Downtown Covington's Legacy of Art & Artists

To say that downtown Covington supports the arts is an understatement. 

Downtown Covington business owners are artists themselves in many ways, both in the traditional ways of thinking about art, and in more outside-the-box creative techniques of showcasing art as well. Here are the stories of the central business district merchant/artists who demonstrate skills central to the creation and  appreciation of art. 

In the middle of it all stands the landmark St. Tammany Art Association building, originally a toy store 100 years ago, now a resource providing outstanding classes, gallery exhibitions, and a mission of promoting the arts throughout the community. 

Below is a sampling of art galleries.  

Saladino Gallery, 409 E Boston St
Brunner Gallery, 215 N. Columbia St.
The Rutland Street Gallery, 828 E Rutland St
Gallery 421, 421 N Columbia St
Tripolo Gallery, 323 N. Columbia St
Marianne Angeli Rodriguez Studio Gallery, 430 Gibson St
Savoye Originals, 1601 N Collins Blvd
BB's Eclectic Creations, 203 N New Hampshire St
Covington Art & Frame, 529 N Florida St 


The list of artistic businesses is also quite impressive.

Several incredible restaurants showcase the culinary arts across downtown Covington, in every setting from elegant evening eating to the daily lunch cafe encounter. The unique Louisiana style of delicious menu favorites is well represented, but there is an array of unique dining experiences available that cater to all tastes.

There are clothing stores that range from avant-garde fashion to vintage collectibles you can wear, apparel for the young and the young-at-heart. The downtown Covington offerings include general merchandise and sporting goods stores, as well as shops for the discriminating cigar-smoking aficionado and artists who need supplies, easels, and frames for their finished products.

Since Covington is a courthouse town, there are a number of attorney offices scattered about, but even the attorneys show off their artistic skills, with one attorney the recipient of many national awards for his essays, poems, and humorous cartoon books on the legal profession itself. Google the "Bard of Boston Street" to see what we mean. 


The Tammany Trace Bike Trail runs through the middle of downtown Covington.

One place of business specializes in the beauty of glass, for pieces of art as well as large corporate architectural installations.

And speaking of art, there's a galaxy of galleries, from exhibit galleries that offer works by a wide variety of artists in a wide variety of media, to individual galleries that spotlight the creations of individual artists, many of whom are nationally-known. Art schools are also a favorite, and visitors often seek out places where the famed writer Walker Percy used to hang out. 

Photographers are among the artists with their own galleries and studios. You can often see them taking clients for a downtown walk-around for pictures and posing in front of the classic old town storefronts.

For visitors who can't see it all in just one day, award-winning boutique hotel suites and several nearby bed & breakfast accommodations are available.

As time goes on, we will be adding to this website the stories of downtown Covington merchant artists, how they discovered their niche in the art of business (and the business of art), how they laser-focused their creativity, and most of all, how they packaged and promoted their art through successful merchandising. 

So sit back, take out a map (or a smart phone GPS app) and chart your course to downtown Covington, Louisiana. 

It's the place to be to be the artist you are.

showing where Covington downtown can be found.


Antiques and Uniques Festival
Walker Percy 
The Southern Hotel
Three Rivers Art Festival Flows Into Covington 
The Columbia Street Landing Archways  
Movies Filmed In Downtown Covington 
Fall For Art
Covington Art Market

Carriage Rides Around Downtown Covington

 The newest way to see downtown Covington's landmarks and scenic sights is the carriage ride.

 
From their website: "Royal Carriages is thrilled to announce expansion into St. Tammany Parish, bringing their generations-long New Orleans carriage tour to the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain.

Rides depart from the Marsolan Feed and Seed Store in Covington, Louisiana, right next to the area’s Trailhead Museum. Tours run every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

“We are excited to partner with the St. Tammany Parish Tourist and Convention Commission to bring a favorite New Orleans tradition to the charming town of Covington,” said Royal Carriages Director of Marketing Kimmie Carlos. “As the oldest carriage company in the country at 79-years strong, we want all of Louisiana’s Northshore to experience history with us as we move into the holiday season and create new family traditions.”

Visitors will have the option for a half hour or full hour carriage tour of Old Covington which includes an expert guide to narrate the history of the area. The nationally recognized attraction also has plans for private tours, weddings, and private events.


 
 
Click on the "play triangle" above to see a video showing a carriage ride featuring Mayor Mark Johnson 
(or click here for a direct YouTube link)

CLICK HERE for more information.

 

 

The "Once in A While" Gift & Coffee Shop

 A big new gift shop full of artistic items, seasonal decorations, and a cozy coffee corner has opened up in downtown Covington, occupying the old Alexius Brothers Hardware building behind the train station. It opened in late February, with a grand opening on the Fourth of July weekend.

The "Once in A While" shop, combined with Green Eyed Goddess Gifts, offers a vast array of interesting items for home decor, wearable art ( clothing and jewelry,)  balloons, and many other unique items.

 
Click on the images to make them larger. 

Dawn Miley Galloway manages the shop and mentioned its collection of religious decorative items, as well as wedding and baby merchandise. One area showcases Christmas trees and ornaments.


"There's something for everyone," she said. She pointed at the chandeliers overhead and noted there were outdoor living items as well.


The large back section of the building has been turned into a meeting space/reception hall and is available for group get-togethers. A corner of the store's interior space has been converted to a comfortable coffee shop.


Much of the jewelry is designed and made by Belinda Miley, a local artist who attended the Art Institute of Houston.

Dawn previously worked for her mother at a day care center, and also worked in retail sales.  Her mother, Pam Miley, owns the Little Red Schoolhouse on Lee Road and has operated that business for going on 48 years. 


"My dad also had Miley's Glass Shop way back when," Dawn added. 

 
Here are some photos of some of the objects on display.


 







See also:

www.greeneyedgoddess.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/greeneyedgoddessgifts

Alexius Brothers Hardware

Downtown Drugs

 A new pharmacy has opened in downtown Covington, La., at the corner of N. Vermont St. and Gibson St. It's more than just a pharmacy, though, since it contains a wide variety of merchandise that people have come to expect in the full-service one stop combination drug store and convenience store.


 The signage has been going up on the front windows and on the side of the building, announcing the coming of a new drug store to the downtown area, which at one time had several pharmacies at the center of the growing community.

Harold Dill puts the finishing touches on the Gibson St. side "Downtown Drugs" sign. 

 Matthew Morvant, the pharmacist in charge, said the venture had always been a goal of his, particularly since his whole career had been based on the advice of Jerry Braswell, another longtime Covington area pharmacist. "I even wrote my entrance paper into pharmacy school about him," Morvant stated.

From Braswell Morvant learned that in Covington, the pharmacist was more than just a pharmacist, he was also a leader in the community.  "And to be in the downtown area was significant," he concluded. The address is 338 North Vermont St.

Downtown Covington has a rich legacy in community drugstores: Schonberg's, Hebert's, Bulloch, Tyler Downtown Drugs and City Drugs.

The new Downtown Drugs is located in what he calls "the perfect location," since many people are familiar with the corner, which in the past was home to Western Auto, an artist gallery, and more recently, a yoga studio. The business is located in the northwest corner of the block where the Southern Hotel occupies the entire south half of the block. A few doors down on Gibson is the Bogue Falaya Fitness gym and across the street is Marsolan's Feed & Seed. So while it's not on one of the main streets, the new drug store still sees lots of traffic of people going to and from the school board office and parish courthouse.

Jerry Braswell, the advisor to the business, says that since its a "destination" business, they didn't worry too much about traffic passing by. People will come to the drug store to buy what they need, to visit, to shop for other items, and to just be a part of downtown Covington activity. Braswell may also serve as a relief pharmacist when things get busy.

 
The crew at the new business includes, from left, Matthew Morvant (PharmD), Jerry Braswell, Whitney Braswell (CPht), and Jennifer Gaines.
 
 "There's nothing else like it downtown," Braswell went on to say. 
 
Whitney Braswell, Jerry's daughter, is a co-owner in the new venture, and she decorated some of the walls with pictures of previous drug stores in the downtown area.
 
 Morvant feels that with Tyler St., Collins Blvd., and Claiborne Hill getting more congested all the time, people will welcome a drug store in the center of town. He also pointed out that with the thousands of people visiting the courthouse each week, not to mention the visitors at the Southern Hotel who may need a prescription filled from time to time, a nearby drug store would come in handy

"We have something for the whole family in here," Morvant commented. 
 



 





 October 10, 2020, Grand Opening
 

 
Mayor Mark Johnson (at left) stopped by to help cut the ribbon.
 


 
 
 
 

 A previous occupant of the location
 
See also:

Covington Downtown

Here is a cartoon map of downtown Covington. Click on the image to make it larger.