It Takes a Village to Create a Vibrant Art District
While driving down Perkins Road near Acadian I decided to stop at Southdowns Village Shopping Center. Ann Connelly Fine Art was the first shop to catch my eye. As I walked into this modern art gallery, I was greeted by friendly staff members, including Ann Connelly, who were excited to tell me about the art featured in the gallery. The gallery was filled with colorful and contemporary drawings, mixed media pieces, photography, paintings and décor. The other area of the shop included a framing work station, which was filled with framing options, colorful matt boards and paintings. Anne Connelly has been in business for over 20 years, and is proud to call Baton Rouge home. Connelly has worked hard to create a great art district within the capital city starting with the Southdowns Village Shopping Center.
This village is a perfect area to explore Connelly’s vision of a wonderful art community. It is packed with innovative shops such as Stafford Tile and Stone, The Front Door, Bella Bridesmaid, Assured Flooring, Tomato and Jeannie Frey Rhodes Photography. Also, Southdowns is now home to The Bulldog, a pub with a beautiful patio and endless taps and Enoteca Marcello’s Wine Bar, specializing in wonderful wine and authentic Sicilian cuisine. These creative businesses work together to host events such as the Art and Wine Design on Nov. 18 from 6p.m.- 8p.m, and open house event to celebrate fall! Join in the celebration throughout the village!
While you’re in the area, art and shopping enthusiasts must drive down Perkins the overpass for another unique village will great boutiques and restaurants including The Royal Standard, Bolton’s Health Mart and Bella Bella’s. If you’re hungry, grab a bit to eat at Chelsea’s Café, featuring great live jazz music and George’s Restaurant, offereing one of the best hamburgers in the capital city!
Continue down Perkins to City Park to visit BREC’s Baton Rouge Gallery, filled with the work of current Artist Members including photographers, painters, sculptors, stained-glass artists, printmakers, ceramicists, multi-media and installation artists.
While you’re in the area cut through Baton Rouge’s beautiful Garden District, where massive oaks shad the streets to Government Street to visit Circa 1857! This collection of shops features local art, architectural salvage from around the world and antiques! The shops are full of little treasures. While looking at the artwork, I actually met one of the artists who told us about her beautiful work. On Wednesdays, several local artists paint in the building, so be sure to stop in to talk with them about their projects!
If you’re looking for a great time with friends, delicious food, live music and an opportunity to buy a few Christmas gifts, check out White Light Night on Nov. 19 from 6p.m.-10p.m. Hop on the free shuttle buses to visit artists and listen to music in various locations throughout Mid City including Circa 1857, Rue Cou Cou, Fleur de Lis Pizza, Brew Ha Ha, Elizabethan Gallery, Bistro Byronz, Jewelry Design Shop, Gallery Bohemia and many more! Visit www.midcitymerchants.org for more information.
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