FOUR ARTISTS FROM THE NEUTRAL STRIP: COMING HOME is an exhibit of the artwork of Isabelle Massart-Bursh, Tony McDonald, Rickie Smith and Joey Governale that opens at GALLERY ONE EIIIEVEN in Leesville on Saturday September 9 with a reception that evening at 6:00. This exhibit premiered at the Carrefour 2000 Hall, le Grau du Roi, France in July of 2022. The artists in this project hoped to not only expose their work to a new international audience, but to bring the largely unknown history of the Neutral Strip to those attending the exhibit in France.
The artists in this exhibit are very diverse in their backgrounds and their work. Isabelle Massart-Bursh is from Belgium and came to Louisiana in the CODIFIL program, teaching French in Louisiana schools. Tony McDonald also has a studio in Leesville, has exhibited his work at museums and exhibitions across the south, and was one of the first American artists to participate in the Havana Arts Biennial in Cuba in 2015. Rickie Smith is an award-winning photographer that has captured the essence and feel of performers behind the scenes at the Louisiana Jazz and Heritage Festival. Joey Governale is a graduate of Louisiana Tech School of Design, and his work has been featured at many festivals and events across the state.
Since the exhibit in France, this show has been featured at the Alexandria Museum of Art and at the Historic City Hall Cultural Center in Lake Charles. On September 9, 2023, a reception for “Four Artists from the Neutral Strip: Coming Home” will be held at GALLERY ONE EIIIEVEN in Leesville, where the exhibit will be up for 8 weeks. The reception will be catered by the Pilot Club of Leesville.