Art in April with Champagne

Friday, April 16th from 5:00 - 10:00pm

Thursday, March 18, 2010 - 10:55am

Downtown Hammond, La — On Friday, April 16 from 5 pm to 10 pm, downtown Hammond will be bursting with art exhibits and bubbly libations. “Art in April with Champagne” is the new spring-time event in downtown that will feature more than 40 regional artists’ exhibits throughout the district, live music and a creative, champagne-cocktail challenge.

Downtown Hammond is designated as a Louisiana Cultural District. This designation allows artists to sell their work without charging state and local taxes. The nine-percent incentive is hoped to entice more artists and art enthusiasts to come to Hammond. “Art in April is an evening that celebrates Hammond as a Cultural District and allows artists to exhibit for people who appreciate art,” says Downtown Development District director Terry Lynn Smith.

Pat Macaluso, owner of The Oak Street Gallery in Hammond and chairperson for Art in April, has signed artists from the Northshore region, Baton Rouge and southern Mississippi to set up displays in retail shops, galleries and offices throughout downtown Hammond for the Friday evening event. A special display of various artworks will be in the art tents, located in the parking mall on the corner of West Thomas Street and Southwest Railroad Avenue. The art tents, which will be designated as “smoke free” during Art in April, are sponsored by the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living—Region 9, a program of Louisiana Public Health Institute.

Downtown merchants participating in the champagne-cocktail challenge will provide a creative cocktail to guests who have paid the $20 fee and have had their identification verified, proving they are of legal drinking age. Event guests, wearing proper wristbands, will be able to rate champagne cocktails while strolling through downtown businesses to view art exhibits. Prizes will be awarded to lucky guests who vote for their favorite cocktail, and the winning business will be recognized for the evening’s best creative-champagne cocktail. The city’s open container ordinance will be lifted in the downtown district between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. for the event.

Sponsored by La Carreta restaurant and Keith Davis’ violin shop, the Javier Gutierrez y Vivaz band will perform live in the art tents while the Pot-Luck Bluegrass Band will entertain on North Cate Street.
There is even a way for the children to take part in Art in April. Parents can drop off their children, who are between the ages of 7 and 12, at the Hammond Regional Art Center, 217 E. Thomas Street, for the “Fun Friday” art workshop. The fee is $15 for members or $25 for nonmembers; cost includes pizza from Rotolo’s. For further details on “Fun Friday” call the Arts Center at (985) 542-7113.

Art in April with Champagne will be hosted mainly on Thomas Street between Cherry Street and Magnolia Street. Some side streets off of Thomas Street will be closed for the evening for safety purposes. More information about Art in April can be found online at www.dddhammond.com or by calling the Downtown Development District office at (985) 542-3471.