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“Balanced Account,” by Kevin Leveque

"Why I Paint," unique paintings by local artist Kevin Lawrence Leveque, are on display on the second floor of Historic City Hall Arts and Cultural Center through March 28.

Leveque said the exhibit's roughly 20 oil-based paintings are a mix of figurative work and landscapes. He said it showcases more than a decade's worth of artwork, with the earliest painting dating back to 2004.

"It helps people understand how I'm constantly evolving," Leveque said. "Beauty is a big subject to me."

After studying fine art at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, Calif., Leveque said he traveled throughout the country and abroad. He returned to Lake Charles in 1995.

Leveque said his paintings often lack a main theme at the outset.

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“Backstage,” by Kevin Lawrence Leveque

"I only get ideas after I commit myself to doing something," he said. "I'll often start a landscape, and halfway through it changes from day to night. The scene is capable of reversing itself. I like to work that way."

Each painting is accompanied by a short statement to give viewers insight, along with small drawings that show how the finished product started.

"It's an inside look into why I paint," he said. "It shows people how each painting is different."

The center's third floor gallery features the exhibit, "American Visionary: The Life and Times of JFK." More than 70 rare photographs of President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis are on display.

Two new shows will open Feb. 7. "Lake Charles Legends" will highlight 15 local Hall of Famers as portrayed by 15 local artists. "The Evolution of Black Hair" will also open in the center's Black Heritage Gallery.

Historic City Hall, at 1001 Ryan St., is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Admission is free.

For more, call 491-9147.

Online: cityoflakecharles.com

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