On July 17, The Agora Borealis opens its distressed-chic doors to the public at 421 Lake Street for Cirque du Lake. The block will close to traffic from 4 to 8 p.m., hosting food trucks, live music, and street entertainers for the family. Tricia Stewart of Dallas will be selling organic cotton candy in flavors such as Marshmallow Rose; made from crystallized fruit and delicious ingredients like rose water.
With the main focus being hand-picked, locally crafted art and goods, The Agora Borealis will serve as a place to educate the public about local artists and reducing waste by recycling. Skylights provide natural light to reduce energy costs and nearly everything for sale has been thrifted, picked, donated, and upcycled. Dilapidated doors are converted to room dividers and given a fresh, distressed look by Brandon Goodgion while Brandi Cade does taxidermy makeovers. There is opportunity to purchase furniture, art, jewelry, and someday even food.
Owner Katy Larsen dreamt of having an art commune in the country, but the realization of this dream takes place in the heart of Shreveport to be more accessible to the community. Cultural resources being one of her three minors from LA Tech, Larsen wants to preserve and restore the former Lake Street Dance Hall, giving it an exciting sense of community purpose.
Behind the building, there is plenty of parking and room to stand and admire the murals painted by Danielle Miller. Inside, bricks are exposed on parts of the wall, with visible horsehair used in the mortar being “locked in time,” as Larsen says. The blue green swirls on the floor are reminiscent of the colors of the aurora borealis, the inspiration behind the 3,000 square foot space. Larsen’s father told her that agora is Greek for marketplace, and borealis means northern, so she says the name came naturally.
The Agora Borealis will provide a one-of-a-kind place to demonstrate how local art will look in your home with furniture and art staged in mock rooms. Larsen prefers a Bohemian style, but she wants people to try new and unusual pieces in their homes.
Instead of stocking shelves with imports, Larsen is taking an active role as the owner and handpicking the pieces that will be displayed for sale, there is no “booth rental” here. No need to wait for the next festival to buy local art and goods, as The Agora Borealis will be open year-round, with features such as an Artist of the Month, classes, and seminars hosted by local and visiting artists. Eventually, there will be a space for visiting artists to stay for free and set up shop.
Anyone who wants to share their work, knowledge, or volunteer their time is welcome to contact Larsen at theAgoraBorealis@gmail.com. Keep up with The Agora Borealis’ developments on their Facebok Page, and look out for their 1967 VW Microbus with the logo!