Arts Center Staff

Melissa Griffin was born and raised in Tangipahoa Parish. She holds a degree in Communication from Southeastern Louisiana University. Over the years, she has pursued professional development opportunities—through classes and mentors—to further her education and understanding of her passion: nonprofit marketing and management. She’s volunteered and supported organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association, Loaves of Fishes Soup Kitchen, Children of Destiny, and 90.9 FM KSLU. Melissa’s career path has taken her to locations across southern parts of the U.S. and allowed her to hold many different positions including radio producer, downtown event coordinator, business development and marketing manager, and even, executive director of the Hammond Regional Arts Center (2011-2013). Melissa returns to us with a renewed passion for her home-town community and looks forward to the challenges of managing an organization that contributes to the enrichment of people’s lives through culture and the arts. Along with her husband Josh and their young son, Melissa is happy to be back home in Hammond.

Tara Bennett is the Media Coordinator for the Hammond Regional Arts Center. A graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University, Ms. Bennett has worked extensively in the theatre department as an actor, makeup designer, and publicist. In 2012, she obtained her Master's degree in Organizational Communication, focusing on news media and social media. Sinceaccepting her position in April 2014, Ms. Bennett has applied her extensive education to the application of modern technologies to increase the HRAC presence in print, radio, and online media. In her spare time, Ms. Bennett is an involved member of the Hammond arts community as an active alum of Southeastern's chapter of Alpha Psi Omega, serving on the board for the Hammond Horror Festival, and dancing as a member of La LA Tribal Belly Dance.

Jose Canales was born and raised in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. In 2013 he moved to Hammond, Louisiana and obtained a bachelor's degree in Graphic Design at Southeastern Louisiana University . After working for one year in the industry, Jose returned  Southeastern Louisiana University and graduated with a Masters in Business Administration. Although he greatly enjoys the ins and outs of the business world, he considers himself first and foremost and artist. Jose's higher level education might have started within digital media, but he is also an avid screen printer and enjoys pursuing new hobbies's such as playing the harmonica and learning the Russian language. 

Board of Directors

Lacy Landrum (Board President)
Lacy Landrum grew up in windy west Texas, graduated from Texas Tech University, and then left Lubbock to pursue a Ph.D. in Technical Communication at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. During that pursuit, she began writing grants for nonprofits, taught classes and coordinated a statewide fire safety program for people with disabilities. She moved to Hammond shortly after Katrina, finally found home, and began working for the City as a grants writer. She was promoted to Director of Administration in September of 2014, has served with two mayors, and absolutely loves helping to run the city. When she moved to Hammond, she rented an apartment next door to the Hammond Regional Arts Center and promptly began volunteering and writing grants for the center. She is honored to serve on the Board and to promote the value of arts throughout the region.
 
Brandon Mulina (Board Vice President)

Brandon Mulina has been involved with Hammond Regional Arts Center since 2006 and joined the board in 2016. Brandon is the Customer Service Mananger for Dixie RV Superstores. He also volunteers as an adviser for Theta Chi Fraternity at Southeastern. He loves to share what the Arts Center has to offer the community and is working to expand the platforms of art offered even further with music, theatre and dance.

 
 
Jordan Kenning (Secretary)
Jordan Kenning is a Studio Art and Art History Educator from Lockport, LA. From a very young age, he was heavily influenced by his mother Allison Comardelle Kenning’s extensive music teaching legacy as well as the painting and sculpting expertise of his Grandmother Lourie Breaux, who was a student of Henry Hensche. Jordan is one of the early graduates from Southeastern’s Art History, Theory, and Criticism concentration launched by the illustrious Dr. Irene Nero. He began studying the relationships between art, architecture, and automotive design while traveling throughout Europe and especially while in Germany; these relationships continue to be a main intellectual interest. Currently, Jordan teaches Art I-IV, Fine Art Survey and is the Visual Art Society sponsor at Loranger High School. If he’s not hiking or kayaking, Jordan loves to explore the Northshore with his wife (also named Jordan) and their son, Atticus.
 
Alvon Brumfield (Board Treasurer) was born in Hammond LA. His first home was with an Aunt that lived between Robert LA and Ponchatoula LA. At a young age he was a world traveler, frequently living in other countries. Always returning to Tangipahoa parish, between adventures and for summers with relatives. After graduating from Amite High School he embarked on adventures as an adult. First as a US Marine, then other branches of the military, adding two more continents and many countries to his list of cultural experiences. Often attending college classes wherever his adventures took him, collecting degrees and certifications in engineering and electronics. After leaving the military he worked for hi-tech companies like Intuit (Quicken/Quickbooks). He worked several years at Apple Computer as a Genius, that was his actual job title.In 1995 a friend took him to a Renaissance Festival. He immediately said this is awesome! I want one of these in Louisiana. After five years of preparation he and one other business partner opened the Louisiana Renaissance Festival. The year 2014 marks its 15th year in business. The Ren-Fest brings in approximately 600 people to produce one of the most artistic and eclectic events in Louisiana, making it one of the most entertaining festivals in the US (One of the Top 100, according to Travel Magazine).  In 2002 Alvon grew even stronger roots in our community, by marrying Amy Dawson a graduate from Hammond High.  And, raising their three children right here near the crossroads of I-55 and I-12.  

Pat Macaluso is an artist who was born in Kansas in 1948, and raised in Oklahoma and Kansas until 1963.  She spent her high school years in Alabama and Louisiana.  After graduating from Southeastern Louisiana College in 1970, she lived and worked in public relations in New Orleans, LA until 1974, when she returned to Hammond to marry attorney Ron S. Macaluso and raise their four children.   Since then she has been active in the community in the arts and other organizations including Hammond Garden Club, Friends of the Library, Tangi Food Pantry, Holy Ghost Catholic School Board, SLU Alumni Board and many others. Macaluso was a charter board member of the Hammond Cultural Foundation, which later was renamed the Hammond Regional Arts Center.  She has served on the HRAC Board for several terms serving on the Executive Committee many times.  
 
For the past seven years, Pat has owned and operated The Oak Street Gallery presenting exhibitions of local and regional arts. The Oak Street Gallery has been a corporate sponsor of the HRAC for several years. Macaluso’s career as an artist has included participation in many national, regional and local invitational and juried shows with prizes and awards for her work. She continues to create work and exhibit throughout the US. Pat serves the HRAC Board by participating in First Friday Art Walks, serving on the Gallery Committee, Culinary Arts, and the Literary Fest Committee. www.patmacaluso.com

Denise Tullier-Holly is an accomplished artist and award-winning arts educator. Ms. Tullier-Holly is a longtime member of the HRAC and a critical element to our community educator outreach. Ms. Tullier-Holly is one of only two lifetime members of the HRAC Board of Directors.






Dana Goblowsky, as a former educator is passionate about providing access to art for children in the greater Hammond area. She believes art and art education are critical parts of an individual’s well-being and a community’s growth and development. Ms. Goblowsky is a life-long resident of Hammond. She is the proud mother of a daughter who lives and works in Texas.

 
 

 
 
 
Shayla Kelly
Shayla M. Kelly is a native of Hammond, LA. She graduated from The Art Institute of California San Francisco with a B.S. in Media Arts and Animation. Along with being a freelance artist she has worked for several small indie game studios. With a passion for creating children's educational content and art education, she decided to further her knowledge with earning her M.A. in Art Education from Boston University. Shayla is also a member of the Art Education Committee, teaches private art lessons, volunteers teaching art, and is an advocate for the arts.
 
 
Hayley Taff
Hayley Fellows Taff is a certified Health & Life Coach and owns Front Porch Coaching. Hayley holds a bachelor's of accountancy from the University of Mississippi and a master's of business administration from Southeastern Louisiana University. Hayley is a member of the Hammond Regional Art Center Board of Directors, the Richard Murphy Hospice Foundation Gala Board, and the Krewe of Omega, reigning as Queen Omega XXX in 2016. She is a mentor for the Young Entrepreneur’s Academy and a volunteer for the Hammond Northshore Regional Airshow. Hayley serves as Board Member and Small Business Committee Chair for the Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce.
 
Jim Creel
Originally from Baton Rouge, attending Northeast University before joining the Marines.  Returning home, attended LSU for the next four years with a major in Computer Science and minor in Law Enforcement.  Worked as programmer analyst until moving to Tangipahoa parish where in 1980 joined The sheriffs office.  In 1996 after a brief acting career, opened Cherokee Lock works in Hammond.

It wasn't until 2009 that I pulled an old lathe out of the cobwebs and dust and started to turn a few bowls and functional items to go along with my woodcarving.  Then the bug bit deep and after retiring became fully immersed with every concept of turning.  Going through the gambit of every phase of turning, bowls, pens, hollow vessels, piercing and carving, I saw my interest headed more to the artistic side of turning.  By 2012 I was a full time turned wood artist.  Within the next two years, I had been the featured 3D artist in several galleries, and made the back cover of the American Woodturner magazine December 2014 issue, demonstrated at the SWAT Symposium, and assisted at John C. Campbell folk school teaching finial turning.  Feeling the need to  share my turning skills, I began traveling around the southeast giving demos and workshops at numerous clubs and organizations. Continuing toward the artistic side of turning, I use many things to enhance my creations.  From metallic paints and patinas, to carving, to copper leaves and wire, all blend together to express my art form. Married to wife Susan, who is a retired R.N., have two children and five grandchildren, we currently reside in Hammond.

Pamela Bankston
Pamela Cali Bankston became acquainted with the Hammond Regional Arts Center by participating in their annual “Celebration of the Written Word” and through attending events with her husband, local architect and previous board member, Chris Bankston. A writer in the community, Pam is the author of the Frizzy Frieda Books, a series of middle-grade children’s novels that use humor to cope with fitting-in at school.  Along with practicing as a Registered Nurse, certified in Pediatrics, she also writes a weekly social column titled #OhMyHammond for “The Daily Star Newspaper.” A native of Hammond and mom to Holy Ghost Student, Brennan, what Pam most loves about the HRAC is their wide support of the various forms of art.  Pam enjoys both attending and participating in the center’s many unique events held throughout the year and, of course, writing all about them! 
 
Jeffrey Talbot
Jeffrey Talbot has a B.A. in Education from The University of New Orleans and currently works at Audio Works Inc, a post-production audio studio in New Orleans. He has worked on countless radio and TV commercials, dozens of TV shows and movies, and has done sound design for many theater projects as well. Jeffrey also serves on the Board of Friends of Sims Library. He loves art, loves his recent move to Hammond, loves being on the Board of HRAC.
 
 

 

Contact Information

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 2974
Hammond, LA 70404

Gallery / Office Address:
217 E. Thomas Street
Hammond, LA 70401

Phone:
985.542.7113

Email:
info@hammondarts.org

Gallery / Office Hours:
Wednesday-Friday 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Closed Saturday-Tuesday

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