Candice Alexander gives Keith Urban his favorite gift, ever

By By Alex Onken / American Press

Local artist Candice Alexander made country music star Keith Urban’s 46th birthday an unforgettable one.

“I wanted to do this and it be seen, and he loved it,” Alexander said. “They commissioned for me to do something small, and

I thought, ‘No. It’s a piece of me because it has a fleur-de-lis in the background.’ ”

While at the Red River Revel arts festival in Shreveport, she was asked to create a work for Keith Urban for his visit last

Saturday to the CenturyLink Center in Shreveport.

“This woman came up to me and said they walked all around the booths, and they chose me to do a special commission for one

of their big headliners, which was Keith Urban,” Alexander said. “I asked them the budget, and it wasn’t a huge one.”

At first she pictured making an 18-by-24-inch piece painting, but changed her mind after two days.

“I thought, ‘Wow, this could be really a huge foot in the door with where this can go and who could see it.’ ”

For the next two weeks, Alexander worked non-stop on the piece, making it a priority — leaving her original idea in the dust

and creating a mixed-media work using pieces from Harley-Davidson parts on a painted wooden background.

She first visited a junk yard in

Jennings. After putting a post on Facebook, she was showered with parts —

both motorcycle

and guitar — from friends, Lake Charles Music, Lafayette Music,

Dago’s Custom Cycles and Cajun Harley in Lafayette to create

a piece of art that incorporates Urban’s phoenix logo, the names

of his children, and guitar tuners with attached strings.

She said creating the piece was surreal.

“There was a rush, because you never know who’s going to see the piece, and who’s going to want something like this. Then,

from this piece, starting a whole new body of work, which is this three-dimensional, very large, intense piece.”

She signed the piece by painting her hand blue and leaving a print on the handlebar.

“I thought in my mind, ‘How cool would it be to do these pieces for these famous rock stars. Who knows where this road will

take you.’ ”

After creating the piece, she decided to take her mother as her guest to the event to deliver the work on Sat. 26.

“When he started looking at it and asking questions — and I was star-struck in a way where I couldn’t talk — but I pulled

it together. He kneeled down and looked at it and said, ‘This is the best gift, like, ever.’ ”

Later, she found out that instead of having the piece shipped to him back home, he took it with him after his concert.

“I didn’t want to be one of those people who made him a banner or a little painting,” Alexander said. “I wanted this to be

the real thing, like someone made this for you, and it was exciting.”

Candice Alexander’s Studio is at 900 Ryan St. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday.