When the Krewe of Lul wanted to commemorate major milestones in its history, it called upon Peyton Dufrene. The local artist crafted the official poster for the parade’s 25th anniversary. His work on that project was so popular that a decade later Dufrene was called upon again for the krewe’s 35th birthday, this time to create a commemorate scroll for the event.
It was actually Dufrene’s idea to create a commemorative poster for the 25th anniversary, the Luling native and Hahnville High alumnus noting he’s been a longtime fan and attendee of the event. Dufrene had a number of friends with the krewe and his godmother was a member on the Krewe of Lul board.
“I approached them with it,” Dufrene recalled. “I’ve always gone to the parade since I was little.
“They had never had anything like that as far as a poster for the event.”
Dufrene painted a 3-by-4 foot acrylic painting as the base for the poster. On it, he depicted the three main streets on the Lul route, Paul Maillard, River Road and Sugarhouse Road. He painted an iconic landmark from each street and sprinkled the last names of the krewe’s 25 kings and queens throughout the backdrop. Then he painted the reigning king and queen and, in the center of the poster, a jester.
The poster was a hit, and when it came time to celebrate the event’s 35th year milestone, parade planners asked if he could design a special scroll.
This time, he showcased a map of the route, including relevant street names and buildings along the route, naming a few of the ones according to what they were years ago to add some historic flavor.
“I put street names and with some of buildings, I put what they were years ago,” Dufrene said. “Winn Dixie, the Lumberyard, the American Legion … I wanted a little bit of an old school feel and put it in background.”
He also hid something of an “Easter egg” for people to discover within the scroll, as he included the 35 instances of past kings and queens hidden in a fleur de lis that adorned the middle of the scroll.
“I wanted to pack as much of (Lul’s) legacy as I could,” Dufrene said.
“I put all their names because I think that’s important and that it’s special for them to get chosen as the king and queen. I kind of wanted to capture that along with the layout of Luling and make something a little bit different.”
Dufrene has been an artist since his early days, when he was part of the talented arts program in grade school. He cultivated his talent through his days at HHS and at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, where he took a few art classes while he was pursuing his mechanical engineering degree.
“I actually started a little T-shirt business when I got out of school, and I still have it, doing screen printing and designing shirts,” Dufrene said.
“I’ve actually been getting into a lot of things lately, as far as logos, for some businesses as far as side projects.”
He said he looks up to a few artists that have helped shape his style, noting Thomas “Tuna” Seither of New Orleans as a key influence. He credits Seither for inspiring the idea to hide the names of kings and queens for the 35th anniversary scroll.
“He hides things in his art,” Dufrene said. “You’ll find things the second time you look at something he does that you didn’t the first time.. That’s the part I like the most. He finds way to subtlety do it. His work is very colorful and abstract.”
This year, Dufrene again plans to enjoy another rolling of the Krewe of Lul and to share in a great time for all.
“We attend ever year,” he said. “It’s always a lot of fun.”