Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Artists turns debris into new creations during First Fridays series

    Artists Trish Ransom and Frank Dabney continue the First Fridays with a Little Lagniappe series from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, March 2 at the St. Landry Parish Visitor Information Center, I-49 exit 23, just north of Opelousas. With the theme “Constructing Art: Salvage – Reuse – Create,” the First Fridays series emphasizes recycling and features artists who create new art out of materials left over from Visitor Center construction. 
Trish Ransom demonstrates debris art
    These pieces will later be used in a nine-month, traveling exhibit throughout the parish. The exhibit is part of the Visitor Center’s focus on green construction and sustainable practices, both old and new. 
    Ransom specializes in turning found objects into signature creations she calls “Debris Art.” 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. 
    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 art at festivals, workshops and markets around the state. 
    Dabney is a woodworker and carpenter who has redesigned old homes for more than 30 years. He has turned old material into new art that’s been shown at galleries and festivals throughout Louisiana for eight years. 
    “I like to find objects and incorporate them into a new piece, so that it really becomes something interesting,” said Dabney. “Many people tell me they like my work. But they also learn how old materials don’t have to be thrown away. With a little thought and work, you can give them new life.” 
    Admission is free to the First Fridays series, which continues through August. Artists scheduled for upcoming shows include: 
  • April 13: Jerilyn Lavergne – mixed media, fused glass 
  • May 4: Michelle Fontenot – glass and mosaics, mixed media, art created from found objects; George Marks – mixed media 
  • June 1: Christine Ledoux – glass & mosaics, mixed media 
  • July 6: Margaret Brinkhaus – art created from natural objects, palmetto weavings 
  • August 3: Tommy Myers – mixed media, woodworker, birdhouses created from found objects 
    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 Center for the Arts. 
    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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