Dapper Bruce LaFitte, formerly Bruce Davenport, Jr. was born in 1972 and grew up in the Lafitte Housing Projects in the 6th Ward. With the encouragement of his grandparents who raised him, he began to draw at the age of five as a means to entertain himself and document the world around him. Following Hurricane Katrina and the devastation to New Orleans and its schools, LaFitte felt compelled to honor the past glory of this unique band culture and celebrate those who are able to continue it. In his words, “The marching bands are a passion to me. I love the history and culture… My work serves as an illustrative reminder of an activity that not only encourages creative thought processing but also engages youth with the community and with each other. Using photographic documentation of these bands in action, I recreate their vibrant pageantry… hopefully leaving behind a sacred reminder of a vibrant part of my hometown’s identity.” LaFitte’s vivid color marker drawings provide detailed reenactments – the bands in precise number and formation and the multitude of spectators surrounding them.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website