Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Artists turn debris into new creations during First Fridays series

     Trish Ransom and Michelle Fontenot turn old objects into new art at the next edition of First Fridays with a Little Lagniappe, the St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission’s new arts series. Ransom and Fontenot display and discuss their crafts from noon to 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5 at the new St. Landry Parish Visitor Information Center at on I-49, exit 23, just north of Opelousas.
     A love of zydeco and Cajun music brought Ransom from California to her present home in Grand Coteau in 1999. A friend with a folk art gallery approached Ransom, who had studied art at Stanford University, about making jewelry. 
Trish Ransom
     Ransom transformed old bottle caps into earrings and necklaces. Ransom has since become renowned for her fish and armadillo wall hangings, made of tin cans, bottle tops, wood and other debris. Ransom sells and displays her “Debris Art” at festivals, workshops and markets around the state. 
     Fontenot, an Opelousas resident, recycles old Barbie dolls, mannequin parts and boots into mosaic creations. She’s best known for contemporary stained glass and mosaic art, which can also serve as clothing and other uses. 
     Admission is free to the First Fridays series, which continues twice a month through Sept. 16. Other upcoming shows include:
  • Aug. 19 – The Art of Mixed Media with George Marks and hand-sculpted clay from Annie Hendrix 
  • 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. 
     The First Fridays series is held at the new St. Landry Parish Visitor Information Center, which held its grand opening May 23. With numerous environmentally-friendly features, the center promotes green construction and sustainable practices, both old and new. 
     First Fridays 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. 
     For more information, call the St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission at (337) 948-8004. Follow the center on Twitter @StLandryParish or on Facebook at St. Landry Parish – It’s Gumbo for Your Soul.

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