Arthur Roger Gallery

Mythologies Louisianaises

432 Julia Street

4 August-22 September 2018

Press Release

The Arthur Roger Gallery is pleased to present Mythologies Louisianaises, a group show featuring Louisiana artists connected to Franco- and Créolophone cultures in Louisiana curated by Baton Rouge-based artist Jonathan “feral opossum” Mayers. The exhibition will be on view at Arthur Roger@434, located at 434 Julia Street, from August 4–September 22, 2018. The gallery will host an opening reception with the artists in attendance, Saturday, August 4 from 6 to 9 pm in conjunction with the Hancock Whitney White Linen Night.

The mission of Mythologies Louisianaises is to promote, in an unconventional way, French and Creole languages and cultures of Louisiana. Over the past three years, Jonathan Mayers has chosen artists and writers who have been distanced from these cultures as a result of Americanization, physical location, or birth as an outsider. Yet these individuals retain a compelling connection to their heritage either through ancestry, geographical proximity, or inclusion as an outsider. The opportunity to (re)engage in the vibrant storytelling traditions that stem from Indigenous America, Africa, and Europe culminates in this homage to language,

identity, and inclusivity in such a way that all collaborators of the exhibition reclaim the ways in which identity binds them. This substantial project for Louisiana culture broadens, therefore, the spectrum of what it means to be part of a Métis society, where the meshing and melding of traditions sparks dialogues on identity not based on race, but on the value of community and collaboration.

The collaborators involved in this project include visual artists Simon Alleman, Charles Barbier, Douglas Bourgeois, Joseph B. Darensbourg, Evan Gomez, Nyssa Juneau, Kelli Scott Kelley, Demond Matsuo, Jonathan “feral opossum” Mayers, Francis X. Pavy, Herb Roe, Elise Toups, and Randi Willett. The texts inspired by the works of these artists are written in International Louisiana French, Louisiana Creole, and English, reflecting early multilingual history in the state such as that of tri-lingual Pointe Coupée Parish. Writer and poet Beverly Matherne wrote and edited French and English texts. Writer Clif St. Laurent, in turn, translated her texts into Louisiana Creole.

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