The Herons on the Bayou Project, as announced by Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Louisiana Monroe and creative mind behind the project, Brooke Foy, will be the largest, most widespread public art project to come to the area.
With help from the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council, Delta Regional Authority, The Monroe - West Monroe Convention & Visitors Bureau, ULM and many more, the brand new public art project is set to come to Ouachita and surrounding parishes sometime next year.
The project revolves around one of a kind sculptures that stand 6 to 7 feet tall and serve as a connective symbol for the community. The subject of these sculptures, the Heron, was inspired by the Blue Heron that can be spotted all over the area.
“We are trying to create an opportunity for our businesses and artist to come together to create an altered visual landscape for all of Ouachita Parish,” Foy said.
Brooke Foy, along with the Herons on the Bayou Committee and their sponsors, is asking the community to help bring this project to life by becoming a sponsor for the Herons. Each sponsor that makes a donation of $2,500 will receive one of these unique Herons as well as a mini Heron. These sculptures will begin life as identical fiberglass Herons, but will then be transformed into a one-of-a-kind work of art created by the talented local artist in the community.
Foy explained what this means for local artist and businesses alike. “Artists want to feel like they’re part of their community and they need to know that businesses around are willing to support them, but at the same exact time, businesses want to be part of the community," she continued, “So we’re really trying to create a good sense of unity in Ouachita Parish.”
The community is also invited to submit possible designs to go on the Herons. There will be a local competition for schools, art programs, art instructors, college art students, university art students and any community member that has an original idea for a design that they can bring to life in paint or mosaic. Once designs have been submitted by the artists, the sponsors will be given the opportunity to select the design that best suits them. Sponsors will select from approved designs based on the order their sponsorship was received.
There are deadlines for both sponsorship commitments and design submissions. The last day for the artist to submit a design for the Herons is November 30 by 5 p.m. The last day to become a sponsor for the project will be a little later with a date set for December 7.
The project hopes to find a home for the Herons throughout the area while capturing the hearts of the community and bringing it closer together.