BHS grad assists with new mural at clinic

Published 5:20 pm Friday, August 26, 2016

Months ago, after the Washington Community Health Center went to a digital-only records system, the old shelving unit, now no longer filled with health records, was gathering dust.

Behind it was a blank wall, but Angela Houlemard saw potential.

Houlemard is the operations manager of the center, and she said she wanted to give an opportunity to a young, local artist to create a mural that highlighted the community and brightened up the blank space.

“I thought it is just such a big empty space right now and I thought about reaching out to the community to see if we could find someone who could dedicate some time and put a mural up there,” she said.

She spoke with the art teacher at Bogalusa High School, and out of a handful of names, Houlemard said one student, Tiyuana Myres, seemed interested.

Myres said she’d never painted a mural before, but that didn’t stop her.

“I like a challenge and I like to volunteer,” she said.

Myres said she spent months on the project and another student, Dedrick Briggs, helped with Beignet the giraffe, who is the mascot of the pediatric side of the health center.

Myres knew Houlemard wanted the mural to reflect the community, so she incorporated well-known community icons, like the parish fairgrounds and the lumber mill, into the mix.

The whole project took six months. Myres said it wouldn’t have taken her that long, except she was involved in several college courses while still in high school. In fact, although she can now add mural painter to her resume, Myres said she’s not actually interested in getting a degree in art. Myres is now enrolled in LSU in the biology program with a focus on pre-med, and she said she’d like to become an orthodontist.

Houlemard said she’s impressed with the mural and that Myres nailed the local theme. In fact, Houlemard said she’d be open to possibly inviting more young artists to cover the walls of the clinic.

“You know, I would really welcome talented artists, if they would like to come in and bring in their artwork and display it, I would welcome that,” she said. “It just goes to show that there is so much talent in Washington Parish. That’s what I wanted to bring out, the talented people we have in this parish.”