Artist Spotlight + Katrina 10: Emerging From The Flood

Emerging from the Flood, Andy Levin

Chief Roderick Sylvas of the Wild Tchoupitoulas parades past a blighted house damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2007. This photograph symbolizes the resilient spirit of the Mardi Gras Indians and the city of New Orleans so prominent in the years after Hurricane Katrina when it was unclear if the city would be rebuilt. The image was taken at the traditional Super Sunday Parade Uptown as the Indians paraded toward Taylor Park.

Artist Spotlight + Andy Levin“I was a year removed from New York City. I was accustomed to subways, I didn’t even own a car. I had a dog and two cats and a second-floor apartment. So I decided to stay and ride the storm out.  When the US Weather service issued a dire forecast on Sunday about impending tornadoes, large areas of the region uninhabitable for weeks, I started having second thoughts, but it was too late to go. Texts poured in, messages posted on the internet told me to leave now. But it was too late. Many lost much more than I did, and certainly I made as many mistakes and bad decisions as good ones, but I am glad that I had the opportunity to document and now share what I saw with others.” – Andy Levin, New Orleans photographer #MyX

Discover more works by Andy Levin. 

Two Lofts Left, Sarah Nelson
Two Lots Left, Sarah Nelson

This image illustrates some of the last vacant lots in the Bywater, a part of the city that is ripe with the remodeling and reconstruction of a quickly gentrifying neighborhood. The vegetative overgrowth and structural disorganization that once was there is now becoming obsolete, living in the pockets of properties still in limbo, waiting for change.

Discover more works by Sarah Nelson.

Steps to Nowhere, Lyla Cllayre

Steps to Nowhere, Lyla Clayre

The Lower Ninth Ward is still strewn with empty lots reminding us of the houses and families they used to hold. Only the steps leading up to what was once a front door are left. In the ten years since Hurricane Katrina, vegetation has thrived, as the city returns to the swamp it truly wants to be. This dreamy image looks almost as if it’s underwater in a sea of moss and ferns.

Discover More works in the series by Lyla Clayre

One Way - Jose + Cecilia Fernandes

One Way, Jose + Cecilia Fernandes

The New Orleans diptychs speak of the paradox where a resilient culture survives to witness the revival of street rituals and comes in contact, in a collision of realities, with the inevitable progress which will occupy the spaces where the culture was born.

Cecelia + Jose Fernandes photographic diptychs, being shown at the Ogden Museum, Louisiana Contemporary were singled out by Advocate writer, John D’Addario, as being “engaging black-and-white diptychs exploring urban decay and celebration.” Read Story

Discover More of Cecelia + Jose Fernandes diptychs

Featured Work Emerging from the Flood

Were You There, Nancy Wolfe Kimberly

I painted this piece three years after Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans is the woman, strong as stone. She holds lilies that represent hope, life and rebirth. In her other hand, she holds a golden future. Her wings are lined with broken glass. The swirling mud depicts the devastation. The words come from an old spiritual that we sing on Good Friday at St. Roch Church.

Discover More about Nancy Wolfe Kimberly

Tea for Sixteen, by Chris Lawson is an iconic narrative, a synthesizing of objects -both found and junk-store-purchased- from the stretch of St. Claude Avenue, at the rivalry of Gerald’s Diner and Waffle House, to the end of the future streetcar stop at Elysian Fields. The items, which both cover and are concealed on a recycled wooden board, are not exactly syncopated, but make up for that by operating as a kind of Rosetta Stone to a perceived zeitgeist of downriver New Orleans. Tea for Sixteen is disjointed, fairly aching, open to you and yours, hipster-weary, and negotiating a tremulous discussion between evaluations of the now and favorable possibilities for tomorrow.

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Harmonic Changes, George McClements

“Music orients us to the place and provides the creative spark for ourselves and the whole city…Music was all Orleanians had after Katrina.” – Irma Thomas

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Michael, Eric J. Nunez

All progress comes with frustration; it is in these times of frustration that we grow and evolve. Hurricane Katrina and the events of 2005 proved to be my personal time of frustration and pain that eventually grew in to my progress both personally and artistically. The Silent Scream Project is a personal series that focuses on the visual representation of pain and personal struggle that we all face, but are sometimes unable to show to the world. A scream is a release; a sign of strength as well as weakness. It is a sign that we can face the struggles and move on from them. Every emotion is beautiful.

These are our stories of progress. Each a variable of X.
Join the conversation & share your story.
What is X to you? #Katrina10 #MyX