Downtown Hammond News

HAN Poster Featured Artist, Johnny Chauvin
Madison Chauvin
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HAN Poster Featured Artist, Johnny Chauvin

Johnny Chauvin is our featured artist this edition for his contribution to the Hot August Night poster! His fun and whimsical pinwheel takes us back to some of the original Hot August Night posters, also mostly done by him. Johnny said he was trying to beat the heat on his porch one afternoon and was watching the pinwheels in his yard when he got the idea. When the sun went down, he grabbed the pinwheel and headed Downtown.

He said, “I like the fan concept representing this event because of the idea of it bringing relief to the summer heat. The juxtaposition of the neon signs at dusk and the pinwheel coming toward the camera, and the reds and yellows really pulled through to bring the heat and fun atmosphere of Hot August Night.”

Johnny has been a photographer for about 25 years, and has had his business for 22. Most of his Hot August Night experiences were spent in his Downtown studio which was across from what is now Tommy’s on Thomas and next to Johnny’s Conoco. The studio was always a wine stop, and had themed shows of his photography. Nowadays, he spends almost all day and night at Northshore Broadcasting, kicking off the evening as Johnny in the Morning on Tangi 96.5, interviewing people in the streets and filling the east end with music. The Broadcasting house will also be featuring art, including the original photograph from the poster. When the night starts winding down, he likes to roam to some of his favorite spots like the Hammond Regional Arts Center or grab a bite at whoever has an open table at any of our many restaurants.

Johnny actually was there for the conception of Hot August Night almost 25 years ago. He was on the DDD Board as well as Historic Commission in the 1980s, and has always been involved in Downtown Hammond. When the Chauvins owned the radio stations, they were on top of the original First Guaranty Bank (the current Paris Parker). They moved out toward the university but when the Historic District was formed, they bought one of the buildings on main street (200 E. Thomas St, where it is today!).

He remembers having a promotions meeting for the DDD in the building where Boutique de Fumee is now with Marguerite Walters, Susan Owens and others, and trying to come up with an event for back to school time and to kick off the fall for the merchants. They wanted to have an art and wine stroll, just a little after-hours celebration, not knowing how successful and huge it would grow to be. He remembers having to leave the meeting early while they were discussing what to call it, and as he was walking out the door, he reminded them of Neil Diamond’s album called Hot August Night.

“I love Downtown Hammond and love to celebrate it, and look forward to another successful Hot August Night!”

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