Water, Sky, Earth, Air, paintings and photography by Jesse Poimboeuf and John Slaughter, respectively, opens tonight at the Frameshop & Gallery 912, 912 Coolidge Blvd., in Lafayette.

The opening reception is set for 6:30-8 p.m.

Both artists live in Grand Coteau and have been friends for 25 years, but this is the first show, other than group shows, that the two are showing together.

Poimboeuf's work is mostly acrylic and water color on paper. His previous work was about landscapes, but this time around his focus is birds.

"I lived away and when I moved back to Louisiana I think living within the landscape I kind of was able to focus more on the details," says Poimboeuf. "I live on Bayou Teche and so I see a lot of birds."

Poimboeuf says he'll use photographs and books for reference, but he prefers to do quick sketches of songbirds that he observes such as cardinals, blue jays, mockingbirds and painted buntings.

Poimboeuf says he'll do quick sketches of live songbirds - "I like them to be a little more lively than copying them out of a book," he says - before turning to a photograph or book where he'll "throw in detailed information from photos and books."

Some of the birds include cardinals, blue jays, mockingbirds, painted buntings and just this year, Baltimore orioles.

While the show is not a coordinated effort between the two artists, Slaughter's photographs concern the water and sky aspects of the show's name.

"If you want to jump beyond realism," says Slaughter, "then you have to look for something in the environment that's there, that's real, but something most people might see but not really looking at."

Slaughter's photos range from a west Texas sunset, to Wakulla Springs, S.C., and nearby Pecan Island Marsh. However, they're not the post card images that may come to mind.

"If you want to get beyond the realism, you want to get beyond that term without becoming a heavy duty manipulator," he says, and that means basically taking another look at what you're photographing.

"I'm bringing attention to details, and experiences in the environments," he says. "I'm not trying to recreate anything."

Roger Laurant, gallery owner says his studio also hosts Conversations, a series where artists talk about their work and then take questions. Poimboeuf and Slaughter will be at the next Conversations program Sunday, March 18,  3 p.m.

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