you might see some familiar faces along the walls of Local delivery on your next trip. The faces of Frida Kahlo, Harry Styles and Betty White smile at the shoppers of a new art installation. Artist Cora Barhorst, also known as Cora B. Galleryteamed up with the Mid City boutique to bring the special display of her well-known circle portraits.
The installation, called FLOURISH, features a variety of portraits hand-picked by Sarah Guidry and Meredith Waguespack, owners of Barhorst and Local Supply. You will see some influential Louisiana faces such as Louis Armstrong along with other Southern icons such as Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton.
“Flourish was the word I used to describe the entire collection of pieces,” says Barhorst. “I was trying to find out how they came together and what they meant to me. I really wanted to show how supporting local businesses and creators and investing in our community can make something really special and support everyone in the process.”
Guidry says she and Waguespack always envisioned having art installations in Local Supply. There is a white wall in the shop that has been intentionally left blank to allow local artists such as Barhorst to display a full display of their work in the shop.
“We’ve always known we wanted to keep the wall big and white so we could show changing artists their work,” says Guidry. “Cora was at the top of our list. She’s such a great person and, on top of that, such a great artist. … I just let her do her thing, and I didn’t know much for two months. Then everything started to fall into place.”
The shopable installation will be on display through Christmas, unless it is sold out before then. Some of the portraits have already been sold, but the entire display will remain on the wall for another three weeks before customers can take their painting home. Each painting also features a smaller but identical art print, which can be purchased from Local Supply.
As an artist, Barhorst thanks stores like Local Supply and Sweet Baton Rouge for helping her get started. While starting her art business in college, Barhorst prepared a lot of merchandise to sell in pop-up markets. But the pandemic soon cut off most of her chances of selling to customers in person. Sweet Baton Rouge allowed her to sell her merchandise, prints and key chains during the Christmas season of 2020.
“That was a saving grace for my business because as a young person I was still in college and I had invested hundreds of dollars, and then all the markets were cancelled,” she says. “That gave me a crazy opportunity to go ahead and not have all these extra things after Christmas, and it worked phenomenally. My art has been in Sweet Baton Rouge and now in Local Supply.”
Sweet Baton Rouge had Barhorst make a portrait of Dolly Parton, which still hangs in the shop. When Local Supply opened, Barhorst made a piece by Britney Spears from leftover wall paint from the store. This painting is included with the installation but is not for sale with the rest.
The portraits in FLOURISH vary in size and feature embellishments such as crystals and pearls encased in a glossy layer of resin that makes each painting sparkle. Most celebrities are surrounded by a background that represents them, such as Harry Styles surrounded by the fruit of his famous songs and Coco Chanel surrounded by bottles of the iconic Chanel No. 5 fragrance.
This installation also contains some nods to Local Supply, including a portrait of Kanye West because Guidry is a big fan of the rapper. In completing this project, Barhorst used more of Local Supply’s wall paint in green and pink to give the installation more coherence with the store. Barhorst says she took additional inspiration from the products sold in both Sweet Baton Rouge and Local Supply.
“They’ve always had their finger on the pulse of what people think is important,” she says. “I got a lot of guidance from the merchandise they often carry. We wanted to do something for everyone and for all age groups.”
Check out the entire installation Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm. Local Supply is 1509 Government St., Suite F.
Go to her to see more work by Barhorst art website or follow her Instagram to see some behind the scenes moments of the making of FLOURISH.