Bustamante, Causey Win Hospitality Award

The Ruston Lincoln Convention & Visitors Bureau is proud to announce the 2018 Hospitality Award will be given to Nicholas Bustamante and Whitney Trisler Causey for their design and implementation of three murals in Ruston. The award will be presented at the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet on Tuesday, January 15 at the Ruston Civic Center.

Bustamante and Causey completed the two murals as a team between 2017-2018. The first is located found at the corner of N. Vienna and Alabama in downtown Ruston and features tagline “Ruston, Louisiana” with colorful geometric shapes. The second mural is located on the side of the Louisiana Center for the Blind’s woodshop facing S. Trenton St. and represents Ruston’s close connection to the blind community. This mural is scripted with “Ruston” and features the caption in giant braille. Bustamante and school of design students completed a third mural located inside the I-20 service road tunnel underpass that connects Woodward Ave. and the frontage road with images depicting Ruston’s Rock Island Greenway shared-use path.

“We’re so pleased that these two are receiving this year’s Hospitality Award,” says Travis Napper, CVB President/CEO. “These murals Nick and Whitney created have had a tremendous impact on the visual appeal of our community and provide a great sense of pride in the area. They’ve also provided a fun photo sharing opportunity for both visitors and locals.”

Bustamante began his art studies at Humboldt State University where he received his Bachelor of Art in Studio Art.  Bustamante went on to receive his Master of Fine Arts in Painting at California State University Long Beach. He currently serves as the Studio Program Chair in the School of Design at Louisiana Tech University where he teaches traditional and digital painting, conceptual design, pre-medical illustration, scientific visualization and senior portfolio courses. Bustamante is also co-founder of the Visual Integration of Science Through Art program (VISTA) at LATECH.  Bustamante is a nationally recognized painter, included in private, public and museum collections.  Throughout his career, he has had sixteen solo exhibitions and has been included in thirty-eight group exhibitions. Bustamante’s medical illustrations have been published in textbooks and research journals such as the American Chemical Society.  Within the last five years, he has worked on twelve large-scale murals throughout north Louisiana.

Causey is an Assistant Professor of Studio Art at the Louisiana Tech University School of Design where she teaches in the Foundations Department. While teaching is one of her great passions, Whitney feels complete with a paintbrush in her hand. Alongside teaching and painting murals Whitney creates portraits that question the notion of identity and challenges our understanding and reading of the face. As an artist, she has exhibited her paintings nationwide including New York at the Chautauqua Institution, and Cleveland Ohio, at the Manifest Gallery and Drawing Center. For more information and to view the work, visit

Bustamante and Causey were honored to be selected for the Hospitality Award and prepared the following statement.

“We are extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to be a part of the beautification of downtown Ruston. With each new mural, our goal is to always engage the residents of the community, and it has been a true blessing to be able to experience firsthand how the residents of Ruston have fully embraced the murals as iconic aspects of Lincoln Parish. We feel that murals are like symbolic self-portraits of a city itself. A mural can change not only the landscape of a small town or city, but the outlook the residents of the community have about where they live and work. For us, it has always been important that we create a piece of art that encompasses imagery in a symbolic way to represent the town and the pride the residents have in their community. Being a part of the revitalization of Ruston, and having our work be accepted to the extent that it has, creates a profound bond with a place unlike any we have had before. We are thankful for this beautiful City called Ruston and the opportunity to have an impact on its future.”

In 1999, the Ruston Lincoln CVB began to recognize members of the community who make a significant impact on our area and help fulfill the CVB’s mission by honoring them with the Lincoln Parish Hospitality Award.


Article by Amanda Quimby Carrier