Glass Sculpture in French Quarter Restaurant Highlights Bounty of Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS–Deanie’s Seafood highlights the bounty of Louisiana’s waters with a permanent art installation dedicated to the America’s WETLAND Foundation. Designed and created by New Orleans artist James Vella, the lifelike custom glass sculpture features a variety of fish native to Louisiana and is a centerpiece of Deanie’s Seafood restaurant in the French Quarter. 

The 5-foot by 4-foot installation serves as a warm reminder of Deanie’s love for Louisiana’s unique culture and environment and is a tribute to the local fishing community.

The Deanie’s installation is the largest collective sculpture Vella has created in his career. Vella is the artist and creator behind Vella Vetro Art Glass & Custom Design, which specializes in fine art glass creations, custom designs and large-scale installations.

His design presents a cross-section of the lake, from marshy shallows to deeper lake bottom. It features two herons standing on a bank surrounded by marsh grass, a large catfish nestled close to the bank, and a school of redfish in the shallows looking for blue crabs. In a deeper section of dark grass, a school of speckled trout feed on shrimp, while sheephead, flounder and baitfish gather closer to the sandy bottom.

“This is something I’ve always wanted to do but haven’t had a reason to,” Vella said. “It’s led me into some really interesting techniques that I’ve never gotten to do with glass before.”

Deanie’s Seafood and the Chifici Family dedicated the sculpture to the America’s WETLAND Foundation “in support of its tremendous efforts to conserve and protect coastal Louisiana.”


As a part of its ongoing support of the America’s WETLAND Foundation, Deanie’s will contribute a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Louisiana’s Alure, an original glass fishing lure ornament created by Vella Vetro Art Glass. The hand-blown glass ornament is $45, with $5 dedicated to support the America’s WETLAND Conservation Corps’ work protecting the coastline through hands-on restoration plantings. Louisiana’s Alure is available for purchase in both Deanie’s Seafood restaurants and online at

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