By Lee Merrill
hreveport has a cultural hotspot that art lovers won’t want to miss. Tucked in Uptown Shreveport, 318 Art Co. is bursting with the color, texture, and creativity Louisiana is known for. Owner and curator Cassie Stone opened the shop with small beginnings and big dreams in 2018. “The shop stemmed from me wanting a career change.” Stone said. “My work in corporate America required lots of travel, and I was tired of waking up in hotel rooms. I took a sabbatical year to figure out what I wanted to do next and spent a lot of time in New Orleans. I fell in love with all the art and culture there. I just knew if women in Shreveport had the opportunity to visit a place that housed a collection of all the things I had grown to love, it would be successful.”
Stone got busy making connections with Louisiana artists and learning all she could from them. “I figured out how we could work best with artists to get their fine art and artisanal products, pottery, soaps, sculptures…you name it…to Shreveport. They believed in what we were doing and allowed us to bring in their beautiful work. We started in the tiny 600 square foot space, which is now our frame shop and grew from there.”
Today, 318 Art Co. represents more than 75 Louisiana artists and artisans who create unique pieces from a variety of mediums and styles. They strive to make art accessible to everyone, so they welcome art lovers with all style preferences and budgets. Customers can find original art pieces from both established and emerging Louisiana artists.
As a way to spread the word about Louisiana art, 318 Art Co. has stepped into the wholesale business where they offer products that feature the artwork of Louisiana artists. Shops across the country can now have a touch of Louisiana on display.
318 Art Co. hosts many events and workshops featuring artists and authors. Interactive art classes are also available. These events are an excellent way for fellow art lovers to connect and become mutually inspired.
The shop has sculptures by Joseph Barth, who is featured at the Smithsonian. Shoppers can experience the character-filled architecture of New Orleans with Tamar Taylor’s sculptures of shotgun houses. Good JuJu dolls made by Tressie Jordan of New Iberia are a whimsical spin on voodoo dolls. Each doll has a name and a positive story to share good fortune with its owner.
The walls at 318 Art Co. are adorned with art for every eye. Acrylics by A. Julien, Ted Bertrand, and Valerie Marze. Watercolors by Kristi Jones and Emily Welch. Mixed media by Paige Powell and Peggy Calahan. Oils by Susan Duke and Caroline Youngblood. These are just a sampling of what 318 Art Co. has to offer.
A seemingly unlimited collection of Louisiana-inspired gifts and decor are available: soaps, hand-painted wine glasses, colorful stationery, painted kitchen linens, ceramic oyster pottery, hand-blown glass, and much more.
The shop’s website shares its mission: “318 Art Co. believes art is not just about aesthetics – it’s also about connecting with the community and celebrating our shared cultural heritage. That’s why we are committed to fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment where everyone can feel at home and inspired by the power of art.”