Guidry's Open House
In an Acadian home in downtown Breaux Bridge this Saturday night, a group of area artists’ works will be on display at multimedia sculptor Kelly Guidry’s Studio Gallery.
The event is an open house, literally and figuratively, as the gallery is connected to his home. Guidry said he enjoys hosting arts events “in his element,” which isn’t where he expected it would be when he first began creating in the professional realm. After a year of working from his Lafayette duplex, he moved back into the home his father grew up in at 108 Van Buren St, and found the location was more conducive to his accessibility.
“Initially my thought was I’m going to be so isolated,”said Guidry. “Breaux Bridge, in my mind, was far out of the way and a maw-maw town. As it so happened, a lot of my client base are business people going back and forth to New Orleans and Baton Rouge on a regular basis.
I’m right in the downtown area. I get more people and drop-ins. I’m further along, but I don’t think I would have this kind of turnout, and it’s turned out to be a wonderful thing.”
Guidry crafts his sculptures using by taking a chainsaw, an angle grinder, some sandpaper and a plasma cutter to wood, metal, found objects, crochet — forging sensual shapes out of rugged material. A crochet appendage acts as a nod to his grandmother, or copper adds an unexpected glint. There are Cajun-themed Easter eggs. Transitions between his media are blended to give the illusion of growth.
“Sculpture is either additive, subtractive or constructive,”said Guidry. “Clay is additive. Marble sculpture and typical wood is subtractive, and you take parts away until you’re finished. Constructive is collaborative of different things and fixing them together. My work is a combination. I always describe it as subtractive, constructive, and additive.”
Over the years, he has connected with like-minded makers, like artist Hannah Gumbo, of Eunice, who paints and illustrates lively representations of her culture.
“Right now I’m really enjoying the flow between paint and digital medium,” said Gumbo. “I have a market line of goods that I sell at festivals and art markets that highlights my Louisiana-themed illustrations. Currently, my easel is speckled with glitter and bright colored acrylics from my latest explorations on canvas and I also really like the challenge of designing custom work for clients.
“It usually pushes me to experiment with new techniques and make decisions much quicker than I would with personal projects,”said Gumbo. “Through all those avenues, I strive to create using my style that is colorful, fun, and energetic.”
Guidry said he likes to pull artists with varying styles for his open house events, who are also fun to be around and are “as interesting as their work.” This includes Gumbo’s husband, who performs ambient tones with analog synthesizers under the moniker Skies Speak.
The Guidrys’ Open House is always such a special event. Besides getting to see a behind-the-scenes look at Kelly’s process, tour his home/studio, and shop his entire collection, you also get to know new artists and discuss their work in a personal and unique setting,” Gumbo said.
Guidry said his open houses attract members of the Lafayette art scene as well as those from in and around Breaux Bridge. He would eventually like to see downtown shut down for the day, like the Covington Three Rivers Festival, for his open houses. Until then, he’s fine generating excitement about the arts from the comfort and chaos of his own home.
For more information on Kelly Guidry and updates on his open house events, visit facebook.com/kelly.r.guidry. For more information on Hannah Gumbo and Skies Speak, visitfacebook.com/hannahgumbo and skiesspeak.bandcamp.com.