‘Becoming Her’ : Imperial Calcasieu Museum exhibiting work of five female artists through May 31

Published 5:06 am Thursday, May 25, 2023

The Imperial Calcasieu Museum is participating in the Taking Up Space initiative with the exhibition titled “Becoming Her.”

Taking Up Space (TUS) is a global grassroots community art exhibition for underrepresented genders created by the Thrive Together Network (TTN).

During the month of May, communities around the world host female-focused art exhibitions. According to TTN, over 80 exhibitions were shown globally in conjunction with TUS in 2022.

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“Becoming Her” features five local, female artists: Cas Brennan, Kayla Louviere, Jengi Miller, Paula Pounds and Hannah Wyninger.

According to Rachel Baldwin, Director’s Assistant, the featured artists approached Imperial Calcasieu Museum with the idea for the exhibition.

She said that creating and highlighting women-led artistic spaces is crucial for communities for two reasons: representation and inspiration.

“It addresses the gender imbalance in an industry dominated by male artists… It provides representation and empowerment for little girls who visit these spaces, allowing them to see themselves as future leaders and artists,” she said. “By challenging gender imbalances and offering supportive environments, women-led artistic spaces inspire creativity, foster community among women artists and contribute to a more diverse and inclusive art world.”

There are 50 pieces in the exhibition, and they all reflect the artists’ unique experiences as women, Baldwin said. “Cas Brennan, for instance, explores the contrast between her experiences in Lake Charles and South Africa. Her artworks, such as “Inscribed Zebra” and “Inscribed Alligator,” celebrate the animals that symbolize her two homes,” she explained. “Additionally, Brennan often incorporates a blue thread in her canvas pieces, symbolizing her relationship with God. Another artist, Paula Pounds’ artwork “Single Mother” evokes strong emotions, evident through the expressive brushstrokes and imagery.”

Brennan — originally from Johannesburg, South Africa — moved with her family to Lake Charles in 2017. She is a full time artist “focusing on her own creative process and production whilst investigating and experimenting with a variety of media,” said the Imperial Calcasieu Museum.

Lately, she has been experimenting with watercolor and layering with acrylic.

Louviere, who moved to SWLA in December of 2020, actively works with paint, textiles and collage. The museum said her artistic practice is centered around juxtaposition. She does this by “marrying elements together that traditionally seem disconnected,” such as acrylic paint and embroidery and fashion magazines and food wrappers.

Miller returned as a full-time artist in 2018 after dedicating all her time to her small business created in 2009, Louise E. Anna Creations.

She is a mixed media artist, a passion that stemmed from applying her favorite finishes to canvases and furniture.

Pound, SWLA native, is a mostly self-taught artist that is influenced by music, SWLA culture and her own life experiences.

She expresses herself through abstract art, and often brings older art back to life by upcycling old canvases.

Sulphur artist Wyninger’s art is a reflection of thought process and day-to-day experiences. According to the Imperial Calcasieu Museum, her collection is composed of personal objects that keep her artistically inspired.

The exhibition opened on May 12 and will be available for viewing until Wednesday, May 31.