Shreveport Art Club at 100
Show goes on ... through Aug. 20
The Shreveport Art Club is holding its annual juried art show at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum through Aug. 20. It’s called “Shreveport Art Club: Celebrating 100 Years” and features works for sale from 21 local artists in a variety of media.
“We are so excited that some of the artwork will reflect North Louisiana’s artistic traditions. With so many talented artists and the variety of media displayed, the show will have great appeal for our visitors,” said museum curator Nita Cole.
Cynthia Grogan, public information officer at the museum, noted that the show is always very popular with museum guests. She also stated that not many local clubs could boast of a 100-year legacy.
The Shreveport Art Club was founded in 1921 by a group of hobbyists who decided to form the club to exhibit their works and learn from each other, according to the club’s treasurer, Judy Horne. She said they found an old picture of some of the early members at the LSU-S Archives, where most of their memorabilia are housed.
“One of the photographs that we unearthed shows a group of people you may have heard of. They were painting outside of the museum. It was people like Gwen Norsworthy and a number of people who came to be known quite well in the area for their work. Of course, the Norsworthy Gallery is now run downtown by the nephew of Gwen Norsworthy – the Bailey Gallery,” Horne explained.
The Art Club stages two exhibits a year and boasts a membership that hovers around 50 people. Covid made monthly meetings difficult, but Horne said they soldiered on with Zoom® meetings and the newsletter published monthly.
Horne said anyone interested in art can become a member; producing artwork is not a necessity. You just have to pay your dues. Those dues allow members to attend the monthly meetings where an artist or speaker shares their work, teaches a technique or addresses some aspect of the art world.
“We don’t require the submission of work to see if you’re worthy of being a member or anything like that,” Horne said. “You just have to be interested.”
Members produce work in several different media and in styles that vary with each artist’s taste. “I hate to use the word traditional,” Horne said. “It sounds kind of stodgy. We have some wonderful abstract artists in the group. People are experimenting with new things all the time. The membership goes all the way from a couple to 20-year-olds to 80-plus. We produce a little bit of everything, pretty much across the board. It’s family friendly. We have rules that make sure that if you take your kids or your grandkids in to see it, it’s OK.”
The judge for the current show was James King of the Caddo Parish Talented Arts Program, who holds a Master of Fine Arts in painting from Louisiana Tech University and has been featured in exhibits in New Orleans and Venice, Italy. In his statement about the show, King described the exhibition as, “Showcasing a tremendous variety of work of all sizes and approaches to art making, this impressive collection will capture your interest and cause you to pause, reflect and look again. These works all deserve your attention, and many of them will draw you in close with their thoughtfulness, level of skill, and are a pure joy to view.”
Shreveport Art Club members participating in the show include Stephen Banks, Joan Cole, Jo Cooper, Marion Davis, Becky Garner, Adena Helm, Judy Horne, Betsy Levels, Cindy Magee, Ed McDonnell, Susan Pierce, Jeanne Marie Reed and Mary Yeh.
To catch the exhibit before it closes on Aug. 20, you can go to the museum located at 3015 Greenwood Road in Shreveport on the State Fairgrounds. Admission is free, and tours are also available by appointment. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Anyone interested in more information about the club or becoming a member can contact Judy Horne through the group’s Facebook page at facebook.com/ Shreveport-Art-Club.
As for the show, Horne suggests coming out before it closes. “We had real good participation. We had a really nice show. I think it would be worth a trip to check it out.”