White’s art featured on BBHF poster

Published 4:40 am Saturday, September 9, 2017

Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival Executive Chairwoman Malinda White is the creator of this year’s festival poster.

White said she is always looking for ways to cut expenses, and that she has done that this year by not taking the artist’s commission for her second painting that has found its way onto a festival poster.

“I did it, and I’m not going to take money from a non-profit that I’ve been trying to raise money for,” White said.

She said the 2017 poster “came to be during my research to create an event that would make Bogalusa a destination.”

“I visited Greenwood, Mississippi to attend the Robert Johnson Memorial Blues Festival, and I witnessed busloads of Europeans and Asians drawn to attend a blues festival in the middle of a cotton field, in the middle of nowhere, it seemed like,” White said. “I just couldn’t get over it. But I knew then what genre of music could pull people from all over the world to Bogalusa, and we had the roots deep in our heritage.

“And according to “Escaping the Delta,” by Elijah Wald, Robert Johnson even played here.”

One of the musicians at the festival, Robert “Doctor Feelgood” Potts, and his band caught White’s artist’s eye, and she took a lot of photos of them.

“They were onstage under a full moon in the cotton field in the delta,” White said. “His bass guitarist was an Asian woman.”

So the BBHF exec was compelled to do three paintings, one of “Doctor Feelgood,” one of his lead guitar player, and one of his bass player.

“Many months later, while I was traveling the blues trail, I think it was in Memphis, I ran into them, and I showed them the paintings,” White said. “They were thrilled.

“The poster was intended to be our first poster until I was inspired to do another painting that captured all of that year’s lineup, with Professor Longhair in the middle as a tribute.

“So all these years we sat on this painting while engaging other local artists to participate in creating a festival poster for us every year. This year, the committee decided to use the ‘Doctor Feelgood’ painting.”

The poster will cost $21, with tax included.