“That was then, this is now” shows evolution of Bandera
Artist Christine Lucas Bandera of Carriere, has won many awards throughout the years for her work, in both Louisiana and Mississippi.
She currently has a one-woman show at the OFFstage Gallery, which is part of Slidell Little Theatre, at 2024 Nellie Drive in Slidell, titled “That was then, This is now,” which is running through February 2.
A life-long artist, Bandera, originally from New Orleans, credits her family support for fueling her passion for the arts.
The men in her life have played a big role in her evolution as an artist. Her father, Edward Lucas, was an early influence, and today her husband, Allen, can be found constantly by her side at art exhibits, shows or perusing art events.
The Bandera family relocated to Carriere after Hurricane Katrina.
Christine says of her husband Allen, “He is truly my support system. He brags about me all of the time and I get embarrassed. He goes to pottery shows with me and it’s not for him – it’s all for me. After we lost everything in Katrina and relocated here, he made sure that I had a new kiln and potter wheel.”
A love for life, her family and art go hand in hand for Bandera, a retired teacher.
“Allen and I met when we were 18, and we have been married for 41 years. I knew when I first met him that he was the one,” she said.
“After we had been married for ten years and we realized that I couldn’t have children, he found me one. We adopted our daughter Sarah and she is the love of our life.”
Bandera works in all mediums but prefers ceramics, oils, watercolors and photography. Both her life and art have changed over the years.
The name of her show came from her evolution as an artist.
“I used to paint still life with lace and reflective surfaces and then I transitioned to skipping the vase just painting the big, vivid flowers,” Bandera said. “To me the best landscape now is a bunch of banana trees with blues and greens.
“Sometimes my husband will ask me to paint some ‘guy stuff,’ some things that are not so feminine. Now I am painting a piece with coconuts for him.”
Bandera describes her obsession with art playfully as a form of attention deficit disorder.
“Now that I am retired, I can do all of these things and just go at it. I have so many different types of art and mediums that I love to work with,” she explained.
She said that she is enjoying her retirement, because she spends each day with her husband and it is wonderful to be able to act on inspiration when it hits her.
“I no longer have to wait until I get off of work or fulfill some other obligation — I can just go to my art supplies and get started,” she said. “There is so much more that I am going to do.”
OFFstage Gallery hours are Friday through Saturday, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday from 1:30 to 3 p.m.