Paintings, photography and performances all are a part of Baton Rouge’s signature local art competition Art Melt.
Presented by Forum 35, a young professional philanthropic group that promotes cultural diversity, Art Melt is an annual competition among Louisiana artists.
The artworks, which generally include paintings, photography, sculptures, drawings and mixed media, are judged by a panel of three jurors and then displayed in an exhibit to the public, according to Rebecca Alexander, Art Melt chair and community engagement specialist for NOLA.com | The Times- Picayune.
The top three winners are selected, and each wins prize money. First place receives $2,000, second place $1,000 and third place $500. Alexander said this year they received 619 entries from about 400 different artists.
Art Melt kicks off its tenth year a six-week art exhibit at the Capitol Park Museum. The event also features live music by The Bedlamville Triflers, Hazy Ray, Captain Green and The Scorseses.
Alexander said the festival includes a stage for cultural performances such as theater, slam poetry readings and tribal belly dancing.
It also has an education panel that will be discussing topics such as artist ownership, technology and private versus public viewings of art.
Along with live performances, Art Melt will host various food trucks and local vendors selling crafts.
“It’s kind of meant to be an overall sensory experience for those that attend. We want you to eat the food, enjoy the local music, purchase crafts and jewelry from regional artisans, see an exhibit comprised of Louisiana artwork, et cetera,” Alexander said.
Art Melt also allows locals to purchase the art during the preview party on Friday evening at the Louisiana State Museum, which will showcase the artworks. It also includes dinner, an open bar, a performance by a quartet and an award ceremony. Tickets for the preview party are $75 per guest and $50 for Forum 35 members.
Alexander said Art Melt is an important event for local artists.
“In Art Melt’s 10 years, it’s been great to see the way certain people’s careers have launched after having their work shown at Art Melt,” Alexander said. “To have a piece of your work selected for the show is a prestigious thing, and it’s something to be honored and celebrated.”