Sunday, May 16, 2010

American Art Icon, Hunt Slonem––On The Bayou

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Hunt's body of work is mainly comprised of exotic birds, bunnies and the occasional tiger. Read on to see how special it is for him to grace us with a rare collection of flora and fauna scenes created just for us in southern Louisiana.

I was thrilled to hear that my fair city would be hosting an exhibit of paintings from renowned artist Hunt Slonem. Hunt is the kind of artist that never stops working. Ever. Part artist, part historian, part antiquarian–– Hunt glides ever so easily between big-city life and the quiet life of Louisiana plantation country and we consider him a treasured neighbor. He purchased the plantation, Albania, a few years ago from the original family of heirs and in a swift and smart move, allowed the film company that filmed "All The Kings Men" take over for a while and shoot parts of the film at the home.  So, if you ever watch that movie, be sure to pay close attention to the scenes, and you'll be looking inside Hunt's home!

Lucky for me, I have a dear friend whom is a dear friend of Hunt's, and the rest is history! I had the pleasure of spending time with him at Albania, which is located about 30 minutes from Lafayette in a small community named Jeanerette. The scale of this place is almost incomprehensible. Its more than stately, it's beyond magnificent and immaculately well taken care of––Hunt would have it no other way!

Albania Plantation

Photo Courtesy of

Photo Courtesy of Ellen Kennon

Hunt loves vibrant colors––his use of bold hues partnered with leaving the original millwork untouched makes for one enchanting combination. The walls are rich, vibrant and velvety; while the woodwork is aged and enameled with one-hundred-fifty years of layers.  

Photo Courtesy of Ellen Kennon

Photo Courtesy of Ellen Kennon

Hunt is no stranger to the deep south, having attended Tulane in New Orleans back in the 1970s–– and I think he's captivated by mystical quality of the Cajun culture; we agree with him very well––so in this exhibit, aptly named "On The Bayou" it appears that in a gesture of true southern hospitality, he created paintings specifically influenced by the swamps of Southern Louisiana. What a gift! 

This exhibit runs through December, so be sure to make it to the Hilliard Art Museum in order to view this wonderful collection of 9'x9' paintings by Mr.Slonem––we owe it to ourselves not to miss it!

There is also a beautiful 48 page book to accompany the paintings that can be purchased here

Hunt has published two other fantastic books filled with eye-popping color and images so irresistible, I say just buy them already. His love for Victorian and Gothic furniture is bizarrely intriguing and sheds a glimpse into to the mind and private life of one of America's most prolific artists. Well worth the read, I think!





Amanda Stone Talley said...

Great Post!

Cote de Texas said...

OMG!!!! he's amazing. someone was just talking about him with him at the beauty shop the other day. she's from laffy too. i asked her about your restaurant but i couldnt remember the name of it!!!