By Hannah Richardson
Located on Natchitoches’ Front Street, the Art Guild (NAG) and Galley has been featuring works by local artists specializing in different mediums since the early 80s. Now that businesses are slowly and cautiously opening their doors again, the gallery is showcasing fresh works to the delight of both residents and visitors of the city.
The NAG had been closed for two months and opened its doors to the public in June, encouraging guests to wear facemasks and view art from six feet apart. A temporary closure due to the pandemic was the safest option not only for the public, but for the artists of the gallery. “The majority of our members are over age 65 and we just had to do what was best for our workers,” said Guild President Karen Terrell.
Terrell said things at the gallery have been great since opening back up. “We didn’t know what to expect. We do sell to locals, but all of our sales in June were people from out of town who were coming in on day trips. That is awesome for all of us.” Terrell made it a point to thank visitors just for coming in and spending time in the gallery and really any local businesses in Natchitoches.
Business in June felt like any normal month for the galley, like how it was before the pandemic hit. “Our summer months are never what they are during the tourist season, but I would say, it was much more like a normal June,” said Terrell. “It seemed to me that the people who came, came to shop and spend money. It was great and I’m excited for the future. We’re not in control of all of this but I feel better about our future.”
Terrell said the number of original works of art they’ve sold has been great as well. “People are coming in saying ‘We’re here visiting, are these all local artists? Because we want to buy something local.’’ Many guests enjoy buying original art as their souvenir to remember the towns they’ve visited.
The Natchitoches Art Guild is now accepting submissions for this year’s Student Art Exhibition.
This contest is open to all parish students in grades k-12. There will be three categories: Elementary, Junior High and High School. The $10 fee includes the canvas and there is a maximum of 10 entries (first come, first serve).
The deadline is Friday, Sept. 18. Pick up entry forms and canvases from the gallery, located at 584 Front St., Suite 102.
An awards ceremony will take place Sunday, Sept. 27. For more information, call the gallery at (318) 352-1626.