Fellow Loyola grads unite in Freret Street rebirth, art gallery exhibition

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After recently renovating their small, local art gallery, Loyola University New Orleans alumni Renee deVille '96 and Jean-Paul Villere '96, are set to re-open the Du Mois Gallery next week with “Bathworks,” an exhibition by fellow Loyola alumnus Brett Reif '94. The opening reception is Saturday, Sept. 14 from 5 to 8 p.m. at 4609 Freret Street in New Orleans.

Influenced by the modern art movement, Arte Povera, Reif specializes in non-traditional media wall-work, sculpture and installation. “Bedlam Bath & Beyond” fuses common household materials and ordinary life activities with semi-exotic art textures, supplies and procedures. Reif is an associate professor at the Kansas City Art Institute.

Villere and deVille, married 15 years, were key players in the rebirth of the Freret Street corridor, having originally opened their visual arts space as the Du Mois Gallery in 2009. Jackson Flanagan '95, the contractor who renovated the new space, was a philosophy major at Loyola.

DeVille, a well-known paper conservator who exhibited last fall in the “Mentors” exhibit at Loyola, cites a sense of community as the motivating force behind opening the gallery.

“After Katrina, it was the community Jesuit spirit that drove me to dedicate many volunteer hours to assisting people in recovering their artwork outside of my conservation studio commitments,” deVille said. “It is this same drive to community that allowed us to open a visual arts space in the renewed Freret Corridor; the gallery celebrates community, real estate and art.”

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