With an impressive quarter century behind it, Festival International de Louisiane moves into its 26th year, and all indications are it is in for a brighter future.
As you read this, Festival staff is updating its apps, the band schedule is prominently posted on the front of its downtown office building and we all should be delighting in the Best World Music Festival honor.
To kick off this series, we figured we'll start at the top, visually-wise, with the official artwork "Window to the Word" by Michelle Fontenot, Vergie Banks and Megan Barra that Anne and Curtis Darrah used to design the Festival poster. And it's on view downtown at Gallery 549 at 549 Jefferson St.
"I think it's pretty dynamic," says Don LeBlanc, proprietor of Galley 549. "I like the way the works come together in terms of the individual styles and the individual materials.
"From a color standpoint, it's really quite dynamic and harmonious," he says. "To have them come up with the outcome here is that Michelle's glass reflects Vergies colors and Megan's as well.
"When I look a the individual works within the structure, I recognize their use of color. But it seems to work very well in terms of how they brought it together.
LeBlanc also likes the symmetry of it, too. It's not so solid, he says and it clearly has a left side and a right side and a front and back.
"It's not a simple frame. It's rather complex," says LeBlanc. "I think those dynamic qualities add a lot to what the audience what might get from it, which is kind of the powerful elements in terms of the music and the different sources from around the world bringing to bear on this structure.
The artwork reflects the festival itself, he says.
"It's a very vibrant festival, you know, the way it comes together," says LeBlanc. "Things are put together from different parts of the world and you may not think it works, but then ultimately does. It has some harmony."
LeBlanc says Gallery 549 will also show the individual work of the artists beginning April 14 with the Second Saturday Artwalk.
"Because this was underway, we've had conversations with them of showing the three of them as a group," says LeBlanc. "We'll be able to show more of their individual works."
LeBlanc teamed up with Francis Pavy and Kelly Guidry for the official artwork of last year's Festival. It marked the first time three artists worked on a project together. David Butler and John Geldersma combined for Festival artwork years ago, as have Craig McCullen and Bonnie Camos.
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