Ned and the Mushroom .jpg

Lynda Frese’s exhibition,'Wild Trees: Photo Etchings and Paintings.'

BREAUX BRIDGE — When Teche Center for the Arts hosts its opening reception Saturday evening for Lynda Frese’s exhibition, "Wild Trees: Photo Etchings and Paintings," it will do so a day after its re-grand opening Friday.

Louisiana First Lady Donna Edwards was on hand Friday for the ribbon cutting, hosted by the TCA Board of Directors. A luncheon followed at the TCA, 210 Bridge St.

“They’re putting in some finishing touches right now,” Clare Martin, of the TCA executive staff, said Monday. “They’ve been working over the weekend and into the night.”

Those familiar with the arts center prior to the renovations will notice some major differences, including a substantial stage directly opposite from where it once stood.

“The bathrooms are in, the stages are done and the interior’s been repainted,” said Martin. “The Bridge Collection was cleaned and cared for and back on the walls.”

There’s also a new concession stand, new office site area, new chairs and “a new stage and wings for the stage,” she said. “The former stage is going to be elevated seating area.”

Hence, the re-grand opening. TCA opened in 2014.

“It’s a big deal,” said Martin. “It’s been almost all volunteers that have given up their time and companies donated things.”

Frese, Professor Emerita at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, taught photography for 30 years. Since retiring, she turned to her art full-time.

Her work has been shown across the U.S., South America and Italy, and found in private and public collections, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Houston Museum of Fine Art, and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

The Hilliard University Museum in Lafayette mounted a 40-year retrospective of the artist’s work in 2018 entitled, “Holy Memories and Earthly Delights,” accompanied by a monograph published by UL Press.

In her artist’s statement, Frese wrote: “This exhibition of new work features photo etchings that I produced working with master printmakers at the Omega Institute (New York) and the Center for Contemporary Printmaking (Connecticut) alongside a selection of recent photo collage paintings, which borrow from religious and mythological themes, recasting them as devotions to the environment.

“'Wild Trees’ is a conversation about the way wilderness and nature speak to us. Although the work explores a variety of themes, the artworks are linked by my portraits of trees — from the jungles of Costa Rica, the woods of northern Italy, the Grand Tetons of Wyoming, the cypress groves of Lake Martin, and the old-growth redwood forests of California.”

An artist talk is set for April 2, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Frese is a 20-year resident of Breaux Bridge.

“That’s what’s really so special about it,” said Martin. “She really wants to share her work with the community.”

Frese’s show is supported by an ArtSpark Grant administered by the Acadiana Center for the Arts and Lafayette Economic Development Authority.

“TCA was written into the grant specifically because she wanted to bring her work to the community,” Martin said.