Greetings and Salutations
Lafayette native Cayla Zeek’s illustrations go big for Festival International
This is harsh, but true:
Cayla Zeek’s career goals — to this point in time, anyway — have been a complete failure.
“I was going to be a veterinarian or Robin Hood,” says the 25-year-old Lafayette native.
Zeek is neither. Nope, she’s a visual artist, a designer and a former teacher at Ascension Episcopal school. Zeek left the teaching post at the end of the year to focus more on “Mattea’s Hand,” her self-started and budding stationery and greeting card business. She also was also official artist of the 2017 Festival International after creating a poster of a brown pelican that has flags of other regions both on its feathers and extending from its body…
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Festival International de Louisiane announced Cayla Zeek as the Official 2017 Visual Artist. Zeek has created a piece that captures the spirit and joy of the nation’s largest international music festival.
L’ ami à plumes de la Fête will be on display at La Fête du Festival, a ticketed fundraising event on November 11th at Warehouse 535 and will be up for silent auction. Cayla Zeek is from Lafayette, LA and graduated in 2015 from the University of Louisiana with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Her art is characterized by mixed media layering process with watercolor, pen, charcoal, acrylic and oil on paper or canvas.
“For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to symbols of birds in story-telling as a tool to foreshadow an event,” says Zeek. “In this particular piece, the Brown Pelican characterizes the southern setting of Festival International de Louisiane and acts as a bearer of the festival to come.” Drawn out from the bird is an offering of diverse flags from the many nations tied to this francophone festival and local community. The playfulness in the figures of this piece encompass the whimsical spirit of music, art, and people – the core ingredients that give Festival International de Louisiane its unique flavor. “My eagerness to attend Festival International is something I have felt annually since I went to my first one as a young gal,” notes Zeek. “I wanted L’ ami à plumes de la Fête to represent that feeling of anticipation for this exceptional event.”
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September 9, 2015|by Lyndsy Bradley
Having only just received her bachelor’s degree in visual arts from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette this spring, it’s extremely impressive — but not entirely surprising — that 23-year-old Lafayette native, Cayla Zeek, seems to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue when discussing artists to know in Lafayette’s local art scene and beyond.
The sublime pieces Cayla creates have earned her the Outstanding Student Award, Visual Arts Spark Award from UL Lafayette, as well as other scholarships and have been shown in group exhibitions including the Fresh Pickens’ Student Show hosted at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, and other galleries in Downtown Lafayette and the Breaux Bridge area.
Her most recent collection explores the human figure; inspired by mythology, alchemy, preconceived notions of gender — “as women around me and myself are objectified and given expectations of how we should act,” Cayla explains in her statement of influence — and of course birds, which are a recurring theme in her body of work.
Since graduating, Cayla has — like many creative post-graduate millennials dealing with the aftermath of an economic collapse — “been having an existential crisis nearly everyday. What am I going to do with my life? Am I stuck living in a small town and will I still be inspired to make great art?
“The answer is of course: Yes I am always going to make art, and, no, I am not stuck.”
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