Rachael Hudnall, Featured Artist, April 2016

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“Girls in Field”

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“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.

 

Charlie Heck, Featured Artist February 2016

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After the Storm (photography)

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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
http://www.bayoulifemag.com/charlie-heck-in-black-and-white

Welcome New River Gallery Members!

NewMembers 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).

NewMembers2 New River Gallery member Brett Moreland stands in front of his paintings during the Downtown Art Crawl.

 

Mary Ann Nagan, September Featured Artist

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Joyce Beauvais, August 2015 Featured Artist

Joyce_Dancing 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.

 

 

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

 

 

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.