Summer art crawl brings community together

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Summer art crawl brings community together

Raven Adcox, [email protected]

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The Downtown Gallery Crawl highlights local artists and businesses, giving everyone a chance to shine. June’s crawl was no different.  The Downtown Arts Alliance (DAA) is a non-profit organization made up of volunteers dedicated to celebrating art. The DAA’s goal is to keep the enjoyment of art free and to continue supporting artists from all mediums.

Several artists were spotlighted at the event, their art hanging proudly from the walls. Emily Caldwell, artist, board member and curator for the Upstairs Gallery finds inspiration everywhere. “Shows include a mix of painting, drawing, sculpture, and installation pieces ranging from abstract to representational work,” said Caldwell about the UPSTAIRS Gallery on the DAA’s website, Caldwell’s use of mixed media creates emotional pieces that tell entire stories with colors and shapes.

The crawl, which is open from 5-9p.m. the first Thursday of every other month, features nine different galleries, including one across the Ouachita river in West Monroe.

Food was sold by local vendors, Tribe’s and Taste Like Heaven. Tribe’s is a family-owned business that specializes in pulled pork bbq dishes. Taste Like Heaven’s motto is “Just Good Food.” They offer an array of classic foods, from fried green tomatoes to the “So Heavenly Burger.”

As mentioned, local artists and organizations were spotlighted at the crawl. Current Farms, established in 2017, is the first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) of its kind in Northeast Louisiana. From free range eggs to organic fruits and vegetables, Current Farms has it all. Blackberries, eggs and potatoes were just a few of the options available for purchase.

The Downtown Gallery Crawl wouldn’t be possible without its dedicated partners and sponsors. The Monroe Symphony, ARROW Public Art, Delta Style Magazine and 90.3 KEDM were but a few of the many supporters, all important in the success of last week’s crawl.

There is something to be said for having new and unique art showcased in an area filled with history and warmth. The people of Downtown Monroe and West Monroe have shown support for these artists, whether the medium be paint, photography, music or a mix of everything.

Other featured artists were Jenny Ellerbe and Anna Rowan, whose collaboration of photography and paint proved to be highly successful. The two women began their partnership in 2015, utilizing their individual strengths in order to create art. Sometimes the photo is front and center, the focal point of the piece. Other times, however, the photo disappears into the painting, telling an important story in the process. The Ellerbe + Rowan collaboration was displayed in the UPSTAIRS Gallery where a crowd gathered in hopes to make sense of the artwork.

The DAA believes that art is something that makes the lives of people better, especially here in Northeast Louisiana. “Living in a smaller and more rural area like our 318, the fact that we even have such a strong creative community is something to celebrate! We come together six times a year to show off the talents of local, regional and even national artists while having a great time doing it,” they said on their website when asked why people should care about the art community in their city.


The next art crawl is set for the first Thursday in August. There are sure to be new artists, organizations and businesses looking to enjoy art with the community.