From Dolly Parton to Ernest J. Gaines, artists plumbed the depths of Southern writers for inspiration for their works in the new exhibit at LSU's School of Art's Glassell Gallery.

More than 40 artists in a variety of media worked on the theme "Years That Ask Questions, Southern Writers," based on a quote by Zora Neale Hurston: "There are years that ask questions, and years that answer them."

Each artist chose a Southern writer and created a work of art based on a novel, poem, song or quote by that writer. 

In addition to Gaines and Parton, artists looked to a variety of writers from Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner to Loretta Lynn and Emmylou Harris as a catalyst for their work, said gallery Director Kristin Malia Krolak. 

The gallery, located in the Shaw Center for the Arts, 100 Lafayette St., is calling the show its "Winter Edition" since the pandemic canceled its annual summer invitational exhibition in July and August.

"The pandemic hit us and we weren’t sure how to create a big, safe art exhibition out of our usually big, crowded art show," said Krolak. "So, we decided to make it a winter edition and invite artists to contribute work but plan for a much more socially distanced affair."

LSU painting faculty members Denyce Celetano and James Beaman judged the show and chose some for special recognition.

Melodie Reay's cups, "Years That Ask Questions, Years That Think Them," were awarded the Michael Crespo Prize for Eloquent Excellence, an award given to the piece that best captures the theme of the show while being excellently crafted and imagined.

The free show is open from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. For more information, call (225) 389-7181 or visit