Herons on the Bayou set to release new flock of birds for public art project

Published 6:02 am Sunday, September 25, 2022

A new flock of herons are flying into Ouachita Parish.

Herons on the Bayou will be placing 13 additional heron sculptures sponsored by local businesses and organizations throughout the community. The Herons on the Bayou committee made the announcement Thursday at a press conference with community members in downtown Monroe.

“After this installment, we will be unveiling our Herons Give Back Arts Enrichment Program will which allow nonprofit and government agencies to apply for funding in support of the arts,” Leigh Hersey said. “The herons are truly an icon of our community and we are thrilled to be able to bring them to you.”

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Herons on the Bayou is a public art project that incorporates artists from the local community that began in 2017. There are 87 heron sculptures already spread throughout Ouachita Parish, each with its own unique design.

The 13 additional herons will bring the total to 100.

Businesses interested in sponsoring a heron in front of their business or other publicly accessible location may apply in person at the Discover Monroe-West Monroe office at 8 a.m. on Oct. 17. Herons will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Sponsors are required to pay a deposit of $5,000 to sponsor a heron. The total amount to sponsor a heron is $7,500.

Sponsors will pick designs for their herons created by local artists from the community, elementary, middle, high schools or local universities. The deadline for artist designs is Nov. 18.

“We look forward to the collaboration of all of the artists and we look forward to sort of wrapping up the project by celebrating all the sponsors that have helped us to get to what will be 100. All of the artists that have helped us,” Herons on the Bayou creator Brooke Foy said.

“The herons not only highlight local talent but shine a light upon the arts community,” Monroe Mayor Friday Ellis said.

“If you notice around town… I always find it funny when people do the hunt and they love it,” Ellis said. “It puts a smile on people’s face and that’s how we want them to remember our communities. This effort… it’s also a collaboration. I love the fact that this involves Monroe and West Monroe and the entire parish. With that in mind… I just want to say thank to all who make that possible. It’s another qualify of life piece here in Monroe that makes folks happy and makes it a better place to be.”

The 13 herons will be unveiled in May 2023.