Exhibit Catches Local Artists' Dreams

Aug 2, 2012

For the summer show at Glassell Gallery, curator and LSU Art School gallery coordinator Malia Krolak, invited 50 Baton Rouge artists to create works under the theme, "Dreamcatching" for the summer show at Glassell Gallery. 

WRKF's Elizabeth Eads asked Krolak about the results - which are really varied.

EADS: What sort of things are you getting?

KROLAK: Everything from dreams to nightmares. We had this really cool piece that was by Nancy Jo Poirrier who's a local painter; it was actually autobiographical, because it was pictures of dreams she had when she was a little girl. ... It's a triptych that's cut, but it's irregularly shaped, so it's like puzzle pieces that fit together. She has actual photographs from her childhood that she imbedded into- collaged into the piece.

Then we had this piece that was this very scary clown, by Kevin Duffy. I mean, it's so creepy - creepy in a good way.

EADS: You wonder.

KROLAK: I guess, but I love seeing it.

We had a necklace that was made by Susie Blyskal and it's hand blown glass shells, and it makes you think of he beach and the Carribean - so it's like a dream getaway.

We had one artist - Renee Smith - who drew a dreamcatcher. So we had some of that too. I didn't know what we would have, if people would be literal or push the envelope.

EADS: What did you ask them to do specifically? 

KROLAK: I don't care what medium they use, just whatever you want to do. Some people do what they don't normally do.
For example, Libby Johnson is in the show. She paints beautiful, beautiful landscapes, and she also paints beautiful still lives that show light - they're just amazing.
But for this show, she did a mixed media piece on paper that had a drawing, which is completely different for Libby. I think it's fun for them to be able to step out of their usual way of working and make something completely new.

EADS: So, if they're able to do whatever it is they want, why is it that this pushes her to do something different?

KROLAK: I think it's just she hasn't thought of that particular angle before. And it has to go with the theme. I mean, that's the way to make work by 50 different artists go together. So by making a theme it kinda makes it unified, and I think it just pushes her into a different angle.

EADS: What do you think is sort of the theme of Baton Rouge art? This is an opportunity to see what it is that Baton Rouge art is. What would you say that that is?

KROLAK: The thing about Baton Rouge is, there's a ton of artists and they're doing all different kinds of things. I really couldn't say there's a Baton Rouge look, because there isn't.

EADS: Do you think that there's a reason for that?

KROLAK: I mean, all of the artists in our show are not necessarily LSU grads, but a lot of them are. And it might be just that - that they've come from somewhere else. And also, all the professors are not necessarily Baton Rougeans.
But, I think people are just expressing their viewpoint. No two people see things exactly the same way, and it's the same with artists.


EADS: And you have an interactive part for this exhibit.

KROLAK: Yes, and that has been a lot of fun, especially for the little kids.

A lot of times, people bring their kids to receptions and stuff and the kids are kind of bored, because it's a bunch of grown-ups standing around looking at pictures.

But we had a bowl of crayons and these little coloring pages that I made that have a dreamcatcher on them, but also I have blank paper for people who don't want to draw in lines.

It doesn't have to be little kids - it could be 80-year-old kids, I don't care.

And we're pinning them all up and collecting them all summer.

EADS: And what's the response been?

KROLAK: It's been a lot of fun. Yesterday, I had a little girl that came into my office and she showed me the piece that she had made and her mother had made. She was very proud of herself, so I was excited. Drawing and coloring, it's one of those pleasures in life. You get to be mindless and you don't have to think about anything, and hopefully you're not judging yourself too much.