One thing I love about downtown Shreveport is the hidden gems I find unexpectedly while walking around. It seems that any time I take a stroll, meet someone for lunch or rush off to a meeting I discover new places I never knew of before. A few months ago, I came upon a museum tucked away in the 600 block of Texas Street, nestled between the West Edge Arts District and historic governmental buildings. As I walked under the royal blue awning and past the dental hygiene classes taking place in the front of the building, I had no idea I would be captivated by what I saw next.
The Southern University Museum of Art at Shreveport, despite being small and somewhat hidden is bursting with magnificent story-telling collections that are both historical and entertaining. Ms. Carolyn Coatney was my tour guide on this adventure, and I must say, I’ve never laughed so much on a museum tour. She ushered me through one of the most extensive and fascinating collections of African and African-American art I’ve ever seen. From sculptures and statues made of mahogany to paintings, masks, photography and poetry, I was amazed that this incredible jewel of an attraction calls Shreveport-Bossier its home. And to think, I would have never known had I not taken the time to discover more of downtown Shreveport.
The Southern University Museum of Art at Shreveport is located at 610 Texas Street, Suite #110. It is free and open to the public. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information or to schedule a guided tour call (318) 670-6631.