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.
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.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
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.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
Due to the chaos of Mardi Gras and the weather, the entry deadline for this year's INDesign Awards has been extended by one week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
Queen Evangline and King Gabriel ruled Tuesday night
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
IND Style does Gabriel
Newsy bits for the fam
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.