This month’s five-in-five spotlight features Christy Boutte. Christy is a local artist with strong roots in the Gulf South and its artistic community. A graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design, Christy has created art professionally for the past 15 years. Her work has been commissioned by prominent organizations and non-profits and is showcased at her gallery in Gretna.
This year we are fortunate to have Christy offer her original creation of “Lady Justice.” The original will be auctioned off at this year’s Justice For All Ball on September 20th. It is featured on this year’s invitation and captures the spirit and energy of our community. Christy joins previous JFAB alumni such as such as Sharika Mahdi, Gustave Blache III, Amy Centola, Garland Robinette, and Terrance Osborne.
The Pro Bono Project recently unveiled the painting at our Kendra Scott Fundraiser and asked Christy to tell us more about herself and her work.
What inspired you to become an artist?
I was inspired to become an artist by being profoundly deaf in a school of hearing children. It was an escape from my daily frustrations that come from being deaf in a hearing school environment. It was the one thing I was actually good at. Creating art allows me to unplug from the world and just focus on my inspirations and creativity.
Many may know your original artwork for the French Quarter Festival, International Tarpon Rodeo, New Orleans Wine and Food Experience, Bayou Road Balloon Festival, Jean Lafitte Seafood Festival, and Gretna Heritage Festival. Others may have visited your gallery in Gretna. From LSU tigers and fleur de lis to pelicans and Mardi Gras bead trees, your artwork captures and celebrates the best of our community. Where do your ideas come from?
I try to capture the best parts of our vibrant and inspirational state. My ideas spark from my surroundings and experiences living here in New Orleans.
You work with traditional paint, but also includes metallics, gold leaf, and Italian glass beads. Describe your technique.
For most of my 20 year career, I used oil paints using a palette knife. It wasn’t until recently that I decided I needed a change and to reinvent myself as an artist. After a long break from painting, I went into my studio with child-like curiosity. I gathered a bunch of materials that I collected throughout my career. I began adding acrylics, gold leaf, Italian glass beads, puffy paint to my new pieces using just my hands and fingers on wood! Lastly, resin is poured to seal the mediums. The resin allows the colors to really shine! Each piece has sparkles of life!
Tell us about your decision to participate and support The Pro Bono Project’s Justice For All Ball.
I couldn’t help but want to aid in the endeavors to raise money for the cause. I hope my piece will bring assistance that to those in need. We all need love, peace and justice!
Your ‘Lady Justice” that will be auctioned off at this year’s Justice For All Ball is stunning. Describe your interpretation of “Lady Justice.”
Thank you so much. She’s a powerful lady, but yet loving and graceful bringing justice to all!