My Louisiana Muse Update #2: Artist Spotlight: Melissa Bonin

You can say that "My Louisiana Muse" is shifting into 2nd gear. After my first phone conversation with my first artists today, i have 5 on the roster for tomorrow. One every hour from 9a-12a, then driving photography educator, curator, and all around talented dude, Roy Flukinger, to the airport. As Photo NOLA winds down another year i find my self so busy as to miss the Gala for the first time, EVER. Since the first Gala in 2006 i was on the board, volunteered, and was Gala Emcee until this year. So busy, but i do miss my PhotoNOLA people. So now, i'm transport. Proud of it....

My Louisiana Muse

I had the pleasure of talking with Melissa Bonin this morning. Melissa was the first artist on my list that i called for our follow up interview....needless to say there were some kinks to work out - most notably the Phone Record App kept beeping the entire interview, but Melissa assured me it was alright, and it was.

©Melissa Bonin

I have hand picked most of the artists, but a few have come to me by the way of my friend Rose Courville (Macaluso) from her days as curator at the Acadiana Center for the Arts in Lafayette. Melissa Bonin is one of them. You can read her bio on her site - but i will tell you from our conversation she was very personable and spoke candidly about her connection to her muse, the Bayou Teche and more recently Lake Martin. I know as this project begins to evolve, there will be so many interconnections between the artists and between myself.

The Bayou Teche is an important bayou for me as from 1998-1999 when living in Lafayette, I drove up and down HWY 31 between Breaux Bridge, Parks, St. Martinville, and New Iberia photographing, meeting people and learning my cameras. It was an important time in my life, a transitional one as i moved from college student, to traveller, to getting my goals in place and dedicating myself to my new medium of expression.

©Melissa Bonin

Melissa spoke of the painters Elemore Morgan Jr. and William Moreland (more as an instructor) as two of her major influences in her art. If you have the time please check out Mr Morgan's work -  you will see the influence on Melissa Bonin, but Melissa truly has her own voice, and muse.

Tomorrow i have calls with:

Photographers Michel Varisco and Jenny Ellerbe, poet Darrell Bourque, painter Bryan Lafaye, and photographer, musician and cultural anthropologist (ok, i made that up) - Ashlee Michot.