A Cast of Blues
The West Baton Rouge Museum opened A Cast of Blues on August 31, 2019. The exhibition is on loan from ExhibitsUSA and Mid-America Arts Alliance runs through October 20, 2019.
A Cast of Blues features 15 resin cast masks of blues legends created by artist Sharon McConnell-Dickerson as well as 15 color photographs of performers and of juke joints by acclaimed photographer Ken Murphy. The exhibition is fully accessible to all visitors, featuring a braille component, video elements, educational materials that include instruments children can play and a music playlist. Visitors are encouraged to touch the resin cast masks.
“A life cast is like a 3D photograph to someone who is blind,” says McConnell-Dickerson, who is visually impaired herself. McConnell created the masks of famous blues musicians over a period of eight years. A Cast of Blues is curated by Chuck Haddix, music historian, author, radio personality, and Director of the Marr Sound Archives at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
This exhibit is an extension of WBR Museum’s celebration of juke joints and the music that evolved on the west side of the Mississippi River.
Juke Joint Men
The West Baton Rouge Museum is pleased to announce a new exhibition and publication entitled Juke Joint Men. The exhibit, which opened August 17 and runs through January 12, 2020, features the collages of local bluesmen by J K Lawson and the musically inspired metal sculptures of Port Allen native Ronald Trahan.
John K Lawson is a native of Birmingham, England who now resides in south Louisiana. Known for his colorful collages and other mixed media art, Lawson has been featured in Country Roads Magazine and his work commissioned by numerous festivals across the state. After attending an event at the museum’s juke joint, John agreed to do a book highlighting local Blues legends with the West Baton Rouge Museum. The result is a series of collages and biographies of Blues musicians from the Westside of the river.
Ronald Trahan is a nationally known sculptor who is on the Artist Roster of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge. He sculpts in bronze using a welding process to create figures inspired by childhood visits to the Mardi Gras in New Orleans. His jazz musician and second line dance sculptures have been highly sought after at the New Orleans Jazz Fest for decades.
The 12’ x12’ hard cover publication, Juke Joint Men, is available at the West Baton Rouge Museum gift shop and select retailers.
Past exhibits are available to community organizations such as schools, churches, and libraries upon availability. For more information call Director of Interpretation Kathe Hambrick at 225-336-2422 ext. 207 or Curator of Collections Elizabeth Brantley at 225-2336-2422 ext. 206.