Slidell’s newest piece of public art is now on display at the roundabout at Robert Blvd. and Brownswitch Road.

“Slidell’s Community Camellia Tree” is an eight foot tall iron and glass sculpture depicting a camellia tree in full bloom. It’s an artistic collaboration between welder Jamie Gomez, owner of JG Land and Marine, and artist Solange Ledwith of Swamp Girl Glass. Gomez constructed and welded the base, trunk and branches and Ledwith created the beautiful glass camellias that adorn the tree.

In addition to the sculpture, new landscaping will be added to spruce up the roundabout.

“I would like to thank the artists and everyone who worked so diligently on this project, said Slidell Mayor Greg Cromer. “We are so fortunate to have a thriving art community in our city. This piece of art is a great addition to all the murals around our city. We are honored to support our art community and are looking forward to more public art in Slidell.”

In 2020, the City of Slidell commissioned several local artists to paint murals around the city as part of the “Celebrate Slidell Public Art Project.” The murals not only celebrated Slidell’s culture and community, but also recognized the bravery of first responders and health care heroes in the midst of a pandemic. The new camellia tree is the first sculpture in the public art series and is hopefully the first of many that will be installed around the city.

“Helping to beautify our city and encouraging public art in our community is important to me,” said Solange Ledwith, artist and owner of Swamp Girl Glass. “It was great collaborating with Jamie and I would like to thank the City of Slidell for allowing us to be a part of this project.”

Glass camellias are still being added to the tree and members of the community have a chance to be a part of this unique public art project. Individuals can sponsor a camellia for $100 and it will be added to the camellia tree. Proceeds from sponsorship will help fund future public art projects. Checks made out to the City of Slidell can be delivered to Swamp Girl Glass located at 1060 Front Street or mailed to the City of Slidell’s Department of Cultural & Public Affairs, PO Box 828, Slidell, LA, 70459.