LAFAYETTE — After months of planning, a public art project to give Lafayette its “postcard” feature is taking shape in downtown’s Parc Sans Souci .
Work crews are installing 6-foot-tall concrete letters in the park spelling out “Lafayette” without the “Y,” with the hope folks will fill in the blank themselves for their Lafayette postcard photos.
“It’s been really exciting,” said Kate Durio, director of marketing and events with the Downtown Development Authority. “People are coming and asking what’s going on. They’ve been taking pictures of the progress. It’s real.”
Durio has been in charge of the project, from the conception in her sketchbook to its inception in Lafayette’s artistic landscape.
Visitors of the downtown park will be encouraged to take photographs of themselves and share them through the Internet with the hashtag “#YLafayette.”
DDA plans to make a compilation of pictures in the tag, she said.
The project launched Sept. 15 on local crowd-sourcing website civicside.com, and met its $16,000 funding goal with 32 private backers.
The site has aided in funding other projects across Lafayette, like installing a speaker system at the Market at The Horse Farm, building the Jefferson Street Parklet and funding for a park and community garden for Freetown-Port Rico residents.
The concrete-letter project follows the example of projects like Dallas’ BiG D, where people pose between the B and the G to form the I.
Durio said she also encourages artists to use the letters as blank concrete canvases to express what they think Lafayette is all about.
“This is just another canvas for artists,” she said.
There will also be a removable “Y” made of chicken wire that can be filled with things to commemorate certain events and holidays: presents for Toys for Tots drives, Cajun gear for University of Louisiana at Lafayette home games or a recycling station for Mardi Gras beads during the Fat Tuesday celebrations.
“If people don’t want their beads, they can just throw them in the Y and we’ll recycle them,” Durio said.