Jenelle Hebert

Jenelle Hebert of St. Martinville, LA

Janelle Hebert was born and raised in the small Cajun town of St. Martinville, Louisiana.  Her father, like most of his friends, raised Labs and Beagles for hunting.  The dogs were her playmates and she adored them!

After studying Fine Art at the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette, Janelle moved to New Orleans and started her family.  That family has always included a variety of pets, from dogs and cats to fish, even an iguana and Bearded Dragon named Ethel.  It was only natural her son Joe grew up to be a veterinarian.  And it was only natural that pet portraits would become her passion as an artist on Jackson Square. Janelle’s success as a pet portraitist and childhood dream of being an artist on Jackson Square spanned twenty-two of the thirty years she called New Orleans home.  Her love of animals also included ten years as a volunteer with the Audubon Zoo as a zookeeper and four years as a naturalist guide with the Aquarium of the Americas.

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina changed all that.

Like so many others that suffered such loss and the shock of such a catastrophic event, Janelle and her husband Jean were forced to seek refuge outside the city.  They returned to her hometown of St. Martinville along with their four surviving pets.

The love and support of family and the people here have convinced them to make this area their home.  Moving here has not only changed their lives but has also changed Janelle’s artwork and painting technique.

Other than pet portraits, her work now also includes Louisiana landscapes, such as swamps and sugar cane fields and oak trees. She’s also started doing people portraits in graphite again. A new series of cow paintings called “CowBelles” has been inspired by all the cool bovine in the area! They’re all painted in bright colors, the names derived from ice cream flavors.  The boys have red eyelashes, the girls have blue.  Some have red hooves, some pink hooves.  Sounds crazy but so fun!

Coming from the art colony background of Jackson Square, Janelle has recently begun forming the St. Martin Square Artist’s Colony in St. Martinville.  She believes that artists thrive off of one another as they work together.  She wants to do everything she can to bring artists together to help one another and support each other.

When Katrina forced Janelle to leave New Orleans and Jackson Square, she may not have lost her life.  However, she lost her identity as a member of the Jackson Square Art Colony and her life as she knew it for thirty years.  She continues to find her place as an artist in the Acadiana area.