ArtBox Artist Profile: Dirk Guidry

Dirk Guidry

ArtBox artist, Dirk Guidry, is working on a new commissioned mural for the recently remodeled Lafayette, Wyndham Garden Hotel on Pinhook. Painting directly on the walls of the hotel’s restaurant, Guidry visually describes a quintessential Louisiana bayou scene in his unique style. We got a chance to sit down with Guidry and discuss his most recent commission and it’s importance for the hotel’s Grand Re-Opening on October 1st.

Growing up in Galliano, Louisiana, Guidry recalls his youth near Bayou Lafourche and the influence it has had on his work. Speaking about the mural, he says that the scene is “very close to home.” Referencing the freshness and purity of the Bayou Lafourche area and his experience of it. The mural depicts a painterly interpretation of shrimp boats docked after a day at sea.

When Guidry spoke about his subject matter, he recalls the raw nature of the area, telling a story about purchasing seafood right from the boats on which it was caught. “It doesn’t get much fresher than that,” he says.

The righthand side of the mural’s composition features a pelican. When we asked about it, Guidry replied with a vivid memory.

“I wanted to make sure to throw a pelican in there, just because that was one of my favorite times of the year… the pelicans would migrate down and they would just fill up the bayou. They’d fill up the docks. As you’re driving down highway 1, they would be flying right along side you over the bayou.”

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Much like the pelicans he vividly recalls, Guidry migrated to Lafayette in 2005, attending the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. It was a “nice change” he said of the area. Noting that even though this area is different, it is almost the same. “I still felt at home” he said. Initially concentrating in computer animation, Guidry recalls his journey to an eventual concentration in painting as a thirst to experience the tactility of a medium, as opposed to the clicking and rendering in computer animation. Regarding painting, he said, “I fell in love with the process of painting, the process of getting my hands dirty. I missed washing my hands after my drawing classes and watching the sink turn black…”

When asked if he considers himself a public artist, he mentioned that he finds a nice middle ground between his commissions and his visual style. Though he prefers creating large scale abstracts, he says, “I don’t get bogged down on [abstraction]… I like to put my talents to use, whether it be in portraiture, landscape, or abstracts.” In the hotel’s mural, he was given full flexibility to incorporate his characteristic brushwork in the piece. “I’m proud to say it’s me,” he says of the work.

Guidry says that he prefers not to conceptualize his work, he would rather the work speak for itself. When describing his abstracts he says, “I don’t know what I’m painting a lot of the time in my abstract pieces. It’s just me painting. It’s me and the paint… and emotions… strong emotions.” Talking about his journey as a painter, he says he often thinks in retrospect:

“Looking back at some of my early paintings…you can tell that through the trials my color just started to work as I did it. The more I practiced. I’ve been told I have a very signature application, and when people see it, they recognize, ‘That’s Dirk.’”

With regard to his body of work, Guidry makes reference to the journey of painting, not just in one piece of work, but overarching. “[Painting] is a big process, and I like where it’s going,” he says.

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27 Views of Hurricane Katrina

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Centenarian, Lucille Malczyk, whose works currently lend their chromatic atmospherics to the stark white walls of AcA’s ArtHouse in her exhibition, A Century of Image Making brings with it a captivating story of an injury, Hurricane Katrina, and an experience that is undoubtedly difficult to describe with words. Malczyk’s daughter, who accompanied her on the incredible journey through Hurricane Katrina recorded the unbelievable events and the imagery that accompanied them with a collection of 27 photographs.  She recounts the amazing experience below.

“Three Days before Hurricane Katrina, Lucille Malczyk was injured by a lightning strike that caused her to fall and break her hip. This began her journey from Braithwaite, Louisiana through the St. Bernard Hospital; the Chalmette jail; the Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans; Atlanta, Georgia; Denver, Colorado and finally Lafayette, Louisiana.

This series of photographs were the luck of the moment as I threw three rolls of film into a wheelie suitcase to join ‘Mom’ after her surgery. The events after Katrina were so amazing, the only reason I kept my sanity was being in charge of my mother and being able to record everything on film.

When we were going to evacuate the hospital, I used a permanent marker to write on “Mom” — do not lift here: hip surgery, my name, her name, phone numbers, her medications and doses, she looked like a billboard.

The first photograph is after Katrina, a wheelchair abandoned in the middle of the “Admitting Entrance” driveway of the St. Bernard Hospital. This begins the pictures of her journey through the middle of Katrina.”

Join us this evening at 6:00pm in AcA’s ArtHouse for the opening of Lucille Malczyk’s exhibition, A Century of Image Making.

PLAYing with Geometry

People usually ask what came first when creating a performance? Was it the choreography, music, costumes, set? Well in this interview, we know the Star Tetrahedron that James Wise designed for the set of PLAY came before the project PLAY! Not sure how they finally found one another, but that is something we hope to discover in our interview with artist James Wise. Our Residency @ the Center coordinator, Paige Krause, talked about his collaboration with Theresa Wasiloski and his Star Tetrahedron sculptures that invite anyone to climb, swing, hang and PLAY on them!

Paige: So James, tell us how and why you started designing star tetrahedron sculptures?

James: I became interested in sacred geometry 10 years ago when a friend showed me the work of Drunvalo. I was drawn to the simplicity and mysticism, but also to the tangible feel it gave to the energetic world. The star tetrahedron, for me is a symbol, representing the point where the observer and the universe are connected. One day I had a bunch of bamboo, and I just decided to build a star tetrahedron. I knew it was a beautiful shape, but I had no idea how much fun it would be to play on one.

Paige: Another interesting element is the material you use and recycle to create the pieces. Can you give us details on the process of collecting and creating the work?

James: I use bamboo, sourced locally, and recycled bike tubes from local bike shops. Bike tubes are a great resource because they provide superior binding power that offers flexibility and they get a second life before they go to a landfill. Bamboo is amazingly beautiful, natural and ethereal, just being around it makes you appreciate natural form and balance. It grows so fast, is so strong, and yet also mostly hollow; even the “woody” parts of it are filled with air holes.

Paige: So tell us more about the collaboration between yourself and Theresa. How did the conversation begin and what excites you most about working with her on the piece PLAY?

James: Theresa heard that I had made things out of bamboo, and we got together and started talking. I suggested star tetrahedrons made from bamboo as props, movable, climbable, set pieces. She liked the idea and we went from there. I’m super exited to see the pieces used in a stage production, especially one as fun as PLAY.

Paige: An element that I think is exciting is that you create these pieces with the intention of encouraging play for someone that might discover them, like in a public space. With this collaboration, you have a choreographer that approaches you because her intention is to create a piece of work all around the idea of play! Have you observed rehearsals and seen the dancers interactions on the star tetrahedrons?

James: Yes, I’ve seen one little teaser during an ArtWalk, it was defiantly playful, I liked it. I think these structures would do well in public spaces, people love to climb and swing on things.

Paige: So what are you excited to see from the collaboration?

James: I’m looking forward to seeing how the star tetrahedrons are manipulated on the stage. They can easily be turned so that only two corners are touching the ground, or rolled, or put on one point so the appearance of two pyramids passing through each other is apparent. It will be awesome to see how people move through them, or on them.

Paige: So what are you currently working on and where can we find more about your work?

James: Currently I’m working on furniture – tables mostly – made from reclaimed wood, with cement tops. It’s modern rustic furniture. Find out more by talking to me or send a telegram, or email. jameswise1984@gmail.com

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Paige: So how does James PLAY?

James: I play everyday in every way.

Paige: Thanks, James! We can’t wait to see your pieces in the production of PLAY!

James: Thank you so much. I can’t wait to see the production.

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A March lineup with a little for everyone

Here at AcA, we’ve got an exciting March ahead. From visual arts to comedic performances, AcA has something to offer for everyone.


Drake Pothier Allstate Insurance Agency Presents: The Second City

March 3 — 7:30pm

Start your month with hilarity as America’s famed comedy troupe, The Second City, comes to town with The Best of The Second City. The show features some of the best sketches, songs, and improvisations from The Second City’s fifty-two year history. From the company that launched the careers of Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray and more, comes the best and brightest of the next generation comedy. An evening of hilarious sketches, songs, and trademark improvisations is sure to be one to remember.

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Arlo Guthrie — SOLD OUT!

March 4 — 7:30pm

Celebrating 50 years since the release of “Alice’s Restaurant,” Arlo Guthrie will take the Moncus Theater stage for a performance that commemorates his great success and esteemed status in the music world. Guthrie’s career exploded in 1967 with the release of “Alice’s Restaurant,” whose title song fostered a novel commitment to social awareness and activism. As a young man Arlo Guthrie, son of folk music legend Woody Guthrie, was arrested for littering on Thanksgiving Day back in 1965, he couldn’t know that it would launch his career, turning him into a counterculture hero. Join us for the celebration of a 50 year journey of both a “talking blues” record its legendary artist has taken from Brooklyn, New York to AcA’s Moncus Theater stage.


Aquila Theatre

March 12 — 7:30pm

Fulfilling its mission of bringing the greatest theatrical works to the greatest number of people Aquila Theatre’s new performance of “Wuthering Heights” is a bold and innovative production of Emily Bronte’s classic story of all-consuming passion. “Wuthering Heights” is a deep and wide story of passion, revenge, family, class, and the supernatural. Over a century and a half later, Bronte’s magnum opus remains incredibly moving. With its signature style and dynamic approach, Aquila re-imagines one of the most famous love stories ever told with this heart wrenching new production. Aquila Theatre is renowned for its ability to adapt works of classical literature into  mesmerizing live performances. Impeccable design and a unique physical style combine with a marvelous cast to make “Wuthering Heights” a captivating theatrical experience.

Check out this teaser from their production of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”

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René Marie Quartet

March 13 — 7:30pm

Grammy nominated René Marie is known as one of the most stimulating risk-takers among today’s jazz divas. Her style incorporates a distinctly American mélange of jazz, soul, blues, folk and gospel and an innate theatrical ability to interpret a song deeply and live its truth. Marie’s music shines attention on important issues in American culture and on bold artists who helped change America for the better. A bold artist herself, Marie’s performances are vivacious and thought provoking making her a truly unforgettable voice.

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The Wailers — “Legend Tour”

March 21 — 7:30pm

Though reggae music has never stopped evolving, for millions around the world its sound is still defined by the songs of Bob Marley and the Wailers. On May 8th, 1984, a reggae album was released that would change the world. That album was “Legend,” the famed compilation with Bob Marley. In recognition of the iconic album’s worldwide success, The Wailers are celebrating the 30th anniversary of Legend with a nationwide tour. On March 21, The Wailers bring great hits like “Is This Love,” “No Woman No Cry,” “Could You Be Loved,” and “Buffalo Soldier,” to the Moncus Theater stage, performing the “Legend” album in its entirety plus additional songs from the group’s career.

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Zachary Richard presents: Attakapas-The Story of the Cajun People

March 26 & 27 — 7:30pm

“Attakapas, the Cajun story is a dynamic, immersive multi-media concert performance that incorporates visual projection and live music to tell the story of the Cajun people of Louisiana.  Attakapas, the Cajun story is funny and tragic, light-hearted and powerfully moving. We will create a unique multi-media state of the art experience that honors the rich story of the Cajun people. I am very excited to share this powerful experience with audiences around the world, and to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the arrival of the first Acadian exiles in Louisiana.”

— Zachary Richard

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The Wood Brothers

March 29 — 7:30pm

From early in their childhood in Boulder, CO., The Wood Brothers were steeped in American roots music. Eventually deciding to form a group whose music would adapt the blues, folk, and jazz music that they had both performed and been exposed to over their musical careers, The Wood Brother’s voices twine together in a harmonic blend for which sibling singers are often known.

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Allan Jones

For lovers of the visual arts, AcA’s Main Gallery is playing stage to a retrospective of UL Lafayette visual arts professor, Allan Jones. Having been exhibited nationally, Jones, through his use of color as an object, takes his viewer across a threshold into a moment, a place, and an experience. His paintings’ undeniable physicality as icons of color, melt as they bend and fold to the floor. Through this concrete nature of color and form, he acknowledges our existence. The manipulation of materials that paintings and sculptures are traditionally made of and the things that we see and use in our everyday lives, through the hands and mind of Allan Jones, results in an object that speaks to the core of humanity.