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Bonita Waesche is a native of New Orleans. She has been interested in photography from a young age, mesmerized by Life magazine’s covers and stories. Although photography was a passion, it always took a back seat to her 25 yr. career as a nurse anesthetist and mother of three girls. Then Hurricane Katrina smashed into Louisiana, and in its aftermath, Bonita reassessed her life. She decided to hang up her stethoscope, stay home with her daughters, and devote more time to her photography.
Her film camera transitioned into digital capture as technology advanced and photography rose to a whole new level of color, vibrance, and texture. She sees light as a critical factor as it plays across the waterscape of Lake Pontchartrain, or the petals of a perfect flower, or the dignity of a human face. It’s the power of light shapes the impact of an image.
Bonita studied photography at Tulane and has done workshops with well known artists such as Tony Corbell, David Ziser and the NAPP organization.. She participated in the prestigious Covington 3 Rivers Art Festival in 2006, 2007, and 2009. The Lacombe Chamber of Commerce Art Show 2006 was her first competition. All three of her entries took home prizes (the only participant so honored), including the prestigious St Tammany Purchase Award. Financial Advisor, a nationally published magazine, used her image on their October 2006 cover. Arts Evening 2006 awarded her dahlia Honorable Mention. Inside Northside magazine featured her as the cover artist in their March/April 2007 edition. Gulf Bank 2007 art competition awarded one of her sunsets an Honorable Mention.
Her insightful black and white portrait of her father took Best in Show at the Visions 2008 show, 1st Place for Photography at the Bayou Lacombe Art Center 2008 show (juried by John Bullard, curator of NOMA), 2nd Place in the SBAG 2008 Fall Show, and was one of only 29 chosen for the STAA 2008 Summer Show. Her portrait of a young woman won 3rd Place in the Celebration of Art show. Her Commuter’s Sunrise graced the cover of the LA State Bar Assoc. Journal for Nov. 2008. In 2009, she won 2nd place for her flamingo in the Art of Nature Show. Save Our Cemeteries 2009 Cemeteryscape awarded her Angels Among Us 1st place. In the Fall 2009 Lacombe Art Center Show, her striking black and white image of the Lake Pontchartrain shoreline not only won Best in Show, but was also awarded the coveted St Tammany Purchase Award. In 2010, she took 2nd place with a lovely, sensuous portrait of Alexandra in the show, Faces and Places. Her whimsical portrait, Mardi Gras Mischief was chosen for display at the 2010 New Orleans Jazz Fest exhibit, Louisiana Road Trip. The LA Heart Hosp Fall Show awarded her black and white landscape, LA Road Home, 2nd place.
As she developed images for the 292 rooms of the Crowne Plaza in Kenner, LA, her imagination was stretched to produce graphic artwork that was unique in style and color while incorporating the familiarity of the New Orleans French Quarter. The result is a fun and expressive view of one of the world’s most intriguing cities. The renovation of Hotel Marais on Conti St in 2010, features her striking LA swamp scenes in black and white. In 2011, Mary Bird Cancer Centers chose her as the Artist of Choice to furnish their new Covington, Houma and Hammond facilities with soothing landscape images. Also in 2011, the renovations of the Bourbon Orleans and the Mazarin, French Quarter hotels, showcased her images in the guest rooms and in the meeting rooms. In 2013, she was featured in an article about French Quarter hotel art at www.neworleans.com.
Locally, her work can be seen at Artistic Framing in Covington, Redoux in Mandeville, Mardi Gras World in New Orleans as well as public collections of St Tammany Parish, St Tammany Parish School Board, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, Jefferson Parish and Tchefuncta Country Club. St Tammany Parish Hospital has furnished several of their additions and clinics with many of her large landscape images.