A Bossier Arts Council gallery show is asking artists and viewers a simple, but layered question — What is popular?
The BAC's Pop Art show features pieces in the style of the pop art movement submitted by local artists. There are approximately 20 participants who gave works in various mediums for the East Bank Gallery installation.
“It's exceeded our expectations,” said Steven Belk, BAC gallery coordinator/comptroller. “We have a full gallery.”
Pop art made its debut in 1950's society as a challenge to traditions of fine art by including imagery from popular culture such as advertising, news, and other forms of entertainment. Generating such renowned artists as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, the movement has continued to morph throughout the years.
The BAC show illustrates this with the featured pieces and their inspiration illustrating a unique dicotomy.
“It's given our artists a chance to reevaluate what is popular in our culture,” said Belk. “So we have one piece from an older artist that is about fighting email, to art from our younger artists inspired by (classic) cartoon characters.”
Local and surrounding artists were encouraged to bring a variety of pieces influenced by the growing pop art culture.
“Pop art is a vibrant cultural snapshot,” said artist Lynn Laird. “In addition to kitsch and iconic forms, it captures a potent mix of emotion and protest most relevant in that specific moment.” She said the most popular art represents treasures of the past, from Marilyn Monroe and Mickey Mouse to the freedom and release of Jackson Pollock.
Larid described her artwork as leaning towards the clearly representational, preferably realistic with a surreal or whimsical twist that skews the view.
“Glowing and glimmering like fireflies in the night sky, ideas lure me down the creative path. These visions tempt and beg to be expressed regardless of the medium required. Whether photography, painting, illustration or scrimshaw, I find joy in working in multiple mediums simultaneously. Like an octopus with four sets of articulated arms, I linger and jet through the sea of experiences changing quickly and completely to suit the current challenge,” she said. “I am intrigued by the geometry of natural design, exquisite down to the smallest minutiae. It’s often said laughingly that I can appreciate the details of the tiniest acorn in woods, without ever seeing the forest.”
Artist Erick Fields sees pop art as a vivid manifestation of Popular Culture using vibrant colors and sometimes unconventional artistic approaches.
“I employ the use of Street culture, Graffiti, and I love to use images of past artist and leaders,” he said. “My creative process comes forth while participating in mundane situations such as joking and laughing with my family, great conversations and listening and discussing music, or just admiring a woman’s style or hair. I try to use my adversity as a fuel for my art. I am self taught so I do not have the constraints of the right or wrong way of painting; I just try to put my feelings on canvas in an a way that invokes an emotional response.”
The Pop Art exhibit will run March 1 throughl April 2, with a reception on March 22 at 6 p.m. at the East Bank Gallery, 630 Barksdale Blvd., Bossier City.
The gallery is a project of the BAC and is committed to promoting art work of regional artists.Hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. or by appointment.
For more information about the Bossier Arts Council, call 741-8310 or visit www.bossierarts.org.