[StBernard] Chalmette artist adds to decor to local restaurant

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Thu May 15 09:20:49 EDT 2014

Chalmette artist adds to decor to local restaurant
Print Annette Phillips By Annette Phillips 
on May 14, 2014 at 6:32 AM, updated May 15, 2014 at 7:54 AM

St.Bernard Community News Home
Chalmette artist Tia Williams recently shared her talent with a local
restaurant, creating dining masterpieces of the tables at The Blue Porch.
Along with a rustic decor, the themed tables give the restaurant a local

"The owners, Carol Benenate and Scott Savoie, wanted us to add our personal
touch to the place," Williams said. "They had these tables that they wanted
to paint. Some of my ideas came from Pinterest, along with local themes. I
added my own technique and spin to them."

The owners moved from the Plantation Bar and Grill location to open the Blue
Porch, previously home to the local bakery, Flour Power Confectionary. They
wanted to keep some of the original rustic look of the building.

Williams' usual medium is graphite drawings, but she decided to experiment
with acrylic paints, something she had only worked with a few times. "I
surprised myself. I have never really fooled with acrylic much. I have
discovered a hidden talent, and now I want to do more projects using it,"
she said.

Williams' first table was a St. Bernard Parish theme with a large magnolia
as the center, along with iconic symbols such as the Chalmette Battlefield
Monument, shrimp boots and a boiling pot.

And what good would themed tables be without our beloved teams?

"I painted a Saints and a LSU table along with the classic New Orleans Water
Meter, and some tables with inspirational sayings," Williams said. This
project has inspired Williams to do more acrylic painting.

The tables have been a hit with the patrons. "I have been asked to paint
murals, and the local iron-work artisthas asked me to work with him," she

As with many artists, musicians, and athletes, the love of drawing started
when Williams was a young girl. She enjoyed drawing, and sculpting with
clay. However, her passion for drawing really blossomed at Chalmette High
School when her art teacher encouraged and pushed Williams.

"My art teacher, Laurie Jeandron, really pushed me. She knew my potential as
an artist and pushed me to my limit," she said.

Williams worked mostly with graphite, and won several competitions her
junior and senior year in this medium. "I won the Cox Communications Black
History Month Contest twice, and created shirt designs for Chalmette High."

She also painted an ornament for the governor's mansion to represent the
parish, and created a graphite drawing of a school board member's childhood

Williams' competition pieces were mostly graphite drawings. "My favorite was
one of the Black History Month pieces. It was a collage of the Civil Rights
Movement. It was called "Don't Let Them See You Cry." It was everyone's
favorite," she said.

Pablo Picasso said, "All children are artists. The problem is how to remain
an artist once we grow up." Williams plans to continue her artistic pursuits
in one form or another. "My friends want me to be a tattoo artist, but I
don't know yet. After settling in here, I will decide what to do next."

Annette writes about people, places, and events in Chalmette. Send Chalmette
stories to chalmettematterstp at gmail.com or call 504.250.6248.

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