Once Becky and Wyatt Collins started collecting folk art, it didn’t take them long to assemble a major collection - 300 pieces accumulated in four years is quite a haul. “And we don’t count the little bitty pieces,” says Wyatt. “We may have 25 little birds scattered around, but we don’t count them.” The couple went from nothing to 90 nearly overnight. “We visited two friends, Burnell Lemoine and Ed Dubuisson,” Becky explains. “They both had folk art collections. We both liked folk art, and Wyatt decided he could do it too, so we took off.”
That was in 2003. Since then, they’ve filled every room in their home in New Iberia from floor to ceiling with primitively carved sculpture, paintings telling complex stories, highly imaginative animals, dolls, and religious items painted in bright colors by hands with no formal art training.
Wyatt is the organized one who meets artists, studies auction catalogues and thinks about how to deepen his collection. Becky just jumps in. “I’m the one who shows up and plunders thorough obscure boxes of stuff,” she says. “I collect from my heart, while Wyatt collects from his head.”
The collection, with a focus on Acadiana artists, will go on display at the Acadiana Center for the Arts in a show called From Inside Our Hearts: Outsider Art, on Jan. 12. “Outsider Art,” according to Wyatt, is the museum term used to differentiate contemporary folk art from early American folk art.
“What I like about it,” says Wyatt, “is that you take people who are not only totally uneducated about art, they are often just plain uneducated, but who have a desire to create. It’s amazing the things that are created.” The subject matter is usually tied to religion and everyday life or sometimes expresses what Becky calls “downharded” crazy. “It speaks from the heart,” adds Becky. “The art reflects the values and life experiences of the artist. Creativity is listening to your soul. It’s our inner inner spirit.”
The board hopes to recover all fees paid, plus one-half, along with what could amount to hundreds of thousands in additional penalties.
Oh, the irony... or something like that.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
St. Patty's Day crafts
The former star of Saturday Night Live throws in his 2 cents on the Big Oil lawsuit.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday, March 10, 2014:
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.