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Spring for Art; Mental Universes opening reception

Join me tonight at the St. Tammany Art Association for the opening of my exhibition Mental Universes and the Obscurations of Light.


Read below for more information on the show.





The St. Tammany Art Association’s annual “Spring for Art” festival is set for Saturday, April 10 and will feature the new work of nationally-known local artist Paulo Dufour.


The event, scheduled from 6-9 p.m. will be somewhat restricted by Covid guidelines, but will mark a “reimagining” of the STAA “Art House” and its place in the cultural and economic life of Covington and St. Tammany.


Dufour’s creations, which span an array of blown and sculpted glass pieces, paintings and sculpture, represent the metaphysical and inform the emergence of STAA from the impact of the Covid pandemic.


“Spring for Art” will feature coordinated openings and events across downtown Covington, again with some restrictions, but it will signal the muted resumption of the city’s pre-Covid life, said Cathy Deano, newly elected president of STAA.


“We are reimagining the association in a way that will incorporate all of the arts, such as theater and poetry, for example, and be more of a community center for art that will engage more young people,” said Deano, also co-founder of Mandeville-based Painting With A Twist, which has 300 franchise units in 39 states. Deano was previously STAA president from 2006-2009.


STAA’s future also involves the association’s new executive director, Suzanne Freret, formerly Assistant Director of Advancement at Christ Episcopal School. Deano and Freret join STAA along with several new board members, Keith Villere, Cindy Petry and John Botsford. Elizabeth Stokes, Phoebe Whealdon and Lewis Dennis round out the list of directors.


Freret echoes the sentiment of Deano, “I envision a thriving organization, rich with community engagement, and offering conventional and unconventional events that will appeal to all ages,” said Freret. STAA artists and community membership will grow in the months and years ahead as STAA branches out in the community, said Freret, whose background includes significant experience in finance.


Dufour’s roots in the rich soil of south Louisiana run deep, from present-day Covington, to Baton Rouge, where he grew up as a son of Paul Dufour, an internationally known glass artist and professor at Louisiana State University.


The title of his show is "Mental Universes and the Obscurations of Light." Dufour says the amorphous and sensuous work conjures up images ranging from the earthy colors of landscapes to primal skin vessels, suggesting the struggle of the human condition where real conflict and myth evolve.


The works give voice to the ongoing process of knowing oneself through exploring daily life, a process requiring each person to be open and aware of inner impressions that honor memories, dreams, and the synchronicity of life, said Dufour.


Dufour has exhibited all over the United States from Seattle to Los Angeles and is in significant collections from Spain to Tennessee. Dufour retired in 2016 from the St. Tammany Parish Talented Art Program where he taught in the public school system for 28 years.


STAA will schedule a question and answer session for patrons and Dufour and soon announce the date and time.

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