Hand-crafted, wearable art crafted from sheet metal, pearls, gold, glass beads and chains were on display on May 17 at River Region Art Association’s Jewelry Trunk Show and Wine Tasting.
While RRAA has hosted jewelry shows previously, the recent event was the first to be held at its new location on La. 30 in Gonzales.
“It’s wonderful to see the room not only with art on the wall but art on the tables. When you buy this art, you wear this art,” JoAnn Eiswirth, the publicity manager for the RRAA, said,
Robin Rotola, who organized the show, said, the goal of the show was to bring jewelers together.
“I like to show my work, but I love to bring other jewelers together. Being associated with the River Region Art Association is just the icing on the cake,” she said.
Rotola showcased her own jewelry along with seven other artists: Lynn Breaux, Leanna Funk, Yvonne Lee, Lynda Madere, Emile Poché, Donna Redmann and Cheryl Robertson.
“The interesting thing is that everybody brings something different to the table,” Rotola said. “All of the jewelry here is handmade. We don’t buy and resell.”
Each artist presented pieces that best represented their own individual styles.
Funk, who describes her style as “steam punk and sparkle,” likes to work with glass beads and chains. Cheryl Robertson favors gold and sterling silver.
Lee, of New Orleans, adores using freshwater pearls in her pieces.
Breaux works mainly with sheet metal and welding irons.
“My style is anything you can think of, and I do a lot of thinking,” Breaux said. Noting the emblem of the state of Louisiana attached to his bracelets, Breaux added, “I like to keep it Louisiana.”
Rotola, who is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, loves working with natural stones.
“Turquoise is my favorite stone. It’s real, straight out of the mines in New Mexico,” Rotola said.
Also favoring semiprecious, natural stones is Madere, who makes a point to give at least one piece of jewelry to a child for free at each show as a way of giving back to the community, Madere said.
Redmann said she tries to use natural stones as the focal point of her pieces and hopes her customers always feel like they are wearing something unique and artistic.
Poché is a self-professed lapidary. He collects agate stones from the Amite River as well as opals and jades, cutting and polishing them into the refined finished pieces which were on display. He also likes to do water casting, Poché said.
The artist and his wife, Corky Poché, were presenting in their “first-ever jewelry show”, Poché said.
“We have everything from beaded jewelry to stainless steel,” said Betty Marks, the president of the RRAA.
Sharing a few glasses of cheer with the RRAA clientele was Mickey Martin, the manager and sommelier of LeBlanc’s Frais Marché.
For the evening’s tasting, he selected several white and red wines including Mia Dolcea Moscato D’Asti, Candy Babee Riesling, Jargon Pinot Noir and Primal Roots Red Blend. All wine was provided by LeBlanc’s.
“There was very good presentation and very good wine,” said guest Cherrie Zezulka. “The jewelry show was beautiful, more than I expected.”
“It’s so nice to have big crowds in here, to introduce the gallery to them,” Marks said.
Many of the artists display their work at the gallery, at 1008 W. La 30, Gonzales. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.
For information, call (225) 644-8496.