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              "CAC offers a blue chip art show with an outdoors theme"




















Photo: Mike Smith

Doug MacCash, | Times-Picayune

Brandon Graving’s ‘Ephemera River with Flowers’ took on added meaning when it was surrounded by the 2005 flood.

As south Louisiana residents have come to know well, Mother Nature can be kind, cruel and everything in between. "Elements of Nature," an exhibit of works by 105 artists at the Contemporary Arts Center, is meant to convey man's varied relationship to the great outdoors.

Brandon Graving's, Ephemera River with Flowers took on added meaning when it was surrounded by the 2005 flood.

Among the modern art marvels are: West coast pop master Ed Ruscha’s eerie sunset emblazoned with the word END, the late Chicago Imagist Roger Brown’s darkly comic painting of a man crushed by a giant cactus, and a beautiful black speckled butterfly so enlarged by artist Cindy Wright that the press release promises it becomes a “bold imposing creature.”

Works by Christo, Red Grooms, Isamu Noguchi and Robert Rauschenberg will provide some artistic star gazing; while local favorites including Debbie Fleming Caffery, Teresa A. Cole, Dawn DeDeaux, Skylar Fein, Srdjan Loncar, Bradley Sabin, Elizabeth Shannon, and Robert Warrens provide local color.


No “Elements of Nature” artwork is more enmeshed with the environment than former New Orleans artist Brandon Graving’s “Ephemera: River with Flowers.” Graving’s enveloping 10-by-32-foot print, made from 24 paper panels, was on display in the New Orleans Museum of Art when Katrina struck in 2005.

The stylized riverscape originally was intended to depict the power of water, Graving said, and “how it starts small and takes over.” That’s why she feels it was “particularly odd” that the piece was on display at NOMA, as part of the 2005 New Orleans Triennial exhibit when the museum was suddenly surrounded by flood water.

Graving said that the huge print and the arrangement of painted drift wood that is displayed with it were unharmed by the flood, although her Uptown print studio was badly damaged. Graving, who has lived in Massachusetts since the 2005 evacuation, said she considers her return to New Orleans for Saturday’s reception to be “extremely poignant.”

The November 2010 slot at the Contemporary Arts Center originally was reserved for Prospect 2 New Orleans exhibits. But when the second international art biennial was postponed by a year, Contemporary Arts Center director Jay Weigel said, “I had the whole building empty all of a sudden; we had to fill our calendar.” In place of P.2, New Orleans booster Billie Milam Weisman, curator of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation in Los Angeles, swept in with “Elements of Nature” to fill the gap.

Elements of Nature: Selections from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation

What: A group exhibit featuring works by famous and emerging artists from the well-known Los Angeles modern art collection.

Where: The Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp St., 504.528.3805.

When: Opens with a reception Saturday from 6 to 8, through Feb. 27. Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.



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Academic Affairs Division

Brandon Graving's, Then and Now opens in the Dean's Gallery 

Fri, 02/24/2023 - 1:35pm

Brandon Graving: Then and Now, Selections of 40 years of Printmaking

The UL Lafayette College of the Arts will be exhibiting a selection of print works by Brandon Graving 82’ this coming March and April. The exhibition is located in the Dean’s Gallery, which is located on the 2nd floor of Fletcher Hall. Brandon is also being honored this month as the College of the Arts 2022-23 SPARK Lifetime Achievement Award honoree. The SPARK Lifetime Achievement Award honors alumni and members of the arts community who have made great strides to advance the arts in Louisiana and across the country.

An opening reception will be held on Wednesday May 1st, from 6-8pm in the Dean's Gallery, inconjunction with the opening of the 2023 Juried Student Art Exhibition in the Fletcher Hall Gallery.

Brandon Graving is known for her deeply textured large scale monoprints which often include a sculptural component furthering the visceral impact of these unique works.  She is credited with making the largest monoprint made by a single artist; this work titled Ephemera: River with Flowers, measures 10.5’ by 32’ with a variable sized floor sculpture in front and was installed at the New Orleans Museum of Art when hurricane Katrina struck that city. Now in the Frederick R. Weisman Collection, this work has been widely exhibited in many museums.

Brandon was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1959 and went on to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1982 with a focus on printmaking and sculpture; this enthusiastic focus continues today. She is a celebrated and prolific artist who exhibits widely and her work in included in many public and private collections including the New Orleans Museum of Art, The Library of Congress, and The Frederick R. Weisman Collection.

After years of travel research in Africa, Costa Rica, Belize and the Yucatán, Brandon began working at the Contemporary Artists Center in North Adams, Massachusetts, where she was gallery director, curating many exhibitions and eventually became the master printmaker and instructor at this wonderful facility. In 2007, she relocated her New Orleans print studio and consolidated the two print shops in this historic Massachusetts mill, creating Gravity Press Experimental Print Shop. Unlike traditional print shops, she uses exclusively platen presses including “The Monster”, one of the largest presses in the world, sporting a 5’ x 11’ Press bed!

Using this innovative equipment, Brandon has developed many extreme techniques while maintaining a practice of creating archival works, pushing the boundaries of size and extreme embossing with inky viscosities and thickly textured surfaces. Her forty years of curious exploration has led to monoprints like no other prints ever seen.

Throughout her career, Brandon has received many prestigious awards including the Pollack- Krasner Foundation Award and has recently been awarded the “Spark” Lifetime Achievement Award from Louisiana College of the Arts, where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts. She divides her time between Gravity Press Experimental Print Shop as Master Printmaker and working as a sculptor and print artist with works currently in multiple international exhibitions.

The exhibition will run from March 1 - April 28, 2023


College of the Arts
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Fletcher Hall, Room 205
421 E. Lewis St., Lafayette, LA 70503
(337) 482-6224 |

© 2023 University of Louisiana at Lafayette. All rights reserved.

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