Bossier Parish Community College is honored to host “Greetings from Shreveport/Bossier City – Urban Sketches by a Local Tourist,” an art exhibit by local artist and architect Mike McSwain, from June 20 through July 19 in the Donna Service Art Gallery, located on the College’s campus at 6220 E. Texas St. (Building A – first floor), Bossier City, LA.

“‘Greetings from Shreveport / Bossier City – Urban Sketches by a Local Tourist’ is a collection of urban sketches that showcase the unique flavor of OUR cities,” says McSwain. “This series allowed me to take what is a vacation staple, travel sketching, and apply it to my cities!  These drawings helped develop a new sense of appreciation for the place I live and work in. By treating Shreveport/Bossier City like a place I was vacationing in, I was able to look at these familiar cities in a completely new light. Where did I want to go today – what places did I want to capture with ink and watercolor? Thinking like this opened my eyes to the beauty all around me, which is something I hope the other locals will be able to see in this work.”

When asked to describe himself, McSwain says, “I’m Mike McSwain. I draw pictures.” As a young boy growing up in Houston, TX, his favorite pastime was exploring the big city streets by bicycle. “The close proximity of my house to the downtown skyscrapers, the Astrodome, and museum district allowed exposure to fascinating architecture, art, and culture. I fondly recall my dad taking me to the Astro Hall (connected to the Astrodome) every year for the travel convention where I would collect brochures illustrating far off lands and adventures and dream of the day I would experience them firsthand. As a child, I would also fantasize about designing whimsical structures, and that dream only intensified during college. While studying architecture at Texas Tech, I gained an even greater appreciation for the magnificent landmarks that punctuate our planet, and became even more determined to see them in person. My world travels began a mere fifteen years ago, yet have produced volumes of sketches and endless inspiration for my designs. By studying the architectural design/details of churches, museums, parks, houses, and public spaces throughout the world, I have not only broadened my perspective, quite literally, but also gained a worldview of architecture that has immeasurably enriched my professional career as an architect. An added bonus, much to my joy, is that this fascination with the constructed spaces of various countries has evolved into a unique outlet for my art as well.”

Opening Reception for the exhibit will be held from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm on Thursday, June 20 at the Gallery.  McSwain will attend and sign 100 artist-approved copies of a special BPCC print previously sketched by him. Only 100 will be printed, and they will be sold that night for $100 each. All proceeds will benefit the BPCC Foundation. Other original works will be available to purchase, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the BPCC Foundation. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served.

The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public. The Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am – 4:00pm.

The Donna Service Gallery at Bossier Parish Community College is named in honor of Service, a professional artist and former art instructor at the College. The gallery displays up to six exhibitions, annually, focusing on works by both professional artists and students. While at BPCC, Ms. Service encouraged her students to interact with the broader art scene in Shreveport-Bossier by involving them in projects throughout the region.  Her legacy continues with the activities of the gallery, and while she is no longer with us, she is widely remembered as an inspiration to her colleagues and students, alike.