Museum moves to new location

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Grand opening to feature equine art

  • Some of the original art from the old bank will be on display in the museum’s new location. The drawings shown above are of different locations in Farmerville.Gazette photo by BYRON AVERY
    Some of the original art from the old bank will be on display in the museum’s new location. The drawings shown above are of different locations in Farmerville.Gazette photo by BYRON AVERY
  • This stained glass art, hanging in the lobby of the former bank building, now the new location for the Union Parish Museum of History and Art, will remain as a centerpiece for the facility. Leader photo by BYRON AVERY
    This stained glass art, hanging in the lobby of the former bank building, now the new location for the Union Parish Museum of History and Art, will remain as a centerpiece for the facility. Leader photo by BYRON AVERY
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Imagine a time when Native Americans roamed the piney woods, bayous and river banks of Union Parish. What sort of pioneers ventured into these woods and bayous? Are you curious about the settlement, establishment and ongoing history of this beautiful and resource-rich area that grew into this parish? Were some of those settlers your ancestors?

Would you like to know more about local artists, artisans and craftsmen? Would you like to learn a new art, learn about the history of this great parish and participate in some STEM and scientific activities? The Union Parish Museum of History and Art in Farmerville can answer all of these questions, stimulate the mind, and open your eyes to the art of local artists and artisans.

The Union Museum of History and Art has been housed inside the Union Parish Chamber of Commerce building since opening its doors in 2014. However, thanks to the philanthropy of Paul Coburn and Paul Danley, the Museum is moving into a new facility where its significance and contributions to the community of Farmerville and Union Parish can really shine.

The museum is now located at 211 N. Main Street in the former Origin Bank building, which was originally The Bank of Bernice. The building is the perfect setting for the museum. The new facility will allow for many more and larger art exhibits, classes, lectures, science displays, historical exhibits and artifacts. “The board of directors for the museum have poured months of thought and hard work into the decision to move into this new facility,” said Museum Manager Jean Jones. Those currently working on the project are Tom “Tuffy” Fields, Brittany Unkel, Carolyn Hanry, Beth Zachry, Fred Stewart, Jamie Sanson, and myself,” said Jones, “our docents will be actively participating as they prepare to guide visitors through the amazing exhibits in our new facility.” It is easy to see what a special place this will be for the citizens of Farmerville and Union Parish. With its many rooms and spacious exhibit areas this facility will be multifaceted. There will be rotating art exhibits, as well as permanent exhibits of Union Parish history, art and archeology. This new building will allow for more community involvement as well since there will be room for art, science, genealogy and many other classes and lectures. “This parish has a rich history that we have all been discovering over the past five years,” said Jones, “part of our mission statement has been ‘to instill pride of place’ for our fellow Union Parish residents by showcasing fascinating local people, their talents, and their stories.”

Grand Opening of the new and improved Union Museum of History and Art from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. March 13. This grand opening will be a daylong celebration of the new location and will spotlight its new exhibit, “For the Love of Horses.”

Featured in the “For the Love of Horses” exhibit will be 23 large paintings of running horses by renowned artist Hooshang of Ruston and photographs by Ashley Dison featuring horses from Indian Creek Thoroughbred Farms in Spearsville. Hooshang is an internationally-renowned artist with working studios in Ruston and California. “All areas of these paintings are designed to make the horses gallop ahead, trying to escape from the canvas,” said Hooshang as he described his work, “Every single color shows moving energy, each color melds with the next to handle this performance of power.”

In addition to these two talented artists, several horse enthusiasts will be contributing treasures for display, including Christina Adkins, Sherry Alexander, and Jon McKinnie.

“This new facility will give us the opportunity to build permanent collections of memorabilia that reflect the history and culture of this region,” Jones emphasizes, “We will also offer more classes and workshops for both adults and children. We want this to be an educational resource for our community.”