August 21, 2003
LAFAYETTE — Visual artists Elemore Morgan Jr. and Bryan Lafaye decided there was enough common ground in their work to present a joint exhibit at the Zigler Museum in Jennings. “Common Ground,” will feature a dozen pieces by each artist and will run from Saturday through Sept. 27.
Morgan is best known for his vivid acrylic paintings that depict the changing landscape of South Louisiana. Using Masonite instead of canvas, Morgan creates unconventional shapes to convey another dimension of the land he sees around him.
Morgan says he and Lafaye have similar tendencies in the way they both paint and approach imagery. But, the show’s title has more to do with the land from which they both find inspiration.
“The Southern writers, like Faulkner and O’Connor, taught us that the South is a place of contradictions and inconsistencies, but it still gets under your skin,” said Morgan. “We both like the fact that we’re from the South. There’s just some common tendencies there, and we have some similarities in the way we work.”
Morgan is a resident of Maurice and a retired professor of visual arts at UL Lafayette. He has exhibited his work both nationally and internationally. He is represented exclusively by the Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans.
While Lafaye says he agrees with Morgan’s interpretation — that they both are inspired by the land — he also says there is a larger, more elusive element at work, something that is difficult to convey with words.
“I think the common ground is indefinable,” said Lafaye. “It’s about growing up as native Southerners and the experiences we’ve lived through as Southerners. We know what the soil taste like. We know what the colors tastes like.
“Rice Man Cometh” by Bryan Lafaye“A lot of it is the respect and love of the land and all that that encompasses. It’s about an unspoken dialogue. What this place is about is indefinable in a lot of ways.” And in a lot of ways, Lafaye’s work is indescribable. But, he says his return to the basics of drawing distinguishes his current work from his earlier, more abstract work. Lafaye still observes the world around him and reinterprets it with images and sometimes, as Morgan says, “with wry words that float in and out of the images.”
Lafaye is a resident of Lafayette and the former director of the University Art Museum at UL Lafayette. His work is currently being displayed in a traveling exhibit titled, “After A Decade.” He is represented by the Brunner Gallery in Covington and Park City, Utah and Debris Art and Antiques in Dallas.
Want to go?
“Common Ground” opening reception
6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday
411 Clara St. Jennings