Give us a brief history of the Hilliard Museum’s special connection with Acadiana.
The museum was first created as the Art Center for Southwestern Louisiana in 1968 by notable architect A. Hays Town inspired by the Hermitage Plantation. A variety of exhibitions and social events were organized that established the Art Center as an important cultural asset for the people of Southwest Louisiana. In 2002, Lafayette residents, Paul and Lulu Hilliard, presented UL Lafayette with a generous gift for the construction of the new world-class museum, establishing the largest exhibition space in the region from Houston to New Orleans. The Hilliard Museum continues to present the residents and visitors of Acadiana with exhibitions and programs in collaboration with faculty and staff from UL’s nine colleges as well as with local, national, and international partners to present exhibitions and programs on the art of our time.
What is something the museum are looking forward to in the near future?
We are preparing for our spring season of exhibitions, one which showcases the folk art collection of two beloved locals – Becky and Wyatt Collins titled “Spiritual Journeys: Homemade Art from the Wyatt and Becky Collins Collection.” We also have free admission every Wednesday night from 5:00 p.m. – 8: p.m. and free guided tours every Friday and Saturday at 2 p.m.
1A is “Focused on Forward” – meaning we are taking an active role in improving the community we live in. Our members and partners are Focused on Forward too! – What does Focused on Forward mean to you? How are you guys Focused on Forward?
The Hilliard Museum is Focused on Forward as we’ve turned our attention to our LEARNing initiative. An educator recently joined the staff, Olivia Morgan, in order to develop programs for families and lesson plans for teachers to explore our galleries with their children and students. The goal is to create a space where generations can spend time together and enjoy art, creating life-long learners. The museum recently held is first Play Day which encourages families to play together at an art museum and it was incredibly successful and fun to see everyone enjoying our program. We’ll be hosting another this spring.