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Heart of Louisiana: Louisiana Marketshops at the 115

Updated: Nov. 24, 2020 at 9:45 PM CST
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HENDERSON, La. (WVUE) - If you are looking for some home-grown art, a gallery along the I-10 in Henderson may have more Louisiana artists per square foot than any place else in the state.

It’s a shop that’s hard to miss and it features everything from folk art to fine art.

When Jennifer Casanova opened her Henderson Art Shop seven years ago, she wanted it to stand out. School bus yellow paint with accents of lime green, orange and purple did the trick and signs outside the front door set the mood.

“But sometimes those people just need a good day, a good trip to get away and to come someplace fun and just enjoy,” says Jennifer.

Jennifer calls her store Louisiana Marketshops at the 115. 115 is the exit number on I-10, halfway between New Orleans and Houston.

“We have over 300 Louisiana artists, musicians, authors and makers here that we represent.”

Most of the items for sale here are painted, carved, molded, performed or crafted by Louisiana artists like large papier-mache sculptures.

“It’s the Louisiana state bird, the pelican. He’s got a fish in his mouth.”

The artwork fills every shelf, wall space and even the ceiling of the shotgun house gallery that lures you from room to room. Native animals are carved from cypress, shaped from metal or painted on canvas. There are homemade treats from the garden and handmade pottery to eat them on. You hear zydeco music. See Mardi Gras figures from Cajun Prairie to New Orleans and dolls that tell you folk tales.

“This is Madame Grand Doigt. She us the lady who lived in the attic and reached through the ceiling with her long fingers and took children who were not being good. It’s not a formal gallery. It’s a very funky, handmade hand feel for gala.”

Why has she chosen to exclusively do Louisiana made stuff?

“Because it is the best. I mean, Louisiana has such a rich culture and heritage here. You have to, you have to appreciate it.”

Jennifer says many of her customers are regulars. Some local and others come from all over the world.

“You know, we love to make a sale. But if we don’t make a sale, we always ask them, is there something that you were looking for that we didn’t have? We make notes of that and we try to find it.”

What is the craziest thing she has ever sold?

“Probably a prosthetic leg was the craziest thing I ever sold here.”

From crazy to serious, unique to fun and everything in between. These are real Louisiana creations that will tempt you to take them home.

The gallery, Louisiana Marketshops at the 115 is located along I-10 in Henderson.

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