(Pictured L to R) Ricky Yeldell, president of Toledo Bend Lake Association; Big Fish; artist Kathryn Woodruff; Many Mayor Ken Freeman.
by Mary Brocato
The Town of Many has caught a Big Fish, thanks to the Toledo Bend Lake Association, artist Kathryn Woodruff and the Sabine Parish Tourist Commission.
Travelers through Many on Highway 6 East or West can easily view the Big Fish. It’s located between Sonic Drive In and Many’s fountain garden.
The east side of the Big Fish depicts Many landmarks: the historic depot, St. John the Baptist Church with its lavender crepe myrtles at the entrance, the old Sabine Theater and buildings on San Antonio (including OTASCO) in the heart of the Cultural District.
The west side of the Big Fish is a scene, complete with fireworks, from Toledo Bend Lake.
Many’s Big Fish was made possible by a generous grant from the Toledo Bend Lake Association. Ricky Yeldell, president of TBLA, was pleased that TBLA was able to fund the painting and placement of the Big Fish.
Many Mayor Ken Freeman thanked Yeldell for the gift to Many and said that TBLA has been generous. He commented that the lake and residents in the Toledo Bend area are so important to the parish and to the town.
“We are neighbors,” the mayor said, “and TBLA has certainly been a good neighbor to all of us.”
Yeldell responded that residents of the lake area enjoy activities and events that Many has to offer including events at the Many Community Center.
He told Cultural District Chairperson Mary Brocato, “We came to hear Music in Many when Choupique played recently, and we danced to their music too.”
Freeman also thanked talented artist Kathryn Woodruff, who painted the colorful Big Fish. The mayor was especially pleased with the Many and Toledo Bend landmarks that Woodruff painted onto Big Fish.
Kathryn Woodruff is a Louisiana native, born in Natchitoches, went to high school in Olla, LA and has lived in Sabine parish since 2012. Woodruff said she considers Many her hometown since setting down roots and growing her family in Many for the last eight years. She has an affinity for the area as a result of coming to Toledo Bend Lake all her life.
Woodruff earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in sculpture from LSU Baton Rouge in 2010. She has continued her career as an artist mainly painting portraits but also does landscapes, woodworking and metalworking, among other things.
She and her husband Dennis live on the lake with their three children, Lettie (2), Hazel (4) and Ian (8), who attends Negreet.
Woodruff commented that she is looking forward to serving the artwork needs of the parish and beyond. She currently does some art lessons in her home and hopes to do more work with area children in the future. Her work can be viewed on her Facebook page Kat’s Portraits, etc.
The Sabine Parish Tourist Commission selected the artist to paint Big Fish and coordinated both the painting and installation.
Categories: Community News