Local Folk Artist expects success and continues to achieve it worldwide

Carol Pierce special to the Weekly Citizen
Tree house painting being donated to Bodine School for Autistic Children.

February is International Expect Success Month.  Louisiana Folk Artist Hank Holland, who recently opened his art gallery and studio at the Cajun Village in Sorrento, continues to model the amazing results which occur when a person expects success and does all in his power to achieve it.

Even though Holland picked up a brush and began painting a little less than 4 years ago, over 2200 original pieces of this self-taught artist's work now hang in homes and businesses in every state in the nation and in over 40 countries across the world, including the Vatican.

Holland's most popular pieces are what he terms his "jazzed-up tree houses." These brightly colored paintings are a visual representation of how Hank Holland learned to no longer allow his having cerebral palsy to keep him from living a happy, fulfilling, extremely successful life.

Constantly bullied, teased, criticized, and ostracized because of his disability, Holland's life growing up was anything but easy. The tree house his dad built for him in their back yard became his place to escape. Little did Holland realize the powerful lessons he'd learn spending so much time in that tree.

"During those countless hours I spent in that tree house, I discovered my true self, " states Holland.  He adds, "I learned everything grows with love, and with that love comes hope, faith, courage, prayer, trust, and grace."

Each tree house painting features a big heart adorning the tree with the word Love written across it.  As you look closely, you'll notice an outhouse in every tree.  Holland suggests that you make a habit of rubbing the outhouse daily to symbolically place all your trash in that outhouse like he learned to get rid of his own "trash" in that tree, replacing it with his love for life and for color.

But Holland's continuing success doesn't remain solely with his new-found love of painting and the extensive media coverage he's gained as a result.

He's featured in the book Jump Now, Look Later for the amazing feats he accomplished raising funds and awareness for cerebral palsy.  In the summer of 1996, he walked the entire length of Lafourche Parish, raising $3000 as a result of that 84 mile trek.  The next year he raised $14000 by walking the entire length of Highway 1 from the northern tip of Louisiana all the way to its end in Grand Isle. That 400 mile walk took Holland six weeks to complete as he logged 14 miles a day.

As Holland so firmly states, "With the right mindset, faith, patience, and a drive to channeling creativity, anyone can overcome his own affliction."

Hank Holland understands the importance of giving back and serving as a role model to others struggling to overcome their own obstacles.  He is donating the tree house painting pictured to help raise funds for the Bovine School.  The school serves autistic children in the Memphis, TN, area where many of Holland's loyal fans live.  At the same time, Holland wants to reach out to students in the River Region to encourage them to pursue their love for the arts.

Louisiana Folk Artist Hank Holland can be reached by calling 985-227-2367, e-mailing babyjanestudios@rocketmail.com or visiting him at his art gallery/studio at the Cajun Village in Sorrento during the week or in New Orleans' famous Jackson Square on weekends.

Samples of his work can be seen by visiting www.hankhollandfolkart.com or by logging on to Holland's Facebook site: BabyJaneStudios (Louisiana Artist Hank Holland).