Art isn’t always glamorous. Sometimes it means picking oysters from the roadside. Kathy Simon knows this.  By Amanda Bedgood — Photo by Robin May

Monday, Dec. 2, 2013

RMay 131121 1017 kathy-simonArt isn’t always glamorous. Sometimes it means picking oysters from the roadside. Kathy Simon knows this.

The artist describes her work as coastal funky. It’s an apt description. Her three-dimensional creations pay homage to Louisiana in their own special way. She began collecting oysters over the summer at her family’s Grand Isle camp.

“I searched the local beaches to get my oysters. I hand-picked each oyster myself with the occasional help of my sister-in-law Elizabeth Simon,” she says. “It’s not exactly easy in the hot Louisiana sun, mosquitoes and friends driving by yelling ‘Kathy, what are you doing on the side of the road picking oysters?’ But, I was on a mission.”

She brought them home, cleaned them with Clorox and went to work. Her original plan — to create oyster Christmas trees. But the size of the large oysters made it clear she needed a new plan. She refined her idea and added crosses on some occasions. The results are unique pieces, found at Mixology in the Oil Center, that have a spiritual element.

“No matter if I put a cross on the canvas or one single oyster I always envision angels,” Simon says. “The oysters look like angels to me. That’s where I came up with the series ‘Oysters or Angels’ and ‘Crosses or Angels.’”

It’s Simon’s first endeavor into art. She’s been a stay-at-home mom for 16 years and says her kids are her inspiration. They even help her occasionally.

“Seeing how carefree they are with their art, I try to implement the same carefree spirit in my artwork,” she says.

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