APHN welcomes new staff members at Melrose Plantation

The APHN would like to extend a warm welcome to its new staff members who have joined recently. Heather Tichenor is the new part-time Director and Koi Hatchootuchee (aka Hambone) is the new site caretaker. Heather and Hambone have taken over the duties of Brian & Stephanie Wilson, who left in March of this year.

Heather Tichenor has 15 years of experience in museums and public history organizations, primarily in the fields of education, interpretation, and administration. She spent 10 years working at Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto, Canada, one of the largest living history sites in the country. While there, she created and managed all history-focused public education programming for over 135,000 annual visitors while supervising over 40 staff and volunteers. In addition, she successfully wrote and administered federal grants, collaborated with numerous external partners, and once appeared on national television demonstrating how to flame a plum pudding for Christmas. Previously, she has worked at the New London County Historical Society, New London Landmarks, and the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. She has a Masters in Medieval Studies and a Certificate in Museum Studies. Heather now lives in Natchitoches with her husband and two children. She is eager to dive into the Cane River region’s colorful and fascinating history.

Born in 1956, self-taught Louisiana folk artist Hambone started painting at the age of 46, colorful depictions of life growing up in the rural American Deep South.

Hambone uses acrylics to bring life to the scenes of his multicultural childhood upbringing and paints totally from memory. His subjects are derived from his life experiences and observations as he lived and traveled among many cultures – Black, White, Cajun, Rural and Country folks and City dwellers. His colorful, intricate and engaging paintings are full of humor and detail and inspire the viewer’s own childhood memories. His paintings hang in private collections throughout the United States and Canada.

Hambone now lives on site at Melrose Plantation along with his wife Colette, and their dogs and horses. In addition to working as the site caretaker, Hambone is also our artist-in-residence!