Students’ art praised for annual Lesche Club Fine Arts Competition

Lesche Art Competition Award Winners

By Hannah Richardson

Winners of the Lesche Club Fine Arts Competition were honored with their parents and teachers at the club’s monthly meeting May 6 at the Lemee House in Natchitoches. They were Collin Serigne of LSMSA in first place, Madison Griffin of NCHS in second place and Belle Brown of LSMSA in third place.

They received monetary prizes of $100, $75 and $50, respectively. Lesche Club was organized in 1894 by Miss Agnes Morris who taught at what is now NSU. The purpose of Lesche Club was (and is) to “promote culture, to preserve local traditions and Louisiana folklore, and to foster the spirit of altruistic effort among the members and throughout the community.” This long tradition makes it the oldest women’s club in Louisiana. Fifty members meet monthly at the Lemee House for refreshments and to listen to musical presentations and speakers on local culture.

In its earliest days, competitions were held for creative writing to encourage students and citizens to express themselves artistically and to widen public appreciation of creativity. Beginning in 2004, the focus of the competition changed to creativity in the visual arts; the competition invited submissions from Natchitoches Parish high school students. There were 22 submitted works for this year’s competition.

“Each submission got at least one vote from members,” said Diane Doughty of the Lesche Club.

Brown wrote that the painting, their first self portrait, was in fact their first painting and project.

Griffin’s acrylic painting is of a pond that is located across her family home. She said she painted this for her father, Robert Griffin.

Serigne submitted a photo of his grandfather’s hand, which is part of a collection of 65 works by the student. His collection focuses on working hands, like his grandfather and father working on a shrimping boat and living off the land. “Hands tell you what a person does,” said Serigne. The works went back to the students that created them.