Six art installations to be dedicated in sculpture garden

Published 9:21 am Friday, November 3, 2023

By Emily Burleigh

A “Celebration of the Arts” will be hosted at the Leesville Art Park at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4. There, six new art installations will be dedicated.

The Leesville Art Park – located on Abe Allen Memorial Dr. – is a sculpture garden on a one third mile long walking track.

“Marci’s Meadow,” “Kisatchie,” “Wisteria Towers,” “Ode to the Pottery Gods,” “The Other Sunshine Bridge,” and “Louisiana Totem.”

“Marcie’s Meadow” is a wildflower pollinator area that will be dedicated to Marci Joy Cook, a “strong supporter of the arts that has left us,” said Tony McDonald, gallery coordinator in a release. This installation is a low berm that will grow “wild and natural” for birds and butterflies.

“Kisatchie” is a sculpture memorializing Kisatchie National Forest, and was created by four people: Will Jenkings, Ben Moss, Joey Governale and McDonald. The cylindrical sculpture is vibrantly painted, and features sculpted birds and four painted panels that symbolize aspects of Kisatchie.

The sculpture was funded by the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, the City of Leesville, the Vernon Parish Tourism Commission and private donations.

The “spot of zen” and monument deemed “Wisteria Towers” near West Leesville Elementary School will be dedicated to Shirley Smith, McDonald said.

“Shirley was an adamant supporter of the arts throughout her life, and a staunch supporter of the Leesville Art Park. Upon her death, the family requested that donations go to the park in her name.”

While still a work in progress, “Ode to the Pottery Gods” will honor the intersection of the military family of Taylor Sund Peterson and the local art scene. Peterson is a local artist, gallery volunteer and military spouse, McDonald said. She conceived and created “Ode to the Pottery Gods, which is a mosaic pyramid.

The new footbridge that connects West Leesville Elementary to the Art Park, “The Other Sunshine Bridge,” was designed by Leila Pollard and built by the SOWELA Carpentry Class. McDonald said that the bridge was suggested and funded by the City and the Kiwanis Club of Leesville.

“This is a wonderful example of good people creating good things for the community.”

The last installation is the “Louisiana Totem.” This is a piece of art by Governale that is seated in the center of the park. The installation is lively, and is the beginning of a planned space that will house architectural columns.

“Joey’s whimsical and colorful images provide a real pop of color and activity to the Art Park and we look forward to the other columns going up soon.”

Also on Saturday, an artist reception for the Gallery One Eleven exhibition “All Together Now” will be hosted at 5 p.m.

This exhibition will feature the art of eight artists from Central Louisiana: Madilyn Anderson, Cindy Blair, Barbara Clover, Jerry Havens, Maria Manemann, Nancy Noles, Bridie Rollins, Chastity Smith and Kelvin Spears.

35 pieces of ceramic, linoprint, illuminated sculpture and paintings will be on display, McDonald told the American Press.

Catering will be served Kai’s Island Grill and the seafood will be provided by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board.

The exhibition will be on display until Dec. 9.