Downtown Crawl promotes art culture

Olivia Barfield

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The Downtown Gallery Crawl promotes culture in Monroe

On Thursday night, downtown Monroe transformed into a walk-through art gallery that provided viewers with food, drink and good atmosphere.

At Monroe’s Downtown Gallery Crawl, or “the Crawl,” several different venues in the downtown area open up their doors to host artwork, local restaurants, music, art talks and conversation. 

The public is able to walk through downtown Monroe and visit whatever gallery they wish, and it is entirely free. 

Katie Berry, a junior art major and member of Kappa Pi, ULM’s Honorary Art Fraternity, said she appreciates what the crawl contributes to the community. 

“I feel like a lot of people are disconnected to art. It’s not really there in the community without something like this,” Berry said. 

The Crawl on Oct. 2 spanned both sides of the Ouachita River and featured over 50 artists. 

The artists featured were both local and from outside the area, and the works of several members of Kappa Pi chapter were featured, along with the works of some alumni. 

Alyssa Guidry Posey, president of ULM’s Kappa Pi chapter, said that the Crawl “is a really good atmosphere for being creative and art-making.”

Some works are available for purchase. The art featured covers various medias such as paintings, sculptures, pottery, jewelry, headpieces, photography and many more. 

The different types of artwork at the Crawl expose observers to several new viewpoints.

 Kelsey McGuire, a senior art major and member of Kappa Pi, said the show is more than just looking at art; it’s an opportunity to broaden artist ideas.

“It’s a very good experience to get to come out and get to meet new people and see different art ideas. You get very inspired by looking at everyone’s different art,” McGuire said.

Jon Aiken, a junior art major and member of Kappa Pi, had artwork featured in one of the many galleries. 

Aiken said that the crawl offers a great opportunity to different types of artists. 

“I’m actually a resident artist here, and I don’t get to show art here a lot, mostly because I’m doing so much work for school,” Aiken said.

“But whenever I have the chance to make my own art into something that I want to show to the public, I take that opportunity,” Aiken said.

The Gallery Crawl is sponsored by the Downtown Arts Alliance, a non-profit organization made up of artists working to “culturally enhance and revitalize our historic riverfront commercial district in downtown Monroe and West Monroe.”

Leesa Patterson, a member of the Downtown Arts Alliance, hosted the MAD Art Gallery at the Crawl. 

Patterson is an area native and has helped with the Crawl for about two years.