W o o d a n d M e t a l S c u l p t u r e A r t i s t
W o o d a n d M e t a l S c u l p t u r e A r t i s t
Join us for our Open House
Print is Still Alive
Kim Pierce had been visiting my booth at the Covington Three Rivers Arts Festival for years. During that time, she had collected about a half dozen of my smaller pieces and was now ready to purchase one of my larger figures. She had her eye on a mermaid that I had recently finished, but we quickly determined that she was going to need something much larger for her space. Kim has an open floor plan with 12 foot ceilings and a broad section of stark white walls. I could have made her taller, but we also needed width. That’s when we decided to give the mermaid wings.
Kim’s initial intention was to put her in the front foyer of the house. But when we got there, my wife Robin suggested another place. The mermaid’s placement, without even realizing at first how perfectly the mermaid connects the open floor plan with the surrounding rooms, we quickly saw the mermaid’s wingspans transcend the space. She now has become the effervescence heart of a home as she looks over you. And at several vantage points in the open floor plan, one can see the mermaid. Kim and her family have graciously hosted us in their guest house sometimes since, and Robin and I are happy we have grown a great friendship along the way. We are currently discussing the possibility of modifying the wings to be even larger!
saint Michael catholic school
Commissioned piece for Saint Michael Catholic School in Crowley, Louisiana.
A few years ago, my niece Lola was drawing in one of my notebooks. One of her sketches, in particular, caught my attention. The drawing was a big blocky head and a disproportionately small rectangular body with little arms and legs that seemed to be dangling from the torso.
When l come across an image that I find inspiring, my wheels start turning, and I start to work out in my head how this would translate regarding my style and favored tools and materials. The “blockhead kids” are a mixture of my doll-like VooDoo babies / ZoZo-bebés and my segmented fishing lures. They each have their personalities that are defined by their expressions, outfits and often something that they are holding. Sometimes a toy or an instrument and sometimes a retro object that I relate to my childhood in the 70s and 80s. —Kelly Guidry
A new creation by Kelly Guidry, unlike any other bugs he has created. On display at SALADINO GALLERY | COVINGTON, LA
Raised by Alligators in the wetlands of south Louisiana, Kelly Guidry was destined to be no normal man. Even as a baby, he was so tough that mosquitoes were afraid to bite him. By the time his teeth came in, he could chase down his own food. He could outrun the fastest rabbit, out climb the nimblest squirrel, and when he went fishing, he would just jump in and kick them right out of the water!
He loved to observe all the creatures of the marsh. He was fascinated by their unending diversity of shape and size and design. He studied all their intricate details of color and texture. He was so fascinated by it that he began to shape little figurines of sticks and moss and mud. Over time, he developed his distinctive style as he fashioned his little animals from whatever he could find in whatever way he could figure to put them together. Stories began to spread of hunters and timber workers finding these roughly constructed sculptures of fish, birds, and turtles throughout the local marsh and wooded areas.
One day he was discovered by a crew of workmen who were running pipeline for the Guidry oil & gas co. When they found him, they say he was crouched at the base of a cypress tree sawing it down with the jawbone of a garfish. They took him in, taught him how to speak English, wear clothes, and use power tools. He took to the pants and boots pretty well, but never did much care for wearing a shirt.
By the age of 14, he was better with a chainsaw than any man around, and by the time he was 20, he was half again as tall, twice as wide and three times as strong as any man in the parish. With hair as thick as hyacinth and a voice deep as thunder, he could take down a large cedar with one swipe of the chainsaw, and before the trunk hit the ground, Kelly had carved it into a beautifully finished sculpture.
In the decades that followed, he expanded his use of tools and material to include metal and copper and all the necessary contraptions to manipulate them. He refers to his work as a visual language, and every aspect of it has a story to tell. Starting always with the chainsaw using native cedar and cypress, each of these types of wood has its unique properties and characteristics. Having once been (literally) rooted in the Louisiana soil, they are the soul of the work. Often retained in the surface of the finished sculpture, the saw marks echo the passion, energy, and intensity of its genesis. The metal and copper bring in an element of man’s ingenuity and ambition. To pull ore out the ground, refine it, and manipulate it into enduing forms for structural and aesthetic purpose. Many sculptors work in wood or metal, but there is a new challenge in combining the two with strong clean connections, in ways that they appear to be natural extensions of one another. Guidry has developed a series of signature techniques with a favored armory of tools but is constantly experimenting with new ways of finding solutions to the puzzles that come with each new project. Though Guidry will often take on commission work by special request, most of his chosen subject matter reflects flora and fauna as well as the culture and people of Acadiana. It is truly a unique and beautiful place that Guidry is proud to represent and call home.
He Currently Resides in Breaux Bridge, LA with his wife and daughter. Acting as both his muse and amusement, Robin and Zoë, are a constant source of love and inspiration in their daily live/work, home/studio life. His lovely bride, a creative and entrepreneur in her own right, now handles most of the marketing and promotion. They often collaborate on concept and design, and in recent years they have started a series of jewel finish figures called the “Pearlescents.” These figures, inspired by Robin’s love of jewelry, are carved in Guidry’s signature style, then Robin finishes the surface with a unique, multi-layered technique that has the depth and iridescence of precious stone. They call these kinds of collaborations a Team Guidry Production®, and the latest is Robin’s new business venture, “The Pink Alligator Gallery of Fancy Goods.” It will be a beautifully renovated boutique located at 112 Bridge St. in the heart of old Downtown Breaux Bridge. With a NOLA inspired facade and French doors opening up to a bricked garden patio, it will be the idyllic space to feature Kelly’s artwork as well as many other artists, artisans, and items of locally hand-crafted goods and uniquely procured items. They invite you to visit the gallery and be part of their continuing storybook life here in the heart of Cajun Country!
this bug traveled all the way to alaska!
Far, far and away.
New accordion block design
collaboration piece; figure design is from a painting by Kelli Smith.
This little bee flew all the way to eunice, louisiana.
oh the sights he must have seen! Thanks Hannah Gumbo and Jordan Vidrine :)