Living Ind

Art and Commerce

by Mary Tutwiler

Bridge Gallery in Breaux Bridge is bridging the gap between artists and patrons.

More is more, when it comes to the art business.

That's the philosophy of Ginger Olivier and Dale Ziegler, owners of a trio of arts-related enterprises all housed under one roof on Main Street in Breaux Bridge.

Their newest conception, Bridge Gallery, occupies 6,000 square feet of loft space above Impressions, a print design and marketing company, and Impressive Art, which sells photographs, reproductions of drawings and paintings and specialty items like post cards and T-shirts sporting artwork. Their interest in offering quality printing for artists sparked the pair to provide a showcase for their customers, many who had never exhibited in a gallery.

Breaux Bridge artist and UL art teacher Troy Dugas was brought in to set up the gallery and curate the first show, which brought together 30 regional artists. "A lot of the artists exhibiting here are older people who are just beginning their careers," Dugas says. "Many of them haven't shown before. They're outsider artists, and they bring a freshness to the art scene." Dugas says outsider artists are self-taught.

There are established artists showing as well, such as the late Eugene Martin, sculptor Kelly Guidry and Dugas himself. Part of the beauty of the concept, according to Olivier, is that for artists who don't want to part with their originals, or buyers who would prefer a less expensive piece of art, the printing capabilities of the downstairs businesses allow artists to offer copies for pennies on the dollar. "We're helping artists market their work," Olivier says.

Dugas is developing a Web site that will offer digital wall space for exhibiting artists at Bridge Gallery. "It's one more way," he says, "of getting their artwork out into the world."

For more information, call Bridge Gallery at 332-5455 or visit its Web site at