Baton Rouge Pride Festival celebrates its 11th anniversary Saturday, June 17. This year, the festival is launching a new component: an arts festival in collaboration with Leur magazine.
The fest will feature work from LGBTQIA+ creatives and allies. In a casual meeting with Baton Rouge Pride representatives earlier this year, Leur‘s Charles Champagne offered the idea of an arts-focused event as a way to bring in a younger, more creative audience to the festival. Once Baton Rouge Pride and the Raising Cane’s River Center confirmed there would be space available during the festival, preparations for the addition began.
“It means a lot to me that BR Pride reached out to us because they trust us,” Champagne says. “Having an organization like that … trust you enough to say, ‘Hey, you have full lead on this.’ … I’m really appreciative.”
Champagne has been spreading the word on social media, aiming for a diverse roster of artists with works in photography, written narratives, painting and ceramics. In our last interview with Champagne, he and his boyfriend, Devin Rogers, said featuring the work of LGBTQIA+ artists in the magazine is at the core of everything Leur does, and this arts festival is no different.
“I wanted [the arts festival] to represent what the magazine is about … showcasing the art of the Southern LGBTQIA+ community, no matter what it was,” Champagne says. “I just want LGBT artists here to know that Baton Rouge cares, and there’s people here to … help [those artists] be more successful and help people outside of our community understand us better.”
Champagne hopes this event will serve as a starting point for Leur to host similar events.
“In the future,” he says, “we plan on developing a nonprofit art gallery, which will act as our office for the magazine but will also be an exhibit and gallery space to showcase [artists] and host workshops.”
He also hopes the arts component becomes an annual part of Baton Rouge Pride Festival.
“Art allows other people to learn and grow,” Champagne says, “and this is a place for LGBT artists to come in and feel comfortable about showcasing their art.”
Baton Rouge Pride Festival begins after the Pride Rally at the Capitol steps at 11:30 a.m. and the Pride March from the Capitol to the River Center at 12:30 p.m. Pride Fest takes place this Saturday, June 17, 1-8 p.m., at the Raising Cane’s River Center. Once inside, festival attendees will be able to access Leur‘s arts festival in rooms L3 and L4. For more information, visit batonrougepride.org and leurmag.com.
- Joseph T. Bacon will display his paintings and mixed media pieces.
- Tiff Comeaux will have her mixed-media-inspired artwork in wood panels as well as a selection of prints.
- James Kane will bring both abstract and figure paintings to the art festival’s mature content section.
- Cristina Keiffer, a ceramic artist, will show custom-made mugs and whiskey cups.
- Jarrett Marshall is the owner of Marshall Gallery and Studio in New Orleans.
- Victoria McDougall, a Northshore-based graphic designer, seamstress and veterinary technician, will sell rainbow-colored dog bandanas.
- Daniel Parker will bring vibrant watercolor illustrations.
- Sam Prather will have a collection of paintings in the art festival’s mature content section, as well.
- Meghan Saas, a book artist focusing on feminist content, will show illustrations and leather journals at her table.
- Lane San Miguel will display sketches and pencil drawings.
- Caitlin Truitt will have kid-friendly, digitally illustrated content in storytelling format.
- William and Sons Photography will bring matted and framed photography and prints.
- Victoria Wisinski will show her digital illustrations and canvas work.