Lafaeytte is located along the Vermillion River in the southwestern part of Louisiana. It takes about 2,5 hour drive from New Orleans. It’s a very different city from New Orleans, – smaller, compact and more of a countryside feeling that resembled of my hometown Kuldīga – little cute wooden houses, green flat fields and amazing artist community that lives there. My host Amy from Parse Nola and I made the trip to see the work and the performance by Serbian artist Lala Raščič, who for years have been closely involved with the art community of New Orleans. Her solo exhibition is at the moment shown at the Acadiana Center for the Arts in Lafaeytte – a community-supported nonprofit organization that fosters art and culture in Acadiana.
Lafaeytte gave me plenty of warm memories and insight into the community culture that is so important here in the South. Stephanie Pathon, an artist who lives and works there, and who is also well known in New Orleans, showed a truly Southern hospitality – her house is usually a place where people gather for laugh, fun and food. Gumbo was my first discovery of the food fetishes of the South – a mash up of things that is cooked slowly and then eaten with for example potato salad (also common here). Gumbo’s yummy texture is something that very much characterizes the culture here – mixture of influences from around the world, uniqueness and passion for life.