Nowadays, impactful art exhibitions can happen anywhere. Artists are going outside of fine art galleries and showing their work in coffee shops, restaurants, spas, local businesses and public spaces.
It’s a movement that’s making art accessible for consumers and creators, and local art collective Ellemnop.Art is all for it.
The group highlights emerging and established Baton Rouge artists through virtual and in-person exhibitions, online marketing, pop-ups and art curation services for businesses and homes.
“We want to take art out of the traditional means,” says Ellemnop.Art co-owner Keidrick ‘Sensei’ Alford. “We want to meet people where they’re at and then convert that to a space where people can enjoy art.”
Alford and Elle Mouton started Ellemnop.Art in 2019, right before the pandemic. The two longtime friends and LSU alumni wanted to create a digital platform for up-and-coming artists to share and sell their work. So they created a website spotlighting artists, where artists can have virtual exhibitions and sell artwork and art enthusiasts can browse upcoming Ellemnop.Art events.
Both Mouton and Alford have always been art lovers. Outside of being a system administrator for a supply chain enterprise, Mouton is a photographer and digital artist. Shortly after launching, Alford and Mouton were invited to be curators at the Healthcare Gallery and Wellness Spa, where they were able to bring their virtual ideas for Ellemnop.Art into the physical world.
The collective’s most recent exhibition, Astronomical Twilight, was displayed at Healthcare Gallery from March to June. It featured paintings and sculptures by local artist Clint English. He is the creator behind Domestic Artifact, a collection inspired by natural minerals. English’s abstract artwork is dark, minimal, textured and moody. His work resembles and incorporates natural elements like rocks, concrete, stone, sand and cement rubble.
“There’s a time every day called ‘astronomical twilight.’ That is the darkest point of daytime,” Alford says. “For us, it means the darkest time in your life could represent a new beginning.”
The group has held pop-up events and exhibitions at The Radio Bar, Local Pop-Up Market and The Stitches Group Headquarters. There are also more than five virtual exhibitions by local artists on view in a digital gallery, where visitors have the opportunity to purchase work or donate to the artist.
But Ellemnop.Art goes further than simply curating art exhibitions. It works closely with emerging artists, connecting them with buyers, galleries and exhibition opportunities and helping them source the necessary tools to be professional artists.
Alford and Mouton have worked with local creatives including Nathaniel Landry, Kimberly Meadowlark, Cierra English, Courtney Miley, Fred Parker, Erick Fields and Travis ‘ArtSoulLife’ Pickett.
As it continues to reach more artists and build its following, Ellemnop.Art wants to establish collaborations between local artists and businesses, share meaningful public art—and eventually have its own space where creatives can work in studios and host exhibitions. ellemnop.art
Ellemnop.Art is pronounced like the letters in the alphabet: “LMNOP” (Elle-em-in-oh-pee dot art)
This article was originally published in the July 2022 issue of 225 magazine.