SHREVEPORT, La. (Ark-La-Tex Weekend) - Every year, the Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC) puts on an amazing show called Critical Mass. It’s an exhibition allowing local artists to show one piece of work in literary, visual and performance categories. National critics come to Shreveport to judge the show and review the work and artist. One artist is selected “Best in Show” in each of the categories and given the opportunity to have their own show at Artspace in downtown Shreveport.
Opening night is Friday, September 16, 2022 from 5:30pm-8:30pm. The shows will end on October 29. Here’s who your going to see...
Into the Imagination
Critical Mass 9 Visual Artist Eric Francis’ visual solo exhibition, “Into the Imagination,” invites the viewer to journey into the mind of an artist to see the images that exist in his imagination. Professional Critic and New Orleans Artist Gabriel Shaffer described Francis’ winning piece, “Song of Songs 1:5″ as a total joy. “Francis’ rendering of his subject emits power, pride, self-awareness and a regal aura. The balance of gold and black abstractions with attention to subtle touches in the portrait, demonstrates a broad range of sensitivity,” says Shaffer.
I Will Not Write a Pandemic Poem
Critical Mass 9 Literary Artist Julie Kane’s solo exhibition, “I Will Not Write A Pandemic Poem,” (the same name as her winning piece) is a 19-minute-long video based on twenty of her pandemic duplex poems. Kane says, “Visual images from my poems will dance across the screen as my voice can be heard reading the poems in the background. I am eager to see how people will react.”
A Napalm Lullaby
Critical Mass 10 Literary Artist Genaro Ky Ly Smith’s solo exhibition, “A Napalm Lullaby” will be a study in paradoxes. Large canvas photos showing his family’s life in Vietnam from 1967-1971 depict happiness and love as a stark contrast to the words on his pages telling the horrific, terrible aspects of war through poetry and fiction. Cuban American author, professor and St. Lawrence Book Award recipient, Leigh Camacho Rourks, reviewed the first chapter of Smith’s work, “The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born,” from his novel in progress, Napalm Lullaby. “Smith’s work gnawed at me, forcing me to return to it repeatedly,” said Rourks. “Smith leaves no movement unrealized and no sentence unchiseled. Every narrative moment shows care and craft. I truly believe the novel which emerges from this piece is destined to be snapped up, destined to make Critical Mass proud.”
Cane River Chronicles: Unveiled
Critical Mass 10 Visual Artist Debra Roberson’s solo exhibition, “Cane River Chronicles: Unveiled,” asks viewers to join her on a journey around Cane River of Natchitoches to explore and compare life as a sharecropper on a plantation in the 1900s with life today in the 21st century for Black, Indigenous and people of color. Roberson says, “This exhibition is my stamp on the history of my ancestors. Being named Critical Mass 10′s Critic’s Choice Visual Artist gives validation to my art. I love landscape photography and telling stories through my photography.”
Due to Covid, the 2020 Solo Shows were cancelled. So now, SRAC is proud to present the four winners of the of the past two years of Critical Mass exhibitions during September and October.
The critics who orginially judged Critical Mass return to Artspace to review the Solo Shows. They include Dr. Robert Pincus, Lauren Smart, Greg Bownderville, Emily Wilkerson and Leigh Camacho Rourks. As a bonus, you can “Ask the Critic - Anything and Everything.” On Friday, September 16, 2022 from 11:30am - 1:00pm, everyone is invited to come to the Central ARTSTATION or join by Zoom. The critics will be available to answer any question you might have about art and the value of critical writing and critiquing.
Related Topic: See more great local artists on display in Bossier City.
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