Spring Fever hits the Downtown Gallery Crawl

As nature springs forth with color and variety this April, the Downtown Arts Alliance celebrates the ever-brightening burst of local artistic talents displayed in eight downtown galleries this April 7, 5-9 pm.

Accompanied by live music and good food and drink, the galleries will present residents and visitors alike the opportunity to enjoy the visual arts. Springtime seems particularly appropriate for this sort of colorful party! On the first Thursday of even-numbered months, visual artists generously share their works with art-lovers of all ages during the Downtown Gallery Crawls. Thursday, April 7, 5-9 pm, is again time to enjoy art in the cultural districts of downtown Monroe and West Monroe. Totally free, the evening includes wonderful art of all kinds. Downtown River Jam will also present live music at Bry Park, downtown Monroe, during the Crawl.

Original art will be for sale, too, with no sales taxes charged because the galleries are in an official cultural district. Resident and guest artists will be on hand to talk with patrons about their art. And neighbors will simply enjoy visiting with neighbors during this bi-monthly occasion!

Here’s a sample of what you’ll find at this month’s crawl:

A sculpture by Bill Ayers, featured artist at UPSTAIRS
apr2016-ORAG-girls in field-hudnall
Girls in the Field by Rachael Hudnall, featured at The River Gallery
Photography by Burg Ransom, featured at Sugar Gallery
Painting by Katie Minyard, featured at Rumo’s Gallery

For more information on the Downtown Gallery crawl, visit their website or Facebook page.

Brenda McDaniel, ORAG’s Featured Artist of the Month

Artist Brenda McDaniel of Monroe, LA is the featured artist for March at the Ouachita River Art Gallery on Trenton St. (Antique Alley) in West Monroe.

Brenda specializes in representational paintings of people, animals, places and objects, with side trips into fantasy and imagination.

artist, brenda mcdaniel, orag, ouachita river art guild
A piece by Brenda McDaniel

This show is titled “Looking Up” and consists of large oil paintings of skyscapes. The artist says, “When the world crowds in on me and I grow weary of dealing with everyday problems, I go outside and look up. It puts everything in proportion and refreshes my view of life. Sometimes we are so focused on what is right in front of us we forget the big picture.”

A native of Mer Rouge, LA who traveled over much of the world complements of a military husband, Brenda gained knowledge that is reflected in her wide range of interest and subjects. Besides independent studies, private lessons and attending several universities around the country she considers herself primarily a self-taught artist. Before deciding to paint full time she was a commercial artist employed in the advertising field where she received numerous local and national awards. Brenda has commissions of homes, portraits of people and pets, landscapes and still lifes hanging in private and corporate collections in the U.S.A., Europe, and The United Kingdom.

Brenda helped organize and open the Ouachita River Art Gallery, which is now the oldest, and possibly largest, co-op art gallery in the state. The gallery is open to the public free of charge Tuesday through Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM. A large and varied membership offers paintings in all media, jewelry, photos, woodworks and pottery. Purchases of original art are tax free.