Environmental portraits and landscape photographs by Lane Lefort and oil paintings by Marian Brister Martinez will be featured in the “I Remember” art exhibit presented by the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) Task Force at the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve at 6588 Barataria Blvd., Marrero.
The art show opening will take place during a Wetlands Festival from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Jean Lafitte.
Lefort and Martinez are both Louisiana natives who have used their artistic talents to capture the culture and heritage of the communities in coastal Louisiana.
According to Lefort, “I’ve seen the changes in culture and environment. With photography you can’t go back; you have to capture the history and ecology in real time.”
The work by Martinez consists of 10 paintings ranging from a 75-year period depicting daily life along the lower Mississippi River. “As a child, the river played a part in my daily life. But change is inevitable, and as the years passed, our lives focused on other things,” Martinez said. “I thought it would be important to touch upon this subject in order to document and bring light to a way of life that has quickly disappeared.”
The event also will include recorded presentations of 11 oral historians as they share their environmental portraits and stories. Interviews were conducted over a span of a year to capture the importance of varying lifestyles of individuals living and working in coastal Louisiana.
Among the interviewees are local residents Sue Laudeman, Marietta Smith Greene and Eddie Sapia, of Lafitte.
“The collected environmental portraits and oral histories are important tools in connecting viewers to the cultural effects of land loss in coastal Louisiana. The artists having a first-hand view of coastal land loss in Louisiana offer a perspective that is unique ... not just to habitat but to the people and the culture of this wonderful state” said Jeff Weller, a field supervisor with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a member of the CWPPRA Task Force.
Festival activities include walking tours with nature photography, illustrating your own wetlands story, uses of native plants and birdwatching. Musicians from the Cajun Music Preservation Society will perform. The art exhibit will remain on display through June 28.