Step out of July’s heat and melt into the coolness of summer art with the opening of Forum 35 annual “Art Melt.”
The juried show is the state’s largest multimedia exhibit featuring work by Louisiana artists. It opens with a celebration at 5 p.m. Saturday, July 19, in the Capitol Park Museum.
This is the show’s 11th year, and, as in past summers, opening night will be preceded by the ticketed Art Melt Preview Party, which will include entertainment by the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra String Quartet.
Admission on opening night is free. That celebration will feature musical entertainment by SpeakEasy at 5:15 p.m., the Bedlamville Triflers at 7:15 p.m. and Baby Bee at 9 p.m., while the Brian Breen Trio performs in the upstairs galleries.
Also performing will be the Eclectic Truth Poetry Slam Team, Gulf Coast Theater on Tap, Of Moving Colors, Dance Collective BR, Cangelosi Dance Project, Baton Rouge Music Studio and Buku Breakers.
This year’s art show runs through Saturday, Aug. 30, and features 59 pieces chosen by three jurors — one local, one regional and one national.
The LSU Museum of Art’s newly appointed curator Katie Pfohl served as the local juror.
The regional juror is Ben Thompson, curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, Florida, one of the Southeast’s largest contemporary art institutions.
Eric Robert Dallimore is the national juror. He is co-owner and curator of Leon Gallery, a contemporary art gallery and event space in the heart of Denver, Colorado, and was named a 2014 MasterMind in the Visual Arts by westword.com.
“We had 450 submissions this year,” says Forum 35 board member Sean McDonald. “We’re showing all media. It’s interesting, because different jurors have different preferences, and this year it seems they liked more sculpture.”
Opening night also will feature a local arts market, along with a new hands-on children’s activities area.
“We plan to have a mix of interactive art activities for children presented by the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge,” McDonald says. “This area will also include our popular graffiti wall for children of all ages to leave their own artistic touch on Art Melt.”
Rounding out the night’s events will be the panel discussion, “Arts and the Economy.”
“This will take place at 4 p.m. on the second floor of the museum before we open the exhibit,” McDonald says. “The panel will include a mix of local arts community members and support organizations. As with everything on Saturday, this discussion is free and open to the public.”