Catching Up

I’ll be moving on from The Frog Farm to Ashley Studio Pottery in Tupelo; or to Kimberly Jacobs, former director of Gallery 1 at Jackson State University; or to Dane Carney, a glitch artist; or. . . there are so many! These are just some of the artists I’ve met and have yet to blog about, so I have a lot of catching up to do.

Which artist(s) should I meet and what places should I visit next?  Use the response below or email bbatton@msmuseumart.org to give me your suggestions.

Follow this blog to stay caught up on the Mississippi Byways project and to learn about artists in Mississippi.

Road to and from Frog Farm_750 pixels wide

Attractions at The Frog Farm

Describing what a visitor would encounter at The Frog Farm, Louise Cadney Coleman says about her creation, “When you first walk back into the garden, you would see some frog Beefeaters. They’re the guards. And they’re dressed in the costume, like the . . . British Beefeaters. But they’re frog Beefeaters and they guard The Frog Farm. And that’s the castle of The Frog Farm. It’s a garden, and, in that garden, [are] different attractions.”

A frog sculpture outfitted as a British Beefeater guards the entrance to The Frog Farm.

A frog sculpture outfitted as a British Beefeater guards the entrance to The Frog Farm.

Ms. Coleman’s imagination and wit drive the stories, environments, and activities that she invents for her sculptures. The installations also attract visitors, which is why she refers to them as attractions.

Past the Beefeater in the sculpture garden, a raised, wooden, plank walkway keeps visitors’ feet out of the mud and leads to the center of a clearing. Along the perimeter, under a grove of mulberry trees, four-feet-tall frogs appear on various structures and are painted sky blue, lime green, lemon yellow, and fire-engine red. Live frogs make themselves heard but not seen.

LCC on platform in garden_cropped, even smaller

Ms. Coleman lists the attractions at The Frog Farm:

One of them is the Mud Rockers, which is a frog band. And then we have a bird arbor back there, and there’s a Penguin Hill. There’s an alligator hill. We call it the Gator Hill. And you’ll see frog houses . . . You’ll see the . . . G & P boathouse. That’s for George and Peewee because the frogs in that boathouse are called Peewee and George.”

Louise Cadney Coleman, Mud Rockers

Louise Cadney Coleman, P & G Boathouse

Some of the outdoor attractions have been damaged by spring storms, fluctuations of the weather, insects, creeping vines, and time. The sculptures that cannot be spruced up with a fresh coat of paint are replaced. Ms. Coleman found that alligators made from logs or limbs were especially prone to decay, so she now uses treated wood for their bodies.

There are also attractions inside her showroom, the Frog Nest.  She describes one of them:

When you walk into my atrium, the first thing you see is my aquarium. And that’s one of my favorite things because you don’t have to change the water. You don’t have to feed the fish. And it’s a stunning thing, I think, when you walk in there. It really shows my imagination in full.

Tropical Fins, ca. 2010, is an indoor attraction by Louise Cadney Coleman at The Frog Farm.

Louise Cadney Coleman, Tropical Fins, ca. 2010

She continues:

The background is made from old tin and the fish are placed just along there. It’s about eight feet by eight feet. [. . .] It’s filled with tropical fish and some catfish. And there’s a couple of turtles in there, too. It’s called Tropical Fins.

Tropical Fins (detail), ca. 2010, by Louise Cadney Coleman

Tropical Fins (detail)

She shapes her critters from sticks or limbs that she finds, “Wherever I am and I’m looking around.” The natural shape and curve of the stick suggests the bird or fish it will become. Sometimes, Ms. Coleman uses a pocketknife and a wood file to shape it. She likes colors, so she coats each creature with acrylic paint. “I try to be true to nature or what people would like,” she says about her color palette.

She hopes that visitors to The Frog Farm will leave with “Joy and an appreciation for the art world and for art, especially folk art . . . This is another form of art that I want people to appreciate and to understand . . . For most folk artists, it’s a natural thing.”

Louise C Coleman portrait copy

Louise Cadney Coleman works in her studio at The Frog Farm every day that she’s not at her cytology job, which she does on Mondays and Wednesdays. The regular admission fee is $10.00, the discounted fee for seniors is $3.00, and coupons are available at the Mississippi Museum of Art. The Frog Farm is located at 186 Old Highway 61 Road, which is south of Lorman as you travel on Highway 61 South. The Frog Farm is on Facebook and can be reached by phone at 601-493-3420.

Read the other MS Byways blog posts about this artist at Introducing The Frog Farm, Natural Creativity at The Frog Farm, and How Frog Farm Got Its Name.

All artwork is copyright (c) Louise Cadney Coleman. All photographs are copyright (c) Beth Batton and the Mississippi Museum of Art.


Articles and other blogs about The Frog Farm:

How The Frog Farm Got Its Name

outdoor Frog Farm copy

The Frog Farm as seen from the road in early March, 2015. The brown building on the left was Louise Cadney Coleman’s first studio, which she eventually outgrew. On the far right is the entrance to the sculpture garden. It is guarded by a frog Beefeater.

On the edge of the woods in Harriston, artist Louise Cadney Coleman and her husband own a piece of land, which became home to The Frog Farm, a folk art sculpture garden.  Before it became The Frog Farm, it was called Woodland Court. In addition to her husband’s hunting cabin, on the property was

. . . a low area and frogs do jump around and kids from the community like to come because they like frogs. And they came to me one day and they said to me, ‘Miss Louise, this is not Woodland Court. This is a frog farm. And I said, ‘Oh, okay.’ So I started making frogs, birds, alligators, turtles, and other things to go with that theme. And it’s grown from there.”

That was about 1999. She hopes to expand The Frog Farm one day, possibly to St. Francisville, Louisiana.

Sunbreeze Cafe, inside_even smaller

Two frogs servers prepare the day’s special, fried crickets, at the Sunbreeze Café at The Frog Farm.

Artist Louise Cadney Coleman stands on the walkway in a low area of her Harriston, Mississippi, property.  A natural frog habitat, this area also is a folk art sculpture garden that local children named The Frog Farm.

Artist Louise Cadney Coleman removes a fallen branch from the walkway in a low area of her Harriston, Mississippi, property. A natural frog habitat, this area became the folk art sculpture garden that local children named The Frog Farm.

Penguin Hill_small

“Penguin Hill” is one of The Frog Farm’s attractions. Read more about the attractions in a future post.

turtles on a log outside_small

Turtles shaped from found wood are camouflaged on a log.

Woodland Shops_even smaller

In this sculpture, “Woodland Shops,” miniature frog figures pose in front of store fronts that advertise fresh crickets and cool mud for sale.

The Snack Shack and The Frog Nest are two of the structures that Louise Cadney Coleman and her husband have built at The Frog Farm. The Frog Nest houses her studio and showroom.

The Snack Shack and The Frog Nest are two of the structures that Louise Cadney Coleman and her husband have built at The Frog Farm. The Frog Nest houses her studio and showroom.

The Frog Farm is located at 186 Old Highway 61 Road, which is south of Lorman as you travel on Highway 61 South. The Frog Farm is on Facebook and can be reached by phone at 601-493-3420.

Click on the following links to read other posts on The Frog Farm: “Introducing The Frog Farm,” and “Natural Creativity at The Frog Farm.”

All artwork is copyright (c) Louise Cadney Coleman. All photographs are copyright (c) Beth Batton and the Mississippi Museum of Art.

Use the form below or email bbatton@msmuseumart.org to comment on this post or to suggest other Mississippi artists for this blog.

Natural Creativity at The Frog Farm

Mudrockers guitarist_even smaller

The guitarist of the Mud Rockers is constantly on stage at The Frog Farm.

Louise Cadney Coleman sculpts whimsical creatures from sticks and tree limbs. Her Frog Farm is a garden of folk art sculptures, mostly of anthropomorphic frogs doing un-amphibian-like things such as playing in a rock band or visiting a tiki bar.

Tiki bar_even smaller

A frog bartender awaits visitors at the Tiki Bar inside The Frog Farm’s Sunbreeze Café.

Ms. Coleman was born in the small, rural community of Harriston, Mississippi, in the mid-twentieth century, and she grew up there on a hill with her 10 siblings. “We were true country children,” she said.

Scientist and Folk Artist
“I got started as a child making stick dolls,” she explains, “. . . Because there were a lot of us and they were not able to afford all the dolls I wanted, and I was a doll person. So I started making the dolls myself out of sticks, and I made clothes for them, and I gave them names.”

After graduating from high school in Fayette and earning a Bachelor of Science degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge, she was trained as a cytotechnologist (one who studies cells) at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Chicago. She never took any art classes.

Louise CC, tree foliage_cropped, smaller

Louise Cadney Coleman

“Art is natural,” she says. “Science is a learned thing for me . . . If I had known at the time that I could have probably made a living as an artist, I probably would have been an artist all the way. But science is something that I knew I could make a living doing. And that’s the way I went. But then . . . art is my first love.”

After having established her career as a cytotechnologist, she returned to art and began selling her work at art shows and community heritage festivals. One customer in particular, a well travelled man from the Caribbean, saw tremendous creativity and promise in her work and urged her to have a showroom and museum representation. That was the encouragement she needed to indulge her sculpted frogs with an indoor and outdoor space of their own.

small Beefeaters_1800 pixels h

Small beefeater sculptures are for sale inside the “Frog Nest,” which is the showroom and studio of The Frog Farm.

Next time, read about how The Frog Farm got its name and the attractions there. The Frog Farm is located at 186 Old Highway 61 Road, which is south of Lorman as you travel on Highway 61 South. The Frog Farm is on Facebook and can be reached by phone at 601-493-3420.

All artwork is copyright (c) Louise Cadney Coleman. All photographs are copyright (c) Beth Batton and the Mississippi Museum of Art.

To comment, fill in the form below or email Beth Batton at bbatton@msmuseumart.org.