Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Art Exhibition Enhances Experience through Social Media
The City of Lake Charles will host “It’s What You Make of It” by Bennett Sewell, MD at Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center at 1001 Ryan Street. Join us for a special opening reception with Dr. Sewell and his cast of characters in the second floor gallery during the annual Gallery Promenade event on September 28 from 5-9 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. The exhibition will run through January 12, 2013.

Dr. Bennett Sewell is a retired physician living in Shreveport, the nephew of famed Louisiana artist Clyde Connell, and a storyteller. He uses found objects, scrap metal and wood, to construct unique sculptures that resemble dogs dressed as people who take on human mannerisms and personality traits. These metaphors are coupled with a monologue that accompanies each sculpture to highlight the human condition. Many of the sculptures will also be accompanied by the character’s dialogue through listening stations.

This exhibition will also entertain and enlighten by utilizing social media to reach out and engage the audience. To meet the characters, go to and enter comments about their personality and/or behavior. Comments can be it insightful, humorous, or a memory link to a previous experience you’ve had in real life. 

A couple of his characters who frequent the Dew Drop Inn Beauty Shop and Extreme Makeover Salon are Billie Bell the “casserole lady”, and Hattie Mae who has a little something to say about everyone. Hattie Says, “I’m so happy for you join me in talking about the behavior of my siblings and neighbors. I’ve been living with them a long time and frankly sometimes I could use some help. We all should have fun and learn something.  For example, if you’ve raised children, does Viola speak to you or do you have anything to say to her?  What might you say to Henry about common traits? You may just wish to compliment Mavis about her hair or her show. Like one of my siblings said, ‘You never know what you get until you give it a go.’ My family and I also would like to extend our personal invitation to you to come to the opening on September 28th. Yours in the bond of fellowship, Hattie”

Dr. Sewell says “My work is about living; it is about what people make of it. So many of our fundamental ways to live are formed early without the benefit of experience. These decisions are many times fixed in place by childhood emotions and not by rational thinking.  The behavior that results is fascinating to watch and to recreate in a metaphorical sense.  I use dogs anthropomorphically because they naturally exhibit human characteristics.  I use objects that people have used, animal bones, and parts of wood in what I construct.  The final structure says something about behavior, as does the accompanying dialogue. I do all of this because it is fun to think about how we live, to have new thoughts and to create something from that experience.”

Also on exhibit will be “Retrospective” by Francis Pavy through November 10 and “The Artisan’s Gallery” through October 27.  Historic City Hall is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Admission is free, but donations are gladly accepted.  For more information, please call 491-9147 or visit

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