Hunt Slonem was born in Kittery, Maine in 1951; the eldest of four children. His father was a navy officer, while his mother was a homemaker who spent much of her time doing volunteer work. As a result of his father’s military career, Slonem spent much of his childhood on different military bases; living in Hawaii, Virginia, Louisiana, Connecticut, California and Washington. After completing school, which included living in Nicaragua as an exchange student at the age of 16, Slonem began his undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt University. He then spent six months at the University of the Americas in San Andres Colula, Puebla, Mexico, eventually graduating with a Bachelors of Art in Painting and Art History from Tulane University in New Orleans. In the early 1980s, Slonem began working on his critically acclaimed series of “bunny paintings” after discovering that he was born in the Year of the Rabbit, according to the Chinese zodiac calendar. He often repeats imagery in this series, as he finds the act to be similar to spiritual meditation. Slonem believes that “repetition is very important” and begins each day painting, treating each moment as one of profound meditation and channeling of God or a higher consciousness. To date, his bunny paintings remain a part of his morning ritual, as well as a pivotal theme in his artwork.
Slonem is also renowned for his sculpture work, most notably the monumental “Tocos,” an 18-foot acrylic and aluminum tower of toucans. He has also done large sculpture commissions of rabbits, butterflies and toucans all in various spots in Kenner, Louisiana.
The creative force also has an innate talent and passion for refurbishing homes. Considering this part of his art form, Slonem has rescued, refurbished and restored a number of estates including his two Southern mansions in Louisiana; Albania and Lakeside. His homes were the subject of an extraordinary 300 page, photography-based volume, When Art Meets Design. In addition to When Art Meets Design, Slonem’s work has been the subject of many other books over the course of his career including: Hunt Slonem: An Art Rich & Strange, Pleasure Palaces: The Art and Homes of Hunt Slonem and The Worlds of Hunt Slonem. In March 2014, Slonem published, just in time for Easter, Bunnies, a finely designed first collection of “bunny art” and in 2017, Slonem will publish two highly anticipated books: Birds and an untitled volume devoted to his monumental new mixed commercial/residential installation in Pennsylvania.
A tastemaker within the worlds of art, design and fashion, Slonem is often sought out by globally-renowned brands such as Audi and designer, Jason Wu. Since 1977, his work has been the subject of more than 300 one man shows and over 250 group exhibitions in renowned galleries and museums across the globe. His work can be found in the permanent collections of 250 museums, galleries, institutions and corporations worldwide. Additionally, Slonem’s work has also appeared in a number of movies including All the Kings Men, Slaves of New York, The Namesake, Broken City, Fading Gigolo and Misconduct. In 2015, he moved to a new 35,000 square foot studio in Sunset Park, Brooklyn where he continues to work. He lives in Manhattan, but travels frequently to his other homes in Louisiana, upstate New York and Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Louisiana native Lue Svendson is a painter and a landscape architect. Lue’s work in paint and nature exist worldwide in Dubai, Costa Rica and the United States.
Born in 1952, Lue was influenced to think creatively from a young age. Since she was a young girl she has had a natural ability in drawing using pencil, charcoal and watercolor. She was pushed by her parents in this direction and an artistic heritage. As she got older, she moved toward her professional choice to combine her love of art and nature to become a landscape architect. Her education and work in landscape architecture put solidly in focus, by intensive exercise and discipline, design principles relating to shape, space, line, scale, color and texture. Lue enjoys working in varied styles with different materials thus keeping both she and her art fresh.
Artist Steven Schneider, born in Lake Charles, LA in 1955, has been painting for the past 40 years. Steven studied art at The University of Louisiana where he received a BS degree with a minor in Fine Art. He pursued his art career in Lafayette, LA as a fine artist/illustrator/graphic designer until moving to Donaldsonville, LA in 2004. There, Schneider and his wife Cynthia owned and operated Schneider Art Gallery and a Cajun/Creole restaurant . The sculptural series “RiverSpirit” was inspired by walks and gatherings along theMississippi River that ran just over the levee from Schneider’s studio. The couple moved to Goshen, ARin 2014where Steven established his new studio and continues to pursue and refine his vibrant, energetic style. Known as a talented colorist and landscape painter, Schneider’s works can be found in many corporate and private collections. Steven’s painting “55 Olds 88” was selected to be part of the 2015 Delta Exhibition at The Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock.
This New Orleans native came to Lafayette, Louisiana to study Fine Arts at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. After studying Fine Arts for three years, she changed majors and ultimately obtained a Masters Degree in Kinesiology from LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and more recently a Masters degree in Counseling from University of Louisiana, Lafayette. She continues to paint, exploring the mystery of life and the truth that painting reveals.
Michael Eble was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He received a BFA degree in painting from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a MFA degree in painting and drawing from the University of Mississippi, in Oxford, Mississippi. He is currently Curator of Events & Exhibitions for the College of the Arts at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He has recently relocated back to Louisiana form Minnesota where he was an Associate Professor of Studio Art and Curator of the Edward J. & Helen Jean Morrison Gallery at the University of Minnesota, Morris for thirteen years. He has shown his paintings and works on paper in numerous regional and national solo and group exhibitions, most recently in Louisiana, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. Michael continues to produce artwork that focuses on the element of water and its relationship to humans and the environment.
Kathy Dumesnil approaches painting like a choreographer. A former modern dancer and fabrication textile artist, Dumesnil brings to her works an aesthetic sensibility that shows the influence of her foundational disciplines. Her non-literal, nature-inspired paintings are rhythmic with movement, stillness, and graceful gestural strokes. The lines of her paintings dance, not in lock-step, but in harmony, to form satisfying ensembles of layered, textured, delicately toned colors. Dumesnil, who holds a B.F.A. from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, exercises intuition as an important part of her artistic process. Playing with color, form, and composition is a process she trusts to lead to new and honest creations. Travel and the natural world inspire Kathy Dumesnil and the practice of journaling renews and keeps her on a path toward new discovery.
Kelly Guidry has been dedicated to his art since 2001, and his work is a combination of both subtractive and constructive sculpture. He uses a chainsaw and other power tools to cut and burn wood, and welding equipment to bend and weld metal. His use of the tools is sometimes unorthodox and his techniques are constantly in a state of reinvention.
His figures are a celebration of the human form and the attributes that we all aspire to. In proud stances, they project strength, confidence, heath and beauty. Bathed in fire, these tall wooden carvings first appear as sleek, elegant silhouettes. But as you look closer, the surface tells another story. Character flaws in the cedar and the still evident marks of the chainsaw make up a rich textural surface of imperfections. It is noble and human to strive to be better and his work intends to inspire, but it is often our imperfections that make us unique and there is beauty in that as well.
For the past two decades Mark Bercier, a native of Crowley, LA now living in New Orleans, has been working on a language created from 27 images juxtaposed with words that do not necessarily go together that he calls "Healin' Symbols". This personal iconography reflects his fascination with language, both visual and verbal, and our ways of communication. The image of "Baby" is taken from a self-portrait his daughter did when she was 5 and has played an important role in his work expressing a childlike quality of seeing the world for the first time. Bercier was educated at the University of Southwestern Louisiana and has studied art in Belgium and Austria. His work has been featured in exhibits across the US and is in many permanent collections including at the Ogden Museum of Art in New Orleans, The University Art Museum at UL, and the House of Blues Collection in Boston.
Mitch Evans, aka "Son of a Slovenian" is a resident of Baton Rouge since the summer of 1976. And yes, he really is a son of a Slovenian. The name is a homage to his mother Joida Turk Evans, who planted the seed of artistic creativity long ago……a sincere thanks to this wonderful and amazing woman. Mitch is just plain and simply put, a wood geek. He loves most everything there is about trees and wood. In many ways, his relationship with his wooden creations is his own personal religion. He finds wonder and amazement in the pure and simple beauty of wood as it is revealed in all stages of its life and eventual death.
Award winning artist, Patrick Soper, has made Lafayette, Louisiana his home since 1977. He works as a full time portrait artist and freelance illustrator for ad agencies, corporations, and book and magazine publishers. His illustration work has appeared in national publications such as Outdoor Life, American Legion Magazine, M.D. News, Aviation & Space Technology, Organic Gardening, Continental Inflight Magazine, High Technology Magazine, West Coast Book Review, and many others. In addition, he has worked for such major publishers as McGraw-Hill; Silver, Burdett & Ginn; David C. Cook; Macmillan; D.C. Heath; Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich; Pelican Publishing; Little Brown and many others. In 2012 Patrick began his "Eve-O-Lution" Series as an endeavor to paint the female subject in various styles from classical oils to stylized Art Nouveau. He named it Eve-O-Lution because it was as much an exploration of artistic expression as it was an attempt at capturing beauty. In his many years as a book illustrator and portrait artist, he developed a deep love for painting the human subject. In this series, which he now considers to be his life's work, he uses all the techniques, mediums and styles that he has acquired in thirty years to try to capture the evanescent quality of the female face and form.
Don Bertrand studied Art, Architecture and Art History at The University of Southwestern Louisiana, now The University of Louisiana, Lafayette, Louisiana, The University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado under the tutelage of many regional artists and he particularly notes Elmore Morgan, Fred Daspit, John Geldesma, Dutch Kepler, Fred Packard and David Fox as early influences on his work and thoughts about art and creativity. He also follows many of his local contemporaries and friends in the art world. Bertrand believes his pursuit of painting is a lifelong pursuit of study and sees his studio as a laboratory and each painting and experiment. This allows him the freedom to never feel like he is guided by a confined set of rules, and the viewer will make the final decision as to whether the pursuit was worth the