Patrons of the arts, history, music and fine dining accepted an “Invitation to St. Francisville” while taking part in a fundraiser celebrating a painting by New Orleans artist George Dureau that brought money and attention to the West Feliciana Historical Society and its museum.
The West Feliciana Historical Society said it plans to make Invitation to St. Francisville an annual event. The meal was catered by Restaurant 1796, and live music was performed by Three Blind Mice.
Board member Heather Spillman said the group decided to make the most of the famed painting, which is on loan to the museum from owners Kelly Tandy and Paul Cabiran.
“I would say the event circles the painting and the fact that it's an artistic impression of the parish and town as an invitation to St. Francisville,” she said. “We have a museum here where we have exhibits, and it was a great way to showcase a piece of art that not many people would ever get to see from an artist in New Orleans and housed at the Pan Am Building in New Orleans.”
The painting was commissioned when the Pan Am Building was built. Several artists were commissioned to paint native scenes of Louisiana.
“The owner grew up here and purchased the painting at auction, and has allowed us to show it,” Spillman said. “We showcased the event around this artwork to raise money. The funds will allow us to do further exhibits.”
The Invitation to St. Francisville painting will remain on display at the museum through the end of April.
Dot Temple, president of the Board of the West Feliciana Historical Society, said the turnout and engagement helped strike a celebratory tone for the event. “Tonight has just been a lovely night for us and the weather has just been gorgeous,” she said. “People have come out and enjoyed such a wonderful night or good food, good music and just good company. So, we're very happy that it was so successful.”