Ruston hosts downtown art crawl

May 5, 2016


Staff Reporter | anh038@ latech.edu

Artwork done by Meredith Piper, a 2010  studio art alumna, was on display. Photo by Brian Blakely

Artwork done by Meredith Piper, a 2010 studio art alumna, was on display. Photo by Brian Blakely



When the warm April weather makes its way into Northern Louisiana, the shops in downtown Ruston are quick to advertise their many spring designs and fashions.



On the night of April 29, however, that was not the only attraction their customers came to see.



Thanks to Ruston’s annual Spring Art Crawl, the public, designs and refreshments were available at the event hosted by eight galleries and art businesses which were all located within walking distance from each other.



They included Frame of Mind, Gallery 203, WAG Studio, Fine Line Supply, Trenton Interiors, Vintage and Vogue, Main Street Exchange Occasional Shop and Cotton Top Print Shop.



“Ruston has always had a thriving art community that has been very supportive of upcoming artists,” said Emily Ezell, a Monroe artist who participated in the crawl. “The art crawl gave people the opportunity to get out and not only meet these artists, but meet people who share an interest in art.”



Ezell, a 2008 graduate of Louisiana Tech, said she showcased several of her pieces at Gallery 203 as a final show for her before relocating to New York City to go to grad school.



Her artwork was hosted by Kit Gilbert, owner of Gallery 203 and Studio 301.



Gilbert said she decided to participate in the art crawl because she believes it is important to expose local artists such as Ezell.



“We have some of the best artists in the country right here,” Gilbert said. “The more people we get to come to events like this, the more recognition these artists will have. We want downtown Ruston to be on the map as a tourist spot for art lovers.”



Trevor Newton, a junior kinesiology major,  attended the art crawl, which also gave some the opportunity to get out of their dorms and enjoy what Ruston has to offer.



“I came mostly because I had friends coming,” Newton, said. “But I feel art is a great way for people to get away from a boring or difficult life for a little while. It just adds to the culture of our society.”



Newton said he appreciates how much the community supports local artists.



“Everybody has to start somewhere,” he said. “When their community supports (local artists), they have more time and resources to dedicate to their work.”



Meredith Piper, another local artist and a 2010 Tech graduate, showcased her work at Fine Line Supply.



She said she hopes students will continue coming to art crawls to see how many opportunities there are both support the art community and become a part of it.



“I think above all, art events like this not only bring awareness to shops and little stores, but it brings people together,” Piper said. “You meet people, people you wouldn’t usually meet. That builds relationships and that’s what this community is all about: relationships.”


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