Artists’ Retreat in Louisiana
[Note: this article appeared in Community Chronicles]
By: Kelli Foret Richard @kellisartnmusic
Arnaudville – I’m glowing from just having visited a Cajun hideaway way down in Louisiana, where Jennifer Gray established her farm and homestead many years ago. Since then, life has brought some curve balls for Jen. But this resilient woman has created something so rich out at Bonne Terre Louisiana, that anyone who visits leaves feeling abundantly rejuvenated.
The main house, that Jen moved from St. Peter’s Street in New Iberia some years back, has become a home away from home for visitors and guests looking for a sanctuary in remote Acadiana. She understands the importance of sharing Cajun heritage and culture and surrounds herself with an eclectic mix of local art and music. Hundreds of books, paintings, hand-drawn maps, and vinyl records graciously litter Bonne Terre’s walls and shelves.
The newest addition to Bonne Terre is what Jen calls “the Studio.” This cozy cedar studio is curated with
guitars, an old mini-organ, a drawing table, art supplies, and outdoor spaces that would accommodate any professional porch sitter, such as myself. Her beloved cow, Matilda, and her flock of rock-a-doodle-deauxs make good company for those who long to feel a connection to animals and nature.
Each house is set up for recycling and composting with environmental sustainability in mind. In order
to keep her support for local artisans true, Jen commissions artists to build and customize Bonne Terre
spaces. Bonne Terre Blend Coffee is specially made available for her guest by the local Reve Coffee Roasters, and aromas from soaps, oils, and smell goodies from Sunset’s very own Water Oak Farms can be found throughout the grounds for guests’ enjoyment. Everything is curated so intentionally and so graciously that you can’t help but to feel surrounded by “local-love.” Whether folks are looking for a getaway, retreat, or just a great place to stay while visiting Louisiana, Bonne Terre Louisiana can accommodate most anyone.
For more information on Bonne Terre Louisiana, visit bonneterrelouisiana.com.