Happy Places

For the 3rd year running, the mayor of West Monroe has mounted an art show in the lobby outside her office on the 2nd floor of the West Monroe city hall. And… for the 3rd year running, I am happy to be in the show!

Âme du Bayou (Bayou DeSiard)

This year’s theme is “Your Happy Place.” Before I moved to Louisiana some 20+ years ago, the idea that swamp could be a “happy place” for me was…, well, a non-starter. Period. And I think I have said before in this space that coming to think of Louisiana’s swamps as “beautiful” took a few years. Swamps are definitely an acquired taste!

Today I am endlessly fascinated by them. One of the three of my works in the show represents Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge just 20 minutes from home. Another is from Lake Martin, way down in south central Louisiana. I only make it down there about twice a year, but I wouldn’t dream of going to that part of the state without spending a few hours at Lake Martin.

The third is Bayou DeSiard, also close to home. A bayou is not exactly a swamp; it is shaped like a river or stream, but the water moves very slowly. Bayous also look rather like swamps because they typically feature trees that stand in water–like the cypress trees that line Bayou DeSiard. To me, they are indeed the “soul of the bayou”!

Locals, to see the show, go to the West Monroe city hall at 2305 N 7th St. and ask the 1st floor receptionist to let you on the elevator to go upstairs and see the art. All three of my works have been in juried shows around the country, but for the coming year, they will be right here at home!

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