Luke Saucier spends a lot of his time in the headquarters for his company Southern Janicorp, which is located in a building at 1800 Kirkman St. The north exterior wall of the building is now adorned by a colorful mural of a scene Saucier observed during his travels in Venice, Italy — an old woman sweeping water out of a narrow passage between two tall buildings. Saucier photographed the scene then made an extremely realistic and detailed drawing of it.
What was it about the scene that so struck Saucier? He mentions the perspective. But he also poses the question “Who can account for what grabs the eye?”
To make the transformation from a drawing to a mural, Saucier employed the services of local mural painter Jesse Strub. Saucier sees this project as a collaboration between himself and Strub.
The finished mural is largely about pastels — periwinkle and violet on the left half, sky blue on the right. Strub opted for a much lower level of detail than that in Saucier’s drawing. That Strub’s approach to the scene was so different from Saucier “makes for a good collaboration,” Saucier says. “I gave him carte blanche.”
Although Strub spent 14 years in Lake Charles in his youth, he learned his mural and sign painting skills in New York, where he sometimes painted at a height of 150 feet. In general, he wants his works to look like watercolors. He favors hues that make an image look happy. “Pastels are my thing,” he says.
Strub tries to work hints of Louisiana culture into his murals. When I asked him about the large footwear worn by the woman in the Kirkman Street mural, he said that was a reference to Louisiana shrimper boots.
The Saucier and Strub mural is part of a series that’s being called For the Love of Chuck. Inspired by Saucier’s daughter Adelaide, the series is a grassroots initiative to promote Lake Charles through wellness and art. The recent Summer Solstice Yoga in Drew Park event was part of the series. “There will be more to come,” says Saucier. He shows me a drawing he’s rendered of Albert Einstein. The next mural will be a pop art depiction of the revolutionary thinker. The wall for the mural hasn’t yet been pinned down.
Strub’s new business for painting murals and signs — Not A Good Sign — opened locally in January. Learn more by searching for “It’s Not A Good Sign” on Facebook and Instagram.
McNeese MBA Degree: Entirely Online
McNeese College of Business offers an online Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) degree. McNeese describes the program in these terms: “With a blend of experiential learning and academic training, the programs’ emphasis is on practical applications. Both programs focus on real problems and decision-making techniques designed to make it reality-based. Graduates are prepared to meet the challenges from strong and growing global forces, conflicting values, changing technology and demographic diversity among employees and customers.”
The Program Director, Associate Professor, Dr. Cynthia Rodriguez Cano, said that the online program can be completed in a year, but that 18 months is more realistic for working students.
College of Business Internship Director Morgan Turpin called the program “game-changing” for those who have tight or unusual schedules.
The online program offers on-campus lecture classes for those who feel that going to listen to a lecture or getting some other sort of live help might make their studies easier. This unique feature of the McNeese MBA supports international students who must take on-ground classes.
Why consider the online MBA? Well, says Cano, there is a “high positive correlation between education and income.”
If you’d like to find out more about this online educational option, email Dr. Cano at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ms. Aimee Aguillard, Administrative Assistant at email@example.com or call 337-475-5522.
LEEA Applauds Trump’s LNG Boost
Many readers know that President Donald J. Trump came down to little ole’ Hackberry in May to give a speech on behalf of American energy independence.
The Louisiana Energy Export Association (LEEA) recently applauded Trump for visiting Louisiana — a state that is so vital to the quest for energy self-sufficiency — and for keeping the focus on energy infrastructure and the economic growth of Louisiana during his remarks.
You’ll know why this is important to us when you come to understand that LEEA’s six member companies are Magnolia LNG, Tellurian, G2 LNG, Energy Transfer, Shell and Commonwealth LNG. It’s obvious these are big players in the development and export of LNG in SWLA.
Among the president’s comments: “This quarter, the United States produced a record amount of oil and natural gas. Since the election, private companies have invested in a half a trillion dollars in the U.S. energy industry … including in this great state … where many tremendous projects of all different kinds are planned.”
Elaborating on the comments, LEEA chairman Maury Hudson (who’s affiliated with Magnolia LNG) said, “There are over $90 billion in LNG projects proposed, under construction, or expected to begin construction in Louisiana this decade. Tens of billions of dollars are expected to be spent in Louisiana businesses as a result of the LNG export industry.”
LEEA describes itself as the voice of Louisiana’s LNG export industry. The organization was formed in order to increase awareness of the industry in the governmental, business and public sectors.
Bayou Writers Group
The next monthly meeting of the Bayou Writers Group is set for Saturday, July 6, at 10 am on the second floor of the Central Library on Ernest Street. The group is a local non-profit. Visit bayouwritersgroup.com for more information. You can also check out their Facebook page.
A ‘Larger Floor’ For The Port
The Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District is the 12th-busiest port district in the nation. But the Port of Lake Charles would like to see it ranked higher than that.
“The Port’s ranking has crept upward in recent years, and all signs point to a future as a Top 10 port,” says Port director Bill Rase. He notes that Fortune magazine recently declared Lake Charles the seventh-fastest growing port in the country.
Part of this process of advancement, thinks Rase, is improvement of the Port’s facilities. The dock still has infrastructure from the 1920s that was fine for handling grain and timber. But for the port to handle new heavier goods produced over a century of technology, one thing it will need is “a load capacity upgrade.” Rase says you can think of the dock as a floor. What’s needed now is “a stronger floor.”
Here’s something more specific. The current docks have a load capacity of 500 pounds per square foot. Again, that was great 100 years ago. But new port docks are built to accommodate loads of 1,500 to 2,000 pounds per square foot.
Rase says this transition to the future will take planning, funding and time. The Port’s capital improvement plan stretches 10 years out. It is re-evaluated annually. “There’s no ‘end date’ to this process,” says Rase.
Right now, more than $287 million in capital projects are planned over the next decade. These will expand the Port’s global role in trade and specialized cargo transport.
The Port works to operate by its own means as much as possible. The majority of funding comes from operating revenues generated by the Port.
The Port also has bonding capacity, but it’s prudent about issuing bonds. In fact, the Port’s bond rating was recently upgraded by Moody’s and S&P. “The truth is that long-range plans like these require us to be very strategic and prudent about funding,” says Rase. “We are always looking at all available funding sources to accomplish our plans.”
“There’s no question that Southwest Louisiana is on the international map,” he says. “We’ve achieved success — and we need these improvements to sustain it.”