Evangeline: Evolution of an Icon (May 15 - October 31, 2021)
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow never stepped foot in the lands of the Acadians, yet the heroine of his epic poem titled Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie became embedded in the history and culture of Louisiana and Nova Scotia. Longfellow’s poem received international acclaim when published in 1847. The public was fascinated with the story of a young Acadian maiden separated from her fiancé on her wedding day during the brutal deportation of the French-speaking people from Acadia, and her epic journey to find him. The success of Longfellow’s poem launched Evangeline into literary stardom and into the hearts of the Acadian people themselves. Uniting the Acadian people of Nova Scotia and Louisiana, Evangeline’s name and image became a symbol of Acadian and Cajun cultural identity.
This exhibition, organized by the West Baton Rouge Museum, provides a glimpse into Evangeline’s evolving status from her inception through today as a legend and heroine, to a brand image and celebrity, and ultimately into a cultural icon. Inspiring writers, artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs, Evangeline has appeared in many guises. Along the way, her image morphed from that of a demure Victorian-era maiden into a confident modern woman. This exhibition includes artworks by Canadian and Louisiana artists, including François Gaudet, Rémi Belliveau, Melissa Bonin, and George Rodrigue, as well as artifacts and paraphernalia to demonstrate Evangeline’s transformation and her timeless appeal. The exhibit opens Saturday, May 15 and runs through October 31st.
Art by Bourgeois: Douglas Bourgeois (June - September)
Art by Bourgeois: Douglas Bourgeois exhibition is open as of June 5, 2021. Bourgeois is represented by Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans, Louisiana. Bourgeois’ work expresses popular culture in a vivid manner as evidenced in Queen Latifah’s Party, which will be among the many pieces on display. A Gonzales native, Douglas Bourgeois earned his B.F.A. from Louisiana State University and is an extremely decorated artist. With over a dozen solo exhibitions spanning across every decade since 1970, Bourgeois is well respected inside, as well as outside, of the art community. The exhibit closes after September 4, 2021.
“The small scale figurative oil paintings of Douglas Bourgeois are enigmatic situations featuring one or two people in heightened landscapes or interiors. Some of the paintings are fictional portraits of unknown subjects looking at the viewer. Others are biographical fantasies, tributes to obscure recording artists. Inspirations are Deep Soul and Gospel music, primitive rock and roll, vernacular religious imagery, and discarded paper ephemera. The overwhelming natural landscape of South Louisiana, a beautiful vanishing Eden, is a primary influence. A connecting thread in the paintings and collages is the juxtapostion of the degraded and the sacred, light and darkness, the mundane and the transcendent.” –Arthur Roger Gallery
Past exhibits are available to community organizations such as schools, churches, and libraries upon availability. Contact the museum at 225-336-2422 for more information.