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STAA Schedules ‘Spring for Art’ For April 10, Opening to Feature New Works by Paulo Dufour

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From the St. Tammany Art Association:

The St. Tammany Art Association’s annual “Spring for Art” festival is set for Saturday, April 10 and will feature the new work of nationally-known local artist Paulo Dufour.

The event, scheduled from 6-9 p.m. will be somewhat restricted by Covid guidelines, but will mark a “reimagining” of the STAA “Art House” and its place in the cultural and economic life of Covington and St. Tammany.

Dufour’s creations, which span an array of blown and sculpted glass pieces, paintings and sculpture, represent the metaphysical and inform the emergence of STAA from the impact of the Covid pandemic.

“Spring for Art” will feature coordinated openings and events across downtown Covington, again with some restrictions, but it will signal the muted resumption of the city’s pre-Covid life, said Cathy Deano, newly elected president of STAA.

“We are reimagining the association in a way that will incorporate all of the arts, such as theater and poetry, for example, and be more of a community center for art that will engage more young people,” said Deano, also co-founder of Mandeville-based Painting With A Twist, which has 300 franchise units in 39 states. Deano was previously STAA president from 2006-2009.

STAA’s future also involves the association’s new executive director, Suzanne Freret, formerly Assistant Director of Advancement at Christ Episcopal School. Deano and Freret join STAA along with several new board members, Keith Villere, Cindy Petry and John Botsford. Elizabeth Stokes, Phoebe Whealdon and Lewis Dennis round out the list of directors.

Freret echoes the sentiment of Deano, “I envision a thriving organization, rich with community engagement, and offering conventional and unconventional events that will appeal to all ages,” said Freret. STAA artists and community membership will grow in the months and years ahead as STAA branches out in the community, said Freret, whose background includes significant experience in finance.

Dufour’s roots in the rich soil of south Louisiana run deep, from present-day Covington, to Baton Rouge, where he grew up as a son of Paul Dufour, an internationally known glass artist and professor at Louisiana State University.

The title of his show is “Mental Universes and the Obscurations of Light.” Dufour says the amorphous and sensuous work conjures up images ranging from the earthy colors of landscapes to primal skin vessels, suggesting the struggle of the human condition where real conflict and myth evolve.

The works give voice to the ongoing process of knowing oneself through exploring daily life, a process requiring each person to be open and aware of inner impressions that honor memories, dreams, and the synchronicity of life, said Dufour. Dufour has exhibited all over the United States from Seattle to Los Angeles and is in significant collections from Spain to Tennessee.

Dufour retired in 2016 from the St. Tammany Parish Talented Art Program where he taught in the public school system for 28 years.

STAA will schedule a question and answer session for patrons and Dufour and soon announce the date and time.

Supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana Arts Council. Funding has also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

St. Tammany Art Association is located at 320 N Columbia Street in historic downtown Covington. Gallery hours are Fridays and Saturdays, 10 am to 4 pm. Exhibitions are free and open to the public.

Current Exhibit Closing Next Weekend:

Art Event

St. Tammany Art Association Announces Degas Pastel Society National Exhibition Opening Dec 5th

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St. Tammany Art Association presents a new exhibition on display
December 5, 2020 – January 30, 2021:
Degas Pastel Society 18th Biennial National Exhibition

Covington, LA – St. Tammany Art Association (STAA) presents a new exhibition, “Degas Pastel Society 18th Biennial National Exhibition,” on display December 5 through January 30, 2021 in the Miriam Barranger Gallery of the Arthouse. The exhibit will kick off with an opening reception on Saturday, December 5, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, guests to the reception are required to register in advance for timed tickets to ensure limited attendance and adequate space for social distancing. These free tickets can be obtained by visiting

From its inception in 1984, the Degas Pastel Society has played an important role in the Renaissance of pastel painting worldwide. Their exhibitions showcase some of the best pastels that are being painted throughout the United States and abroad.

The Degas Pastel Society remains dedicated to the promotion of pastel painting by presenting exhibitions of outstanding work. The hope is that all who view this exhibition will gain a greater appreciation of the beauty and brilliance of pastel painting.

History of The Degas Pastel Society

During the summer of 1983, seven artists gathered to plan the first pastel-only exhibition to be held in New Orleans. The purpose of the exhibit was to present to the public, a show of artistic excellence utilizing the pastel medium which until recently has suffered from public misunderstanding and neglect.

Encouraged by the enthusiastic response to the Premier Pastel Show held at the International Trade Mart (now the World Trade Center) in November 1983, they decided to organize formally and did so on April 23, 1984.

The Society is aptly named in honor of Edgar Degas (1834-1917), the artist most widely recognized for transforming pastel from a sketching tool into a major artistic medium. Pastel painting blossomed with his touch and his works have inspired countless artists.

A juried exhibit
The exhibition was juried by Lyn Asselta, who has exhibited her landscape paintings throughout the U.S. and has been included in invitational exhibitions in France and China. She taught workshops in Canada, Curacao and across the U.S. Lyn recently achieved Eminent Pastelist status with the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS). She is a Signature member of the Pastel Society of America, a member of the Salmagundi Club, a Member of Excellence in the Southeastern Pastel Society, a member of the Eastern League of Professional Artists, and is the founder and past president of the First Coast Pastel Society based in northeast Florida. In 2009, Lyn was selected as an Artist in Residence at Acadia National Park in Maine. Her work has been featured in several magazines including Pastel Journal, Pratique des Arts, and Plein Air Magazine. In 2018, she published her first book, Seeing the Landscape, a compilation of her prose and paintings.

The exhibit will be judged by Don Marshall, a native of New Orleans who began his professional career in the arts as the first Director of the Contemporary Arts Center in 1977. Under his leadership the center grew into one of the largest multi-disciplinary Alternative Arts Centers in the country, curating over 30 exhibitions. As Director of Le Petite Theatre, Marshall founded the Tennessee Williams Festival in conjunction with a group that was organizing a New Orleans Literary Festival. As an educator, he has served as the Director of the Cultural Resource Management Program at Southeastern Louisiana University and Director of the Arts Administration Program at the University of New Orleans.

In 2004 Marshall became the Executive Director of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation. Since then, he has worked to expand programming that fulfills the mission of the organization to promote, perpetuate and support the music, arts and culture of Louisiana. 

Free demo
In conjunction with the exhibit, a pastel demo will be led by Degas Pastel Society Board member, Alan Flattmann, on Saturday, December 12 from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. The demo is free, but advance registration is required at More demos are from Degas Pastel Society members are scheduled for January. Visit our website for more information.

The St. Tammany Art Association is located at 320 N. Columbia Street in downtown Covington. Current gallery hours are Fridays and Saturdays, 11am – 4pm. All exhibitions are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated.

St. Tammany Art Association is supported by the generosity of members, volunteers, sponsors and by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, and as administered by the St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs, St. Tammany Parish Government. Funding has also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works.

Art Event Local Events

STAA Art Market on Lee Lane this Saturday

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The Covington Art Market returns to Lee Lane this Saturday November 7th from 10 am – 2 pm. Stroll through and find a variety of hand-made arts including pottery, jewelry, metal sculpture, stained glass, mixed media, hand-made garments, wood carvings, photography, and more.

lee lane art market
click to view larger

While you’re out, you are encouraged to visit other downtown locations, including exhibitions at the Art House, the nostalgic array of goods and the historic museum at H.J. Smith & Sons General Store and the many fine shopping establishments around downtown Covington. The Farmers’ Market takes place from 8 a.m. to noon at 609 N. Columbia Street, just a few blocks from Lee Lane. Then enjoy a bite at one of our many restaurants. It’s a great way to spend your Saturday!

The Art Market provides entrepreneurial opportunities to local artists while fostering creative community relationships by allowing artists to sell directly to the public. Presented by the St. Tammany Art Association in partnership with the City of Covington. Learn more at

Currently on display at the STAA Art House:

Local Events

STAA Hosts Studio Sale this Saturday

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The St Tammany Art Association is hosting a Studio Sale this Saturday, July 18th, 2020. They are clearing out the back studio and have a collection of local art, paints, brushes, canvases, and other items used in producing some of the Art Associations most memorable events. Stop by the Art House from 10 am – 2 pm, 320 N Columbia St downtown Covington.

From STAA:

Something for everyone! Original artwork, interior design pieces, household items, picture frames, shelving, books, and featuring a collection of reproductions of cultural artifact from our old Discovery Center Program.

Teachers! We have lots of books and educational materials. Artists! Check out our selection of studio stools, tabletop easels, canvases, and frames.

Priced to sell!

Masks required, we will be limiting the number of guests to ensure safe social distancing.

A Little About STAA

The St. Tammany Art Association was founded in 1958 by a small group of civic-minded individuals dedicated to bringing art to western St. Tammany Parish. Today, STAA has grown into an organization with over 300 members. Serving as a catalyst for the arts, the organization’s Art House building in downtown Covington serves the needs of emerging and established artists, and to provides arts education and exhibitions to the community.

STAA notes that recent administrative transitions along with the impact of COVID-19 have created challenges for the organization, and that they are working to stabilize operations and will soon begin implementing more programing in the coming weeks.

Love STAA? Looking to volunteer or donate? Learn more at

Local Events Local News Non Profit Spotlight

Save the Date for Seersucker & Sazeracs: a St. Tammany Art Association Fundraiser

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staaseersuckersazeracThe St. Tammany Art Association is hosting a new fundraiser combining two classic icons of southern living – Seersuckers and Sazeracs – in an evening celebrating its members, old and new! This event features lively music by the NOLA Jitterbugs and to enjoy hors d’oeuvres from Northshore restaurants, Seersucker Summer Pilsner from Abita Brewing Company and the highlight of the event, New Orleans’ official cocktail, the Sazerac. Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door, which includes all food and drinks. Tickets may be purchased at the Art House or online at Event Brite or by going to, “Seersucker and Sazeracs” will be held Saturday May 16th, from 7 – 10 pm, benefiting the St. Tammany Art Association’s Art Programming. Learn more at