Knock on the bit: LC Symphony unleashes Gators on Geaux – American Press

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Knock on the bit: LC Symphony unleashes Gators on Geaux – American Press

Nice on the bit: LC Symphony unleashes Gators on Geaux

Published 21:44 Friday, September 2, 2022

After 20 years, the Lake Charles Symphony is rebooting the public art exhibit “Gators on the Geaux.”

“We felt it was time to have a revival,” said Beverly Jones, president-elect for the Lake Charles Symphony Board of Directors. “It was a time for everyone to come back and show that we are Lake Charles strong.

“We decided to bring the gator back after years so we could have hole hunts and have a lot of fun, bring all the artists together and bring so much joy to the community.”

Jones said many of the gators created 20 years ago have been destroyed by many things — the elements, time and two years of pandemics and natural disasters. There was a public desire for more gators to be produced to replace the originals.

“We’ve received so many messages about the door pullers,” said Beth Dawdy, executive director of the Lake Charles Symphony.

For those at the Lake Charles Symphony, the exhibit is the result of a passion for local arts.

“We’re part of helping support the arts in our community,” Dawdy said.

Three of the creators of the Gators on the Geaux art installation, Julie Gani, Marianne Kaiser and Sam Wilkinson, were on hand to celebrate the reboot.

“The beauty of it is that it supports arts in the community,” Wilkinson said. He said through the program, local artists had an opportunity to be commissioned to paint a gator. This event then supported artists by offering them financial compensation and artistic exposure.

The original public art exhibition included approximately 70 door pulls.

Kaiser previously served as president of the board for the Symphony. Gani and Wilkinson previously served as co-chairs of the board.

At the celebration was the first new Gator on the Geaux, designed by local artist Candice Alexander, who said it was an “absolute honor” to be a part of this revival.

The gator was inspired by the hurricane recovery that Southwest Louisiana faced. “I designed it with the two-year anniversary of the hurricane in mind,” she said.

It contains many recognizable symbols, including cardinals, pelicans, a hurricane, and pieces of glass from the Capital One building. The gator will be on display in Alexander’s shop until it is auctioned off. Lotteries for the gator will take place during the 2022-2023 Symphony season, October 2 – April 16.

Lake Charles artists are encouraged to submit design proposals to the Arts and Humanities Council of SWLA. These proposals will be considered for addition to a catalog from which Gator will select the Geaux sponsors. To do so, visit artscouncilswla.org/events/gators-on-the-geaux.

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