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ART IN THE RAFTERS

by Van Roy

How an Art Exhibit in Avoyelles became Fall’s biggest cultural celebration!

Thursday, October 3, marks the 7th year anniversary of Art in the Rafters, one of the most highly anticipated art exhibits in Central Louisiana, most notably Avoyelles, as regional artists come together for a collaborative show celebrating the arts. From paintings to photography and crafts, “Art in the Rafters” (named for the exhibit’s location in the balcony of the historic Bailey Theater) offers attendees a little something for everyone, but at the center of it all is local artists, most amateur, coming together to put themselves, and their passion, front and center.

EXHIBIT. MEMBERSHIP DRIVE. OUTDOOR MARKET. FOOD. WINE. ROCK THE RUNWAY.

Presented by the Avoyelles Arts Council, Rafters serves as its annual membership drive and fundraiser, where members old and new can join or renew for only $20. (usually $35.) The organization has been providing quality arts programming in the community for forty years. In addition to one’s membership, guests can enjoy complimentary wine and passed hors d’oeuvres from Broken Wheel Brewery while they view the twenty plus artists that will be on site with their works to greet guests. The night will also feature a dazzling Rock The Runway presentation of costumes designed by local businesses and organizations. Inspired by Project Runway, this is sure to add a touch of whimsy and eye candy to the night. An outdoor marketplace hosts vendors with arts and crafts as well. There might even be a food truck or two!

VIVE LES ARTS A AVOYELLES (LONG LIVE THE ARTS IN AVOYELLES!)

“Fostering the creative arts and providing the community platforms to display their work is why the Arts Council is here,” says Allison Ravare-Augustine, president of the council. “Rafters is a prime example of this and an event the community really comes out for.”

The event has only grown since it began seven years ago and has always taken place on the first Thursday of every October. Past years have seen everything from compelling photography exhibits to aerialists and models painted head to toe in body paint. “It’s definitely more than your garden variety art exhibit. We try to keep it interesting for our artists, our guests and our members,” states Donny Gagnard, chair of the event. As mentioned earlier, this year will feature a fashion show of inspired creations of mostly found materials, crafted especially for Art in the Rafters by local businesses and organizations. Materials such as fresh flowers, duct tape, mirrors, balloons and fabrics of all kinds are being utilized for these designs. “Art comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. You never know what will inspire someone and lift them up,” says Ravare-Augustine.

“Avoyelles is a treasure trove of talent. I’m always amazed,” says Wilbert Carmouche, director of the Avoyelles Commission on Tourism. It was Carmouche who came up with the Rafters title to begin with and he who also provided this year’s theme of “long live the arts in Avoyelles!”

Keeping the arts alive in all of our communities and schools impacts our lives in more ways than meets the eye, which is why events such as this one are so important. From enhancing our quality of life to beautifying our surroundings, the arts are an often overlooked component to any progressive community’s economic development. That’s why it’s so inspiring to see events such as Art in the Rafters thriving in a rural area such as Avoyelles. Support the local arts and find your way to downtown Marksville Thursday, October 3, for a truly special evening of art and community.

ART IN THE RAFTERS

WHEN: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2019

WHERE: BAILEY’S ON THE SQUARE / 113 EAST OGDEN ST. / MARKSVILLE, LA

DOORS OPEN: 6PM

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CALL GWEN LACOMBE WITH THE AVOYELLES ARTS COUNCIL: 318.264.1826

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