Duson, Louviere to open The Gallery’s fall season

CROWLEY - The Crowley Art Association (CAA) will kick off its fall season with a bang as it showcases the work of two exceptional local artists during the month of September.

Crowley artist Virginia Duson and Rayne artist Jackie Louviere will share The Gallery’s space for a joint show that will feature about 40 works of art.

The show will be on display throughout the entire month of September, with the CAA hosting a wine and cheese gala for the public this Saturday, Sept. 7.

Virginia Duson

Duson’s name is familiar to many citizens of Crowley–she was married to the late Howard Duson, grandson of W.W. Duson, one of Crowley’s founders.

But Duson is more than just a name, and those not familiar with Virginia Duson’s artwork should not miss the chance to view it. Nor should they miss the chance to meet Duson.

Duson was raised in Virginia, where she went to high school, and attended Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, earning a bachelor’s degree in fine art. Atlanta is also where she met her husband Howard.

If asked about her art, one of the first things Duson will say is that she is not a “professional artist.”

That may be true if the term “professional” is limited to only those artists who support themselves through their artwork. Otherwise, it’s a misstatement in Duson’s case.

Duson recalls that she started drawing and painting as a child, and although she gave it up for a period, she estimates that she has been drawing and painting for about the past 45 years. Art is Duson’s “life,” which would pretty much qualify her as a professional.

What Duson means is not that she is an amateur, but that she paints for the pleasure of it, often giving away her work when she knows it will be appreciated by the recipient.

She characterizes art as “a never-ending learning process,” no matter how long one has been an artist.

Duson uses all types of media, but says she prefers acrylics and oils.

According to Duson, she paints things that give her a “thrill,” which basically means things that she finds exciting or challenging.

In the past she has very much enjoyed painting portraits, but for the last couple of years she has found herself drawn to landscapes, particularly of the mountains in the western portion of the United States.

Visitors to The Gallery can expect to see a wide variety of subjects and styles from Duson.

Jackie Louviere

The flip side of the coin will be artist Jackie Louviere, who always had the desire to paint but did not have the time until 2003, when she and her husband moved to Toledo Bend, Texas, and she found herself in a position to take art lessons.

Louviere is originally from Rayne and is a Rayne High School alumna.

Like Duson, Louviere still considers herself a student, even though she has had her fair share of recognition as an artist.

She was commissioned, for example, by the Toledo Bend Lake Association to paint the original for the annual Bass Unlimited poster in 2009.

Louviere, who moved back to Rayne with her husband in the relatively recent past, says that until about a year ago, she painted entirely in oils, but has now come to love acrylics. She credits CAA President Robert Baxter for the switch, explaining that before he taught her to use acrylics, she was too nervous because they don’t allow much room for error.

In the past she has tended toward floral subject matter, but as of late she has been turning her focus to southwest Louisiana themes.

Louviere anticipates that she will have about 20 new works in the show.

Interestingly, both Duson and Louviere wasted no time in pointing to Robert Baxter as one of the best art teachers they have ever had. Unbeknownst to each other, they essentially echoed one another’s comments about Baxter. According to Duson, Baxter “makes you do things you think you can’t.” Louviere agrees.

Accordingly, look for both Duson and Louviere to have a variety of interesting and exciting new pieces on display this month, having been pushed by Baxter to do what they thought they couldn’t.

The Sept. 7 gala will start at 6 p.m. The event is free and the public is invited.

The Gallery is located at 222 N. Parkerson Ave. in Crowley. For more information, call The Gallery at 783-3747.

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