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Local author, artist creates Mardi Gras parade through window paintings

Carly John
Beauregard Daily News

Local artist and published author Jill Leonard has been asked for years to paint holiday windows but had never found the time to complete the window paintings, but this Christmas she decided what better of a year to make the time.

"It was something a little extra special in such time where we feel our traditions taken from us due to the pandemic," said Leonard.

The community responded to Leonard's holiday window paintings in such a positive way she decided it was time to continue the idea with Mardi Gras.

Due to the ongoing pandemic and the fact that most festivities surrounding Mardi Gras have been canceled, she wanted to create a way for the community to still feel part of the Louisiana tradition.

Jill Leonard, artist and author.

"I decided to follow up with Mardi Gras and local businesses have responded by keeping me booked for scenes on their business windows. I hope to finish up all the businesses that have called on me next week, but not turning anyone away," said Leonard.

DeRidder is in the Mardi Gras spirit
Leonard hopes to create a way families can experience Mardi Gras festivities locally
A Mardi Gras painting

Local businesses such as Perfectly Polished Day Spa, Jack's, Fox's Pizza, Aymond Medical Spa, Hazel's Tea Parlor, Ultimate Experience, Candice Skinner Realty and The Law Center have Leonard's paintings decorating their windows.

"I have two ladies helping me that have never painted before, Crystal Williams and Arianna Williams. They have jumped right in and I love to see them developing a new passion," Leonard said

"This will be something that families can do on their own by traveling through town and looking at all the paintings. I wanted to create my own parade with Louisiana animals," said Leonard.

Local businesses interested in having Leonard decorate their windows can contact her on the Jillybeans Foundation page.

"I have my paints in my car for a quick response. I’m racking my brain right now. I have some vacant windows I’m working on as extra surprises," said Leonard.