It was a ruff time in the Lacoste Elementary art room recently when a pair of Arabi artists mentored eight Lacoste Bulldogs for a painting workshop, designed to foster talent and promote school spirit.
Funded by a grant from the Joseph and Arlene Meraux Charitable Foundation, artists Katherine Lemoine and DeBow Alexander of the Voices Foundation hosted a two-day workshop, providing professional art instruction to elementary school students. The project also had another benefit; the Bulldog art that was created would serve as a legacy for the newly-opened school.
Lemoine, a Board Member with the Voices Foundation, said it was a way to welcome Lacoste into the school community.
“We wanted to do something special for the new elementary school,” Lemoine said.
She said this latest workshop was just the latest in an ongoing partnership between the two non profit groups.
“Over the last several years, we’ve partnered with the Meraux Foundation on a number of projects - from our Silver Linings Senior Citizen Acting Troupe to our summer art series at Docville. This year we’ve expanded our programs to more schools as part of our outreach,” she said.
Alexander guided the students in a number of activities, designed to inspire creativity and promote collaboration while Lemoine helped the artists fine tune their work.
Lemoine said in addition to the canvas keepsake, the students also painted muslin panels and backdrops to be used throughout the school.
“The artwork we created can be used in a number of ways. To serve as a backdrop for the morning news program, or as décor for school events,” she said.
“We wanted the work to be portable and give the students the opportunity to create something unique.”
Besides work in the school’s art room, several of the young artists also visited Docville Farm as part of the experience.
This Meraux Foundation property is an educational center, and the site for a number of drama, music, writing, culinary, and photography workshops.
Lemoine said students always enjoy the beauty of its surroundings.
“It’ a very inspiring setting. It’s perfect for young artists.”
Lemoine said she enjoys the working with the youngsters, but is also appreciative of the opportunity.
“It’s always fun to see the talent of the young people in our community, but without the funding, none of this would be possible. We’re really grateful to share our talent with the next generation and appreciate the support of the Meraux Foundation in helping to make it happen.”
The Lacoste Elementary School Bulldog is nicknamed, Les. But at this recent art workshop Les meant more. More learning, more fun, and more opportunities for the young people of the parish.
By: Barry Lemoine