In this edition of Hiding in Plain Sight, we take you downriver to the funky, art-filled neighborhood that is St. Claude. Situated downriver beyond the bounds of the French Quarter, this Arts District is bustling nightly with galleries, live music venues and restaurants, but on the weekdays when the majority of the galleries are closed, it is a great time to explore the streets and street art of St. Claude Arts District.
I’m Here For You by Craig Cundiff
Location: N. Rampart Street at Elysian Fields Avenue (Next to Gene’s PoBoys + Ilys Bistro) 2128 St. Claude Avenue
When I’m Here for You by artist Craig Cundiff appeared on the wall next to Gene’s PoBoys, a very busy stretch where N. Rampart meets Elysian Fields, everything around it slowed down. The connection between the two women (Nicole Brown – left & Brandi Dobney – right) can be felt instantly. The locked gaze in their eyes, the gentle yet reassuring placement of the hand on the shoulder. This mural has meaning and we asked Craig about it. Here’s what he had to say:
“Weeks after Hurricane Katrina, I moved back to New Orleans to gut houses and shovel swamp out of people’s destroyed homes. In that traumatic time, I met Nikki Brown and her mom. They introduced me to Buddhism, provided me with a support system, and showed me a light in the darkness. They truly pointed my life and mind in the direction it is today.”
“When I got the opportunity to paint this mural, I knew exactly who I wanted in it and I knew exactly what the emotional content it needed to have. This whole week reinforced the idea that the most important thing in life are the people that are there to support you.”
“I could not have completed this without Randy Keeler who helped paint 50% of this wall, my dad, Bruce Cundiff who was there for anything I needed and my mom who watched my son while I painted. Big thanks also to Nola Mural Project for the opportunity.”
Change by Danae Brissonet
Location: Fairgrinds Coffee House, 2221 St. Claude Avenue
Get started on your walk down St. Claude at Fairgrinds Coffee House and enjoy the spirit of Change created by Canadian artist Danae Brissonet.
The Lotus Chair by Laurel True with Lettering by Wooly the Mammoth + Henry Lipkis
Location: St. Claude Avenue at Spain Street (Next to KIPP Leadership Primary) 2300 St. Claude Avenue
Right next to KIPP Leadership Academy, relax and keep cool in the shade. Artist Laurel True creates public and architectural work as part of her global creative activism. Her mosaic work can be found in other public spaces in New Orleans and around the world. The pocket park also includes hand-lettering by Wooly the Mammoth featuring the logo for Chess Communite, a local organization that creates one-of-a-kind chess boards for community public spaces.
2nd Line by Henry Lipkis, Jessica Strahan and Ceaux
Location: St. Claude Avenue at Franklin Avenue (Near Hank’s Supermarket) 2612 St. Claude Avenue
Over a six-month period, Los Angeles native, Henry Lipkis alongside New Orleans artists Jessica Strahan and Ceaux created one of the city’s newest and largest murals. This mural celebrates the culture of second line parades and is presented by the Original Big Nine, Original C.T.C. Steppers, and Original Nine Times social aid and pleasure clubs. On Sundays these social aid and pleasure clubs second line by the mural site.
Check out the long awaited release of the documentary video produced by Camille Gac and narrated by Action Jackson. You’ll get a behind the scenes look at the muralists’ process and hear powerful words on the importance of Second Line culture in New Orleans.
“The best medicine in the world.. there’s two things that can make you survive, and that’s dance and laughter… and that’s what the second line’s about.”
Paint by Number by Saegan Swanson
Location: Marais Street at St. Ferdinand Street, One block off of St. Claude Avenue
Since 1988, October Build has renovated over 1,500 houses for low-income homeowners with a focus on the elderly, disabled, and veterans – for free! To mark the 30th anniversary of the October Build Saegan Swanson teamed up with the Preservation Resource Center and Rebuilding Together to complete a giant paint by number mural project on two sides of the PRC warehouse on Marais and St. Ferdinand.
The murals are composed of four single shotgun homes. The design for each home was based on a real home in the area and the three homes on St. Ferdinand have a Mardi Gras color scheme. The volunteers imparted some of their own artistic flair as they filled in the outlines!
Teedie by Ceaux
Location: St. Claude Avenue at Elysian Fields Avenue
Teedie is hard to miss when driving down Elysian Fields or St. Claude Avenue. Who is she? Who painted her? New Orleans Ceaux gave us the inside scoop on how long it took him to paint her in his Inside the Artist Studio feature. Read more here and be sure to check out his Artist Profile.
Since 2016, Where Y’Art has scouted New Orleans to bring you Must-See Murals from neighborhoods across the city. In that time, the amount of street art in New Orleans has exploded at the seams, with new murals popping up faster than we can tell you about them.
We promise to keep bringing you the latest as part of this ongoing series where we spotlight New Orleans Must-See Murals and public art neighborhood by neighborhood.
What’s your favorite New Orleans Street Art? Did we miss any of your favorites? Every Sunday, we’ll be posting murals and public art around town to our Instagram. Take a picture, tag @WhereYart and use #NOLAmurals to let us know where your favorite murals and we’ll feature your selection.