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Season 4 - Episode 412

click for larger image 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

click for larger image 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

click for larger image 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)

Season 4 - Episode 409

click for larger image The Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker kicked off its 2016 season in Baton Rouge with dozens of local children in supporting roles. Louisiana children and a Russian ballerina talk about the experience. And Baton Rouge’s very own acclaimed tradition, The Nutcracker: A Tale from the Bayou celebrates 25 years this December. We visit with the Co-Artistic Directors of Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre, who tell us about this milestone anniversary. We’ll also visit a doll museum in Ohio to see what toys looked like more than an 100 years ago. Then, we’ll travel to rural Missouri, speckled with ghost towns, farmland and a host of natural wonders along the Katy Trail, to meet watercolorist Marilynne Bradley, whose paintings of the area capture the spirit of Americana. All this and a historic World’s Fair quilt! ART ROCKS! is hosted by James Fox-Smith, Publisher of Country Roads Magazine. (photo: Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker: A Tale from the Bayou)

Season 4 - Episode 408

click for larger image Travel to St. Tammany Parish to meet Rick Brunner, who turned his love of nature into a thriving career as a sculptor. He builds dramatic free-standing and wall-mounted sculptures, and sculptural furniture pieces that retain echoes of the materials, and the environment, out of which they are born. Next, we’ll hear about the special opportunities offered to student musicians at the Aspen Music Festival. Plus, we take you on a tour of the spectacular Biedenharn Museum and Gardens located beside the Ouachita River in Monroe, for this week’s Louisiana Treasure profile. (pictured: sculpture “Leap” by Rick Brunner)

Season 4 - Episode 407

click for larger image Meet Lafayette artist William Carl Groh, who not only captures facial features in his portrait paintings, he also reveals character and personality. We find out why people nationwide seek him out for portrait commissions. Next, we visit a Colorado dance company that incorporates musicians and dancers together in performance and then are introduced to a sculptor for whom recycling and art go hand in hand. Plus, we’ll tour beautiful St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Alexandria, this week’s Louisiana Treasure. (portrait by William Carl Groh entitled Miss Blanchet)

Season 4 - Episode 406

click for larger image Visit The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, which has grown from its inception in 2003 to include 64 sculptures. Catch up with glass blower Mark Sudduth at his studio in Cleveland, Ohio; go to rural Missouri to meet Julie Wiegand; and visit pianist Lara Downes at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts in Davis, California.

Season 4 - Episode 405

click for larger image Meet Alexandria artist Morris Taft Thomas, well-known for his metal sculptures that grace many Louisiana spaces and whose art ranges from realism to contemporary abstraction. His works have been collected by such luminaries as Former President Jimmy Carter, the late South African President Nelson Mandela, and Blues great B.B. King. Next, we travel to the Arbor Opera Theatre in Ann Arbor, Michigan and The Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, New York before heading to Sacramento to see the imaginative paintings of Jared Konopitski. Our Louisiana Treasure this week is the Epps House on the LSUA campus. Solomon Northup, who penned Twelve Years a Slave in 1853 helped construct the house before regaining his freedom. (photo: sculpture by Morris Taft Thomas)

Season 4 - Episode 404

click for larger image Meet Alexandria artist Janet Ahrens and her husband Carl, artist-visionaries whose passion for creation fills their home. Working in a great diversity of genres and mediums including wood, concrete, and clay, Janet and Carl make broadly appealing, thought-provoking art that reaches out to viewers to make a connection, foster a new train of thought, and elicit a smile. We also visit legendary Iranian sculptor, painter, scholar and art collector, Parviz Tanavoli and then head to Albuquerque, New Mexico to meet artist Catalina Delgado-Trunk who explores myths, rituals, and traditions from pre-Colombian Mexico through the medium of cut paper. (Photo: Janet and Carl Ahrens in their studio. Photo credit: Erica Dean Curtis)

Season 4 - Episode 403

click for larger image Meet a Monroe-West Monroe artist who has a special knack for capturing the emotion of his subjects. But Frank Kelley, Jr. also is known for his abstracts and landscapes. We meet the talented teens who make up the Empire State Youth Orchestra, as well as dancers at Houston’s Metropolitan Dance Center. Plus, we’ll share the nostalgia of Louisiana’s Coke Museum, this week’s Louisiana Treasure. (pictured: painting by Frank Kelley, Jr.)
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