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Dave Trips: Paul & Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum

Posted at 7:30 AM, Jun 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-07 08:42:05-04

We didn’t have to travel far to find some peace love and art!

It’s summer. The sun is bright, the temperatures are soaring, and your kids are going nuts and we’re only two weeks in. You can escape that at the Hilliard University Art Museum and yeah, your crazy kids can come too!

“K through 12, college students, I mean anybody who’s interested in art.” says Susie Gottardi, who is the Marketing Manager at the museum that’s been part of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for over 50 years. Many don’t realize it’s not just for the university.

Gottardi adds, “You know, we really are a community museum. We like to put on different activities for community members.” She continues, “Paul and Lulu Hilliard are of course philanthropists, business people. Paul is still here. Lulu passed away a number of years ago. But they are passionate about bringing art into the community and we were lucky that they were able to be so generous with their time and their funding and make this building a possibility.”

In addition to their permanent collection, there are a number of artists that are on display for the summer.

Gisela Colon’s ‘Pods‘ will be running through August 24th. She’s living, working, practicing in California currently. She’s an internationally known artist. It’s been very exciting to see people’s response to it. People are kind of like, very intrigued with what these things are, interacting with them, moving with them. The way she makes them is a secret. We know it’s blow molded acrylic, but we don’t know how she’s getting it to be reflective, and iridescent. And you know, we as a staff geek out over this stuff. We love it, and it’s fun to see the public responding to it.”

Gottardi adds, “‘City of Nature’ filmed by Kota Ezawa who is one of the world’s most preeminent appropriation artists. He takes scenes from, in this case, commercially successful films. Takes the film, traces over it, goes through the process of rotoscopic animation, creates his own compilation of film stills to tell his own narrative, his own story. The two films we have will be alternating weekly, so one week is ‘City of Nature’ and the other is ‘Crime of Art’.”

Going upstairs, Susie explains the exhibit using natural lighting. “‘Tripping over Cypress‘, recent work from Cliff Tresner. Cliff is living and working in Louisiana currently. He’s originally from Indiana. His work is playful, but also can be very serious at points. You know, there’s a lot of little vignettes. So people can explore them, look more closely. Find little areas that resonate with them.”

The museum has a number of programs for adults and kids, but it’s not just about looking at art.

“If they can take the elements of what they learned here, and that sense of wonder and discovery, and bring it to another element in their life, that is what I think is one of the more important things we’re trying to do here.”

The Hilliard University Art Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 to 5 with extended hours on Wednesday. Saturday you can visit from 10 to 5. For more information on their exhibits and upcoming events, visit their website hilliardmuseum.org or their Facebook Page.