METAIRIE — Lafreniere Park Sculpture Mall is the new home of “Grateful Labors,” an aluminum sculpture with two colorful elements each measuring 10 x 9 x 12 feet, created by New Orleans Artist Wayne Amedee. Jefferson Parish Councilman Dominick F. Impastato, III (District 4), along with other parish officials dedicated the new public sculpture as the entryway to Lafreniere Park’s expanding Sculpture Mall at an event on Aug. 3.
The piece was originally installed 15 years ago at New Orleans City Park near the New Orleans Museum of Art. It was damaged in 2016 and has since been repaired and rejuvenated. Grateful Labors now graces the entrance to Lafreniere Park’s expanding sculpture mall.
“We took great care to repair and recreate ’Grateful Labors’ into a new state of the piece. The sculpture elements were repaired with new material and was prepared for new coatings of paint, with the final coat being topped with a clear automobile finish,” said Wayne Amedee, adding that the two pieces have been installed atop a base that includes a ramp from a park bridge that directs pedestrians toward Mall Island and the park’s beautiful lagoon.
Many New Orleanians will remember “Grateful Labors” as a post-Katrina tribute to all those who contributed to the recovery. It became a landmark for people who saw its symbolic importance to encourage further cooperation, collaboration and assistance among people who love and appreciate the region and its spirit.
“While still honoring the many selfless contributions to the recovery from Katrina, the work has been rededicated to the cooperation, work, and sacrifice of so many in times of need – our healthcare heroes, first responders and those who are there when we need them, day in and day out. We are forever grateful,” Amedee said.
The placement of Grateful Labors in Lafreniere Park was made possible by the generous contributions of many people, from the several donors for its original construction to the philanthropists contributing today for its relocation, including the Robert S. Boh Family Fund of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, Catherine Burns Tremaine, the Clayton-Royer Family Fund of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, Walda and Sydney Besthoff, Lin Emery, Annette Barton, Polly Renwick, and Wayne Amedee.
Art lovers can enjoy other public sculptures by Wayne Amedee at Longue Vue Gardens, Loyola University’s campus, and Power Blvd. in Kenner.