Take a breather and see ‘Wild & Free’ at the HRAC


Chloe Williams/The Lion's Roar

The Wild & Free exhibition features work from female artists April Hammock, Denise Hopkins and Kimberly Meadowlark. Opening night of the exhibition occurred on April 16, and the display will remain in the HRAC until May 21.

The Hammond Regional Arts Center is currently hosting the Wild & Free Exhibition until May 21, featuring three Louisiana-based artists. 

HRAC’s online preview for this exhibition stated that each featured artist is known for bringing colorful life into their artworks without limitations. The three artists, April Hammock, Denise Hopkins and Kimberly Meadowlark, bring colorful pieces of art to the Hammond scene.

Tara Bennett, the center’s media coordinator, along with HRAC Board Member Jordan Kenning, chose these artists when told about the idea for this exhibit. 

“These artists came to mind when Executive Director Melissa Griffin pitched the concept of an exhibition that incorporated a ‘wildly colorful exhibition to usher in spring.’ Griffin and Kenning worked together to produce an exhibition that would celebrate the expressive use of color,” Bennett stated. 

The artwork of the artists brings out the vibrance and color of the spring season in very different styles when combined. 

Bennett noted how Hammock’s style is thick and layered with colors that can completely differ from Meadowlark’s pieces that tend to drip with emotion and use somewhat darker colors. Hopkins’ pieces tend to have a softer tone even though she works with palette knives. 

Baton Rouge-based artist Meadowlark utilizes her synesthesia, or hearing colors, in all of her works including the ones at the Wild & Free exhibit.

When discussing this neurological function Meadowlark said, “Synesthesia has always been a factor in every piece I create, even before I knew it was an actual thing. My neurologist was the one to educate me about it when he found I was an artist for a living.” 

Opening night for this exhibit went very well, according to Bennett. All of the artists were in attendance on April 16 and spoke to several of HRAC’s patrons as they arrived throughout the evening. 

“I was there for the opening reception and couldn’t be more pleased with how everything came together. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of your work and display your pieces in a satisfying manner that you’re comfortable with, but this team absolutely crushed it,” Meadowlark responded when asked about opening night. 

Featuring various artworks emphasizing vibrance and color, the Wild & Free exhibition commemorates the Spring season. The exhibit gave the three artists an opportunity to share their art with different interpretations. (Chloe Williams/The Lion’s Roar)

Bennett stated that a favorite of several guests that night was Meadowlark’s piece “5 a.m.” 

For this exhibit, Meadowlark wanted to work with architecture and geometry. She said she was open to bringing more 3-D elements into these pieces rather than the smoother abstracts that Meadowlark has leaned toward in the past. 

The Wild & Free exhibit gave Meadowlark, as well as Hammock and Hopkins, the opportunity to share their art in a completely different way than they have been able to since last year. This was their first major show since the pandemic began. 

Supporting artists who had to adjust their careers due to COVID-19 is something that everyone can join in on by checking out the Wild & Free Exhibit. 

“It would be a completely different experience seeing the art of these artists in real life rather than through a computer screen. The use of color and movement give it a sense of life that has to be seen with the naked eye,” Bennett noted to encourage people to come see the exhibit. 

While this exhibit will be coming to a close on May 21, there are still other events coming up at the Hammond Regional Art Center.

In June, HRAC will be displaying the work of Lafayette artist Dirk Guidry with his exhibition called “Circulate.” Check out the HRAC website for more information regarding the artists from this exhibit.