The Cajun Experience Exhibit at Rosedown Plantation SHS
Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site is hosting an exhibit of paintings by master artist Darrell Chitty through the month of March. The display hangs in the gift shop gallery and consists of a series of more than 20 oil-on-canvas paintings called “The Cajun Experience,” tribute to old-time craftsmen and artists showcasing Chitty’s Old World mastery and deep respect for the vanishing Acadian culture.
Testing paint samples from these canvases might indicate a contemporary provenance, but the sensibility and soul in each could just as well date them back to the Old Masters. And indeed the artist has been compared, thanks to his abiding appreciation and in-depth knowledge of art history, to those Renaissance painters, but with the enhancement provided by his modern technological mastery of camera and computer as well as traditional oils and pastels.
Raised in Houma, Darrell Chitty throughout his life has been an accomplished musician, boatbuilder, world traveler, scholar, and dreamer, besides having been twice named Louisiana’s Photographer of the Year and mentor to hundreds of professionals attending his seminars and workshops to study his unique technique.
The images on display at Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site are tributes to a subject dear to his heart, the authentic Cajun experience so vulnerable to being lost these days. This is an artist who sees not just the surface, but down to the soul of such beloved characters as woodworkers and musicians, spinners and school marms, blacksmiths and gardeners and others plying their simple skills so necessary in early-day life.
The artist uses his incredible talents to combine the elements of color and design and especially a wonderful feel for lighting to create beautiful masterpieces that reveal his great understanding and love for the subject. In Darrell Chitty’s words, “My calling is to record these reminders that ALL IS GOOD. I believe great and lasting art should be felt and not simply seen. God’s creations, both nature and mankind, are beautiful.”
The Cajun Experience, a display of 19 images by master painter Darrell Chitty, will hang at Rosedown in the gift shop gallery, through March, with the artist himself present for a special open house Saturday, March 16, from 10 to 4, during Audubon Pilgrimage weeken