LOUANNE   LaROCHE

     "My artwork reflects a significant sense of my community and my response to these connections as they are being lost, displaced or diminished. There is a communion of spirit between an intimate glance towards a gesture, event or place and the process of documenting this relationship on paper or canvas. I am also interested in collaborating with clients on site-specific commissions or documenting a place, person, animal or event."

     The Lowcountry of South Carolina has been my home since 1977. I grew up in Pittsburgh raised by Southern parents dedicated to providing opportunities they did not have growing up. My public high school, Mt. Lebanon High, had a dedicated fine arts and theater department spurring me on to earn my BFA from Carnegie Mellon University.


     My childhood passion for folklore, spirituality, Africa (ok… Tarzan), and all things exotic fueled my desire to participate in a transcontinental camping expedition my junior year. This took me through the heart of Africa. This began a series of adventures which lead me through Africa, Asia, Europe, India, Nepal, Mexico, Belize, and back to the Lowcounty. I guess it is in my DNA. In the 1700’s my direct descendants were some of the founding Fathers of Georgia spreading out to Beaufort and surrounding areas. I have come full circle.


     My family vacationed on Hilton Head Island, SC beginning in the late 1960’s. I found the experience of this area nurturing. It was always inspiring to visit The Red Piano Galley, meet artists, and explore. My Parents bought a second home in Sea Pines. Between my traveling I moved to Hilton Head where I managed several gallery and craft businesses. 


     In 1980 my family purchased, The Red Piano Gallery.  I am indebted to the "Artists of the Roundtable ( Joe Bowler, Coby Whitmore, Joe De Mers, Ralph Ballantine, Katie Hodgman, Aldwyth, George Plante, Marge Parker, Elizabeth Grant, Tua Hayes, Ray Ellis, and Walter Greer)." Their friendship, mentoring and artwork have had a tremendous influence in my life and the quality of my artwork. Their critiques along with other artist relationships have helped me stay focused and develop as an artist.


     Participating on the lecture committee of the Hilton Head Art League gave me a chance to be in contact and develop relationships worldwide. The founding women of the Art League were a huge support to me. Nancy Hewett introduced me to Sam Doyle (self taught St. Helena artist). I became a collector of Mr. Doyle's work exhibiting his and other self taught artists in many major exhibitions worldwide. My relationship with St Helena Island and as a board member of Penn Community Center has been profound. A series of my artwork reflects those experiences."