Monday Mellow Yellow – 84

Monday Yellow - 84

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Chauvin Sculpture Garden
(locally known as Kenny Hill Sculpture Garden)

Kenny Hill, a bricklayer by day, and self-taught artist by evening and weekend, created over 100 pieces of sculpture out of cement and wire mesh.  He was a private man, and the folk art pieces he created were not meant for anyone’s eyes but his.  It is said he denied interviews and photographs.  Not much is known about him, other than he started working on this folk art world in 1989 – 1990.  He began transforming his shaded bayou environment into a mesmerizing chronicle of the world as seen through his eyes.  There is a profound mixture of Biblical reference, with bright Cajun colors and stark black, with evident themes of pain, inner struggle, conflict between good and evil.  A message of salvation is intertwined throughout the pieces.  He has figures of black and white, male, female, a child, soldiers as well as many self-portrayals.  All of the pieces are guided, supported or lifted by various versions of angels.  Some of the angels seem celestial, some inviting while others seem daunting.  Towards the back of the garden is the most prominent piece in the garden … a lighthouse. It is 45 feet tall, composed of 7,000 bricks, with figures clinging to the outside: cowboys, soldiers, angels, God, and Hill himself.

In January 2000, after having a disagreement with the local parish, Kenny abruptly left the site and area.  When visitors discovered his absence they found a hand painted message above the kitchen sink: “HELL IS HERE, WELCOME.”

Committed to the preservation and conservation of art environments, including self-taught artists, and important collections nationwide, the Kohler Foundation purchased and preserved the land which included the garden. The site opened to the public in 2002.  The Foundation gifted the garden to nearby Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana.

 

For previous photos:
Kenny Hill Sculpture Garden
Chauvin, Louisiana

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Monday Mellow Yellow and Mandarin Orange Monday

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© by rgb for “On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea”, 2011 – 2014

The Monday tradition …

Monday Mellow Yellows

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About becca givens

Becca is an artist, poet, and animal communicator. She delights in cooking, nurturing, and sharing a rich spiritual life with others on the Path.
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8 Responses to Monday Mellow Yellow – 84

  1. Teresa says:

    What an interesting man he must have been.

    Like

  2. kaykuala says:

    It’s such a unique treat, becca! Brick laying skills and appreciation of the arts made him a rare breed! Thanks for sharing!

    Hank

    Like

  3. It reminds me of a family who lived down the road from us, their dad use to make life size sculptures of Tarzan and all his jungle animals. We use to get so excited when he produced a new one, we would climb all over them and play junglr games. I went back to my home town recently and visited my friend she had bought her parents house and what did I see….. one dilapidated tiger still standing, my friend said she had to keep one. I felt sad that the whole collection had been damaged over time and was gone. A special memory of joy from my childhood. I am glad this collection was preserved…great post thank you.

    Like

    • becca givens says:

      Oh what a shame for that collection to disintegrate.
      I did not realize until this past weekend (when I revisited the garden while in Louisiana), the garden is indeed maintained. It didn’t occur to me without it … these figures would disintegrate as well. I also didn’t think about the collection withstanding all the major hurricanes. The guide indicated that there are mixed feelings among local people about the maintenance. Personally, I am glad they are maintaining it.

      Like

  4. gillena says:

    Wow! thanks for sharing; have a nice Monday

    much love…

    Like

  5. Very interesting info about an artist. As a fellow artist, I love hearing about other artists.

    Like

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