Kelly developed a personal style that he refers to as “modern primitive.” There are raw honesty and a balance of masculine and feminine elements to his work, which appears heavy-handed, yet deliberate and controlled. His sculptures have an openness in which people attach personal meaning to, therefore, creating work that connects with people in their most positive thoughts and emotions — all balanced with smooth, sensual curves and meticulous surface details.
Brothers Shine (left) and William (right) Sonnier, known as “The LeRoy’s Boys”, have been art lovers all their lives. Mostly love "Folk" and "Outsider" Art for the beautiful bright colors and the meaning behind the artists' pieces. Inspired by other outsider folk artists, most of their art is constructed with old tin, mirrors, and glass.
“We hope you will enjoy and understand our pieces, if not stay tuned because tomorrow we may have a vision you will enjoy".
- Keep Creating, Leroy's Boys
Lori Henderson is a mesa carrying artist, ART is her medicine through ART healing. She uses her art coupled with creativity to facilitate remembering; body, mind, and spirit are healed state. Walking as an earth keeper on the path of pollen, Lori embodies the hive as a teacher for community, unconditional love, and service. Using ritual, ceremony, mediation and prayer she creates modern petroglyphs/shamanic symbolisms from weaving, sewing, and layering reclaimed materials, unifying her art with ancient teachings. Each piece is infused with the remembered knowledge of the healed state. Lori has been walking the artist/shamanic way traveling, observing, studying and embodying diverse cultures for many years. After walking the Camino De Santiago Spain her shamanic apprenticeship started with the Bouquet of Light Allyu traveling and exploring with the Queo’ of high Andes of Peru. In May of 2016 Lori graduated as a Humpekomyok She expresses ancient teachings using art to encourage balance of the feminine and masculine energies for empowerment. Moreover, Lori uses her art as a medium of change and creativity as a path into new consciousness and cross-pollination of ancient teachings of indigenous cultures with modern ideas and methods to be an agent for change.
Trent Oubre is a talented musician, a web and graphic designer, and a Louisiana Folk painter.
Working with a diversity of clients ranging from local musicians to large corporations and being a person who has difficulty saying no, I take on projects that challenge my abilities and allow me to become proficient in multiple areas of design. I have the most fun creating logos, but I am amazed by the possibilities that new web development techniques offer. Lately, I have been delving into that area, and I find myself obsessed with reverse-engineering websites I admire. My folk paintings are an escape from reality for myself and serve as a tribute to the culture of Louisiana. Growing up in south Louisiana, I absorbed the rich culture of music, food, and “joie de vivre” that surrounded me. I tried cooking, but that didn’t plan out. So, I started painting. My artistic influences range from El Greco to Basquiat, and I taught myself how to paint the same way I learned graphic design, reverse engineering.
Regardless of so many things, mules are steady-standing ready, ripe for metaphor. The mule is a small, forgotten part of history always begging, 'what else are y'all missin’? What else y'all left behind? What else can I tell you about your future? Marshall Blevins explores the southern past through her paintings and tales of the ‘Church Goin Mule’, a series that will forever live in your heart just as the trotting mules seem to live forever.
Inspired by the Blues, men like black Alabama communist born-again Ned Cobb, folklorist Zora Neale Hurston, and the ever-mystery of personal ancestry, she creates stories within stories through each painting of her beloved mule.
Delana B. Rouse is a self-taught mixed media artist. Inspiration is from found, re-purposed objects through thrifting and treasures in nature. The collected, chosen items begin to tell her where they are to go. It takes on a life of its own, often surprising her. “Whimsies from Within,” as Delana calls her creations, reflects much of the healing and growing she has gone through.
Hopefully, they will speak to other souls, she says.
Mike Weary is a self-taught artist from New Orleans, LA. At the age of six, he began sketching portraits of his mother's coworkers during their breaks as he waited for her shift to end. The faces of exhaustion from the sun, relief from long-awaited drink, or even the purposeful smiles to help out the young artist were the epitome of life imitating art. Unknowingly, capturing these moments of varied emotions and the reactions to the drawings created the foundation for which the artist stands on today. Creating beauty from the mundane.
"Now I bare my soul to plane
In an attempt to not create in vein
If I pass before I’m done,
May history and my works become one.
But here I live to give my heart,
To stimulate your mind with my art."
Even before he became an artist, he loved the Louisiana landscape. The live oak trees always looked like giant bonsais to him. Jerome helps run a Plein Air event in New Iberia called Shadows on the Tech Plein Air. They have hosted some of the best artists in the country to come and paint in Acadiana. They finished their 5th year in March 2019. Without fail every year, the artists tell Jerome how beautiful everything is. With the azaleas in bloom, the colors are unbelievable. More than one artist has said to him that there 100 great paintings in a 5-mile range. He agrees, there is nothing like Louisiana's bayous and swamps. Jerome captures images from his memories as a child. Memories of Bayou Teche, the cane fields, cutting down a piece of cane and tasting the sugar or sitting next to a giant live oak with the truck as big as his car.
All these things remind him of home. He says you could call it the Hudson River painting of the south.
Melissa Bonin’s work explores the relationship between Heaven and Earth, Light, and Darkness. Her fascination is with the union between Earth and the sky and with the cosmos, which is both ancient and universal.
I paint journeys, rather than landscapes, to show what is behind the scene. I paint an opening through space. This entryway includes obstacles that define the path from darkness into light. I use perspective to draw the viewer in like a bee to a flower. But then I want the viewer to go beyond that down deep into the water, turning inward toward deeper meaning via the vehicle of the water and land.
Referencing historical landscape painting, the work presents a perspective into which are inscribed her two lineages of French and Acadian heritage and influences of teachings of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell’s, The Hero’s Journey and Hero with a Thousand Faces. She believes in the idea of redemption through the individual recognition of one’s being and the personal process of individuation. I work with accessible symbols, land, trees, water, sky, which link us with the past. These symbols create a kind of simultaneous continuity, and we recollect our origin
Christine Thibodeaux was born and raised in Acadia Parish, the heart of Cajun Country. She has a bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from the University of Louisiana Lafayette (ULL), with post-graduate work in Botany. Christine has maintained a Louisiana Landscape Horticulturist license since 1994. She has worked as a wetland ecologist for the State of Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority for 18 years and is presently working as a Botanist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers doing wetland delineations.
She is now working on a plant identification book that may be titled ‘Vegetation of the New Orleans District.’ Working outdoors with plants is second nature to Christine, and she has had plenty of opportunities to capture Louisiana vegetation in her photography through her background.
Her Depression Glass Garden Art is designed to attract light into your flower beds, home landscaping, garden, or patio plants.
Kate Ferry, a graphic design graduate of the Art Institute of Houston, has more than 30 years of experience in graphic design, illustration, and production (print and digital). Currently freelancing graphic design and illustration from her home in New Iberia, Louisiana, Kate has produced award-winning art direction and design in print design, television, animation, and illustration both for advertising agencies and on a freelance basis for local, regional and national advertising campaigns. She received the Acadiana Advertising Federation 2013 Art Director of the Year Award and Gold Addy Award for her designs for Becoming Louisiana: The Path to Statehood, a project for the Louisiana State Bicentennial Commission curated by Herman Mhire. Miss Ferry’s clients include and have included state and local tourism, state and local political campaigns, construction industry, healthcare industry, restaurant, and hospitality industry, state and local libraries, arts and cultural organizations and non-profit organizations.
Recently, Kate has been creating fine art and fun art again. The Voodoo Dolls (along with Dia de los Muertos dolls and Courir de Mardi Gras dolls) are the fun art! Originally designed/created for her Krewe des Canailles Mardi Gras sub-krewe the Krewe de Voodoo Dolls, Kate continued making them and is happy to have them exclusively at Pink Alligator Gallery in Breaux Bridge. Made with sticks, paint, buttons, recycled objects, beads, raffia, twine, moss and so on Kate's Voodoo Dolls are colorful, fun and bring good, creative voodoo wherever they go. They’ll put a spell on you!
Mary Tutwiler has never in her life been interested in fashion. Multiple careers: catering, full-time mom, environmental activist, journalist, restauranteur, had nothing to do with design. In 2008, when she was a reporter for The Independent, Mary was assigned a story covering the local tannery, which specializes in alligator skins. The tannery had just been acquired by fashion giant Hermes. She left with two buttery-soft small skins, one dyed turquoise, one cognac. For a year, she puzzled over the skins, gorgeous things, and finally got the nerve to cut and sew them into small wallets. They were so lovely and useful, Mary realized she was on to something, and with the help of her daughter and some friends who had a sewing machine with a diamond tip needle, they created Cocodri. The Louisiana alligator skin industry is a 200-year-old tradition. When the first French settlers arrived in Louisiana they dubbed the huge reptiles they found in the swamps Cocodril, their name for the more familiar Nile crocodile. The American alligator was hunted to the brink of extinction, reaching endangered species status in the 1970s. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enacted a program for collecting eggs and returning hatchlings to the wild. Today, they have a plethora of wild and farmed alligators in south Louisiana. Here in Lafayette, Louisiana, Mary lives in the epicenter of the alligator world. We create everything from swamp tours to alligator sauce piquant on menus, to the fashion (yep) items she designs. Mary is having a blast with fashion.
When Donna Hudson spies a find, she’s already thinking about its reincarnation. In the late 1980s, Hudson dabbled in wood-working, silversmith work and eventually landed a job as a ‘finisher’ at a machine shop, becoming the first woman in the company to ‘order the men around.’ She learned more about fine-tuning and sanding than she cares to remember and quickly realized that aging is not fun, and retiring was sure to be an excellent alternative—except she works more being retired now than ever. Although Donna wasn’t hooked on any particular idea to stay busy when retirement came, she was mostly captured by the interesting pups that she met through her Doggie Love business. In essence, she sits and cares for all fur babies when their owners need to travel. While dog-sitting, she began to occupy her time by creating one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry. Donna quickly realized her passion for taking apart pieces of jewelry and reinventing them, along with creating unique earrings with alligator teeth, stones, and other metal attachments. Donna has an exceptional eye and natural ability to handpick prize pieces from the rubble and hopes you’ll find her jewelry a new-found treasure that will surely be the statement piece you’ve always wanted!
Brian Schneider is a lighting designer and licensed electrician based in Lafayette, Louisiana. A New York City native, he has worked extensively in lighting for Theater, Dance, TV, and as Lighting and AV Manager at the Rubin Museum of Art. Upon moving to Lafayette, Louisiana, in 2011, he became the Technical Director for the Acadiana Center for the Arts, assisting them through their ﬁrst four seasons. In 2015, Brian began his own design ﬁrm, Footcandle Lighting & Electric.
I have been long fascinated by the intersection between science and spirit. Once thought of as polar opposites, the two fields have been steadily moving together, especially over recent years. For me, light has always represented this place where science and spirit, art, and technology meet. It is everywhere, and still a mystery. Both wave and particle, it can harm or heal us, reveal and hide truths, it directly interacts with our hearts, minds, and bodies. And the Stars Aligned Constellations, as Interpreted by Lamp Design Brian Schneider, Andromeda (light installation): The Princess; The Chained Maiden is part of this series and is on permanent display at Pink Alligator Gallery.
Footcandle Lighting & Electric
Joy's love of art goes back as far as she can remember. For her, using power tools, building things, and then painting them has always been a passion. For many years, she built benches, tables, birdhouses, and boxes, which become my canvases. More recently she returned to two-dimensional pieces. The inspiration for the work almost always comes from nature, like being a kid again and seeing animal shapes in clouds or faces in flowers and trees. Living in the country obviously surrounds Joy with endless inspiration. The images, however, come from the thoughts and places in her head, which manifest in pictures rather than words. There are magical flying or underwater contraptions which if real, could possibly fly or float. She sees animals dressed as humans and humans often disguised as animals. They are all loosely based on the saying that we should never judge a book by its cover. The perception of good or bad, right or wrong, often cunning, sometimes forthright can be found in her pictures through maybe blurred as to which is which. The story behind the images is her story. Joy hopes that the viewer will be intrigued and then encouraged to write his or her own story.
Dutch Kepler was born in 1943 in Kirksville, Missouri, and grew up in an Air Force family on Cape Cod before moving to the south. His B.A. from North Texas State was followed by a job at Bloom Advertising in Dallas. Dutch earned an M.F.A. from Florida State and returned to USL for thirty years teaching advertising design. During this period, he won awards in Lafayette, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Tulsa, Birmingham, and Memphis for graphic design. He was chosen as a Distinguished Professor by the USL Foundation. Dutch also holds lifetime achievement awards from the Acadiana Advertising Federation and Dallas Society of Visual Communications. As a painter, he has taken part in one-person and group shows in places like New York City, Miami Beach, Florence, South Carolina as well as the Beausoleil Louisiana Solar Home Project at the Solar Decathlon in Washington D. C. Dutch has played jazz drums with Kidd Jordan, Dickie Landy, Rusty Mayne, and countless others in clubs and galleries in Lafayette and New Orleans. Dutch and his wife, Joy, live on fifteen acres with a pond north of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana where they visit each other’s’ studios and fish out back daily. In 2017, Acadiana Center for the Arts honored Dutch with a four-month retrospective of his paintings.
Logan Berard was born and raised in south Louisiana. She attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and earned a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design. After graduation, it dawned on Logan that she would rather be an artist than an interior designer.
Logan had always wanted to paint people portraits but discovered she was not very good at it, so she painting cows. Since then, she has painted a myriad of animals including ostriches, llamas, donkeys, and ducks. Her goal is to make people smile, which she does by turning the subjects of her paintings into humorous characters. Recently, inspired by her little girl’s love for bugs, she has been working on a new series called “Bayou Bugs.”
Brett has worked as a muralist and decorative painter for twenty years, including ten years with Robert Dafford murals. He has also worked as a scenic artist on several motion pictures, including “Deep Water Horizon,” “Fantastic Four,” and “Lee Daniel’s The Butler.” His studio work for the last several years has focused on experimentation with leather and precious metal leaf. He relies on photo-realistic imagery and abstract texture to create an image that appears both manufactured and handmade.
I am heavily influenced by American pop culture, not in the traditional sense of using pop icons as an influence, but more about the psychology that drives decision making in American culture. Because I grew up moving from place to place, I never got attached to cultural traditions specific to any region. Nonetheless, I’ve always been very aware of its importance. I use nature, specifically, animals, to illustrate my thoughts on social behavior. I have an insatiable curiosity about how traditions and culture shape a community.
Bill Nethery was born and raised in Algiers, LA. He eventually got degrees in Forest Biology at North Carolina State University and now works as a wetlands biologist. Mr. Nethery has always enjoyed viewing and learning about art but decided to try painting so that he could have a better idea of what it is like to work with that medium. His favorite color combination is obviously blue and gold. His paintings were created in the interest of re-purposing photograph paper that would otherwise be in the landfill. The paint was put on the back of the photograph and worked into shapes until a noticeable form appeared. Then specific elements were added to complete the figure or story that had unfolded. This process is much like looking at clouds to see what shapes are there but then adding things like eyes or feet. It begs the question of whether there was actual composition, which is one of the components of art, as Mr. Nethery learned from his nephew. The title or story that comes out is a whole different matter.