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Monday, May 21, 2018

Artist Julie Crews Takes Us on a Journey

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... And six artists to work collaboratively at artspace studios

There’s nothing laid back about summer in the city at artspace. Julie Crews is kicking off possibly the most unique and personally revealing exhibition she has mounted to date, and six of Northwest Louisiana’s busiest artists are setting up shop to show you just how the canvas is covered, the photo is captured or the fabric is finished. Even before summer formally kicks off, and while the barbecues are still cooling down from the Memorial Day weekend, the Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC) invites you to hit the road with Julie Crews’ solo exhibition, “Getting There,” hear local musical trio Twang Darkly, and watch how the magic happens with artists John Daniel, Kirsi-Marja Hardy, Madeline Marak, Paige Powell, Sherry Tamburo and Mike Torma in six summer artspace Artists’ Studios, Thursday, May 31, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“Getting There” for Julie Crews takes the viewer deeper into a relationship with the people and the places in her paintings. It’s a very different solo show for Crews, whose previous exhibitions have often included the “things” of her everyday life as a mother of five – children’s toys, Dum Dum suckers or a rack of clothes from a shopping trip. This exhibition offers glimpses into her personal life. It is an exhibition dominated by portraits and the roads that lead to them.

“I hope that this exhibition of tiny portraits of people who intersect my life will help people think about the head space and the heart space that we devote to one another,” said Crews. “The space between the people in our lives and ourselves is, at any given moment, either what keeps us apart or is the path we have to take to get closer. The portraits in ‘Getting There’ that coincide with the landscapes of my life are both literal and symbolic. They represent relationships; some are infused with fear, dread or indifference, and others are based on physical, emotional and/or intellectual attraction,” added Crews.

Not only is SRAC giving you a chance to connect to Crews’ people and places with the exhibition opening May 31, but you will also have a chance to peek behind the curtain to connect with six professional artists in Northwest Louisiana and see how they do what they do with the opening of summer artspace Artists’ Studios.

NWLA artists John Daniel, Kirsi-Marja Hardy, Madeline Marak, Paige Powell, Sherry Tamburo and Mike Torma will work in a collaborative, yet individual setting in artspace at 708 Texas St. in downtown Shreveport from May 31 to Aug. 11 to both demonstrate and experience how working in a downtown artist’s studio environment can be.

“Artspace Artists’ Studios meets a need for piloting artists’ studios in Northwest Louisiana to understand the level to which they will serve as the backbone for the continued commitment to authenticity, community, creativity and sustainability in the development of Shreveport Common,” explained Pam Atchison, SRAC executive director. “SRAC has awarded these six NWLA professional artists the opportunity to work collaboratively and learn from one another as well as to design and share with the public in their own Studio Space @artspace. SRAC is even designating a separate ‘Do It Yourself or DIY’ studio space for the public to experience studiostyle collaboration with this summer’s artspace studio artists. Artspace is the perfect location for the artists’ studios because its mission from the outset has been to support the creation, exhibition and presentation of all arts,” added Atchison.

Jason Brady’s Parish Taceaux will cater an artspace Studio Artist “Lunch and Learn” series from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. each month throughout the summer where the public can register to hear artists talk about the motivation and technique that inspires their art and see a demonstration of their work. A “How I Do It” interactive make-and-take series will be hosted by studio artists on Thursday evening during the summer from 5:30 to 8 p.m., and light refreshments will be served. Visit artspaceshreveport.com to register. Summer is here – ready or not! So get your party started with Julie Crews’ solo exhibition, “Getting There,” the magic of six artspace Artists’ Studios, the music and hand-crafted musical instruments of local trio Twang Darkly, cool crafted culinary snacks and cocktails (cash bar) by Parish Taceaux – all on Thursday,  May 31, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. It’s free and open to the public at 708 Texas St. in downtown Shreveport.

– Pat Viser


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