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Osbornes share artistic vision for a cause

‘Meditate Anywhere,’ by Stephanie Osborne, is among works that will be auctioned at the Louisiana Children’s Museum CHAIRish the Children on Saturday. (Photo by Jason Kruppa)

She’s more of a left-brained type, while he’s the right-brained one of the two. She handles the business end of things, he the artistic endeavors. She likes contemporary design, while he favors more rustic decor. He says yes to everyone, but she knows when to say no. She’s a self-described linear thinker, calling him the dreamer.

So why is the striking sculpture-on-a-bench called “Meditate Anywhere,” a centerpiece of the Louisiana Children’s Museum annual CHAIRish the Children fundraising gala, by … Stephanie Osborne, instead of her well-known artist husband Terrance?

An orginal Osborne is an original Osborne, says Terrance with a grin.

And that it is. Stephanie and Terrance Osborne, married 16 years with three children, are twin halves of a very accomplished whole. They critique each other’s works. They finish each other’s sentences. They home-school their youngest son together.

And, while he doesn’t admit to having her administrative abilities (“She’s the face of our business,” he says), she definitely shares his artistic leanings.

Stephanie and Terrance Osborne sit amidst their work — her bench, his paintings. (Photo by Jason Kruppa)

“When we met as college students, she had drawings all over her (UNO dormitory) walls,” says Terrance, who went to Xavier. “There’s a certain kind of rawness about her work. She’s very modest, but there’s no way you can look at that sculpture and not say that an artist did it.”

He nods toward “Meditate Anywhere,” on which a woman sits at the end of a black bench, eyes closed serenely, hands clasped on knees, limbs painted an interesting purple, platinum bangs brushing her forehead.

“I love CHAIRish the Children, because it’s the one time of year I get to do my art,” Stephanie says. “The museum asked Terrance to do it, but he didn’t have time, so I volunteered.”

Stephanie’s first bench, made for last year’s fundraiser, had a swirling piano-key theme and sold for more than any other piece in the auction.

This year, instead of painting the flat surface, she decided to go three-dimensional.

“I started with a Styrofoam head, and put clay over it, but that didn’t work. So I built the face with mortar.”

“It was trial and error for her, really,” adds Terrance, who helped her cut out and then join the flat wooden body parts. “Those are her hands and feet, which she traced onto the wood.”

The sculpted woman is positioned the way Stephanie herself likes to sit, and the gold dress, scarf and bracelet came from her own closet.

The Osbornes: Two halves of an accomplished whole. (Photo by Jason Kruppa)

While Terrance mostly operates from a studio at the front of their spacious West Bank home, Stephanie tends to create wherever the spirit strikes. Fireplace mantels and masonry walls bear her swirling mosaics, and her latest work took shape in the middle of the family den. “She kind of works everywhere,” says Terrance.

That kind of spontaneity and creativity are Osborne family traits. When Terrance is working on a painting, Stephanie will grab some of his materials and start an art project with the kids.

A favorite family game is a spin-off of the Food Network’s “Chopped” show, in which one person acts as judge while the others make creative dishes from two designated ingredients. Eleven-year-old Seth recently won a rice-and-bell pepper challenge by concocting a rice pudding garnished with candied bell pepper.

“It’s just a nice family thing. Everybody wins,” says Terrance.

But in one way, Stephanie adds, Terrance comes out on top. “He’s super sweet. When you meet him, you think, ‘This is such a nice guy.'”

CHAIRish the Children

  • What: The Louisiana Children’s Museum’s festive annual fundraiser
  • The theme: One-of-a-kind, hand-painted chairs from artists and organizations around the city, including Chet Pourciau Design, Lizano’s Glass Haus, Matthew Holdren Woodworking, Karoline Schleh, Stephanie Osborne and others, will be available along with other items through live and silent auctions.
  • Where: The museum at 420 Julia Street, in the Warehouse District
  • When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25 (a patron party precedes at 7 p.m.)
  • Tickets: $75 ($50 for museum members), available here

Renee Peck is editor of NolaVie.






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