by Ana Pizzolio, Features Editor
THE RICH WILDLIFE AND UNIQUE SCENERY OF THE SOUTHERN COAST is the main theme in the paintings of Kelly Pierre, an artist native to Houma, Louisiana.
Pierre is a 44-year-old artist who saw opportunity in Louisiana’s themed art to launch his career in fine arts painting. He showcased his paintings at the Voice of the Wetlands Festival, where he could be found at a vendor tent working on one his of paintings throughout the night.
“The majority of my painting is about coastal wildlife and landscape of the south. This is my inspiration because I grew up in the Gulf of Mexico,” Pierre says.
Coming from a family of shrimpers, Pierre started painting the scenes he saw along the gulf of Mexico since he was a child. His career as an artist, however, came much later in life. The artist explains he began to make a living out of his art after he found out about airbrushing.
“At that time, becoming a full time painter was just a dream, but I continued working hard until I could afford to make the decision and take the risk going into fine art painting.”
Pierre made a promise that he would be prepared to go into the fine arts business if the Saints won the Super Bowl in 2010. He believe the team would win and to help launch his career as an artist he painted a fleur de lis he called “The Black and Gold Dream.”
“It was a dream to win the Super Bowl and what I am doing now was a dream to live out my artist career,” Pierre says. “I painted four fleur de lis and put them in an art gallery in New Orleans and after the Saints won I had 130 orders.”
Nowadays, Pierre’s art studio is located in Destin Florida. He says that the he has added beach sceneries to his repertoire, but his paintings continue to be heavily influenced by the beauties of the south. He adds that he is a strong supporter of the efforts for the preservation of the wetlands.
“I was born and raised in South Louisiana and coastal erosion is a big problem here. There is so much of wildlife and sealife that is born right there, so, as a fishermen, it is hard to see the whole culture disappearing,” Pierre explains. “So we do what we can to educate ourselves and other people to try to protect the barrier islands we have left.”