2020 WASHINGTON DC MARDI GRAS Coaster
Louisiana history is rich in tradition and culture unique to The State. For the first time, this rich history is reflected in a timeless piece of art:
Mystick Krewe of Louisiana, Washington DC Mardi Gras Poster created by Candice Alexander, Louisiana Artist.
You will find double symbolism pointing to both the legend of Jean Lafitte and the history of the Acadians throughout the design. The undertones of this piece are set to represent tradition beginning with its outer design, correlating the US Constitution to a map meant to draw you into the symbolism of Southern Louisiana.
The focal point of this piece is a enigmatic woman, symbolically representing two women’s tales. First of which is Catherine LeBleu Sallier, the wife of a political exile Charles Sallier. Her alleged love affair with the most infamous pirate and privateer in the area, Jean Lafitte, caused a jealous rage in her husband. He fired a shot at his wife, which supposedly ricochet off her amethyst brooch, which is similar to the brooch depicted on the chest of the woman in the art.
The interpretation of the woman’s identity could also be that of Evangeline, the main character in Henry Longfellow’s most famous poem about a woman desperate to find her beloved after the British deported the Acadians and forced them to what was believed to be the desolate land of Louisiana.
A closer look will reveal that her Mardi Gras mask is shaped from the Louisiana Symbol, the Fleur de Lis. The fleur de lis used on the 3 dimensional version of the piece is an exact replica, handmade by Alexander, from the Huey P Long bridge in Jefferson Parish.
The rings worn by the woman are a lost wax casting, handmade by Alexander, and exact replica of the Jean Lafitte pistols from the famous i10 Calcasieu River Bridge.
Within the depth of the scenery behind the woman who is adorning traditional Mardi Gras attire, you can see a ship, from which the Acadians made their way to the Southern lands. This ship could also be associated with the piracy that took place off the shores of Lake Charles.
The cabin on the bank represents the most famous home in South Louisiana, the Sallier Estate. The bank is filled with Louisiana cypress trees that grow from the treasured wetlands. The state tree is called forever wood because it does not rot. It is unique to the area and treasured as gold. The Frame around the original piece is made of this unique conifer. Laid within the frame are words from the poem Evangeline. You will also find metal replicas, handmade by Alexander, of the Louisiana State Capitol door knobs embedded in the frame, representing the way in which the leadership of the State is the foundation allowing our culture to thrive.
Above the bank, you will find three flags waving proudly in the distance. The United States Flag set as the most dominant flag represents the unity and patriotism of our great nation. The Louisiana Flag just below is waving before the light of the sun, representing the passion of the people from the land. It’s subtle symbolism is meant to persuade the onlooker to dive deeper into Louisiana history and explore the many things that began in the area such as: the invention of the binocular microscope, US Opera, and Zydeco Music.
The flag just below, rising from the swamp, is the Acadian flag representing the Acadians fight to turn a desolate land into one of the richest agricultural lands in America.
On the outer parameter of the design you will find a 3 Dimensional mosquito created by Alexander drawing humor to tradition. You will also discover large Mardi Gras beads representing the holiday which is a community celebration unlike any other.
All in all, The Mystick Krewe of Louisiana, Washington DC Mardi Gras Poster is saturated in the rich history of Louisiana. In this piece, Candice Alexander has accomplished something that no other artist has done, to date. Her hyper- creativity has produced a piece of art that plays on Louisiana love stories, infamous legends, foundational patriotism all while drawing from the tradition of the greatest celebration the state has ever known, Mardi Gras. The original 3 Dimensional piece is adorned with handmade works of art such as the: metal crawfish, State Capitol door knob replicas, replicated bridge ornaments, 3 dimensional mosquito and so much more. One would assume at first glance that this work of art came from a simple idea of drawing patriotism to tradition, when in reality a deeper look proves that it draws worlds together, moving the needle of history to chronicle the undying narrative of the Louisiana way through Southern Louisiana Art.
Paige Elliott Vidrine