Mary Lailhengue

Lafayette, LA

I am Mary Lailhengue, I became a full-time artist in 2022 creating hand-built clay pieces, such as colorful sunflowers, serene angels and award-winning whimsical Courir de Mardi Gras figures.

I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Having grown up in the culturally rich area, it inspired my creative spirit at an early age. I relocated to Lafayette in 2010 when I married my Cajun Husband and found inspiration here. Following my 2022 retirement, I focused full time on my art. I get pleasure from hand building clay into delicate floral bowls and plaques, serene angels and whimsical Courir de Mardi Gras figurines and continue to be inspired to create whatever comes to me. My hopes are that my pieces bring joy to others, as they do to me.

At an early age I’ve always enjoyed creating things from jewelry to floral arrangements to whatever I could create with my own ideas in mind. I have been influenced by nature, bright colors, whimsical things and life and by things that are loved by Family and Friends.

I started off my love for hand-building while taking a few classes a couple of years ago at a Ceramic Shop and from there I wanted to make my own things, create my own ideas and put them into my Clay. I began with creating ideas I had for my own Family such as St. Louis Cathedral wind-chimes, things that brought sweet memories for others and I continue to create clay pieces that come into my mind, things that I think others will love, cherish and things that bring them joy and memories when they look at them.

I’ve recently showed my Art at several places in Lafayette and won Second Place for my Courir de Mardi Gras “Cajun Totem”, an award that was surprising and encourages me to keep creating. My background has nothing to do with the Art Community but since retirement I feel like I’ve had so much inspiration and support from the Community here in Lafayette and maybe missed my calling years ago. I truly love the Clay medium and hand-building and will continue to create whatever comes into my head and hope it brings joy to anyone who views it.

In closing, if you have any creativity, there’s a saying that I include on my cards that I really love and think everyone should keep in mind. “The World needs your unique gifts, don’t leave with them still inside you.”