Martin Payton

"Broken Time: Sculpture by Martin Payton" is on display through July 6.

As part of Southwest Louisiana's "7 Days of Juneteenth Freedom Festival," Historic City hall Arts and Culture Center will conduct a gallery talk with sculptor Martin Payton in the third floor gallery on Tuesday, June 18 at 6:00 p.m. Payton will be present to give an overview and history on his work focusing on the currently displayed exhibit "Broken Time: Sculpture by Martin Payton" which feature one installation and over 20 welded steel sculptures.

Using scrap metal, Payton creates works inspired by the improvisation techniques of New Orleans jazz musicians. Many of the lines, curves and planes of his pieces have deep nuanced meanings rooted in African symbolism and the African American experience.

"When I go to the scrap yard, climbing around...shapes call to [me] like certain phrases might call to a writer. Sometimes those pieces will lay around for years. But that's the process. I never enter the studio with a title and a form in mind...I try to put my heart into it," Payton told Matt Young, Historic City Hall director of cultural affairs.

Insights such as these and more can be heard from the artist who will also be taking audience questions during the talk. Young described the event as an opportunity to better understand the creator's original intent creating a more meaningful gallery experience.

"Gallery talks help us understand an artist's motivation for creating a body of work. You can learn what the artist wanted to accomplish with the exhibition. Was it meant to inspire, educate, or amuse?" he said.

Gallery talks are also an easy and accessible way to learn more about the unique cultures that make up city, Young said. "Lake Charles continues to become a more diverse city--or a cultural gumbo. Historic City Hall Arts and Cultural Center is a place where you can learn more about the people that you share the world with as well as expose yourself to a new idea, culture, or environment."

Located at 1001 Ryan Street, the gallery talk is free and open to the public. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

"Broken Time: Sculpture by Martin Payton" is on display through July 6. For more information call, 491-9141 or visit, www.cityoflakecharles.com

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