The Downtown Gallery Crawl is wrapping up the 10th-anniversary celebrations Thursday, June 7 from 5-9 p.m. The crawl features special festivities at all nine galleries and outside to honor the past decade of local art.
"Good Ole Summertime" is a joint exhibit by the resident artists of Sugar Gallery on Art Alley. The exhibit showcases art that embraces sunshine, travel and Louisiana. Douglas Breckenridge has a local and not-so-local "Streetscapes" series, Melanie Douthit has Louisiana watercolor scenes, and Leah Reitzell has portrait pieces with summer hues. Harpstrings Jewelry's "Goldstone" antique button rings are available, as well as Scott Stone's beachy mixed media guitars on the landing. Burg Ransom has wildlife photos on display, and Chris D. Cox has handmade wood and metal creations, such as lamps crafted from reclaimed wood.
To the left of Sugar, Arender Studio + Gallery is shaking it up with new and exciting work. And to the right of Sugar, The Downtown Gallery showcases Director and Curator Ricky Sikes’ thesis work, as he completes his Masters in Fine Art from LA Tech. His recent series of paintings focuses on the dangers of prescribed medications, their effects on people and the underlying nature of the pharmaceutical industry. Sikes is available for a chat to get a deeper look into his work.
The Upstairs Gallery is hosting “Landscape and Flux,” featuring paintings and sculptures by Hannah Taylor and Daniel Moore. Their works address themes of inner-self as landscape and changing senses of identity in relation to the natural and built environment. Right across the hall, The Big Room Gallery features Mary Helen Blanchard. Blanchard is an author and native of Monroe, launching the 2nd edition of her children’s book: Shirley’s Story - The Heart Always Remembers. The summer release of the 2nd edition coincides with Shirley the elephant’s 70th birthday to be celebrated in July.
The Big Room Gallery is also showcasing work by its open studio artists Leigh Buffington, Emily Caldwell, Jenny Ellerbe, and Amanda Roe. An “open studio” shows work that is in the progress of being made. The artists featured are available to give their insights into the art pieces.
Before leaving Art Alley, crawlers can visit The Outside Gallery’s installation, featuring work by Curator Amanda Roe. Roe’s exhibit titled “The Social Norm” is filled with painted gas masks, rainbows, and thumbs up. She asks the viewer to question the connection between social media and the obsession for instant happiness.
Just a block away from Art Alley, The Monroe-West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau and BayouLife Magazine are partnering once again to host the 11th annual photo contest. The theme is Photo the ‘Roe, inspired by the growing downtown areas, new local business, and the local community committed to making the area even better than it is. The finalists and winners are on display at the Palace Gallery, as well as last year’s winner, Caleb Bostick. The show unveils Caleb’s passion for the beauty seen in common places and showcases the local passion these winning artists have for the ever-growing ‘Roe community. Twin City Roots is playing live music from 5-7 p.m.
Crawlers can catch a ride on one of the free golf-carts to visit The Garrett House. The Garrett house is exhibiting “reCLAYmed” by ULM BFA student Alyssa Guidry. Guidry’s pieces are a combination of self-portraits and inner commentary. The show “reCLAYmed” is a combination of sculpture, drawing, and painting meant to portray a sense of experimentation and freedom.
RUMO’s Gallery on Antique Alley features a solo show by Victoria Smith, titled “A Red Robin.” The colorfully done and whimsically illustrated narrative takes a look at how similar our human behavior is to that of animals.
More information about the Downtown Gallery Crawl is available on the Downtown Arts Alliance website.