After a two-year hiatus due to a global pandemic, Artbreak was back bigger, bolder and brighter than ever. With over 95,000 square feet of a showcase, students from all over Caddo Parish had their artwork on display from May 9 to 15.
This year Artbreak highlighted visual, literary, performing, culinary, fashion, lighting design and film art.
“It’s the first time that we’ve had fashion as a large component,” said Henry E. Price, Shreveport Regional Arts Council Board President. “This will be the second year that we’ve done culinary, those students who are enrolled in culinary at the Career Center, they are competing with an appetizer, main course and a dessert.”
Artbreak made its first appearance in the Shreveport area in 1984, and for over 36 years it has been allowing students to showcase their work and highlight the importance of the arts.
“36 years ago, there was a move statewide to eliminate the arts,” said Price. ” Several individuals were concerned about that. At the time, the principal at C.E. Byrd High School was Dr. B. L. Shaw and he along with a number of individuals met and decided that in order to get the attention, it would have to be a festival of sorts. That festival ended up being Artbreak.”
Over the years Artbreak continues to grow and impact the lives of many students. “It is achieving what we hoped would happen. What I mean by that is each year, you want to leave it a little better than you found it,” said Price
Casey Jones, Marketing Director for the Shreveport Regional Arts Council said, “some of the same awards I got, as a kid are now being given away to children. It’s really neat to be a part of it.”
With William Joyce’s “The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs” being the theme of this year’s Artbreak many characterized this year as a buggier year.
“The theme started out as bigger, bolder, brighter, but then we had that bug year because we have to go extra and the Shreveport Symphony came on board to perform the book “The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs” by William Joyce. It has kind of taken over hold festival because now the hands-on activities that the kids have been able to do are all bug-related,” Jones said.
There were 19 different activity stations at Artbreak this year sponsored by local businesses. Each station incorporated a different skill for example one station created headbands that were adorned with popular bugs including Joyce’s very own “Leaf Men.”
Lighting design was a huge component in this year’s Artbreak, with the newly illuminated Bakowsky Bridge of Lights.
“Bigger, brighter, bolder, buggier, than before,” said Price.we’re talking about him for students to be able to do that. That can be a livelihood, for some of them in terms of being able to code and program bridges.”
The goal of Artbreak every year is to ensure that students and families get to spend an entire weekend celebrating the arts as well as S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, arts and math).
This year students across the Shreveport area received cash prices for their works, which was made possible through grantors and community sponsors. Over $25,000 was awardedgifted to students this year.
“It is amazing,” said Price. “To realize where we started, at the Municipal Auditorium outside in the parking area and across the street in the cemetery, and to go from that to where we are now. “
Makenzie Boucher is a reporter with the Shreveport Times. Contact her at [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Shreveport Times: Artbreak was back bigger, bolder and brighter