Gina Phillips featured in upcoming "Roots of Memory" exhibition at the Hammond Regional Arts Center

Jonathan Ferrara Gallery
Mar 23, 2017 9:49PM

Gina Phillips, Sentimental Tooth: Cornfield, 2011; fabric, thread, ink, paint, oil pastel; 28 x 42 inches

Gina Phillips, Sentimental Tooth: Blue Ribbon Girl from Fayette County, 2011; fabric, thread, ink, paint, oil pastel; 38 x 39 inches

Gina Phillips, Sentimental Tooth: Cornstalk, 2011; fabric, thread, ink, paint, oil pastel; 42 x 46 inches

New home tour to benefit St Tammany Art Association

By Sarah Bonnette

on March 18, 2017 at 10:39 AM, updated March 18, 2017 at 2:30 PM

Anyone who knows me well knows how much I love houses and their interiors. I love to see how homeowners combine furnishings and fabrics,how they combine decor pieces such as lamps and mementos, and especially, how they hang and display their choices in art. I have a pile of home decor magazines on my nightstand and watch plenty of HGTV when I have the time, but I really love home tours where I can see these choices in person.

For the first time, there will be a chance to see some of Covington's urban living spaces during "Art, Design + Downtown Dwelling," a home tour April 9 from 4 to 7 p.m. that will benefit the St. Tammany Art Association, whose Art House is itself a fixture of Covington's downtown.

The tour will feature six to eight residences, as well as courtyards, hidden gems and fine art displays that show urban living in downtown Covington.

It will start at The Southern Hotel - whose own collection of art is a beacon for culturally conscious Covingtonians - and will continue through a collection of condos and apartments located atop businesses on Boston Street and Columbia Street, as well as other locales. Some aren't discernible as residences and each is decorated to reflect each homeowner's taste in decor and art.

"For the past five years I have lived in downtown Covington renting a beautiful apartment that has brick walls, vaulted ceilings and a balcony overlooking Boston Street," said Leah Bartlett. "It's so convenient being in the middle of downtown, walking to work as well as a variety of restaurants. At the end of the day I enjoy jogging along a quiet street like S. New Hampshire to unwind. I feel fortunate to live where I do."

The courtyards included as stops along the way will give guests a chance to see urban green spaces and sanctuaries typically hidden from pedestrians' views. STAA's own courtyard suffered significant damage recently when a vehicle crashed through the wrought iron entrance and was abandoned. Proceeds from the tour will go toward its repair.

"Every penny will go toward STAA to rebuild the damage. This a great opportunity to see the hidden treasures that people don't have any idea are there," said Tim Lantrip, owner of The English Tea Room. The apartment above STAA's Art House that he and his wife, Jan, have filled with numerous pieces of artwork from local artists will be the last residence on the tour.

Beverages will be available for purchase on the route, and the tour will end with a light reception at STAA's Art House. There guests can see pieces in STAA's current Members Gallery exhibition, as well as Inga Clough Falterman's solo exhibition, "I should have named her Virga."

Tickets to "Art, Design + Downtown Dwelling" are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Tickets may be purchased in advance by visiting

Artist Gina Phillips at Hammond Regional Arts Center

My love of houses only increased when I worked for the Preservation Resource Center's Operation Comeback after Hurricane Katrina. The program strived to revive historic houses in the Holy Cross neighborhood, nestled along the Mississippi River in the Lower Ninth Ward.

It was through that program that I first met Gina Phillips, a mixed media narrative artist whose work I have followed ever since. On what will be a busy weekend of cultural offerings on the north shore, including the opening of the annual Plein Air exhibition in Abita Springs and Spring for Art in Covington (all of which will be covered in upcoming ArtScapes), I want to make time to see Phillips' latest exhibition.

"The Roots of Memory" will open April 7 with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Hammond Regional Arts Center. The exhibited works will be selections from Phillips' "Sentimental Tooth" series, courtesy of the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in New Orleans.

Phillips grew up in Kentucky and earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Kentucky. She has lived in New Orleans since 1995 and earned a master's in fine arts degree from Tulane University.

She started her career as a painter. Yet over time she increasingly has incorporated fabric and thread into her paintings. The pieces vary in size and range from cutout depictions of trees to larger-than-life portraits of people and animals. A connecting theme in her works is the intertwining narrative of art and life, sewn together to form the roots of memory.

Recently, a large-scale fabric portrait of New Orleans musician Sabine McCalla recently was acquired by the New Orleans Museum of Art for its permanent collection. Her work also has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the country including Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Asheville Art Museum, Pepperdine University, Ballroom Marfa, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the 21c Museum.

She was selected as one of 27 international artists featured in the Prospect.2 Biennial of Contemporary Art curated by Dan Cameron, and her collection of fabric portraits was exhibited as a solo project at VOLTA8 as part of Art Basel in Basel, Switzerland.

"The Roots of Memory" will be on display until April 28 at HRAC, 217 E. Thomas St., Hammond. Gallery hours are Wednesdays to Fridays from noon to 6 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit

On the Horizon

* The Mandeville Live concert series continues March 24 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Mandeville Trailhead, 675 Lafitte St. The concert is free. For more information, visit

* The COI Theater of the Performing Arts will present "ANNIE" March 24 and 25 at 7 p.m. with a special "Broadway" matinee March 26 at 2 p.m., where guests can meet the cast, get playbills autographed and have refreshments at the COI Theater of the Performing Arts, Christ Episcopal Schoo, 80 Christwood Boulevard, Covington. The play will feature 54 students in the cast and 27 student stage-hands and set designers. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students and are available online at
* Catch some live music during Friday, March 24, 2017 5:30 to 8:30pm Friday Nites on the Square March 24 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at TerraBella Village in Covington. The concert will feature a performance by Rewind. Audience members should bring lawn chairs and blankets, but no outside food or beverages. Admission is free.

* The Old Feed Store Music Series continues March 25 at noon at Marsolan Feed and Seed Store in downtown Covington. Admission is free.

* Don't miss the 25th anniversary of Jazz on the Bayou March 25 and 26 at Chateau Kole on Bayou Liberty. The annual event that features food, drink, music and live and silent auctions benefits Easter Seals Louisiana, STARC, Safe Harbor and the Slidell Cultural Arts Society. For more information, visit

* The next Third Sunday concert at Christ Episcopal Church in Covington will be held on the FOURTH Sunday, March 26, at 5 p.m at the church, 120 S. New Hampshire St., Covington. The program, entitled "Britten and Brahms," will feature the Southeastern Women's Chorale and Concert Choir, Alissa Mercurio Rowe conductor.Doors will open at 4:30. Pieces to be performed include Rejoice in the Lamb by Benjamin Britten and Wechselleid zumTanz, Op. 31 No. 1 by Johannes Brahms. The concert is free and open to the public. The concert will be followed by a wine and hors d'oeuvres reception where the audience may meet the performers.

* "Expressions of Place," an exhibition of work by Mandeville artist Tanya Dischler, will be on display until March 31 at the Ariodante Contemporary Craft Gallery, 535 Julia St., New Orleans. For more information, call 504.524.3233 or visit

* Mark your calendars for the Art Walk at TerraBella Village April 1 from 1 to 6 p.m. in the community's Town Square. The event will feature local artists, as well as music by Dat Band and food available for purchase by Forks & Corks. Admission is free; no ice chests please. For more information, email [email protected].

* Calling all artists! The Maritime Museum is seeking submissions for the 2017 Wooden Boat Festival poster. Artists are asked to submit three to five samples that demonstrate skills in rendering a boat or water scene. Entries will be judged by a panel of local artists, and the winner will be awarded a $250 gift certificate to Mo's Art Supply & Framing. The deadline to apply April 10. For more information, call the Maritime Museum 985.845.9200 or email [email protected].

* There is an open call for artists to submit their artwork for Slidell Art League's next show, entitled "Art & Bloom on the Northshore." The show will be held April 21 to May 16 at the Slidell Memorial Hospital Cancer Center, 1120 Robert Boulevard, Slidell. An opening reception and awards presentation will take place April 21 from 7 to 9 p.m. For more information, call 985.326.3405 or email [email protected]

* The annual Degas Paint Out will be April 21 at the St. Joseph Abbey in Covington, home to the Abbey Art Works Studio. There will be a meet and greet 9 to 10 a.m., followed by a plein air demo by Abita Springs artist Mary Monk (rain location will be the Abbey Art Works classroom). A lunch will be served in the meeting room at Abbey Art Works for those who are interested. Lunch reservations will be required, and the price will be announced later. For those interested, a monk will give a tour of the Abbey Church and Monks Refectory including the murals for which the Abbey is famous. Artists can paint on the beautiful grounds of the Abbey in the afternoon. The paint out is free of charge and open to all artists. Visit the Abbey's Web site at or the Abbey Art Works site at for a bird's eye view of this wonderful location.

* Register for STAA's latest classes! All classes will take place at the Art House, 320 N. Columbia St., Covington. For a full class description or to register, visit

o After School at the Art House for ages seven to 11 with Rachel Loyacono Williams March 23, 30, April 6, 13, 27 and May 4 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Cost is $130 or $120 for members. Supplies are included.

o Watercolor Explorations, Intermediate Level with Joleen A Schiller April 5, 12, 26, May 10, 17 & 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. Cost is $160 or $150 for members. A supply list available.

o Watercolor Explorations for Beginners with Joleen Arthur Schiller April 5, 12, 26, May 10, 17 and 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Cost is $160 or $150 for non-members. A supply list is available.

o Pottery Wheel Throwing with Vanessa Hock Thursdays April 13, 20, 27 and May 4 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Cost is $135 or $125 for members. Supplies are included.

o Easter Art Camp for ages six to 12 April 17 to 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $220 or $200 for members. Supplies are included.

Sarah Bonnette is the interim director of the St. Tammany Art Association and a freelance writer on Louisiana arts and culture. She may be contacted at [email protected].

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Jonathan Ferrara Gallery