Our hearts are heavy to report that Wayne Ditch, a fixture and tremendous force on Lafayette's art scene, has passed away.
Details are still coming in but what we know now is that Ditch passed away from throat cancer Monday. He was receiving treatment in New Orleans, the other city he was lucky enough to call home. Ditch kept a lot of the information about his illness and treatments private.
He spent several decades working as a surrealist painter and sketcher. Ditch was also looked upon as a very talented art restorationist and was called upon by both public and private collectors to help many an old painting look lively again. After Hurricane Katrina, Ditch was able to restore paintings that had been submerged for weeks.
We will certainly write more on this as funeral arrangements are made public. There is talk - so far only that - of holding a benefit to allay some of the funerary costs to his family and we will post about that, too.
Ditch could always be counted on to attend fellow artists' shows and openings, to inspire and encourage. He was readily found out mingling and enjoying himself and we know that in his afterlife the party just got more fun. Our hearts are with Ditch's family and many, many friends.
Wayne Ditch was 57 years old.