Saturday, February 4, 2012

Under 30: Louisiana's Fresh Crop of Talent

I cannot believe it is already February and I am doing my first post of the year. I started the year off with a bang and spent January installing projects. One of the exciting January moments was the installation and opening of a show I curated for Lounge Gallery in Lafayette, LA. "Under 30: Louisiana's Fresh Crop of Talent" features ten young artists that I selected because I believe they are the next wave of brilliant Louisiana artists. Names that might not be familiar to you now but will certainly be soon.

L to R: Dominique Begnaud, Connor McManus, Mallory Page

Working with young artists is rewarding. To be a part of their journey from the beginning of their career is very exciting. The ten artists I selected range in age from 19-30 and are in different phases of their life as artists. A few are still in undergraduate school, some have recently finished school, and a couple are already living the life they were intended to live--that of a professional artist working in a studio and represented by galleries around the country.

L to R: Erin Jagneaux, Mallory Page, Ryan Cormier, Cayla Zeek, Mark Rabalais

L to R: Kyte Aymond, Cayla Zeek, Connor McManus, Mallory Page
The Independent Newspaper in Lafayette chose the show as its cover story for the January 18th issue in a story titled "Youth Culture":

I was interviewed for the story and asked how I selected artists for the show. My answer:

“When selecting artists I look at an entire body of work before selecting any pieces,” McCullough says. “I need to see that the artist is consistently strong,” he continues. “I look for artists who can be successful and well-received in any city.”

And the artists I selected did not disappoint me! The show is diverse, features several mediums, and is cutting edge which is representative of the group featured:

Mallory Page, New Orleans artist (
Connor McManus, Brown University student (
Erin Jagneaux, Lafayette artist (
Forrest Montgomery, Lafayette artist
Jacob Broussard, Lafayette artist (
 Ryan Cormier, Lafayette artist
Mark Rabalais, Pineville artist (
Dominique Begnaud, New Orleans artist  (
Cayla Zeek, Lafayette artist (click here for website)
Kyte Aymond, Lafayette artist

L to R: Mark Rabalais, Forrest Montgomery, Mark Rabalais, Jacob Broussard

Lounge Gallery is in the incredible gallery space that was formerly Grand Contemporary. Behind Tsunami & Lounge, the gallery is open for all Art Walks (the second Saturday of each month) and by appointment.

L to R: Connor McManus, Erin Jagneaux, Mallory Page

When asked about the importance of young artists, acclaimed artist George Rodrigue said:

“As long as we have young artists coming up and wanting to express themselves, the visual arts will continue to thrive in south Louisiana and throughout the United States,” says Rodrigue. “Thankfully, there will always be new young artists with fresh ideas. The arts factor into our economy as a unique slice of this part of the country. Not only the artists but also their collectors help to preserve our cultural economy and heritage.”

A piece that has produced a lot of buzz is the paper, wire, and net installation by artist Erin Jagneaux. Titled "1,000 Fish for the Gulf" this piece was part of Jagneaux's thesis show at Massachusetts College of Art & Design.

L to R: Kyte Aymond, Erin Jagneaux

L to R: Erin Jagneaux, Dominique Begnaud, Connor McManus, Dominique Begnaud

Savvy collectors know that artists with promise of a great career are best to buy now while pieces are still affordable. Pieces in this show range from $ 230 to $ 2,850 with most pieces being under $ 1,000.

L to R: Jacob Broussard, Mark Rabalais

L to R: Dominique Begnaud, Cayla Zeek
For information on any piece in the show or to make an appointment to see the show, please email me at 
The gallery will be open for Art Walk on Saturday, February 11th from 4-6 pm.

Connor McManus pieces
When Anna Purdy, writer for The Independent, asked me what my goal for the show is, I said:

“As a curator and agent my mission is always to give good exposure to artists,” McCullough says. “Whether this is accomplished through a show that I put together or through a blog post that I write, I hope the ‘right’ person sees it and thinks, ‘Wow, I have to have that’ and will seek out the artist to see all of their available work and make a purchase.”

all gallery photos by Brooks Dufrene
photos for The Independent by Robin May

to read full article in The Independent, click here.


Jennifer Hawkins Micocci said...

Fabulous work!

zMem said...

Great article, Jeffery. It's a beautifully done exhibit - love the new photos.