Feature Exhibition

The River Inside: Photographs by John Guider
April 9 – June 29, 2014

Not unlike Tom Sawyer’s adventure down the Mighty Mississippi, John Guider, a resident of Franklin,
Tennessee and a nationally recognized photographer, walked out the back door of his home and placed
a canoe in the creek behind his house. Three months later, he had paddled all the way to New Orleans!

Documenting his amazing journey down five rivers, including the Mississippi, Guider kept a journal and
took hundreds of remarkable photographs. These images offer a revealing perspective on the natural
and controlled inland waterways that bisect the nation. The exhibition’s title, The River Inside, which
was drawn from the importance of rivers as prime conduits of vital commodities and as overlooked by-
ways, speaks to the resonance between life-sustaining water sources and human beings.

This exhibition of photographs taken by Guider documents the sites and people he met along his
journey down these rivers. Along with Guider’s canoe, this exhibition includes artifacts from his trip,
detailed journal entries, and geographic maps detailing the waterways he traveled.

 

Photo credit: John Guider, Canoe at River's Edge, Sunset along the Mississippi River, 2003, platinum print photograph. Courtesy of the artist.

 

Current Exhibitions

Native American Baskets from the LASM Collection
February 26 - June 22

Native American basket weaving is one of the oldest crafts in history. Originally created for utilitarian reasons, baskets were used for many purposes including the carriage and storage of food and other items, even babies, and for burden tasks such as transporting dirt to build the ceremonial mounds that dot the Mississippi River Valley. Baskets took on different patterns, shapes, and techniques as determined by the customs of the tribes who made them. The choice of material, such as sea grass or split river cane, was determined by the immediate environment. Today, Native American baskets are prized for their beauty and ingenuity, and traditional techniques are passed on by master weavers within tribal communities. The LASM Collection includes a number of baskets by a variety of tribes, including Chitimacha double weave river cane baskets, Choctaw coiled pine needle baskets, and Coushatta effigy baskets.

 

The Red Stick Piece: An Installation by Jonathan Brilliant
March 24 - June 29

Jonathan Brilliant stacks, arranges, and carefully weaves nearly 50,000 individual coffee stir sticks into monumental site-specific installations that are held together by sheer tension. Through a creative partnership between the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge and the LSU School of Art, Brilliant’s newest installation The Red Stick Piece will take form from March 24 until April 2 under the watchful eyes of museum visitors.

Brilliant’s ever-expanding series of undulating installations began in 2006 while working on his master’s degree in fine art. Responding to the immediacy of his surroundings – the coffee house – he began to collect the free accoutrements available for to-go customers, including lids, cups, and sugar packets. Of these, his favorite is the 7-inch, rounded-end wooden coffee stir stick, which he now orders in bulk from a manufacturer. Hailing from Charlestown, he found a kinship with Southern craftsmen, and adopted the tradition of weaving his found material together. Like British sculptors Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Deacon, and Rachel Whiteread, Brilliant works in situ, intuitively allowing each sculptural form to dictate its own path in response to the unique characteristics of its architectural environment. Each installation takes just over a week to create while his forms freely expand, twist, or regress as needed, slowly filling the intended space.

Jonathan Brilliant's artist residency was developed by the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, with support from the Louisiana Art & Science Museum, LSU School of Art, Baton Rouge Area Foundation,and Baton Rouge Community College.  The exhibition is made possible thanks to generous support from Matt and Catherine Saurage and Ritter Maher Architects.