The mission of the Baton Rouge Gallery is to advance local & national contemporary artists and to engage Louisiana's capital city through unique cultural programming.
The History of Baton Rouge Gallery
In 2016, Baton Rouge Gallery - center for contemporary art ("BRG") is celebrating fifty years of art exhibitions and programming, all aimed at bringing together artists and audiences in the Greater Baton Rouge area.
The nonprofit gallery actually had its beginnings in a private, for-profit, artist cooperative gallery called Unit 8 Gallery. A year after Unit 8's opening, the eight artists who founded the gallery welcomed four additional local artists to their ranks, incorporated as a nonprofit organization and Baton Rouge Gallery was born.
Ever since, BRG has been proud to showcase the work of professional artists including some of the best from Baton Rouge and Louisiana's contemporary art community. Over the past five decades, some of the most admired visual artists have shared their work on the walls at BRG. Artists like Caroline Durieux, Edward Pramuk, James Burke, Frank Hayden, Paul Dufour, Janice Sachse and many more were there at the inception of the gallery and helped lay the foundation for a new avenue for art to be experienced in Baton Rouge. Many would follow in their footsteps and help build BRG as a true forum for the artists of our community, including Samuel J. Corso, Judi Betts, Randell Henry and others.
In 1984, BRG entered into a cooperative endeavor agreement with BREC, the parks and recreation department of East Baton Rouge Parish, that would see the organization relocate to its current home in City Park. The two organizations have partnered ever since, working together to make quality art accessible to the community for more than 30 years. The pavilion within which BRG is housed was originally the pool house for City Park, built in the late 1920's, and was closed in 1963.
Today, BRG offers new contemporary art exhibitions on a monthly basis featuring professional local and (occasionally) national artists with opening receptions on the first Wednesday of each month. BRG also offers a wealth of cultural programming that bring visitors face-to-face with contemporary art across disciplines, including film, poetry, dance, music and more. Art exhibitions at BRG typically feature current works of its artist members (except during the months of January and April, when it hosts special juried exhibitions). In any given exhibition, you might see the work of photographers, painters, sculptors, stained-glass artists, printmakers, ceramicists, multi-media and/or installation artists.
One of the things that sets BRG apart from other similar galleries/museums is that it has maintained some of its identity as an artist cooperative, meaning that only the artists have the authority to welcome new artists to join the gallery and only the artists have the ability to excuse an artist from the gallery. Today, BRG is actually the longest-standing artist cooperative organization in the United States. The aim has been to give a different view of quality contemporary art in our area, as opposed to the viewpoint of a single curator or gallery owner.
BRG has been honored to be a part of the growth Baton Rouge has seen over the past 50 years, both as a city and as a community with a developing appreciation for the arts.
We look forward to the next 50 years of art exhibitions and programming at BRG and hope you will join BRG in continuing to promote the arts in Louisiana's capital city.
Baton Rouge Gallery - center for contemporary art is supported through community memberships, BREC, the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, The Office of Cultural Development, 89.3 WRKF and the Community Fund for the Arts.