My dad being a veteran we came to Columbus at age 6. I was a Boy Scout in this area and graduated from Caledonia High School. I've always had many interests such as nature, history, science, and other cultures.
My great aunt Mary Katharine Loyacono McCravey who passed at age 99 was a big influence in my life. As a kid, we would visit her house and she had a studio. It was a unique experience to have that kind exposure to a professional artist at a young age. In grade School my parents gave me a C.M. Russell catalogue from his museum in Great Falls MT. My art training from grade school to high school consisted of trying to draw pictures from C.M. Russell and various other artists as well as draw people, landscapes, and animals that I found interesting.
In college, I floundered around a bit looking for a direction. I dabbled in graphic design and history however after my first oil painting class I knew I was home. For a while, it seemed I was always hunting subject matter until a teacher wrote on a note in a critique a quote from Cezanne "Paint what you know, personal connections are the key." Since then I've always tried to use art to enrich my experience and understanding of the world around me.
After school, I taught art in several places but then got interested in psychology, and pursued art therapy. I was always interested in how people interact with art and how art enriches our lives and communities. I continue to look for way to serve my community through art.
If interested in more art, please follow Andre's Art on Facebook.
''Art is how we decorate space; Music is how we decorate time" ~unknown
"Locals" is a personal journey of the music I know from the Golden Triangle area, From Howlin Wolf to Willie King, the area has a long rich history. I would say my blues education started with my sister giving me the "From The Cradle" compact disc by Eric Clapton and my Dad, a guitarist, and a fan of Stevie Ray Vaughn. While I listened to them a lot in painting class my local education started with Keith and Margie Brown. I would go and listen to them at the "Blue Room" at the old Holiday Inn.
While I knew a little about the blues, I would say my true blues education started when I went to Graduate School in Kansas. Being away from home made you think of why home was unique. It was a way to get outside of it and look at it. This is when I started caring about the history and music of Mississippi, things I took for granted before I left. I started listening to blues like Howling Wolf, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy and B.B. King.
Upon returning from School, I remember going to the first Willie King Festival in about 2012. The group playing was the Old Memphis Kings at the Columbus Arts Council and then them playing at Station 7 which is now known as Thai By Thai. Another thing that happened around that time was I started hanging out at Cafe Aromas. They sponsored a local mic night and had local entertainment. I met the group Wayward Priest, Shane Tubbs, and Hayden Allen. The laid-back atmosphere at the coffee shop made it a great place for the musicians to interact with their audience.