Artist infuses Louisiana into marathon print

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The countdown is on for Rendezvous, the second running of The Louisiana Marathon.

The Jan. 18-20 event will feature a full marathon, a half marathon, The Advocate Cypress 5K and The Advocate Kids Marathon.

But wait! There’s more!

The three-day event will include an expo, showcasing the latest designs and advances in all kinds of running gear, from shoes to apparel and nutritional information.

But wait! There’s more!

What would a Louisiana event be without a party? Not very well attended. So on Jan. 20 — the day of the big running events — bands will play and the food and beverages will flow.

But wait! There’s still more!

Just like food and music, a good event needs a commemorative print to mark the occasion. And, for that, marathon organizers have called on the homegrown talent of artist Candice Alexander, who is based in Lake Charles.

Top finishers in the marathon, half marathon and the 5K runs will be awarded the 33-year-old artist’s fleur-de-lis prints, but you can also buy them at the marathon’s website. Other prizes include Tasc Performance bamboo and cotton athletic wear, Whole Foods gifts cards and gear from Headsweats.

Alexander says she is infusing her print with Louisiana flavor.

“I’ve tried to capture the atmosphere of the marathon, the state, the food and the music in the fleur de lis,” says Alexander, who calls the well-know Louisiana symbol her “signature” art. “It’s was a tough piece to do.”

Alexander, who grew up in Hathaway, just outside of Jennings, says her art is an accumulation of a life that has traveled a path from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, across the South, to the upper east coast and abroad to Greece, Italy, France and Canada.

When she came home to Louisiana in 2007, with a fleur de lis painting commissioned in New York but never claimed, “I found what I was searching for was here the whole time,” she says. “I found my roots.”

Since then, Alexander says she has worked continuously.

“I haven’t stopped,” says Alexander, who three months ago relocated her studio, Alexander Art Studio Gallery Boutique, to a larger 5,000-square-foot space in downtown Lake Charles.

With more than 5,000 runners from all over the country expected to participate in this year’s runs, Alexander’s artwork will find its way to homes and offices across the nation. Does she feel any pressure?

“That’s a pretty big deal,” she says. “It makes me want to hide little things in the print that nobody knows about but me.”

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