|Heather Ryan Kelley|
Recently two Lake Area artists, visual artist Heather Ryan Kelley and Cajun musician Ganey Arsement, were awarded funds from the Artist Career Advancement grant with the Office of Cultural Development in Baton Rouge. The grant, which funds up to $3,000 per application, is designed to assist practicing Louisiana artists in a variety of disciplines by funding projects and opportunities that propel creative and professional growth.
Out of over 200 applications received by the state, only 26 were awarded funding with the total amount allocated at $68,452, and Kelley and Arsement represent the two funded applications from Southwest Louisiana.
Kelley, an art professor at McNeese, received a grant for a project that will focus on James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. Kelley will create a collage for each page of the comic novel which will collectively act as a meditation on the novel’s motifs and symbols. Kelley was born in Connecticut and holds a BFA in printmaking from Southern Methodist University and an MA in painting from Northwestern State University.
Arsement, an accordionist and vocalist for the local Cajun band the LakeSide Gamblers, received a grant to record a sophomore CD in order to increase his exposure outside of Louisiana. Arsement has been working in the Cajun music industry for nearly 20 years, and his music stays true to the traditional styles of Cajun music. He has toured the world with the Grammy-nominated Basin Brothers, and the world renowned Balfa Toujours. He teaches at Barbe High School and holds a Master of Education from McNeese State University.
Additional grants are offered annually for arts initiatives and projects in Southwest Louisiana through the Arts Council, and guidelines and deadlines can be found at www.artsandhumanitiesswla.org. For details on other grants offered through the Office of Cultural Development, visit www.crt.state.la.us. For more information, contact the Arts Council office at (337) 439-2787.