Remembering Lucy Hickerson-Luc, a vibrant American artist and singer who made Seychelles her home
Luc is remembered as a vibrant and talented artist who was devoted to and loved civil society. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Lucy Hickerson-Luc, an American artist and opera singer who made Seychelles her adoptive home, was laid to rest on Saturday in her beloved district of Baie Lazare. Luc, 77, who arrived on the island nation in 1986, was originally from Odessa, Texas, United States of America.
Luc is remembered as a vibrant and talented artist who was devoted to and loved civil society. Luc’s American next of kin in Seychelles – Mark Davidson -- told SNA that he has lost a very good friend, but is comforted by fond memories full of laughter.
“Her laugh is what will stay with me. She shared her love of the arts with many many people and she touched many lives here, across the world including children. We will all miss her,” said Davidson.
Hailing from a musical family, Luc sang and danced in theatres in the US even though she had to move from states to states as her father worked in the oil industry. Luc, who died on Wednesday due to illness, had been bedridden following hip surgery a few years ago.
“Later in her adult life, she moved to Italy where she married an Italian film director. Lucy also joined the opera and apart from singing and dancing – acting was a major part of her life,” said Davidson. “Throughout, her career in Italy Lucy made around 30 movies in the seventies and eighties until the passing of her husband, when she relocated to Seychelles,” recounted Davidson.
In the southern district on the main island of Mahe, Luc started out as an art teacher at the Baie Lazare primary school. For four years she shared her love of the arts and skills in painting, ceramics, sculpting, paper and glass making with the children.
|A lasting memory of Lucy can be seen on the wall of International Conference Centre of Seychelles for all to see is a mythical beauty. (Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
In October 1991, Luc created a not for profit organization, APANA - Atelye pour Aprann Nouvo Artizana – whose motto was creative development needs its own space. Through the organization, the art lover was spreading the message - art is non-competitive but teaches and inspires individual achievement and self-esteem.
In establishing APANA, Luc has enabled men and women to be able to work and earn a living through art by making artefacts. These were made mostly from recycling materials such items made from glass and paper. APANA had its own workshop to transform glass bottles into different art objects which were later sold.
It was during her work with the civil society that Helen Maiche met the American. “She was one of the earliest members of LUNGOS – the organization which regrouped civil societies back then. Aware that we did not get a lot of funds from the government, the public-spirited Lucy assisted the staff of LUNGOS in our fundraising efforts. Driving us around in her pickup carting tables, chairs and the barrels for lemonade and ice,” recalled Maiche.
Maiche added “compassionate in what she did, Lucy was a fervent lobbyist for the cause of any not for profit organisation, but a fiercest advocate for all issues pertaining to women and children, notably for those of her beloved district of Baie Lazare.”
Maiche had many more stories to share about Luc’s involvement with civil society. “In 1995 Foreign Affairs gave LUNGOS one invitation to attend the Fourth World Conference on Women. Lucy was adamant that a full delegation of Seychellois women from the civil society should attend.”
According to Maiche, after having established how much it would cost for one woman to get to Beijing and stay on for a week, Luc joined the LUNGOS staff in a burst of fundraising activities,; seeking donations, running sales of artistic products, as well as organising sponsored walks. Luc was able to fundraise for a 12-member delegation to attend the Beijing World Conference on Women.
After living in Seychelles – a group of islands in the western Indian Ocean - for 32 years Luc has left many reminders through her artistic works. “An assortment of masks can be seen in the children’s library, whereas one of her biggest projects, and a lasting memory of Lucy, can be seen on the wall of International Conference Center of Seychelles for all to see is a mythical beauty – a mermaid,” concluded Maiche.
Luc is survived by her Seychellois husband as well as her siblings back in the states