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Hammond Regional Arts Center Podcast

Hammond Regional Arts Center Podcast

By Hammond Regional Arts Center
Host Melissa Griffin talks with artists and other professionals about their life stories and experiences and helps the listener relate to the intersection where life and art blend. The Hammond Regional Arts Center hopes to enrich lives through culture and the arts.

Produced by Jeffrey Talbot
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Balance, Harmony & Renaissance with Artist Ryan Gianelloni
Artist Ryan Gianelloni joins host Melissa Griffin to discuss his sculpture work and his journey to becoming a professional artist who won't limit himself to one medium or one subject matter. As he discusses his sculptures, paintings, photography and even culinary art, hear him talk about his effort to create balance with seemingly unbalanced artwork. Gianelloni also discusses his use of metal leaf and the unique element it brings to his pieces.  Find out more about Ryan Gianelloni at or @ryangianelloni  Produced by Jeffrey Talbot.
February 08, 2022
Illuminate with Cindy Blair
Artist Cindy Blair of Alexandria, LA joins our host Melissa Griffin for a fun discussion about her work combining light and sculpture to create unique pieces inspired by organic forms and movement. Blair shares a story of her own dealings with impostor syndrome as the two discuss a shared desire to demystify the artistic process and make the arts more accessible to everyone through exposure to the arts and arts education.  Find out more about Cindy Blair's work at or @cindyblairlightart on Instagram.
January 24, 2022
Dreamer with Photographer Dusty Cooper
Host Melissa Griffin sits down to chat with photographer/videographer Dusty Cooper. The discussion spans his work in the arts as a photographer, a writer and a dancer. The two take a deep dive into Cooper's current, multi-image photography work and the meticulous process it takes to creates those large-scale images. Dusty Cooper's multi-image photography exhibition "Copiosity" is on display in the Hammond Regional Arts Center's Mezzanine Gallery January 21 - February 17, 2022. For details visit  For more details on Dusty Cooper visit Produced by Jeffrey Talbot
December 31, 2021
From Refinery to Photography with Riyen Helg
Host Melissa Griffin sits down to chat with the co-owner of Stinky Mud Photography Riyen Helg about his unusual journey from working in an oil refinery--which often felt like a "prison sentence" to him--to his career in photography.  Helg shares intimate details about his life and the struggles that ultimately lead him to starting a photography business alongside his wife Tiffani.  Taking that leap was not an easy one, but as Helg explains, there's no regrets. Find Stinky Mud Photography at  Produced by Jeffrey Talbot
June 16, 2021
Making Music with J. Rees
Singer songwriter J. Rees joins host Melissa Griffin on the podcast to talk about the songwriting process.  A storyteller at heart, Rees' music connections people through shared experiences.  On the podcast, Rees tells stories about how music comes to life--Rees' life experiences taking shape as art through lyrics and melodies. Rees plays some tunes as well.  More about J. Rees on or @j.rees_ Produced by Jeffrey Talbot
June 02, 2021
Motivation, Wellness & Work-life Balance
Sometimes the hard truth can change your world. Host Melissa Griffin talks with Jonathan Wong--husband, father, restauranteur and Southeastern Louisiana University's 2020 Young Alumnus of the Year--about how he went from "dad bod" to a FitFam organizer after hearing the hard truth about his health.  Today, Jonathan spends time encouraging and motivating others to live a healthier lifestyle.  In this podcast Melissa and Jonathan discuss the challenges of juggling personal and professional life, and Jonathan shares insight on how to get the most quality out of your time and gives practical tactics you can implement immediately.   Produced by Jeffrey Talbot
May 05, 2021
Nurturing Life-Long Creativity
In today's Podcast, Hammond Regional Arts Center (HRAC) Director Melissa Griffin speaks with long-time HRAC Board Member and art educator Denise Tullier-Holly about nurturing creativity within people of all ages.  The talk is an informative source for parents, teachers and others interested in the arts. Referenced in the episode: ARTisTRY Classes: Art Exhibitions at HRAC: The Dot by Peter Reynolds: Resource: Produced by Jeffrey Talbot
March 23, 2021
Let's Talk Stress: Art, Yoga and Social Distancing
Host Melissa Griffin talks with Marc Settembrino, a sociology professor and certified yoga instructor, about the impacts of stress in a post-COVID world and ways to combat it using yoga (even for people who don't practice yoga), art, and personal interactions. Produced by Jeffrey Talbot
March 03, 2021