The Bridge Collection
The downtown bridge in Breaux Bridge—the one that makes it “Breaux Bridge” instead of just “Breaux”—is one of the most photographed objects in the state of Louisiana and a symbol of the city and region. When the department of transportation came to inspect it and said, essentially, “It’s fine for now, but it’s old, so when it gets rickety we’re eventually going to replace it with a standard concrete bridge,” town residents sprang into action. The bridge now has landmark status, to protect it, and locals hold events to raise funds and keep the bridge in good repair.
Before the Breaux Bridge sesquicentennial in 2009, local artists were asked to create images of the famous bridge for an exhibition celebration the bridge and its role in the history of the city. (Because of the bridge, Breaux Bridge developed on both sides of Bayou Teche, unlike many towns that exist mostly or completely on one side.) Forty local artists produced a total of forty-two works, representing the broad variety of styles and aesthetics being explored by the area’s contemporary artists; two architects were among the contributors, giving viewers a glimpse of the underlying engineering feats involved in the bridge’s conservation and preservation. The collection has been displayed around the Breaux Bridge area and was shown at the state capitol for eighteen months; now it’s back in Breaux Bridge in the new Teche Center for the Arts, ready to be admired.
The Bridge Collection can be viewed by the public now at the Teche Center for the Arts, at 210 East Bridge Street in Breaux Bridge. Hours are 8 am until noon, Monday through Thursday, with an expansion of open hours coming soon.