Derek Gordon’s artful walls

Crucifix, bar-relief wood carving by Emerson Bell. “I commissioned him to create a crucifix, it’s not like any I’ve ever seen and is one of my treasured pieces.”

Bound, a multi-media portrait by Paul Dufour. “It’s a beautifully rendered portrait using gouache and Prismacolor pencils.”

Alligator, a ceramic dipper vessel created by Joe Bova. “I selected this life-like alligator sculpture, which captures something unique about Louisiana and its culture.”

Derek Gordon is as passionate about his career as his hobby, and this lover of art found a way to combine them.

“I get to work with so many artists and gallery owners,” says Derek Gordon, chief executive officer of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge. “While it’s definitely a job, it’s also a passion. It’s giving people options—amazing things can happen.”

The Arts Council supports artists with the monthly Arts Market, annual FestForAll, community gallery exhibitions and by purchasing local artwork.

Gordon’s downtown office is a cozy showcase of etchings, carvings and paintings—some from his personal collection, the rest purchases by the Council.

There’s an unusual painting on fabric by Caroline Corey (right), a portrait of a man given the illusion of being tattooed by the fabric’s pattern. On either side are a Henry Moore etching and a Daryl Howard woodcut with no fewer than 16 colors. “For every color it is run through a press,” Gordon explains.

Another wall features a Robert Warrens celebration of Louisiana that’s “whimsical, weird and wonderful.”

“We’re not elitist in what we do,” Gordon says. “It’s all about getting people involved. We try to be a part of everything in Baton Rouge.”