Sunday, March 25, 2012

Shreveport Artist Rachel Stuart-Haas

During a recent conference in Shreveport, LA I surveyed the local art scene. Shreveport has an art museum, a weekly outdoor art market, and a few little art galleries. Many of the buildings are also covered in original murals. Despite this, I found that most of the downtown area seemed abandoned, and I only managed to locate one gallery. That gallery (Artspace, linked here) was featuring an exhibition by Rachel Stuart-Haas. The postcard from her show is pictured below.

Stuart-Hass described her work as drawing on her emotions and experiences of being a woman. Her artist statement added that many of the pieces exhibited were based on thoughts and feelings she had while becoming a new mother.

To that, I would add that her paintings definitely have a sense of mystery to them. I have also noticed how she has drawn inspiration from other artists including Michelangelo and Gaugun. I have included three of my favorites, in no particular order.

I enjoyed the work of Stuart-Hass. I liked how she composed her images and used her space. Many of the images were flattened, but I think this added to the overall feelings derived from the content presented. The pen and ink images were smaller and somewhat playful, which contrasted nicely with the larger paintings that dealt with heavier concepts. What was presented was a nice body of work, and a very talented artist.

I think it is important to support artists and galleries at any level. I know an artist who once remarked that "...artists are a dime a dozen." And while it's true that there are artists everywhere, if we do not support their efforts and build a community the responds to artistic endeavors, artistic expressions will be lost.

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