Work of six Jeff Davis Parish artists showcased at Zigler Museum

Published 6:37 pm Tuesday, November 2, 2021

JENNINGS — The Zigler Art Museum and Jennings Daily News are teaming up to showcase work from local artists.

The collaboration, called Community Collage: A Collection of Jeff Davis Parish Artists, brings the original artwork of six local artists together for an exhibit that runs through Jan. 4 at the Zigler Art Museum, 154 N. Main St..

“This exhibition is a showcase of the talent of our neighbors and friends,” Museum Director Tesha Onellion said. “We are celebrating six members of our own community whose creative work contributes to the vibrance, beauty and culture of Jeff Davis Parish.

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Featured artists include Thomas “Bill” Baumann, Madelyn Benoit, Thomas Frazier-Cole, Ricky Manuel, Frances G. Naquin and Emily Romero.

“The exhibit is so unique and diverse because each of these artists are working using a unique media or taking a unique approach to their art,” Onellion said.

Baumann, a 94-year-old Navy veteran, uses seashells and wood to create unique sculptures. He also enjoys doing woodwork, cabinetry and oil painting.

Benoit’s artwork is greatly influenced by her faith, nature, and the many strong, brave women who came before her, especially her mother.  Her work depicts historic women of color in a romantic light to convey the beautiful, soft, and feminine side to the viewer. She draws her inspiration from the delicate style of Victorian era fashion by portraying black women and girls sharing sunny garden afternoons, shaded by their hats and parasols.

Frazier-Cole uses acrylics to create rich and colorful abstractors to express his views on the world based on his own life experiences.

Manuel has been drawing and painting for most of his life. He studied under artist Dottie Modlish. His inspiration comes from his love of Christ, his family and friends and his wife, Amy Manuel, who continues to urge him to be creative.

Naquin uses collage and acrylics to express how she feels about living in South Louisiana. They express her relationship with her Lord and Our Lady of Guadalupe and her experiences in the culture and her deep affection for its people.

Romero’s artwork is created from glass from the Capital One building in Lake Charles which was destroyed by Hurricane Laura and materials from rebuilding her own home after two hurricanes. She hopes the pieces are reminders of the beauty and good that can come from devastation.

The idea for the exhibit began when Allison Cryer, editor of the Jennings Daily News, told Onellion she wanted to do a piece on local artists.

“I thought that was a great idea and told her I wanted to do an exhibit for it,” Onellion said. “It just grew from there and so far the response has been overwhelming.”

More than 130 people attended the opening reception Oct. 21, she said.

“I am hoping this will be an inspiration to others to either continue their artistic path or to be brave and show other people what they can do,” Onellion said.

She hopes to make the Community Collage an annual event showcasing talented artists from throughout the parish.

The museum is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday and closed on holidays. Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for senior citizens. Admission for children over the age of 6 is $2. Children 6 and under are free.

For more information, call 337-824-0114.