The History And Stories Behind Seven Pieces Of Public Art In Downtown Lafayette
I couldn't even begin to count how many times I've walked around Downtown Lafayette and admired the great public art displayed, just about at every turn. It's probably what I like best about Downtown Lafayette. It gives the area a truly unique feel. I've often wondered who made these sculptures and painted these murals, and today I came across some great information about them I thought I'd share.
There's a great website, www.acadianahistorical.com, that not only has a ton of information about Lafayette's public art, but also has a ton of info about the entire Acadiana area.
Below are seven pieces of public art around the Downtown Lafayette area and the story behind each one!
Again, you can find more detailed information on each piece over at acadianahistorical.com.
"The Twisted Loop" also known as "The Toungue", is located on Congress St. by the Lafayette Public Library. The sculpture was created sometime in the early 1970s by Robert Wiggs along with some help from Mike Stansbury. The Smithsonian has dated the piece to 1969 or 1970. Wiggs and Stansbury welded the framework for the sculpture, and then pretty much created the piece from scratch right on the spot of it's original location at Home S&L drive-thru on Vermilion Street.
This fantastic public painting was created by Robert Dafford and is located at the corner of Vermilion and South Buchanan streets on the outside wall of the office of D. Warren Ashy. The painting was created in 1988 and took about two weeks to complete.
Here's another gorgeous mural done by artist Robert Dafford. Robert had the help of Douglas Dafford and John Pourcio on this one. The title and the imagery, “Ex-Garage,” is an homage to the building’s previous life. In the bumpers of the cars are reflections of the 1950s Cajun culture. Various Cajun musicians and a traditional Cajun Mardis Gras celebration can be seen in this larger than life painting. It's located on the side of Jefferson Tower, right across from his "Gateway" painting.
This sculpture was created by Robert Wiggs, and dedicated on June 29th, 1983. Also known as “Inflorescence,” a name given to the sculpture by the architect who commissioned the piece. It was dubbed "Inflorescence" because of the revitalized spirit of the Lafayette Downtown area at the time. This sculpture is located outside of Jefferson Tower on Jefferson St.
"Downtown Reawakening" is said to be one of Lafayette's first murals. It's located at the Vermilion Street entrance to the Parc Auto du Centre-Ville parking garage, on a wall behind Antlers Restaurant and Bar. This incredible mural from 1984 is the work of Tanya Falgout. Falgout took pictures from atop the newly built parking garage and based her mural on those images.
This one, called "Escape From The Postcards" is probably my favorite. Not because I think it's better than any of the others, but because the very first time I parked a car in Lafayette was in front of this mural, and it blew me away. Painted by Robert Dafford in 1986, it's also called “‘Til All That’s Left Is A Postcard.” Dafford says this mural represents human impact on nature. You can see this breath taking piece of art on the corner of Jefferson and Garfield streets.
Here's another awesome piece of work done by the great Robert Dafford. Entitled "Stereo Prairie", you can find it on the side of the Children's Museum downtown. Dafford, along with Herb Roe, Sherrie Bennet, and Chris Condor, and many other artists from the Artists Alliance painted the mural in 1994. As far as anyone knows, it's the world’s only outdoor 3-D mural. Dafford tells acadianahistorical.com "As far as I know it’s the only four celled, quadroscopic image that creates a 3-D effect when viewed through converged vision. When you meld two of the images they pop out into 3-D. The stars, the moon, the trees, and the objects dancing across the landscape all become three dimensional".