Meet painter Ed Smith, whose passionate environmentalism is expressed in the gorgeous and color-saturated birds he paints—teeming multitudes huddled together in improbable profusion. Smith explains, “Moving here, I became very aware of the density of the landscape; there’s the feeling that if we, as humans, just stopped for a few years, nature would just swallow us up.” Although Smith credits the sheer life force of South Louisiana for making nature impossible to ignore, his work cautions viewers against taking it for granted. – excerpt Country Roads Magazine, March 2017
It has been 150 years since the story of Alice In Wonderland was first told. We’ll tell you how it came about and how it has evolved. Plus, as part of this week’s Louisiana Treasures segment, we visit a Conrad Albrizio mural that looms large at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum in Shreveport.
Season 4 - Episode 418
Meet Shreveport artist Rachel Stuart-Haas, whose paintings evoke the obvious and the ethereal worlds of her female subjects. Rachel likes to imagine that each artwork captures the subject’s ability to exist in both worlds at once. Plus, opera directors often depend on their costumes to help convey the mood of their productions. We’ll show you what goes into the costume design process. Then, we’ll meet a man who plays Irish flute and combines it with Celtic music in an unexpected way. And as part of this week’s Louisiana Treasures segment, we’re reminded why sculptor Frank Hayden has such a lasting legacy in Louisiana’s capital city.
Season 4 - Episode 417
We meet Ruston artist Julie Crews who paints the people, places, and things that she encounters in her daily experience. We’ll show you how she sees the beauty of life amidst the mundane and turns the ordinary into extraordinary. We’ll visit the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio, filled with nostalgia of days gone by, and we’ll meet a former doctor who shows us how monsoon rainfall inspired her to create a multimedia experience including paintings, music, and dance. Plus – hear the story behind the Once In A Millennium Moon mural overlooking the city of Shreveport, this week’s Louisiana Treasure.
Season 4 - Episode 416
We’re in the Mardi Gras spirit and pay a visit to Herb Roe, a painter who documents the “courir” or traditional pre-Lenten celebration of the Prairie Cajuns of Southwest Louisiana. The mythic qualities of his work place the participants into dream-like settings with his subjects costumed in vibrant splashes of color. Herb will tell us what inspired him to illustrate the ceremonies in more than 130 paintings and illustrations over the last decade. We then meet a string quartet and a ballet company, who have joined forces in Washington D.C. and are known for adding a bit of spontaneity to their collaborations. Plus, our Louisiana Treasures segment takes us to Rosedown Plantation, encompassing 374 acres in St. Francisville. It’s one of the most intact, documented examples of a domestic plantation complex in the South.
Season 4 - Episode 415
Meet Pointe Coupee artist Henry Watson, who uses a mallet, a chisel, and a block of cypress to create phenomenal 3-diminensional depictions of the rural cabins and plantation homes he grew up around. Then, we visit with a Kansas City couple who enjoyed full professional careers as dancers and now teach the next generation about the steps and discipline required to reach their potential. Plus, hear from glass blowers who believe the old techniques are still the most reliable. This week’s Louisiana Treasures segment reminds us of conservation steps that were taken in the past which allow residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of New Orleans from its earliest days.
Season 4 - Episode 414
Meet Baton Rouge painter Randell Henry, whose mixed media collage paintings showcase his use of improvisational methods of playing with shape, color and pattern with influences from abstract expressionism, cubism and African and Asian art. Visit with a group of children who are learning how to take on Shakespearean characters, and meet designer Anna Cohen, who merges her concern for the environment into the materials she uses for her apparel line. Plus, hear the intriguing story behind Alexandria’s Bentley Hotel, this week’s Louisiana Treasure.
Season 4 - Episode 413
Preview Opéra Louisiane’s upcoming original production of Ulysses: An American Mythology, which will debut on February 10. The production marries the traditional baroque opera with modern rhythm & blues and gospel supplanting the Ulysses couple based on Homer’s Odyssey with a 1960’s couple in the deep south. We visit a New Mexico ceramicist, who tells us why she views her work as reverse archeology, and a physicist who turns to the arts to explain Einstein’s theory of relativity. Plus, our Louisiana Treasure is the magnificent Grace Episcopal Church in West Feliciana Parish.
Art Rocks! airs Friday, January 20 at 8:30PM and Saturday, January 21 at 5:30PM and is hosted by James Fox-Smith, Publisher of Country Roads Magazine. Current and past ART ROCKS! episodes are also here: http://www.lpb.org/artrocks. Major production funding for Art Rocks! The Series is provided by Georgia-Pacific Port Hudson Operations.
Season 4 - Episode 412
This week on Art Rocks!, the George Rodrigue Foundation and Louisiana A+ Schools have joined forces with teachers and principals across Louisiana to incorporate art into science, technology, engineering and math classes, making it easier and more exciting for students to learn these subjects. Rodrigue’s son, Jacques will join us in our studio to speak with Art Rocks! host James Fox-Smith. We’ll also meet an Orlando sculptor who uses her love of horses to create her art, and an artist who melds digital and analog images to create animated stories. Plus, the beautiful collection of art celebrating birds at Louisiana State University is this week’s Louisiana Treasure.
Art Rocks! airs Friday, January 13 at 8:30PM and Saturday, January 14 at 5:30PM. Current and past ART ROCKS! episodes are also at lpb.org/artrocks. Major production funding for Art Rocks! The Series is provided by Georgia-Pacific Port Hudson Operations. Special thanks to media partner Country Roads Magazine.
Season 4 - Episode 411
On this week’s Art Rocks!, we look back at the enduring legacy of prolific artist and teacher, John T. Scott, who left an indelible mark on the artistic landscape of his native New Orleans during his forty-plus year career. His paintings, woodblock prints, and sculptures established a whole new language by which to express the city’s streetscapes, capturing not just how they look and sound but also the way they feel. We take a look at a LEGOS project that commemorates one of the most important events in railroad history; the importance of creating ballet shoes that work well for dancers; and spend time with a master weaver carrying on two thousand year-old traditions from Mexico. (Image: Sculpture: Spirit House by artists John T. Scott and Martin Payton)
Season 4 - Episode 410
Meet John R. Kemp, author of Expressions of Place: The Contemporary Louisiana Landscape. Kemp’s book embarks on a journey across the rural and urban landscapes of Louisiana via the talents of thirty-seven artists located all around the state. Expressions of Place remains as much about the landscape of the artists’ imaginations as it is about the land itself. We travel to Dayton, Ohio to visit one of the few theater companies still dedicated to bringing new musicals to the stage; meet artist Rebecca Rose, who draws upon childhood memories to create her “Sculpturings” jewelry; and explore how Larry Vienneau Jr. weaves mythologies about the raven into his visual narratives. Plus, we rediscover the sculptures of Al Lavergne that adorn the façades of the Louisiana State Archives. (Cover of John R. Kemp’s Expressions of Place featuring the painting Tchefuncte Awakening by Rhea Gary)