014. The gallery is at 308 Trenton Street, West Monroe, Louisiana. It 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.

Emily Brodnax, November Featured Artist

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“Magnolia” (black & white photography) by Emily Brodnax, November Featured Artist-of-the-Month.

In the current days of digital everything, are there any people out there who remember the joy of watching a black and white photo come up in the tray of a wet darkroom? Well, there is a local pharmacist/photographer/artist who says “I catch myself smiling when it happens.  It is a joy to behold!”

Emily Brodnax, is artist of the month of November at The River Gallery (Ouachita River Art Gallery), on Antique Alley, and her darkroom work is known all over the nation.  Through countless showings and contest wins, her gelatin silver photographs hang from coast to coast.  This particular exhibition has pictures from California to Mississippi, and even Alaska. During shoots in different locals, people will stop to ask about the medium format vintage camera that she carries.  While traveling is a wonderful blessing, some of our local attractions are equally as interesting and picturesque.  For example, a small but lovely waterfall in northeast Louisiana. 

Emily invites you to drop by the gallery through the month of October. 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 visitwww.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

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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.