Like much of the community, the Terrebonne Fine Arts Guild suffered a one-two punch from the COVID-19 pandemic and Hurricane Ida.
The guild was organized in 1963 to promote art and art culture in Terrebonne Parish and is located at 630 Belanger Street in Houma. Since then, it has provided artists in the area a space to come together, as well as something that reflects the bayou community, according to the guild’s president, Margaret Chouest.
“It’s a place for people to talk, look and critique work that’s not tied to a school or museum,” Chouest said. “Being in a guild, it’s a place for people to practice their art together and a place for emotional release.”
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The storm caused the guild to lose its double carport which was connected to the workshop and covered the storage building causing both interior and outside damage.
Normally, the building’s walls would be full of art from different members but now lies empty due to potential damage from mold and mildew.
The guild is hoping to reopen for its Christmas show and sale starting Nov. 19 and its annual reception on Dec. 4.
“Our artists and our community need this,” Chouest said.
The building needs ceilings, floors, attic insulation and some wall and closet repair from wind damage and mold. The winds also blew the storage building off its blocks. The guild hopes to have it raised, leveled, with the doors changed and a new roof. At the front of the building, the support column was blown off, and the fence needs to be replaced along the driveway and backside.
Member at large and main post-Ida recovery organizer Kathy Rhodes appreciates the place because it is for artists of all levels. The guild has offered free lessons, children’s camps and art shows for the community.
“We all have become friends, we have a community, there’s always a new technique to learn from each other,” Rhodes said. “It’s giving the gift of art by local artists. Art is needed.”
The guild has set up a GoFundMe to help with recovery at gofund.me/c3ca9a1f.
Contact them at [email protected] or call 851-2198.
The guild’s current hours are Tuesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.