Quilts. Many, many quilts. All handmade by Union Parish women. All at least 25 years old, with many far older than that. Each one of the 70-plus quilts has a story of family and friendship. All carry remembrance of a time when the pace of life moved slow enough for people to carefully stitch patterns and colors and heart. This enchanting exhibit of beautifully crafted works will open May 5 and run through June 27. Come see. Come be amazed.
It's fun to watch the dazzled faces of visitors when they first encounter the gallery filled with Clementine Hunter paintings. Their comments are all so similar. "They're so colorful!" "They tell stories." "What imagination!" "I love all the bright flowers." Nearly 300 youth and adults have visited these paintings so far. If you haven't come to soak up this room full of history and color, I encourage you to do so soon. April10 will be the last day to view this remarkable collection.
One of the most iconic figures in southern art, Clementine Hunter, produced colorful images that tell stories about her early life on a Louisiana plantation. Soon, those lively images will fill the Union Museum of History and Art. And here is the lagniappe: Tom Whitehead, a close friend of Hunter and a leading expert on her works, will come to the museum on Tuesday, February 24, at 3 p.m. to discuss Hunter's life, her art, and her legacy.
We are twice-blessed!
Our premier exhibit, "Celebrating the Waters of Union Parish," will soon come to a close. (If you haven't yet visited this collection of wonders, hurry on down! Friday, January 30, is the last day.) We are sincerely grateful to so many individuals who supported this new endeavor with their ideas, their visits, their enthusiasm, their articles for exhibit, and their dollars. Thanks to you all!
Soon we will be turning our attention to our exciting exhibit of Clementine Hunter paintings, which will open on Tuesday, February 24, with a talk by Tom Whitehead at 3 p.m. Whitehead is an expert on Hunter, known today as one of Louisiana's most famous artists. Click here for complete information about this singular event, free and open to the public. Whitehead's talk is a unique opportunity for those interested in art, folklore, and Louisiana cultural history.
At last, we can announce the opening of the Museum's first exhibit, "Celebrating the Waters of Union Parish." It will open Thursday, December 11, and remain in place through the end of January. The public is invited to come view art and artifacts about the enchanting waters of our parish. Come catch the spirit of people's lives intertwined with the ebb and flow of water, the mysteries of wild things, and memories that live on through generations.
To lend your memorabilia for the exhibit, call 318-348-2005, or come to the Museum Nov. 17-24. Hours to receive items are 1-4 p.m. weekdays; 12-2 Saturday; closed Sunday. Recent snapshots of waterways experiences -- fishing, swimming, sailing, duck-hunting, skiing, wind-surfing, etc. -- will also be a big part of this exhibit. MOST IMPORTANT: Please include the stories behind any photos, the people, the memories, why these images are special to you.
The Museum's gallery is halfway finished, and now we begin preparing for the first exhibit, "Celebrating the Waters of Union Parish," set to open in November. We are inviting the public to lend items for this exhibit...here are suggestions: old photos of fishing or swimming in parish bayous or lakes; grandpa's favorite fishing rod, maybe with a photo and story about grandpa; memorabilia from baptisms in local waters; artifacts and photos about old steamboat days on Bayou D'Arbonne or upper Ouachita River; hand-hewn pirogue or paddle; nets; photos and dipping cups from local springs; mounts of fish, alligators, or waterfowl...and other ideas you may have. Most of all, we want the stories of the people behind all these artifacts. After all, that is what makes a fascinating exhibit.
The Union Parish community has stepped forward quickly to show their support of the Union Museum of History and Art. As of today, we are very near our fundraising goal of $9,500 for preparation of the museum gallery: installing a specialized lighting system, installing permanent display wall panels, painting the walls, and installing new flooring. We sincerely appreciate everyone who has become a "First Friend". Your support will be a lasting legacy for this community.
Once all the renovations and preparations are completed, it will be time to launch the first exhibit: "Celebrating the Waters of Union Parish."
Here a photo from the Media Announcement event on May 29. (L to R) Pam Lavender, museum board member, secretary; Alan Futch, board member; Pam Fritz, board member; Brittany Unkel, board member, vice-chair; Joy Anniston, Architecture +; Jean Jones, board chairman; Jerry Wilhite, Architecture + (he created the gallery rendering); and Lum Farr, U.P. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO. Museum board members not shown are Brandon Maxwell, treasurer, and Fred Carr. (Photo courtesy The Banner)
Here we go! After two years of planning, researching, organizing, and dreaming about this museum....the big announcement is about to happen. The Union Museum of History and Art directors are inviting all area news media (and everyone else) to come to the museum site on Thursday, May 29, at 1:30 p.m. We will share the vision of what this museum will do for this community and how it will tell the stories of people in and near Union Parish. The event also will launch the "First Friends" fundraising campaign in order to create the gallery space and prepare permanent display devices. The whole endeavor of establishing a museum within the walls of the Chamber of Commerce building began in December, 2011, when the Chamber board launched a feasibility study. Liking the prospect of a museum, the Chamber then let the fledgling "leave the nest," so to speak. The Union Museum of History and Art was begun. A board of seven directors began its independent work in earnest in May, 2013, meeting monthly to prepare all the necessary details.
So now all the plans are in place, hopes are high, fingers are crossed. We have great expectations.
Jean W. Jones, Chairman, Board of Directors