The New Southern is not only capturing the current creative economy making its way across the United States, but it’s also giving a voice to the strong female pioneers that are defining the shifting landscape. One of which is Logan Ledford, a talented abstract artist whose work is a shining example of the inspiring females from coast to coast who are blazing their own trail.
It’s not surprising that an artist born and raised in Louisiana would use a lot of vibrant hues. “New Orleans lives in color, it’s flowing from every corner,” says Ledford of the way she takes inspiration from her surroundings. Her work is bold, graphic, minimal, and textural, an approach to abstract design that’s characterizing of the new Southern style movement.
Unlike any others, her canvases are commonly arranged in a grid formation, bright and brilliantly painted. Her work has caught my eye, as well as the eyes of a number of clients and galleries. You can find her pieces at the New Orleans Museum of Art, VanGuard Gallery, the Aquarium Gallery, The Print Shop, Katie Koch Home, BMAC Interiors, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Lilac Gallery in New York City.
Here, I sat down with the up-and-coming artist to get her take on what it means to be a rising artist in the South.
Alyssa Rosenheck: What trends are you seeing with Southern style across the country?
Logan Ledford: People are including art within their everyday style and interiors; it’s not just for the walls anymore. I’m seeing artwork being turned into fabric, a hand-painted chair, a sculpture that doubles as a light fixture, drink trays, and a beaded clutch. Art, and the way artists are producing their art, is changing in a big way, and you see that coming to light in today’s contemporary interiors.
AR: What are some of your favorite hometown design boutiques?
LL: Hands down Katie Koch Home on Magazine Street. She knows how to mix traditional, mid-century modern, and contemporary like a pro. She has some of the most interesting interior furnishings, art, and objects in the city. She also was the first person in the city to show my work, which was very exciting.
AR: Even though you don’t use a lot of it in your work, every artist has their favorite shade of white and black paint. What’s yours?
LL: Benjamin Moore Base White Advanced High Gloss and Benjamin Moore Onyx Advanced High Gloss.
AR: What motto do you live by?
LL: Don’t get your panties in a bunch.
AR: What’s the one shade that changes everything?
LL: Fluorescent red, but it’s not as “red” as it sounds. It’s more of an orangey pink—exciting, bright, and unexpected. It pairs well with hunter green, light blue, silver, and portrait pink.
AR: What’s a piece of advice you’ve received that changed everything?
LL: Remember, not everything is perfect or will fall into place just the way you want it to. Be patient with yourself and others, and learn to let things go.
AR: What about in design?
LL: Edit and seek out critiques of your work. And I love what Coco Chanel said, “before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.”
AR: Who are some of your favorite fellow artists and makers?
LL: Oh gosh, there’s so many and I’m constantly changing favorites. Right now I love Phillip Low, Ray Geary, and Mark Lovejoy because they’re using color in exciting and unexpected ways.
AR: Fill in the blank, “my momma always said…”
LL: It’s all going to be OK.
AR: What’s one of your career goals or dream project/client?
LL: I’d love to create a painting for Iris Apfel; she is just heaven.
AR: What’s a new spin on an old Southern tradition?
LL: In the South, no home is complete without a lovely little bar sporting a variety of sips and vintage cocktail glasses. For a twist on the tradition, I like to include a little art on the bar. I’ve seen artists who are painting on liquor/champagne /wine bottles and then adding it to the bar. It creates a great pop amongst the other bottles and barware.