Mosaics display Louisiana history in living
Trevis R. Badeaux
May 19, 2003
Submitted photo Louisiana history is the theme of a
mosaic being created by Lafayette Parish students and the
Acadiana Arts Council. The project, called “Based in
Louisiana,” features mosaics placed on the 700-pound
concrete blocks that once supported the Pelicans on Parade
The following article was found in The
Advertiser, Lafayette, Louisianna. It is a clear example of
how both schools and other bodies can work together for the benefit
of the community.
LAFAYETTE — The Acadiana Arts Council, in partnership with
local artists and the Lafayette Parish School Board, is helping
students design and create a tile mosaic of various scenes from
Louisiana’s history for its bicentennial celebration.
The project, called “Based in Louisiana,” is funded
through state and federal grants. It features mosaics placed on
the 700-pound concrete blocks that once supported the Pelicans on
Parade display. The blocks will be used as park benches throughout
A black history mosaic, installed earlier this month at the Lafayette
Convention and Visitors Bureau Center on Evangeline Thruway, is
the first to be completed by the students. It features images from
the Toussaint L’Ouverture slave revolt in Haiti, the civil
rights movement and African textile patterns.
“This is a public art project to create works that will be
here 20 years from now. Each represents the culture and history
of Louisiana and America,” said Naomi Celestin, Acadiana Arts
Council community education coordinator.
Boutté, 17, a junior at Comeaux High, and Abbey Hebert, 17,
a sophomore at Lafayette High, began working on the project last
summer. The mosaic Boutté and Hebert collaborated on features
music notes, hymnals and singing choir members. The subject is jazz,
a musical genre created in southern Louisiana from slave spirituals
and Mississippi Delta blues.
Boutté and Hebert considered quitting after months of exhaustive
research, but both decided to stay with the project to leave their
own mark on Lafayette and Louisiana history.
“We’re making history. This is something people can
remember us by,” Boutté said. “Besides, what’s
the point of starting something if you’re not going to finish
One phase of the project, funded by a Louisiana Division of the
Arts grant, combined fifth grade students at Paul Breaux Middle,
high school students at Northside High and Acadiana artists in the
art council’s “Bright New Worlds” program.
The artists, certified to teach in a classroom setting for 50-minute
sessions, worked with the students and teachers to research the
Louisiana Purchase. The students garnered images from that research
to create the collages in class, after school and on the weekends,
With federal Workforce Investment Grant funds, Acadiana artists
in the art council’s “Artworks” program worked
with students from various high schools in the parish. The students
learned valuable workforce skills, including problem solving, meeting
deadlines and working in a group, Celestin said. The program includes
in-class, hands-on projects that enhance geometry, English, history
and other core curriculum lessons taught over the summer.
This article is reproduced with the kind permission of:
©The Lafayette Daily Advertiser
May 19, 2003
Author: Trevis R. Badeaux
Pictures: P.C. Piazza