by Van Roy

With superstar clients like Drew Brees and commissions on the rise, Avoyelles artist Leah Moreau Morace is a beacon of Louisiana Art

With a deep breath, she looks around at her studio at Alexandria’s River Oaks Square Art Center and sighs, “This is my happy place, so to be isolated at home because of this horrible virus is very unsettling to say the least,” says Leah Moreau Morace, who has been a resident artist at Central Louisiana’s cultural hub since 2015. With the tools of her trade packed safe and sound, Morace will return to her home studio to work, creating the vibrant and distinct pieces she has become so well known for, and to get through these uncertain times like the rest of us.

Leah’s love of art began at an early age, painting chinaware with her beloved grandmother. Fast forward to 2020 and Morace is one of the most important names in Central Louisiana’s burgeoning art scene. With Louisiana as her muse, Morace creates lush canvases that depict the state’s beautiful and mysterious bayous and waterways and regal marsh birds, a particular favorite of her collectors.

A graduate of Louisiana College, Leah received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design. She pursued a career in design, but her heart was in painting and she decided to follow her passion to become a fine artist in 2008. She has been painting professionally ever since. “I’m so blessed to be a working artist. What was once a dream has become a reality and I’m making a living doing what I love to do.” In addition to being a resident artist of the River Oaks Arts Square in Alexandria, Morace has also been a long time board member of the Arts and Humanities Council for Avoyelles, where she established the annual “Toot Your Own Horn” project, a parish wide program that engages artists and students alike to create colorful horns to promote and welcome the Avoyelles Arts and Music Festival each summer. She also dedicates her time and skills conducting workshops for youth throughout Avoyelles Parish and Rapides. She has had two solo shows and has participated in numerous group exhibitions. She has been named Best Artist by Alexandria Town Talk’s coveted Cenla’s Choice Awards for three consecutive years.

Morace stays busy, largely due to commissions that continue to come in from private clients and designers. One particular commission, however, stands above and apart from all the rest; the one she created for Super Bowl Champ and quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, Drew Brees. “My job has taken me on many adventures, but this was one of the most fun and most humbling of them all. I’m so blessed to have had this opportunity with Drew and the Surge Family.” Surge Entertainment Center, owned by Brees, is the new epicenter for family fun and friends in Lafayette and Morace was commissioned to paint a mural, one of the focal points of the new complex. “Drew wanted the mural to depict Lafayette landmarks but wanted it to have the feel of a vintage postcard, which is exactly what we did. The “T”, however, with the iconic Super Bowl pose with his son, was actually a surprise for him that we added without him knowing. Definitely a pinch me moment doing this for someone we love so much in Louisiana.”

The artist resides in Effie, Louisiana with her biggest fans; her loving, supportive husband and four children.


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