Stefano Velaska
Five years after hurricane Katrina, there are still too many evacuated homes sitting idle and empty lots bearing  the truth of a city that is still cleaning up debris.  But, one local artist, as is his nature, is building beauty from the destruction.  Stefano is a survivor of both Katrina and the 1968 invasion of his native Czechoslovakia.  At 18, he fled his country and ended up in Louisiana where he discovered a passion for jewelry making.  After the hurricane hit, he found himself searching for "a way to somehow promote New Orleans".  He found his answer in the scraps of metal strewn across the city.  Today, he continues to fashion beautiful jewelry that has the feel of both a contemporary artifact of America's most fascinating city, and the echoes of his own history and his Bohemian roots.