BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A vision to create a one-night-only art exhibit resulted in a new non-profit organization for the Baton Rouge art community.
Pop! Smart is the brainchild of local artist Neda Parandian. The first in what became a series of unique art shows debuted on June 4, 2015. The final show for 2015 will take place on Wednesday, December 2.
"Pop! Smart Show puts the spotlight on local artists, creators and inventors," explains Parandian. "They have their work on display at affordable prices to the public with a cirque de soleil-style performance in the background."
Traditional artwork is displayed alongside creative technology, all while performances are given by musicians, dancers and even a high-flying aerial display. The shows held at the Varsity Theatre attract a crowd as diverse as the artists who participate, which is all to the purpose of the event.
"The great challenge for artists is our work must resonate on many levels," said Parandian.
In the months since the concept was debuted, Pop! Smart has evolved.
"I recently had a meeting at the Mayor's office to discuss receiving resources for some of the entrepreneurs, artists and musicians that have been part of Pop! Smart," said Parandian. "In the eyes of the government, we need to be filed as a nonprofit in order to receive assistance."
Wednesday's show will serve as a bit of a benefit for the next generation of artists.
"We are inspired to raise awareness for disadvantaged youth by [collecting] art supplies for The Future Fund and The Walls Project."
Parandian's idea to collect supplies came from a recent conversation with a young man at an art show hosted at Anne Connelly's Art Gallery.
"I met one of the photography students by the name of Germaine, who had three photos. [One photo was of] a watch his mom gave him," Parandian recalled. "He pulled [the watch] out of his pocket and said 'this is one of the last things [my] mom gave [me] before she passed away.'"
Germaine told Parandian that he doesn't own a camera, but hopes to one day own one so he can purse his passion.
"A few years back the Arts Council offered small grants for just this type of scenario, but due to cut backs, only nonprofits can apply for grants through the Arts Council," explains Parandian. "I decided to invite him to participate in our Pop! Show and to donate my own professional photography camera to him."
Parandian hopes those who attend the show will show the same level of compassion by bringing art supplies to Wednesday's show.
"All paints, brushes, pens, markers, canvas, easels, watercolors, etc. will go to the Walls Project," she said when asked what type of supplies they are hoping to receive. "All electronics like cameras, printers, computers, software for digital artists or musicians will go to the Futures Fund."
A $2 discount is offered to those who bring supplies for donation to the show. General admission is $15. For more information visit www.popsmartshow.com.