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Art Rocks!


Hosted by James Fox-Smith of Country Roads Magazine, LPB’s weekly series spotlights artists, performance, culture, literature, history, and the impact of art in our world. It features Louisiana stories, as well as segments from PBS affiliates across the country.

Art Rocks! Season 9

Art Rocks! - Episode 908

“The Winifred and Kevin P. Reilly Initiative for Underrepresented Artists supports growth of LSU Museum of Art’s permanent collection by funding acquisitions of works by Black, Indigenous, and Latinx artists, including those of marginalized sexualities, gender identities, and communities.” We talk to representatives from the museum including Clarke Brown, a Curatorial Fellow, who is specializing in diversity and inclusion in the arts. Plus, we visit the Columbus Open Studio and Stage, as well as meet textile artist, Jackie Weatherly of Dayton, who creates one of a kind pieces using dye and silk.

Art Rocks! - Episode 907

Shreveport, Louisiana artist Byron May uses bold colors, shapes and design on a canvas of stainless steel. Using a paint that he’s developed for the past decade, he takes the mixture of elements that are un-assembled in his mind to create art that commands attention. Plus: The Colour of Music Festival celebrates contributions of people with African ancestry to the field of classical music; “art for all” is abundant at the Wide Open Walls Festival in Sacramento, California; and potter Jim McDowell of North Carolina keeps the memory of his ancestors alive through his “face jugs.”

Art Rocks! - Episode 906

Photographer Jeremiah Ariaz of Baton Rouge spent four and a half years photographing Creole and Black trail riding clubs in South Louisiana. His images capture the experience of this cultural tradition that has roots in the 18th century, and are now the subject of his book, Louisiana Trail Riders. Plus: the Dance Theatre of Harlem celebrates 50 years, the value of music as therapy, and the Americana-inspired airbrush work of Reno, Nevada artist John Schmitz.

Art Rocks! - Episode 905

Meet Lafayette artist Cayla Mattea Zeek, who draws inspiration for her paintings from a multitude of sources, including the flora and fauna of Louisiana and from her imaginative, vivid dreams. Fusing these dreams and reality into the narratives of her work is the way she expresses her life’s experience. Plus: The Body Paint Factory in Reno, Nevada transforms the human figure into works of creative expression; the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, Massachusetts, explores the artistic and cultural mecca of Harlem; and The WhiskeyBelles, a musical trio from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, serve up their own unique blend of country, bluegrass, Americana, and folk.

Art Rocks! - Episode 904

Meet Lake Charles native and Zydeco musician, Rusty Metoyer. It was the passing of his grandfathers, both Creole musicians, that prompted Rusty to pick up the accordion to keep his family’s musical tradition alive. Now, he is taking this distinctive Louisiana musical style to new heights with his band The Zydeco Krush. Next, two Ohio artists create work using a diversity of materials: Chris Mercerhill tells stories through his photographic quilts, and Ramon Jordan puts wood, steel, and acrylic to creative use in his works of art. Plus, public art in Reno, Nevada revitalizes environments by bringing people together in shared experience.

Art Rocks! - Episode 903

Meet Caddo Parish Poet Laureate and spoken word artist, Poetic X. He believes poetry is for everyone because it has an illuminating power to make us reflect on and connect with parts of life that might otherwise pass unnoticed. Plus: Emily Reid of Reno, Nevada paints vibrant animal portraits; the MassArt Art Museum in Boston showcases contemporary, ever-changing exhibitions; and Virgil Taylor of Detroit, Michigan creates wearable art inspired by the ancient Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Art Rocks! - Episode 902

Meet talented mixed media artist, Candice Alexander, of Lake Charles. Her colorful, fleur-de-lis themed work has been long sought-after and widely-collected far beyond her Louisiana home. After two hurricanes amidst a pandemic, it was Alexander’s strong connection to her community and her unwavering tenacity that resulted in her most successful year to date. Next, photographer and diver, Andreas Franke takes the plunge into underwater exhibitions in order to address the plastics awash in the world’s oceans. Plus, inspired by 18th century design and science fiction, sculptor Cindy Wynn turns scrap metal into decorative works of art, and Art Battle Sarasota pits painter against painter in a fast-action competition that vies for votes from spectators.

Art Rocks! - Episode 901

Meet puppeteer, Clay Achee of Baton Rouge, who discusses his digital-first collaboration with LPB, Ziggy’s Arts Adventure, an educational puppet series about a 9-year-old alien who travels to Earth in search of art. Next, quilter Cynthia Lockhart of Cincinnati, Ohio has a goal of inspiring hope with needle and thread; Billy the Squid and the Sea Cow Drifters make music that combines rockabilly and outlaw country in Key West, Florida; and comic strip creator Brian Crane of Sparks, Nevada tells us about Pickles.


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