Holiday Tastemaker: Cora Barhorst
Cora Barhorst of Cora B. Gallery is a Baton Rouge native and Louisiana-based artist who creates custom portraits and nature-based paintings. Each of her pieces is thoughtfully inspired by her love of vintage aesthetics, classic styling, and history. Her work has a classic essence with a contemporary style that brings life into a well-appointed home.
Although we have been big fans of Cora’s art for several years, her custom child portraits have become incredibly popular in the past two years. She says families love being able to have a moment of their child’s sweetest age.
In anticipation of its release, Cora is excited to announce that Cora B. Gallery will be the featured artist from Louisiana for Elle Décor’s April Art and Architecture issue. To accompany the feature, Cora and her art were photographed in a New Orleans home. When planning the creative design behind her photoshoot, Cora looked to employ a classic Southern style that was distinctively inspired by New Orleans. She wanted to put together a shoot to highlight a traditional Louisiana home's bright colors and styles. To help achieve aesthetic, Cora styled the home with pieces from our 2023 Holiday Collection including — Fig & Dove Bauble Stockings, Acrylic Stocking Holders, Gold Velvet Tree Skirt and Dogwood Hill Nutcracker Dreams Wrapping Paper Roll.
How does being from Louisiana influence your art?
My family has strong Louisiana roots going back generations that have influenced my taste and style all of my life. My grandmother is so proud of calling New Orleans her home and has always shared her love of the city with me. The wildlife of Louisiana is unlike anything else. My mother always calls New Orleans “the closest thing America has to being European” because of the centuries of culture and heritage the city boasts. If there is one thing about Louisiana, it's that we are never afraid of color and I love bringing that into my artwork whenever I can. I think having an appreciation for the nature of our state has found its way into every piece of my work. Nowhere else has such a diverse natural world that they are so proud of. There is always something gorgeous blooming from magnolias in spring to crepe myrtles in the summer. I love bringing this life into my own work whenever I can.
What brings you the most joy during the Christmas season?
My custom child portraits have become such a lovely part of what I do. I love getting to share the joy of a cherished piece of art with families. The most special time of the year to share these gifts is always the holiday season. Christmas is a time for family to reconnect and I adore the fact that so many families love to gift my work to celebrate in their own homes.
What recipe do your family and friends look forward to each holiday season?
My grandma makes the most perfect pralines on the planet. We all swear hers are better than any you can get in any New Orleans bakery. For those who aren’t familiar - pralines are a delicious confection made from pecans, sugar, cream, and butter. They can only be made right when it's cold out so they can firm up and still stay soft. Her pralines absolutely melt in your mouth, and our family can’t get enough.
What is the one tradition you and your family look forward to the most during the Holiday Season?
My mom and I always like to come up with a little “theme” for decorating our home during the holiday season. We have some pieces like my grandmother’s holiday china that always come out, but we like to rotate between our many decorations we have amassed throughout the years. Some years we like to give it a warm holiday spirit with red plaids and burlap; other years, we like a more contemporary “winter wonderland” with a silver, gold, and white design. Last year we wanted a charming style that was almost candy-inspired. We used lots of pinks light greens and glittery items. We ended up painting our own ornaments to match our theme.
- Fig & Dove for Bauble Stockings-Warm Welcome Wreath
- Dogwood Hill Nutcracker Dreams Wrapping Paper Roll
- Scalloped Small Tree Skirt
- Classic 30" Magnolia Wreath
- Reindeer Sash