The place is Framer Dave’s Frame Shop, located on a small street in an even smaller town, smack-dab in the heart of a place called Donaldsonville, Louisiana. It is here almost each day, that a virtual unknown (only a decade ago) has become the burgeoning celebrity of his time. This is the home of Alvin Batiste, unequivocally the most sought after and collected country artist since the likes of Clementine Hunter.
Lou King, a wonderful lady that worked for a local health unit that once administered an aptitude test to Batiste when he was just 13 years old, came across Alvin’s old file as she purged the records (complying with privacy issues). She found a piece of original art work completed by the young Batiste. King decided that it would not be harmful to return the piece back to the, now famous, artist to include in his archives of works. When the piece was returned to Batiste, in early August 2001, he admired his long lost handiwork, signed the front of the (now valuable) piece of artwork and handed it right back to the lucky owner Lou King. The emotion of the moment is something King will never forget. And as people who know him are fond of saying…”that’s just Alvin.”
Alvin Batiste was born on March 16, 1962. It is his mother Lillian Little Batiste that we all owe a debt of gratitude and some grand heaping of admiration. Through the undying love of a child to a parent, Batiste has eulogized his mother’s passing in 1997 by consistently reflecting on the love they shared for one another–capturing the stories she often told to entertain Batiste and his six siblings. His mother’s memory is his driving force. Her tales his inspiration. And it is his God given gift that transposes those memories into paintings of life.”
As Batiste often imparts to those who listen, “Christ is all.”