Thursday, August 18, 2011

Artists show heritage-inspired creations during First Fridays series

    Louisiana heritage isn’t just about family and friends for George Marks and Annie Hendrix. Their home state has inspired them to create art that has taken them across the country.
George Marks
    Marks, a mixed media artist, and Hendrix, who specializes in clay, demonstrate and display their works during First Fridays with a Little Lagniappe, a new arts series from the St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission. The demonstration is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19 at the new St. Landry Parish Visitor Information Center on I-49, exit 23, just north of Opelousas.
    Marks is a painter who works on wood and uses a variety of media, such as acrylic, oil, resin and tar. A resident of Arnaudville, Marks draws inspiration from family, friends and his natural surroundings in south Louisiana.
    Marks’ paintings have been featured in numerous fine arts galleries throughout the United States, including Blue Oaks Gallery in Michigan, Atelier-Magasin Artists’ Collective in New Orleans and Steeple View Gallery in Arnaudville.
    Marks has carried his artistic inspiration into community development and entrepreneurial projects. He’s the founder of Fredrick l’Ecole des Art, a nonprofit community arts and education organization that has brought music series, poetry readings and art and French language workshops to Arnaudville.
George Marks art
    A native of New Orleans, Hendrix was reared in Crescent City culture and chose music as her early medium.  At 42, Hendrix became fascinated by clay art. She began to sculpt some of her favorite musicians and chefs, along with kitchen items and clay chines.
      Hendrix, who now lives in Sunset, has participated in numerous art festivals, including Festival International, the Red River Revel in Shreveport and the Zydeco Festival at The Mint in New Orleans.
    Admission is free to First Fridays, which has featured St. Landry Parish artists twice a month since June. The remainder of the schedule includes:
·          Sept. 2 – A Celebration of Creole Culture with Rebecca Henry’s native crafts and painter Jerome Ford
·         Sept. 16 – A Piece of Art is Worth a Thousand Words with former Louisiana Poet Laureate Darrell Bourque and Patrice Melnick
    First Fridays with a Little Lagniappe is supported in part by a Grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council as administered by the Acadiana Arts Council.
    The series is held at the new St. Landry Parish Visitor Information Center, which held its grand opening last May. With numerous environmentally-friendly features, the center promotes green construction and sustainable practices, both old and new.
    Visit the center’s revised web site at Follow the center on Twitter @StLandryParish or on Facebook at St. Landry Parish – It’s Gumbo for Your Soul. 

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