The Morgan City community is popping up with bright colors and fun art thanks to a new project, The Concrete Canvas Project.
The Concrete Canvas Project began when Morgan City resident Jennifer Edwards recognized her favorite aspect of traveling; art. “Anytime I travel, that’s one of the things I seek..it’s street art, graffiti art, any kind of alternative art form. I just really enjoy it and my husband enjoys it as well,” she said. Edwards said she recently visited Lafayette where she noticed the storm drains were painted. Once she returned home, she told her friend Jennifer Dragna about the drains, and the pair got excited about wanting to do a similar project in Morgan City.
After the conversation, Edwards got the idea of painting the columns of Hwy. 90 while driving home one day. Under the bridge is the prime spot for community events including The Shrimp and Petroleum Festival, “It would be great as a little street art park,” Edwards said, “People can come down and walk around.”
Dranga immediately wanted to partner with Edwards to make the art dream a reality. The pair approached the Mayor of Morgan City who was also open about the project. The project idea went to the City Council where it was also passed, “From there, it has just taken off,” Edwards said. Dragna chimed in, “Another thing we want is for people to come and enjoy the art and take pictures for selfies and #morgancity or #concretecanvas because this is what me and Jennifer talked about…we wanted to have more street art.”
The two ladies have a vision of Morgan City becoming a “funky and progressive” area, “We want to have a reason our city takes pride,” Edwards said, “Our motto here in town is Live here, thrive here, buy here. We have to give the future generations a reason to live here, thrive here, and buy here.” She continued to say that if the city becomes a “funky little art town,” maybe future generations would decide to stay in the area and opt to travel to work because Morgan City is a central location to large cities instead of leaving the small town completely.
The project is made possible by sponsorships where the two ladies have seen huge success in local businesses supporting the project. Not only are local businesses supporting it, but Concrete Canvas has also created quite a stir throughout the town. Sponsorships provide materials needed such as paint, brushes, and even scaffolding. One fun aspect of the project is you don’t have to be a professional to paint a pillar. “Art is perspective. There are so many styles, so many different variations of art. We want to be open calls. You don’t have to be an artist,” Edwards encouraged. They are also open to artists from all over, not just Morgan City.
All one has to do is have a vision, some time on their hands, and apply. The application process includes a colored sketch of the art to be painted which can be anything from fun colorful geometrical shapes, to paint splatters, or even an encouraging quote. After the painting gets approved, the application then is forwarded to the Louisiana Department of Transportation since the pillars are property of DOTD. Although it is a process, the creative founders said the process has only taken a week to get approved thus far. They currently have three painters and are waiting for two more applications to be approved.
Edwards and Dragna have been visiting local businesses to convey the importance of the project and the response has been huge. There are two sponsorships available; gold and silver. A Silver sponsor, for $200, gets an 8” x 10” logo on the “Sponsor Pillar” in full color. For the $400 Gold sponsor, the sponsor gets to pick a pillar for a 2’ x 4’ full-color logo. The ladies said they are ecstatic with the response they have been receiving from the community’s businesses supporting the project. Sponsors so far include Thurston Ophthalmology, Coastal Manpower, The Original Castalano’s, The Galley, Morgan City Jiu Jitsu, Tiger Island Hardware, Charlie’s Pawn Shop, Wildflower Boutique, GJ Curbside, Primary Machine, The Pediatric Clinic, Skippers, B & G/ Taco Bell, Twin City Funeral Home, and Cafe Jo Jo’s.
Interested in painting a pillar? Contact Jennifer Edwards at email@example.com or (985) 519-2747 or Jennifer Dragna at firstname.lastname@example.org or (985) 518-4696. You can also reach out on The Concrete Canvas Project Facebook page.