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‘Pop-COVID’ exhibit opens soon at gallery

Riverstone Gallery, located at 415 Columbia St. in Bogalusa, will be hosting a COVID-19-themed art exhibition starting Saturday.

The opening reception will be Saturday from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m., with a suggested donation of $20 per person or $35 per couple/two entries. These donations are suggestions, and more or less will be accepted.

Face coverings will be required for entry, and RSVP is required.

The featured artist will be Eric M. Martin, 38, of Lafayette. He is a high school teacher, a published self-help author, and a member of The Whiskey Bay Rovers, Lafayette’s premier “pirate band.”

Aya Cardeiro, owner and curator of Riverstone Gallery, said that Martin would be showing his 13-piece “Pop-COVID” pop art collection.

“Throughout history, pop art has been a critical outlet for society, often invoking both an element of entertainment and controversy when the art represents real issues in the forefront of our societies,” she said. “Eric Martin re-imagines popular images in his new collection, placing COVID-19 front and center. Pop-culture inspired and realized with the help of a different model for each painting, this provocative exhibit is a part of history in progress.”

During Saturday’s reception, there will be a door prize given away with a value of $120. There will also be a silent auction for a bonus piece of the Pop-COVID collection. An entry fee must be paid to participate, but the patron is not required to attend in person to make bids.

The reception will have complimentary wine and refreshments.

To RSVP, call 985-516-6919 or message “Riverstone Gallery & Holistic Art Center” on Facebook. Making donations by credit over the phone or PayPal is available at riverstonegalleryla@gmail.com, and Venmo and CashApp info is available upon request.

Cardeiro said that Martin’s biggest artistic influences are French impressionism and Fauvism, which can “be seen through his brushstrokes and vivid applications of color.”

“Eric is also fascinated by portraiture and the work of Rembrandt, as well as the modern stylings of Patrick Nagel, who has currently had the greatest influence on his portrait work,” she said.

Virtual viewing of the exhibit will also be available. Cardeiro said that the gallery would be taking all COVID-19 precautions while supporting arts and culture, including limiting guests by implementing time blocks for viewing if RSVPs are above 50-percent capacity.

“The decision to go ahead with a show right now isn’t an easy one, but nevertheless, we persisted,” she said.