Give an artist a rusty, dented 88-year-old pressed tin ceiling tile and you never know what sort of work of art will come back. Take sculptor Diane Pecnik. “I work in the middle of my garden,” she says. “As I lived with the piece, I realized the rusty lines in the tile had an organic pattern, like the branches of a tree.” Pecnik approached her work, “Down and Down I Go. Round and Round I Go,” from the tile’s point of view — the ceiling looking down. The rusty cracks sprouted leaves, while the back of the tile grew roots.
In 1925, pressed tin tiles decorated the ceiling of Heymann’s Department Store, which now houses the Natural History Museum. During the renovation of the building, the tiles were removed and headed for a dumpster before Martha Day at Teche Drugs and Gifts rescued them. (Some of those tiles are visible, reused for their original purpose, at Teche Drugs.) Day donated about 70 of them to the Children’s Museum of Acadiana, located in another of Maurice Heymann’s buildings. The museum staff handed out the tiles to 73 local artists, each of whom is creating a work of art on the 24 x 24 inch tin squares, which will be exhibited in a group show, then sold as part of a fund-raiser for the museum.
There was clearly some energy speaking to artist Don LeBlanc as he was working with his tile. “When I received it, the metal was crumpled and mangled,” he says. “In order to get a surface I could work on, I had to hammer and press on it to get it close to flat. I was holding it down with my left hand, and I could see how the shape of my hand interacted with the space.” An open hand is the image Leblanc went with, outlined with a metal punch to imitate the original decorative design. There’s still a lot of the old tile left in the new work of art with its rusty frame and crumpled surface. The open hand has strong iconography: bounty, justice, blessing, protection, truthfulness, faithfulness and loyalty. “That’s what I wanted as a symbol for the community,” LeBlanc says. He titled his piece “Fidelity.”
An exhibit preview will open Feb. 29 from 6-9 p.m. and continue though March 29 at The Frame Shop & Gallery 912 (912 Coolidge Blvd. in the Oil Center). Call the gallery at 235-2915 or Deborah Norsworthy at the Children’s Museum, 237-8500, for more information.
FDA to regulate e-cigarettes, Jodie Foster gets married, Vermont to require labels on genetically-modified food, and more news for today, April 24, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
A push to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program as allowed under the federal health care has been overwhelmingly rejected by the Senate health committee.
See which events are taking place during INNOV8 Lafayette this Thursday.
It’s on, y’all. Fest fIND, our annual Festival International de Louisiana reader contest, is now accepting photo submissions.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana welfare recipients would be prohibited in state law from spending the federal assistance at lingerie shops, tattoo parlors, nail salons and jewelry stores, under a bill that received the support Wednesday of a House committee.
Senators will consider whether to prohibit private businesses in Louisiana from paying unequal wages to employees of different genders for the same job.
Rep. Joel Robideaux has delayed bill hearings and said unless a compromise can be reached, he won't bring up the legislation this session.
Once again, Lafayette Parish School Board President Hunter Beasley is focused on an issue that has nothing to do with the educational well-being of our public school children.
Fashion and music make great bedfellows
Producers, manufacturers, restaurants and chefs host roundtable and tasting
After exhausting his appeals all the way to the state Supreme Court, the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete has no legal remedy left save one: do an end run around the high court via a bill that would grandfather his “right” to keep a 550-pound tiger enclosed in a pin at his roadside business.
Louisiana poet Darrell Bourque has won the 2014 Louisiana Writer Award, given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to Louisiana's literary and intellectual life.
Drivers would have to secure dogs riding in truck beds while on interstate highways, if the Senate agrees to a bill backed by the House.
The easy one-piece way to style
Comfy feet for long days
Newsy bits for the whole fam
Don't forget: our annual Festival International contest begins Thursday! Win. Cool. Stuff.
An effort to prohibit employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity was shelved Tuesday for the legislative session.
Louisiana won't lessen its penalties for marijuana possession, keeping laws on the books that allow people to be jailed up to 20 years for repeat offenses of having the drug in hand.
State bar foundation bestows honor on founder and managing partner of NeunerPate
This Wednesday, April 23, marks the first full day of INNOV8 Lafayette.
National awards recognize outstanding achievement in leadership development and leadership programs
A federal court magistrate has issued a seven-page schedule of hearings, conferences and deadlines leading up to January’s trial aimed at determining how much money BP will owe in Clean Water Act fines as a result of its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
“This is one of the oldest divides that exists, and that divide is about the haves and the have-nots.”
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The state’s “greedy trial lawyers” haven’t scared this oil giant away.
Local boutique celebrates all things green
It took a few weeks for the pitfalls to emerge in the governor’s $25 billion budget, but the time of judgment has finally arrived.