Perfecting his art

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 30, 1999

ERIK SANZENBACH / L’Observateur / October 30, 1999

LAPLACE – There is no denying the enthusiasm and energy of Jerry Broussard.

When L’Observateur last looked in on Jerry back in 1997, he was just getting his art business under way. Walking into his studio today one cansee that Jerry has not been idle in the past two years.

Paintings adorn his walls. Works of realism, surrealism, abstract andprimitive styles, even a mechanical drawing of a car can be seen in his studio. The artwork is done in oils, acrylics, pencil and crayon.”I can draw anything I see, ” says Jerry proudly, “and I can do all mediums.”Jerry moves around the room excitedly, showing various pieces he is working on or has finished.

An artist since the tender age of 5, Broussard has always been drawing or painting. Even in the Army where he was a paratrooper his commandingofficer recognized his talent and commissioned Broussard to do a mural of Gen. George Washington crossing the Delaware River.A career military man, Broussard has retired and now devotes all his time to his art.

In the first article done on him back in August 1997, Broussard had been working for three years on his masterpiece, an acrylic painting of Jesus Christ ascending to Heaven. Now, two years later, the painting is finished. Asked why it took him so long, he says, “I’m a perfectionist. My mammatold me to do things the right way the first time.”He smiles, “It does drive others crazy, but if I don’t do it right the first time, I have to start all over and do it again.”While working on his masterpiece, Broussard has been busy. He wascommissioned by the employees of the Marriott Hotel to do a painting of the New Orleans downtown hotel to be given to the retiring general manager. He was also commissioned to do another picture of Jesus for aLaPlace church.

Even though he is not really fond of modern technology, he is taking courses in computer-aided drawing at the University of New Orleans.

“My former art teachers advised me to do it,” he said, “even though I see myself as an old-time painter.” He shrugs, “But God is going to use me forhis work.”Religion and spirituality are a major part of his art and life.

“My talent is a divine intervention,” Broussard said, “and I realize that I am not like everybody else. My art comes from within.”A junior deacon at the Rising Sun Baptist Church, Broussard takes time to teach art and appreciation for art to the children of the church. He alsowrites poetry and articles on myriad subjects.

“My destiny,” Broussard proclaims proudly, “is to be the greatest artist around.”Right now, he is working on personalized Thanksgiving and Christmas cards that he hopes to sell to members his church.

What does Broussard want to do next? “Sculpture,” he says.

Stay tuned for the next chapter in the artist’s life.

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