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Artist Spotlight: Ally Burguieres, the woman behind the brush

Written by  IntheNOLA.com
Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. Master’s degree in Journalism. Another master’s  in Language and Communication. A Ph.D. Professor of Media Arts. Contemporary artist and gallery owner.
 
Yep…this is all one person! An academic, writer, linguist, teacher, painter, and New Orleanian all rolled into one. And that one is Ms. Ally Burguieres, a contemporary artist with her very own gallery on Royal St. Certainly sounds like a woman who has it all!
Artist Spotlight: Ally Burguieres, the woman behind the brush | IntheNOLA.com
So how does one make his/her way through literature, journalism, language to painting and owning a gallery in New Orleans? Oh, that’s easy! While traipsing from Maryland to Oregon, and Europe to South America, Ally was always interested in art, but her various studies prevented her from pursuing it full-time. However, moving to Ireland for her Ph.D. changed all that. “While I was in Ireland, I was really into art because it was meditation, a way to take a break from the research and writing of my dissertation, but still be productive,” she said. “So I started putting all of my work online and selling it. As soon as I finished my dissertation, I was thinking about where I wanted to be next to be able to use everything I’d learned and opening a gallery came up.”
 
So Ally put down her artist roots right in our fair city (the birthplace of her father and where she spent countless summers and Mardi Gras holidays as a child). “My mom and I talked about it and decided to open up the gallery here in New Orleans. New Orleans was kind of a natural fit because the art scene is so good. There is such a good community of artists here and the culture really lends itself to art. We opened two years ago in the summer and it’s been great ever since.”
Artist Spotlight: Ally Burguieres, the woman behind the brush | IntheNOLA.com
Ally derives a lot of inspiration for her art from “Art Nouveau” (French for “new art”) and the Impressionist period. She describes her style as “colorful and linear with an almost graphic quality to it, as well as being very emotional and intuitive.” As a vegan, the content or subject matter of Ally’s art includes lots of animals. “I really care about animal welfare and I try to give back in that direction in terms of charities. I feel like a lot of what I do is paying homage to animals, wildlife, and the spirit of nature.”
 
And, of course, Ally can’t underestimate the influence of New Orleans on her art. “I’ve noticed that things I’ve painted since I’ve been in New Orleans were much easier to focus on color and to embrace it. I don’t know if it’s because of the art down here, the climate, the culture, or how open and friendly it is. Everything is so vibrant and colorful and I think I’ve started to mimic that in my paintings. I think New Orleans has had an effect on the color aspect, the vibrancy, and the movement because I try to capture that. There is so much personality in the city that it is easy to put that into paintings.”
Artist Spotlight: Ally Burguieres, the woman behind the brush | IntheNOLA.com 
She continued, “When I paint animals, I don’t like them to seem static or like still-lives because I really like the idea that they are in movement, that they have personalities and their own lives independent of what people project onto them. I like it when my work has a Zen quality because that’s how I feel when I’m painting it. That’s why I love painting so much, because it really is a meditation. I can sit in front of a canvas and paint for 12 hours straight and feel like I was in a zone the whole time.”
 
Unlike her foray into academia, Ally never had any formal training with painting. “When I was younger, I would get frustrated so very easily because my technical skills or knowledge about the material hadn’t caught up with what I had in my head. It took years of practice and pushing beyond the frustration to get me to the point where more often than not, I was able to translate what I saw in my head on to the canvas, which is really fun. It’s one of those things where looking back, it came with a lot of struggle.”
Artist Spotlight: Ally Burguieres, the woman behind the brush | IntheNOLA.com
Ally enjoys all the comforts the gallery affords her in terms of being able to connect with her customers. “The gallery has been amazing because when I used to sell my work online, I didn’t get to hear why a customer really connected with the piece. Now they come in the gallery and we’re able to talk about why they connect with a piece, where they want to put it, whether it’s a gift for someone, who they’re going to give to and why. It’s great being able to talk to people and see what pieces they respond to.”
 
One of Ally’s newest inventions is the Wish Dogs. With the Wish Dogs, “you write your wish on a piece of paper, then roll up the paper and put it in the Wish Dog's head. Light your wish on fire, and the Wish Dog will blow smoke out its mouth — making all your wishes come true!” And it’s not only Wish Dogs…Ally’s got a Wish Nutria, Wish Cat, Wish Giraffe, and many others!
Artist Spotlight: Ally Burguieres, the woman behind the brush | IntheNOLA.com
So whenever you’re down in da Quarters, be sure to stop by and holler at Ally Burguieres, her paintings, and Wish Dogs. We certainly hope all of Ally’s dreams come true…matter of fact, we’re gonna need her to make a Wish IntheNOLA!
 
For more information about Ally Burguieres, please visit her website, Facebook, Twitter, and at Gallery Burguieres (736 Royal St.).
Last modified on Thursday, 06 June 2013
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