Living Ind

Throwing the Gauntlet It’s time to put our money where our admiration is.

by Amanda Jean Elliott

It’s time to put our money where our admiration is.

Jeremy Broussard, left, and Robert Dafford
Photo by Robin May

When local artist Robert Dafford mentioned the impact of each person in Acadiana buying just one piece of local art each year, Jeremy Broussard’s brain began churning out possibilities.

“It had a profound impact on how I look at gift giving,” the Realtor and man about Downtown says.

He dubbed the idea the “Dafford Challenge,” and a movement was born. A gauntlet thrown. What if every person in Acadiana supported the art community with his or her wallet?

“This culture is very encouraging to artists and encourages creativity,” Dafford says. Yet it’s not so commonplace for locals to buy local art. “We need the culture to buy more art,” says Dafford, acknowledging that the area is a big draw for artists. “There are so many artists here because it’s so nurturing. Cajuns are creative people … if you couldn’t make it, you didn’t have it.”

And when those Cajuns made it, they did so creatively. They appreciated each other’s work.

And that’s why Broussard’s Dafford Challenge has so much potential. “It doesn’t have to be expensive,” Dafford says. “Instead of buying some crap from Walmart made in China, buy from someone who lives here.”