Monday, January 15, 2007

Janet Parker on her studio compadres in At-the-Loft

"I wasn’t involved in the initial planning for the art space where the public could watch artists work," says Janet Parker. "I think that I moved in the day that Tama Nathan moved out because I met her for the first time. I believe she was moving to Mississippi. Tama later returned to Shreveport and an impressive body of public art is among her many accomplishments.

I had studio space while Clyde Connell, Lucille Reed, Nevelyn Brown, and Berk Bourne were there.

Clyde never met a stranger and loved everybody and they returned the affection. Clyde was generous in sharing important guests who came to see her work. We all were thrilled when Clyde moved into the mainstream art world. I cherish my Clyde Connell original and feel honored that I knew her.

I remember Lucille for her perseverance and belief in a Shreveport art community. She worked very hard for a long time and should have received more recognition.

Berk and Nevelyn were open and shared information with me. I always enjoyed seeing their new work because they had interesting ideas. They were fun to work with in planning our open studios. I remembered, it snowed in Shreveport and Nevelyn did a wonderful snow landscape. She didn’t like it and wanted to destroy it. That bothered me because the colors were so gorgeous, golds and blues. I just recently found out that she still has the painting.

At times, I felt like the Shreveport art world was not real because artists didn’t make a living at their trade and I often wondered if our guests knew it. We were doing something similar to vanity publishing insofar as we could do as much as we were willing to finance.

I miss those days."

Janet Parker
Charleston, WV


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