Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Courir de Mardi Gras art exhibit on display at Visitor Center

    A reception for Masks and Mayhem - The Courir de Mardi Gras artwork by Herb Roe will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11 at the St. Landry Parish Visitor Information Center at I-49 exit 23, just north of Opelousas. The exhibit features 20 oil paintings and graphite drawings depicting the colorful costumes, music and revelry of the rural Mardi Gras runs, the traditional pre-Lenten celebration of the Cajun and Creole people of Louisiana prairies.
Mardi Gras artwork by Herb Roe
    The free exhibit remains on display through March 17. A traditional Mardi Gras costume, made by Georgie and Allen Manuel of Eunice, is also on display. 
    An Ohio native and resident of Lafayette, Roe has been a professional artist for nearly 20 years. After receiving a scholarship in 1992 to the Columbus College of Art and Design, Roe became an apprentice to Louisiana mural artist Robert Dafford. 
    Roe worked for Dafford for 15 years on mural projects throughout the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys. He specialized in large scale and long term historical murals, usually connected with local chambers of commerce, tourism bureaus and downtown development agencies. Many of these projects took five to 10 years to complete, and ranged from one to 50 murals in each town. 
    In 2007, Roe pursued his own fine arts career, specializing in oil paintings, historical illustrations and murals. His work has included classical portraits, figure painting and American Indian illustrations that have been used by the Chickasaw tribe, American Archaeology Magazine and PM, a German language science magazine. 
    Writer Anna Purdy featured Roe in the Dec. 28, 2011 edition of Lafayette’s weekly newspaper, The Independent. In the article, Roe said he often uses computer programs to combine various photos to create an image that inspires a painting. 
    For more information on Roe’s exhibit, contact the St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission at (337) 948-8004 or visit www.cajuntravel.com. Events are also listed on Facebook at St. Landry Parish – It’s Gumbo for Your Soul and Twitter @StLandryParish. Videos are online at www.youtube.com/StLandryParish.

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