An abstract painting exhibit opens this week at the Levee Gallery, featuring work by Kevin Kennedy and Brooke Hoogendoorn, and remains available until Oct. 11.

Kennedy is a renowned sculptor from Shreveport who works in wood, graphite, metal and thread. His sculptures often reference functional objects while also evoking a sense of time passed. There are quiet stories and histories behind each of the forms, both personal to the artist, and also universal.

Brooke Hoogendoorn is an emerging, self-taught painter from New Iberia. Hoogendoorn’s abstract paintings range in scale and contain muted palettes with contrasting lines looped over brushstrokes, sometimes combining into compositions that appear like crystals or geodes. The show is free and open to the public and on display through Oct. 11.

“I have created for the last twenty years works that emphasize movement, immobility, and balance,” Kennedy said. “Most recently I have focused my work on the creation of sculptures that use utilitarian forms such as the square and the circle. These pieces, which are large-scale but delicate works, express ideas such as containment and conveyance and the fragile balance that exists between them.”

Kennedy received a BFA from Louisiana Tech University in 1990 followed by an MFA from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 1994. His work has received support from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, Louisiana Tech University and the Louisiana Division of the Arts. He was the recipient of the Louisiana Division of the Arts Individual Arts Fellowship Award in 1997 and 2007. Artist residency fellowships include the Edward F. Albee Foundation in Montauk, New York and the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming. 

“My objective is to create a beautiful object whose ultimate significance lies in its references to the human condition,” Kennedy said. “Through the contrast of the large scale and delicate surface elements, I try to engage an audience both emotionally and intellectually.”

Hoogendoorn takes great pride that she is mostly self-taught, having taken her only painting class her senior year in high school. Over 10 years ago, she took on specialty painting, treating walls and pieces of furniture as their own piece of art. She painted on reclaimed materials as well as canvas, experimenting and developing her own unique style influenced by the culture of South Louisiana. Over the last few years she has continued to experiment with different styles of artwork, slowly growing towards the freedom of abstracts. She enjoys the variety that abstract painting brings by blending colors and shapes to create a visual experience. 

“I tend to have trouble with words, hence the love for creating art,” Hoogendoorn said. “I feel like I speak best through the colors and shapes that need no explanation. Nothing is more liberating then the freedom I feel of not knowing what will come of each piece, as it’s decided along the way.”

Levee Gallery specializes in contemporary artwork created by emerging and established regional artists. The gallery also hosts events with the goal of broadening the understanding and appreciation of visual arts and culture.

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