Music Educator, pianist, composer - 20+ years
Talented Music teacher/evaluator, Grant writer, arts administrator, curriculum development, pre K-12, college. Music publisher/composer/performer with ASCAP
" Improvisation is at the nature of all my music - creating beautiful melodies with jazz harmonies in a soothing, quiet piano solo. "
Original Piano Solo Albums:
"Clouds" - Rozier Press 2016
"Watercolors" - Rozier Press 2008
"Impressions" - Rozier Press 2005
Spotify: Rebecca Waller Gillan, Rebecca Gillan Radio
Pandora: Rebecca Waller Gillan, Rebecca Gillan Radio
Reverbnation: Rebecca Waller Gillan
FB: Rebecca Waller Gillan
Melanie Hayno graduated from Southeastern La University in 1985 with a BA in theatre and a minor in visual arts. She worked with Playmakers Theatre as a director and set designer until she moved to Ponchatoula in 2016. Then she joined the board of directors at Swamplight Theatre where she currently works primarily as a scenic artist. Hayno directed The Dining Room in 2020 and will be directing Death Trap in 2023.
“I work on many forms including canvas, slate, wood, and metals with acrylic, charcoal, pastels and some oil. My influences are my friends, nature and art.”
MUSICIAN / SINGER
Nicknamed "Rex", Robert Henderson currently plays and sings with the band Trio. He specializes in the guitar both acoustic and amplified in a wide variety of genre of music. “I have a deep appreciation for meaningful lyrics in well written songs.”
PHOTOGRAPHER / ACTOR
Lockwood is a photographic artist who loves to perform as an actor. She is also a scientist and teacher who has studied whales and worked” in fisheries in the Bering Sea and off the coast of California.
“My personal work I call "Crossings" This work uses overlapping images on film and attempts to recreate the image remaining in our minds after we travel to or through a place. We do not just remember one picture, but it becomes a cacophony of overlapping images and emotions on our mental canvas.”
Joan Murray is a retired CEO of a small rural hospital who, through her non-traditional style of leadership, successfully saved the failing facility from closure. She considers her most significant accomplishment of building a new state-of-the-art replacement hospital for the community of St. James Parish. She began her career in healthcare as a Registered Nurse after graduating from Charity Hospital School of Nursing in 1972. Since nursing was always Joan's passion, she continued practicing as a private holistic nurse after retiring. She was certified by the Art and Science International Academy as an Aura Soma practitioner. Aura-Soma is a non-intrusive and self-selective system in which color is the key. The energies of color surround humans for all to see and feel. Joan believes that her love for color is one reason she was so attracted to the desire to paint. She believes that more than we realize, color is a crucial ingredient in forming our feelings and attraction towards something that the color energies represent. She thinks that is the reason why particular works of visual art attract each of us differently. On March 11th, 2022, Joan started a company dedicating its profits from selling her art to provide critical support for people who suffer from the financial devastation of surviving a long-term illness.
"I found my passion for art when my grief counselor, an art therapist, encouraged me to process my grief through art after the sudden deaths of my husband and son. Colors are not perceived merely visually; color evokes a different response in each of us. Vibrant color is the perfect medium to ease the darkness of our souls. Thick impasto makes it the ideal medium for form and texture, affording touch for the sightless. My work is an examination of how stimulating our senses help us to live in the present moment. Painting is my practice of surrendering to that moment. I paint for joy and beauty, to help from the sorrows of loss to color a world of darkness. My diverse collection of art beckons the heart and soul, intending to express a blessing.”
Faith Allen Peterson has danced for 23 years (and counting). She danced competitively for over 10 years and is trained in the following dance styles: ballet, contemporary, modern, lyrical, musical theatre, jazz, tap, and hip-hop. She began assistant teaching at Steppin Out School of Performing Arts (where she danced for 10+ years) around age 16 and has been teaching dance ever since. At present, she is starting her seventh-year teaching ballet at Fellom Ballet Legacy. In addition, she has judged auditions and taught dance camps at several local dance studios in Ponchatoula and the surrounding area. While in college, Peterson received her bachelor’s degree in General Studies with a Dance Concentration as well as her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Psychology. She was a member of the Southeastern Louisiana University (SLU) Dance Department and Dance Performance Project where she choreographed and performed in several dance productions and attended the American College Dance Association conference in 2014 and 2015. Peterson is a 15-year member of local performance company, B.C. Fields Dance Company. During her time in B.C. Fields, she has performed several lead roles and choreographed pieces in several productions.
“Dance is more than just the physical part of the art, but rather the emotional elements that you bring to the table. I am inspired by the emotions evoked through music and lyrics, interpreting those emotions into physical movement that everyone can relate to. When you watch me dance or my choreography, I want you to feel something. Let the music and movement take you somewhere new, exciting, and powerful.”
Fred is retired from a long career of technical and analytical work. Now he's using the other side of his brain to pursue artistic endeavors.
"I paint for enjoyment and have only sold two of the close to one hundred paintings I've done. Originally, I focused on landscapes, but now I enjoy painting my granddaughters and friend's grandchildren. I'm inspired by anyone or anything or place that begs to be captured on canvas. As Leonardo da Vinci said, 'A beautiful body perishes, but a work of art dies not.' "
Kim Howes Zabbia, a lifelong resident of Ponchatoula, LA, is an author, artist and teacher. With a B.A. in English and Journalism from SLU and an M.F.A. in Studio Art from LSU, Zabbia retired in 2007 from Ponchatoula High School with thirty-three years of teaching experience. As a painter, Zabbia has had 24 solo exhibitions since 1990. Currently represented by Ariodante Gallery on Julia Street in New Orleans, Zabbia had a 24-year Retrospective exhibit at the Pensacola Museum of Art in 2014.
Author of Painted Diaries: a Mother and Daughter’s Experience through Alzheimer’s (Fairview Press, 1996, Zabbia’s newest book, Just Paint, It Ain’t: the Complex Marriage of Artists and their Viewers, was published in 2019.Chair of Ponchatoula’s Public Arts Commission for six years and a member of the Louisiana State Arts Council for two, Zabbia received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Northshore Regional Endowment for the Arts in 2007 and an Art Education Endowment was begun in her name. She is currently the President of the Board of Twin Steeples Creative Arts Center in Ponchatoula.
“When I work, I open my mind to allow the subject matter to evolve from within. The paint and I are in constant dialogue. I have my ideas; the paint has her own. It takes strength on my part to let the paint win, not to judge or second-guess it, because I know that the paint will reveal my lifelong struggle between freedom and control and the depths of my subconscious which I would prefer to hide.”