Lewis Kalmbach returned to his hometown of Shreveport this fall and opened Big Sun Studios as a hybrid art gallery and video production studio to expand the downtown arts community.
Kalmbach began his career in advertising before becoming an accomplished artist with galleries in Louisiana, California, Georgia, Florida and Mexico.
He loves renovating homes and once owned a flower shop that also served as an art gallery called Pick.
Kalmbach decided to retire where he grew up in Shreveport with his husband and son.
His nephew Julian Tizian is the video producer for Big Sun. He and his work partner Brad Negrotto work closely with Fairfield Studios to help local stores increase their social media presence.
âIt’s so much fun going to film someone and what they’ve done for the community and for themselves,â Tizian said. “It’s nice to work with fun people who have a cool and productive message to the world.”
Tizian spent the first 12 years of his life living in Germany until he and his mother found their way back to America. While studying film and television production in Connecticut, Tizian decided to return home to be with his family when his uncle fell ill and is now involved in running the gallery.
Kelly M. Ward was hired in September to be the gallery director and help with marketing. Ward and Tizian went to Caddo Magnet High School together and he recommended her for the job knowing that she graduated from LSU with an undergraduate degree in public relations and a master’s degree in art history.
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The plan is that the space can also host events like birthday parties, wedding rehearsal dinners, and workshop meetings. They also want to develop a close relationship with their neighbors and other members of the arts district, perhaps by organizing events together.
âWe want it to be a very welcoming, fun, positive and joyful, inclusive and safe space,â Ward said.
On display at Big Sun Studios now
Currently, the exhibit “DENOART: The Art of Dennis O’Bryant” occupies space at Big Sun. O’Bryant is affectionately known as DENO and is an American painter, sculptor, poet, and writer.
A native of Shreveport, he now creates compositions in his century-old home in Marshall, Texas, which serves as a home, studio and gallery. He mainly uses acrylic paint and often uses Sharpie markers, paper collages, and other mixed media.
The iconography of his work includes Caddo Lake, abstract compositions and the female form. His sculpted works of art are made of clay or metal and are usually abstract or showcase the human form. All the art objects and sculptures on display are for sale.
Big Sun Studios is located at 619 Edwards St. and is open Saturdays and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Meredith G. White is an arts and culture reporter for the Shreveport Times. You can find it on Facebook as Meredith G. White, on Instagram and Twitter as @meredithgwhite, and email her at [email protected]