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.
The continued refusal by LPSB President Hunter Beasley and attorney Dennis Blunt to release a draft copy of the investigation into Superintendent Pat Cooper has resulted in a lawsuit by The Daily Advertiser.
The New Orleans Saints' early season slide is the kind of scenario Sean Payton had in mind when the coach and his staff placed a premium on character during player evaluations.
Long before a man was diagnosed with the Ebola virus in neighboring Texas, Louisiana's health department was working on what to do in case someone with the disease showed up in the state.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
Women sue over sperm mix-up; Romney on campaign trail; Ebola patient was released from hospital and more national and international news for Thursday, October 02, 2014.
State Rep. Joel Robideaux, R-Lafayette, surprised few in the Hub City Wednesday afternoon when he made (semi) official what most of us have known for months: He is running to replace Joey Durel as city-parish president.
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Let the party begin
Louisiana's first black Republican state senator since Reconstruction — who was a Republican before he was a Democrat before he was a Republican again — is accusing Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of using the black community for votes and providing nothing in return.
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Rachel Hector returns home to cultivate a generation of yoga instructors.
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A constellation of South Louisiana musical stars descends on Parc Sans Souci to honor an ailing David Egan.
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The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra teams up with choreographer Clare Cook for a modern take on a Stravinsky classic.
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Richard Buswell was sentenced Tuesday to more than 10 years in prison for his role in an investment scheme that defrauded his clients of more than $6 million.