Festival International de Louisiane is pleased to announce their Official Visual Artists for the 35th annual event. After a trying year like 2020, the organization felt that now is the perfect time to celebrate the unity and diversity that Festival International encompasses and shares with the world.
“Rather than selecting one Official Artist for this year, like usual, Festival has brought together multiple artisans with diverse backgrounds and mediums to create a piece of commissioned artwork that is unifying and unique.” said Marketing Coordinator, Carly Viator. “With the artwork recently completed and the 2021 poster soon heading off to print, we are excited to share the piece with the community at the artwork reveal later this spring.”
The all star collaborators for the new art piece, titled ‘Woven in Culture’, include Neka Mire, Jerome Ford and Luann Duhon. Festival believes that by coming together, its fans, artists and organizers can rise above these challenges to manifest something even greater than before.
Neka S. Mire is a Chitimacha bead artist and river cane weaver. Neka began beading as a child in 1993 at Chitimacha Tribal School and continued to expand her artistry over the years. In addition to beading and cane weaving, she designs & crochets accessories and practices finger weaving, tablet weaving, and inkle weaving. She continues to learn and share the techniques of her Chitimacha ancestors and tribal members.
Jerome Ford, the painter out of this special collaboration, was born and raised in New Orleans and this is reflected in his vibrant artwork. As a child growing up in the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans, Ford claims to have found that his most gratifying experiences involved designing and creating. Ford taught within the Talented Visual Arts Program in New Orleans until Hurricane Katrina, and then came to Opelousas to continue enriching the lives of children and our local art community.
The final artist for 2021 is no stranger to Festival International. A potter for more than 40 years, Luann Duhon has been part of the cultural event since its inception over 30 years ago. From volunteering to selling her artwork as a vendor and beyond, Luann knows Festival from many angles. She is also a certified floral designer. Luann has raised her family while maintaining vital roles in local arts organizations, including a hand in establishing the Louisiana Crafts Guild.
In 2021, Festival International de Louisiane’s goal is to focus on the mélange of art, music, and love for people and cultures that the event brings to Lafayette, and the world. This collaborative artwork will light the way for a pivotal era and will reflect on these themes of creativity and positivity.
“We look forward to all being together again, both virtually this spring and in person in the future.” said Scott Feehan, Executive Director of Festival. “We hope you will join us in support of the celebration this spring, just like every year. Stay tuned for lots of exciting announcements, including our big 2021 artwork and music lineup reveal! Festival is taking over Lafayette this April in new ways.”