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Margaret Brinkhaus

Mixed Media / Sunset, LA / Master Craftsman

Artist Statement

gourds & jellies

Biography

I was born in Grand Coteau, Louisiana, graduated from nearby Sunset High School, and attended Sacred Heart College (in Grand Coteau, La.). and Maryville College in St. Louis, Missouri.
Returning to Louisiana, I married Armand Brinkhaus, my husband of 50 years. We moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, where he received his law degree at Loyola University

We returned to the Grand Coteau-Sunset area raising our family of seven children who have given us 13 grandchildren.

After rearing our children I was finally able to realize a dream of pursuing creativity beyond motherhood. A few workshops and lessons in oil painting proved to me that I could be creative. I continued to master other art forms such as glass etching, pierced tin, woodwork, acrylics, and sewing.

As I continued working on my art I started a small cottage business making jams, jellies, preserves, pickles, relishes, and herb vinegars using recipes which I created.

In the 1970s we purchased a 1930s caboose and later acquired a 1904 depot. In 1996 I decided to venture into the bed and breakfast business using the caboose and depot as B&B units. Five years later I added a ticket office and an 1800s mail and passenger car. Voila! La Caboose.

Even though I continue my jelly and B&B businesses, I have discovered another PASSION – working with gourds. Using gourds and found treasures from nature I create purses, vases, bowls, baskets and kaleidoscopes. I leave open the possibility for new inspiration using nature as my guide.

At present I am a member of numerous guilds and associations including the Louisiana Crafts Guild (where I have been on the board for the last 6 years), the Natchitoches Art Guild, Baton Rouge Arts Market, Sunset Garden Club, and the American Gourd Society. I am a past member of the Lafayette Art Association and Opelousas Art Association. I currently serve as an Ambassador of Tourism representing Sunset, St. Landry Parish for the past 11 years.

I am now involved in my community as a member of the South St. Landry Community Library and a Eucharistic minister at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church. In the past I was a member of the church choir and Altar Society and served as chairman of the March of Dimes. For 10 years I was a member of Chorale Acadienne, a professional not-for-profit organization which performs a broad spectrum of great choral works from the Renaissance through the twentieth century.