Red Stuck

Friday night arting

November 20, 2007
By Brandi Simmons

While I was at LSU working toward my art history degree, my professors were quick to criticize Baton Rouge and proclaim that if you want to be financially successful, you should choose another field (something I hear the journalism professors also say to encourage their students). I was determined that regardless of how that degree would impact my future, I would study something I felt passionately about and stay in a city I love.

Based on my observations on the rapidly growing interest in visual arts, it seems that we've finally got a whole group of people with the same type of passion who seem to be focused on Baton Rouge. And in my opinion, it couldn't come at a better time. Here's the rundown from my Friday night of art giddiness.

Mid-City's White Light Night. I've attended this event for a couple years now, and it's always a big success. Since I had already made arrangements to attend the event below, my stops this year were limited to the ones within walking distance from my house. The standout was Gallery 3774, featuring several local artists including my personal favorites of the night, owners Fairleigh Cook and TJ Black. The space is adorable and an excellent fit for the work it houses. Cook's ceramic vases are charming, especially the New Orleans-themed ones, and could be an instant conversation piece in a personal collection. Black has a way with color, presenting what I would imagine music to look like if it were visual instead of aural. The work I saw in the gallery was predominately portraiture, but he won me over with his homage to Warhol's Campbell's soup can that hangs at Chelsea's. It's definitely worth stopping in to see both.

Storyville's first fashion show. I've been to several fashion shows throughout the year, but I was really looking forward to this one (mostly because I can actually afford the clothes). In case you don't know, Storyville is a family-owned T-shirt shop on campus (and now in Austin, too) that supports local designers by providing them a venue to sell their wares. It's one of my favorite places to shop right now, and will be the source of several Christmas presents for friends and family. Every time I wear one of their shirts, I get compliments that generally turn into a discussion. And who doesn't love that? (If you need a recommendation, people always love my Red Beans and Rice shirt, and my friend Nick gets into lengthy discussions when sporting his K&B; shirt. You wouldn't believe how people miss their K&B.;)

The show was kicked off with an excellent performance by Robot Circus, a group of break dancers. The most refreshing part, other than the adorable spotlight-stealing Harvey siblings and Adian Rolfs, was that it was broken up into parts. Each segment was interrupted by dance skits, short programs and familiar songs, performed by everyone from the models to professional musicians. The evening ended in success; the tickets sold out and they raised about $500 for the Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless. (You can see photos from fellow blogger and staff writer Jeff Roedel here.)

My night concluded at Louie's, discussing my wish list of Storyville T-shirts and future art events over chocolate chip pancakes and hash browns. I don't know if it was the carb high or all the art, but my night ended with a warm, fuzzy feeling that the city is working to prove my professors wrong.

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