Summer Opening at the Hilliard

Summer exhibits feature French language connection

This summer the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum in Lafayette, Louisiana is inviting you to staycation with them and enjoy all the connections between Lafayette and their sister city in Le Cannet, France.

An official visit from the mayor of Le Cannet to Lafayette inspired a collaboration with the museum, designed to foster a stronger connection between Le Cannet and Lafayette, and to bring in artwork from one of the city’s most beloved artists, Pierre Bonnard. Bonnard is a well-loved artist who spent his last days creating many works of art in Le Cannet.

The exhibition, titled “Pierre Bonnard: Landscapes from Le Cannet,” showcases rare landscapes he painted from 1912 to 1946. Part of the exhibit will include some of the sketches penned by Bonnard while scouting locations for the scenes of his paintings.

The exhibit will be exclusive to Lafayette, as it will be delivered to the museum and brought directly back to France afterwards. Also, the exhibit will be displayed in a bilingual format to promote the recent push for the preservation of the French language in Acadiana.

“There are a lot of people that live here whose grandparents were not allowed to speak French in school because there was a huge nationalistic movement for everyone to speak English,” says Jolie Johnson, membership and marketing manager. “Recently there has been a push to preserve the language though, so we wanted to celebrate that Acadiana is one of the only places in the U.S. that French is being spoken everywhere.”

(L to R: "Cannet Mistral Winds" and "Paysage du cannet" – both by Pierre Bonnard)

Other exhibitions that will be on display alongside Bonnard’s landscapes will be recent works by contemporary artists Joan Tanner and Francis Pavy. Tanner is a conceptual painter-turned-sculptor based in Southern California who creates pieces that question the notion of permanence. Pavy is a Lafayette painter who is primarily a colorist and uses printmaking to generate very layered compositions filled with symbols that unfold much like a narrative or dream state. 

On display in the main gallery, will be the private collection of Becky and Wyatt Collins, who have amassed an incredible collection of works by American self-taught artists. The exhibit will include more than 300 pieces by over 150 artists, many from the Acadiana region. 

According to curator Laura Blereau, there is a common thread that ties all the exhibits together.

“All the exhibits look at the formal properties of line and color,” says Blereau. “All the artworks feature bold and expressive color palettes, or a careful consideration of line and what they represent. Many of the artists use mark-making in interesting ways to demonstrate a fresh perspective.”

("Lake Arthur Lotus" by Francis Pavy)

The opening night of the exhibition, June 9 from 6-8 p.m., will be a way for the community to celebrate and engage with the art and get a preview of everything happening at the museum this summer.

“We have food, drinks and music so it will be a great social outing for people plus it’s free,” says Johnson. “This event is free and we also offer free admission from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Wednesday, because our mission is always to provide as much accessibility to the arts as we can.”

Throughout the summer, the museum will host various events that will continue to celebrate the ties between France and Acadiana. Planned events include French language hours, yoga in French and French cooking classes, among others.

For more information about the exhibit or the museum visit or call (337) 482-2278.


Upcoming Events

Come out for a Corn Shucking Contest, softball tournaments, food vendors and to dance to the beat of bands like LiL Nate & The Zydeco Big Timers and Jamie Bergeron & The Kickin’ Cajuns.


Come out to the Wurst Biergarten to hear tons of local bands like, Free hot Breakfast, Derrick Savoie, Abby Sonbuchner and Typical Stereo.  

All door proceeds and donations will go towards Tommy and Blair Herder joining the Pablove team to fight childhood cancer.


Come to Parc de Lafayette to enjoy live music from Lynn August to help us shape the CREATE initiative for the Lafayette community.

In this first opportunity for community interviews, you can tell the city what culture means to you, what you think the initiative should include or design a postcard for visitors that captures the community.


Louisiana’s Leading annual film festival will take place April 20 through April 23.

Join the Acadiana Center for the Arts during Artwalk to take in works from Dutch Kepler.

Kepler was chosen as a Distinguished Professor by the USL Foundation and holds lifetime achievement awards from Acadiana Advertising Federation and Dallas Society of Visual Communications.
Most of his paintings are landscapes that use the figure/ground as building blocks.

The exhibit will be on display in the main gallery.


Categories: Ça C’est Bon, Theatre + Art, Things To Do