New event unites art and business communities

By By Cliff Seiber / American Press

Art-ini After Hours, a new event to bring business people together with artists and cultural workers, will be 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 27, in the bar and lounge at SpringHill Suites by Marriott, 1551 W. Prien Lake Road.

The event will feature music by Paul Gonsoulin and work by local artists. There is no admission charge, and the bar will have drink specials. Part of the proceeds will

be donated to the Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana.

Art by Erin Barker, recently named Louisiana’s Artist of the Year, as well as Jacqueline Segura, Lyd Farquhar and Daniel Castro,

will be on display.

Gonsoulin, special projects director for the arts council, said he has been involved in music as a “man with a harmonica and

a guitar,” as well as with a number of combos since his college days.

He began playing guitar at about age 10 and got involved professionally while at Louisiana State University. He and several

other students formed the Flamethrowers, a cover band that is still performing, though Gonsoulin is no longer a member.

In 2003 he started playing some harmonica-and-guitar gigs as a soloist. He generally plays four times a month at the Isle

of Capri and Luna’s, and also at Cecil’s in DeRidder and some clubs in Leesville.

“I do primarily folk music, although there is a new wave of folk, and I like them,” Gonsoulin said. “Still, I don’t get too

far away from traditional folk.”

About his job with the arts council, he

said it is wonderful to work full time with people in the arts. He has

worked in banking

and at the parish clerk’s office and met some wonderful people

there, but said he now is “working with people who speak the

same language I do.”