With only three days left to see the stunning annual Mixed Media exhibit at the Slidell Cultural Center at City Hall on 2055 Second St., there is good reason not to miss this annual exhibit that draws from artists throughout the southern region.
Twenty-one artists submitted entries from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. Of those entries, 26 works by 16 artists were juried into the show by Juror Patricia Brown, a professor of art and the gallery director in the Fielding Wright art department at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi.
Mixed Media entrants are required to combine at least two mediums within their work. In this exhibit, artists availed themselves of such media as paint, pastel, clay, ink, paper, glass, wood, metal, driftwood, metal, beeswax and fabric.
The winners were as different in their expressions as fish that swim and birds that fly. The choice for first place was “Birth of Phoenix” by Sadako Lewis from Long Beach, Mississippi. Bringing together acrylic, oil stick, pencil and fabric in her collage brings life to her art, born anew like the phoenix in mythology.
Lewis’ philosophy is, “My hope is to become an artist whose art enables people to feel revived.”
Second-place finisher Billy Hammell gave a beautiful interpretation to trees. His hanging orange-leafed and silver-rooted tree combines metal, acrylic and plastic in “Leaving,” a fine play on words. The floating tree combined with the title suggests a spiritual theme that perhaps nothing is finite, not even the tree.
Third-place finisher Rene Culler was in Korea on a Fulbright scholarship in 2012, when she made a changuum, a glass wine sack carrier that dates back to the 15th century. It is now in the Namseoul University collection. Her entry, “Changuum-Rose of Sharon,” combines blown glass, vitreous enamel, precious metal leaf, silver stain and sandblasting. Her work of art gives respect to the national flower of South Korea, the Rose of Sharon.
Five others were recognized for their interesting and unique combinations of elements. Among the honorable mention winners were by Victoria Allen, Kelly Landrum-Hammell, Lee McElveen, Martin Needom and Cassandra Seefeld.
Allen’s proclivity for detail shows in both halves of her presentation, one drawn in graphite and the other replicating the drawing with bits of paper in the collage “Tanner.”
The locally well-known potter, Kelly Landrum-Hammell frequently combines clay with found objects to demonstrate the natural art in the environment. In “Wind Blown” she creates a scene with a piece of driftwood that suggests motion and combines it with a gorgeous horsehair-fired clay urn. She calls pottery an art form for hands and mind.
Also using elements from the environment, Lee McElveen uses heated beeswax, colored pigments, and tree resin to create “Peaceful Swamp.” The heat needed to create a painting is called encaustic, which means that it is burned in. This style of painting had resurgence in popularity in the ’90s. McElveen uses the colors skillfully in a piece that mirrors a sunrise from the sky to the water behind silhouetted trees.
Another local award-winning artist, sculptor Martin Needom, combines wood, patch compound, paint, wax and shellac to create a pure expression called “Bottomland.” Needom, who lives along Bayou Liberty, would understand the term from personal interaction. Bottomland is a low-lying alluvial land, created by a waterway subject to overflow during floods.
“Mutant Marsupial Gator” by Cassandra Seefeld is a frightening yet captivating soft sculpture, intricately made of textiles, metal, garlic, gris gris herbs and bone. Her unique soft sculptures have been featured in the “Dracula 2000” movie.
Artists selected to display their works include Victoria Allen, Slidell; Sara Boner, New Orleans; Virginia Roughon Chavis, University, Mississippi; Dolores Crain, Slidell; Rene Culler, Mobile, Alabama; Courtney Dusang, Slidell; Billy Hammell, Carriere, Mississippi; Kelly Landrum-Hammell, Carriere; Sadako Lewis, Long Beach, Mississippi; Ann Lott, Carriere; Rita Maduell, Lacombe; Lee McElveen, Slidell; Martin Needom, Slidell; Evelyn Saravia, Metairie; Casandra Seefeld, Slidell; and Robert Viosca, Mandeville.
The exhibit will be on display through June 14. Gallery hours are noon to 4 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday.
For more information, call the Department of Cultural & Public Affairs at (985) 646-4375 or visit www.slidell.la.us.
Kathleen DesHotel writes about the cultural arts in St. Tammany. To reach her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.