Acadiana is a culture obsessed with itself. That’s not unique, really. Regional pride is a thing in most places, wherever you go.
A strong cultural identity — or more precisely, identities — can create a powerful market for artists who can tap into it. The ability to sell on social media or through e-commerce has only extended that reach. And that goes for pretty much any medium.
There’s the more classical approach of an artist, like Herb Roe.
Herb is best known for his rich, textured and detailed depictions of pastoral Acadiana — scenes of country Mardi Gras, po-boy shops and boucheries.
Herb Roe grew up in Ohio, where he hooked up with muralist Robert Dafford and landed in Lafayette. Herb painted murals for 10 years before settling into a studio in Freetown to focus on his own work under the business moniker, Chrome Sun. Since then, he’s built a career tapping into the local and national obsession with Acadiana.
Acadiana’s cultural landscape is a fitting subject for oil painting — how about a chainsaw? That’s one way sculptor Kelly Guidry has cut his own path in the art world.
Kelly is a mixed-media artist. He works in metal and wood, and works in conversation with modern and traditional tokens of local life. He collects his work under the business name Modern Primitive, a brand concept he came up with while working in advertising.
Kelly left the ad business to go work full time as a sculptor. Today, he and his wife Robin work side by side to sell his work and others at a gallery in Breaux Bridge called the Pink Alligator. Kelly’s work is also sold online, by commission or at local festivals.
And here’s a bonus pic from the collection of Robin Guidry.