Hitnes, The Image Hunter: On the Trail of John James Audubon

1911 Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center

  • Dates: February 22, 2019 - April 27, 2019
  • Recurrence: Recurring weekly on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
  • Location: 1911 Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center
  • Time: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m
  • Price: Free

New Exhibit... "Hitnes, The Image Hunter: On the Trail of John James Audubon"
Opening Reception February 22
1911 Historic City Hall

Lake Charles, LA-1911 Historic City Hall Arts and Cultural Center will host an opening reception for Hitnes, The Image Hunter: On the Trail of John James Audubon on Friday, February 22 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The event is open to the public with free admission, and refreshments will be served.

The exhibition is a culmination of the work of Italian artist Hitnes, a muralist, printmaker and painter, who spends three months retracing the journey of John James Audubon over 200 years ago in the making of his 1813 book, Birds of America. Audubon spent decades tracking and drawing birds in hopes to catalog the wildlife of a young America. Hitnes' trek, which breathes new life into Audubon's work, resulted in paintings that are sharp, vivid pieces of naturalism.

In a video about the project Hitnes says, "I always wanted to know what it felt like to be an explorer or a naturalist in the 1800s." By following his exact cross-country path, Hitnes has recreated the visual documentation of Audubon's birds. Hitnes' exhibit not only discusses the meaning of devoting one's life to an obsession like Audubon, but also explores his own journey, and personal documentation. The exhibit also features the artifacts he found and a feature-length documentary of his trip.

His expedition in the summer of 2015 included 15 states, traveling from Florida to Louisiana and up through Pennsylvania and Ohio. Louisiana inspired some of Audubon's most memorable images, and Hitnes created two murals in New Orleans.

The exhibition is on display through April 27. Hitnes, The Image Hunter: On the Trail of John James Audubon was organized by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, College of Charleston School of the Arts.

While visiting Historic City Hall, do no miss Seen & Unseen in the Second Floor Gallery. This show features the work of iconic American photographer, Imogen Cunningham (1883-1976), who documented everything from the 1950s beat movement to Hollywood big names like Cary Grant.

Kenneth Baskin, Associate Professor of Visual Arts, has also put together a show of sculptural and thrown works representing a number of present students and McNeese alumni.McNeese State University Ceramic Students Past & Present is on view in the First Floor Gallery through April 13. Many of the works are for sale.

Historic City Hall is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are gladly accepted. Charlestown Farmers' Market is open on Bilbo Street behind the center every Saturday 8 noon. For more information, please call 491-9147 or visit