February is always an exciting month for me. Not only is it usually a short month, but February also includes Mardi Gras festivities, Valentine's day, my birthday, and Jacob's birthday. This year it got even busier with a five-day visit from my best friend, an artist feature at the Rhum Room, two New Orleans trips, the Courir de Mardi Gras, my first artist talk at Galerie Touchet, a solo show at The Lounge Gallery, underwater modeling, and a busy Art Walk at Gallery 333. And this month isn't even over yet! It's been an amazing month so far, and this is the first time I feel like I really celebrated Mardi Gras thoroughly and did a little bit of everything. I never want to cut the festivities short again!
During Rachel's visit, one of her friends, Araña, also flew in to Louisiana to visit and tour Louisiana for the first time. While they were both here, I felt like it was my duty to give him the full Louisiana experience. We started his visit off my picking him up from the airport in New Orleans. That day we parked in the Garden District at a friend's house and took the street car down Saint Charles and into the French Quarter. While walking the French Quarter we stumbled upon a small gallery with art work from Dr. Suess. We also caught all of our very first New Orleans parade, Muses, and I even caught a shoe! We made one more New Orleans trip the next week to drop Araña off at the airport. On our second visit, we visited more galleries on Royal Street, caught some amusing sights on Bourbon Street, stumbled upon a firework show, and saw a shooting star on the ride home.
During the rest of their stay in Lafayette, we went to Vermillionville, ate crawfish, a lot of king cake (we made sure Arana got the baby), and poyboys, cooked gumbo, visited the Horse Farm during the Farmer's Market, danced for beads at parades, and generally had a fun time with friends making the most of Lafayette, Louisiana.
On Mardi Gras day, Terez and I woke up extra early to get in costume and drive to Savoy, Louisiana, for the Faquetique Courir de Mardi Gras. This was our first time to the Cajun/country Mardi Gras, but after our experiences it will not be our last. So many of our friends were there for the first time as well. The whole day I knew I was surrounded by familiar faces from Lafayette, even if I couldn't tell from the masks hiding everyone's identities. Eventually we found all our good friends and had a great time together from the initiation to begging for charity to watching riders climb one another to capture a chicken from the top of a greased pole. The courir felt like a silly, but still spiritual pilgrimage filled with dancing, whiskey showers, mud fights, and revelry. Even a writer from GQ came down to record the experience. We are already planning our costumes for next year! You can see the rest of my film photos from the courir here.