When Donna Price and Ronald Gibson worked together at the American Press during the early '90s, they motivated each other to "keep creating art."
"It's so easy to go home and turn on the TV," Price said. "For inspiration, we'd write concepts or sometimes a single word on a small slip of paper, fold it and put it in a jar. Anyone – not just Price and Gibson – could pull out an idea and produce a piece of art."
The participant had to stick to the concept and bring in the resulting work the following Monday.
"It was fun to see what everyone came up with," she said.
Price and Gibson have teamed up again. They didn't set out to inspire with "A Pairing of Two Painters," but they do that and more.
See it on the first floor of Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center now through Sept. 12. The center is open 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday, including Saturday, July 4.
It will be fun to see what they've come up with: "Squirrel Rosary," "Wire House Breakdown," "$3.99," "Martial Artist." Prices are very affordable, beginning at $100.
This isn't Price and Gibson's first rodeo. They're members of the Artisans' Gallery. This does mark their first duo exhibit.
"This show offers two very different points of view," said Carol Anne Gayle, Historic City Hall exhibit and program specialist. "The aesthetic is different. She is whimsical, sometimes dreamy and deeply thoughtful. He has that stark edge and philosophical point of view."
Both enjoy working in layers. His are transparent. Hers are scratched to show what's just below the surface.
Price continues her role of American Press design editor and feature writer by day. By night, she works at letting go of people pleasing perfectionism – in her art.
"Ron's always been a good influence because his work is uninhibited," Price said.
"Once I finish a piece, I don't care what you or anyone else thinks," Gibson said with a wide hand flourish and slight lift of his chin.
"Ron takes art classes at McNeese now just for the fun of it," Price said, making her envy apparent.
"Yeah, well at least now I get a senior citizen discount," he quips.
He's 74 and "ready to go in a different direction."
Gibson said it's best not to attend this or any other art experience, not just the visual arts, with certain expectations of what art is…or isn't.
Price has, for the first time, produced two impressionistic pieces with birds, a soulful white egret.
She sees egrets as spiritual messengers. For Gibson, ships represent the soul, "at least right now," he said.
That's why he added digitized paper boats to a piece he produced earlier in his life with the likeness of Indian mystic Sarada Devi. The original was painted on a pamphlet of instructions how to use a Singer Sewing Machine, thus it's title, "While Finishing the Neck Edge of a Garment."
They are as comfortable laughing at themselves as they are dishing about art.
He has a piece in the show because "it's just so bad I just love it." She refers to one of her pieces as Edvard Munch ("The Scream" artist) meets Walt Disney – and not in a good way. She plans to rework it.
Figure out which piece she's talking about.
"Get out of the mundane of the day to day," Price said. "Art enriches the life experience."