La La Fest gives place to budding artists
New arts festival focuses on live crafts
La La Fest is a live craft event designed to connect burgeoning artists with the community, businesses, and display an up-close, hands on version of how different crafts are made.
Artists present at the event will include blacksmiths, painters, mixed media artists, steam punk artists, craftsmen, folk artists, dancers and fire breathers, among others.
John Melancon, owner of Melancon Art Initiatives, is co-organizing the event alongside gallery owner Dusty Reed.
“I want to make Lafayette a place where an artist can start from the bottom and move to the top,” says Melancon. “Established artists are coming to the event, but the price to participate increases accessibility for all levels of artists. We really care about enfranchising the artist and not the bigger groups.”
After looking into the requirements for publishing the book he had written, 24-year-old Melancon realized how challenging it can be to make it as a new artist, and became interested in flipping the script by helping area artists to grow, even if they had very few resources.
“The more research I did into the art world, the more I realized it was run backwards,” says Melancon. “It seemed like artists were getting the short end on a lot of these events, because they were paying for a booth up front, so the venue didn’t have a vested interest in them selling their products. We wanted to run the event with more of a focus on the individual artist though.”
This focus has been achieved by giving artists who don’t have the money to pay for a booth the option to sell tickets to pay for their spot at the festival, which ultimately allows them to have more control over how they display and sell their goods.
“I just found that a lot of things were stacked against the individual, so we wanted to have an event where artists had a lot of input and control as opposed to one where orders come down from some unseen hand,” says Melancon.
Live demonstrations will kick off at 10 a.m. with Blacksmith Jay Steiner of Vermilionville, showing off his skills and giving the history of blacksmiths.
Next up Phillip LaRive and his assistant, who will be building an old style knife out of a rail road spike, and after that will be local painter Oleus, from Scott, Louisiana, who will be doing a live painting on the roof at the event.
Next up, artist John Daigre, a retired pediatrician from Lafayette, will be showing off his folk collection, which includes collected art from Indian tribes and backwater Cajun areas along with some of his own works, and rounding out the exhibitions will be Rosslyn Bernard, who will be building a mixed media work of art and talking about her concept.
Street performers will be showing off their skills at the event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and vendors will be onsite until 8 p.m., weather permitting.
There will be a children’s section at the event with fun jumps, chalk and coloring pages, where kids can be dropped off while their parents peruse through the art, and food and drink will be available for purchase at the event.
Musical entertainment will be provided by The Good Dudes between each 45-minute live exhibit throughout the day.
For more information about this month’s La La Fest or future events, visit acebook.com/lalafestivalacadiana or call 409-427-0947.
- Summer Zydeco Dance Series: Leroy Thomas & the Zydeco RoadRunners, Fri., Aug. 18, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Lafayette
Beat the summer heat with an air conditioned Zydeco dance in the Vermilionville Performance Center!
Enjoy live music by Leroy Thomas & the Zydeco RoadRunners.
Admission is $10 (no membership discounts) and refreshments will be available for purchase for this smoke-free family-friendly event.
For more information call (337) 233-4077.
- Martinis 2017 GALA, Sat., Aug. 19, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m., Lafayette
Come out to the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Lafayette for the Final Showdown where all eight restaurants will compete for the title of "Lafayette’s Absolut Best Martini."
Tickets are limited and $125 per person.
The night includes the sounds of crowd favorite Souled Out, hand-painted martini glasses designed by local artist, Dana Manly, a silent auction and, of course, Martinis.
For full details and to purchase tickets
- Jazz Night in Opelousas, Sun., August 20, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., Opelousas
Arpeggios welcomes the Esco Soul Music band to Jazz Night in Opelousas.
Their leader Esco McCollum is no stranger to Arpeggios as he sat in with JB SAAX and the band.
EscoSoulMusic is a band that you will instantly connect with. From Al Green to Z.Z. Hill soul music is the genre of music he interprets, creating a nostalgic experience while providing an atmosphere of fun and love.
Esco began playing music in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and quickly becoming a local favorite. EscoSoulMusic believes, "Whatever is from the heart will reach the heart".
- Ahn Trio new album Concert at Warehouse 535, Thurs., Aug. 24, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Lafayette
The Ahn Trio will be at Warehouse 535 for two live shows on August 24th.
The first show will be from 7-8 p.m. and the second show from 9-10 p.m.
They will be performing songs from their new album BLUE, which was released in the spring of 2017.
The Trio says, “BLUE is a musical diary recorded for Lucia’s son, Blue, of the Trio’s past and present: being invited to jam with Prince at Paisley Park, working with Pat Metheny on the piece Yuryung, performing Skylife at the Obama White House, having the honor of performing at TEDWomen and meeting extraordinary female leaders from around the globe.”
With their album BLUE, the Ahns share their pioneering and creative spirit with both old and new fans.
Tickets are $20 or $10 for students and can be purchased online or at the door.
Students must bring a school ID to get the discount, even if the ticket is bought online.