In the Community + Hiding in Plain Sight: 10 Must-See Murals Below Esplanade

We’ve scouted New Orleans to bring you a few must-see murals in the Marigny, Bywater and Treme neighborhoods. While scouting art, we wondered what the difference was between graffiti & street art. So, we asked New Orleans street artist, Jeremy Paten for his two cents.

“If I had to describe the two, I would say that graffiti rejects established standards, encourages experimentation, and draws from popular culture and advertising. Another difference can be found in authorial intent, intended audience, and form e.g. the artist’s “tag.” The intention behind a tag is the rebellious proliferation of the artist’s signature, akin to brand name advertising. Whereas street art is drawn with a pictorial focus rather than textual, and it is rebellious but not purposefully destructive as there is intent to beautify the urban environment.”

“2nd Line” – by Henry Lipkis + Jessica Strahan + Ceaux and more

Location: St. Claude and Franklin in Bywater

Henry Lipkis_New Orleans Art_Mural

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.”

Watch here: After Sunday – 2nd Line Mural Video Directed by Camille Lenain

“I’m Here For You” by Craig Cundiff

Location: N. Rampart & Elysian Fields (Next to Gene’s PoBoys)

“One of the things I think sets New Orleans apart from other cities is its hospitality. I wanted to create a piece that resonated with that feeling of someone helping someone else out.” – @craigcundiff

When “I’m Here for You” by 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 (@nikkibreeze – left & @beeduttywhyne – 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 @nikkibeezee 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. ‘I’m here for you’ –  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 @randykeeler who helped paint 50% of this wall, my dad @brucecundiff who was there for anything I needed and my mom who watched my son while I painted. Big thanks also to @nolamuralproject for the opportunity.”

“Nnamdi the Gator” by Devin DeWulf

Location: Burgundy and Clouet

Devin DeWulf shared the backstory for “Nnamdi” with us and of course, we had to share with you! Click on the photo to read the article in Hemispheres Magazine that mentions Nnamdi.

How often do you break away from your usual canvas and create on walls?

“I try to paint at least one mural in my neighborhood per year – esp. targeting buildings that are in rough-shape and ‘graffiti magnets’. I talk to the owners of the building and get their permission to paint for free. They choose a design they like and I get to work (extra slowly because I am a stay-at-home-dad right now).”

What’s the story behind the gator?

“So the gator design was chosen, and as I was painting – a former student of mine was murdered by our city’s gun-violence epidemic. With that, I used the gator mural to process my own sadness and pay respect to my former student. So the gator became Nnamdi. In my artist-mind, it was a way to keep alive the memory of a bright, precocious, and talented 8th grader I had the privilege of working with. Most people don’t know this about the gator – but it makes me happy each time I walk by.”

Has the neighborhood responded well?

“Through the painting process, I was able to meet most of the neighbors too – a few have become friends and supporters of my next mural project just a few blocks away on Congress and Burgundy. I hope to wrap that one up next year.”

Follow Devin’s local parade Krewe of Red Beans and support his mural work through his GoFundMe!

“Teedie” by Ceaux

Location: St. Claude Avenue and Elysian Fields

Who is the beautiful woman in the mural? “Her name is ‘Teedie.’ She’s just a general representation of a 1990’s New Orleans lady.” – Ceaux Young

Ceux Young took this blighted wall to vibrant Black beauty in less than 24 hours. Read more in his Inside The Artist Studio feature!

Teedie is hard to miss when driving down Elysian Fields or St. Claude Avenue. Who is she? Who painted her? Where Y’Artist Ceaux gave us the inside scoop on how long it took him to paint her and why in his Inside the Artist Studio feature. Read more here and be sure to visit his Artist Profile!

“Iko” by Gabriel Flores of New Orleans Paint + Design

Location: North Claiborne and Orleans

When an upcoming Marvel Studios production filming in New Orleans requested authentic graffiti that represented the city to add some texture and flavor to a location, they contacted Gabriel Flores. In just four hours Gabriel created this mural titled “Iko”. It was inspired by its location in relation to second line Mardi Gras Indian culture. Read more about Gabriel in his Artist Profile and be sure to keep up with the collection of portraits he is painting for Nola.com’s 300 for 300 series.

Kashink + Wooly the Mammath + Henry Lipkis

Location: North Claiborne and Laharpe, on the side of Boss Status Apparel in Treme

Kashink_Wooly the Mammoth_New Orleans Mural

As you’re exiting I-10 onto Claiborne Avenue, check out the Bounce mural in your rearview mirror. Painted by Kashink & Wooly the Mammath, this mural commemorates the iconic music genre only found in New Orleans and made famous by Big Freedia.

“Louisiana Blue Note” by MTO

Location: Touro and Marais in Marigny

MTO_New Orleans Mural

While in New Orleans, French Artist MTO, completed this mural sponsored by NOLA Rising and
curated by Rex Dingler. The lounging man depicted is reading “Le Bateau Ivre” by Arthur Rimbaud.

“Change” by Danae Brissonet

Location: Fairgrinds Coffee House, 2221 St. Claude Ave. in Bywater

Danae Brissonet_Fairgrinds Coffee_New Orleans_Mural

As you walk into Fairgrinds St. Claude,  feast your eyes on “Change” created by Canadian artist Danae Brissonet.

“The Lotus Chair” by Laurel True of True Mosaics Studio and Lettering by Wooly the Mammoth + Henry Lipkis

Location: St. Claude and Spain in Bywater

Laurel True_Wooly the Mammoth_New Orleans Art

Right next to the KIPP School, 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.

Sue Ireland

Location: Bishop Perry Center, Touro and Dauphine in Marigny

Sue Ireland_New Orleans Art Sue Ireland_New Orleans Art

Created by artist and neighbor, Sue Ireland, over eight months, this mural was painted as a gift, illustrating the history of the property. As part of her process, she preserved pieces of two original murals. The first mural was painted by young pregnant women attending the alternative Catholic school and the second by Bishop Perry students a few months before Hurricane Katrina.

“Trumpet Black” by Brandon Odums (Bmike)

Location: Corner of N. Claiborne Avenue and Gov. Nicholls Street in Treme

Trumpet_Black_Bmike

Brandan Odums’ portrait of the late Travis “Trumpet Black” Hill, a brass band musician and bandleader who died in 2015 at the age of 28. “In New Orleans,” Odums said, “we celebrate life. We mourn, but beyond the mourning, we have a celebration.”

“Ernie K-Doe” by Lefty Parker

Location: Euclid and Chartres Street in Bywater

Ernie_Kdoe_Euclid_Records

Lefty Parker mural of Ernie K-Doe, beloved New Orleans R&B musician painted on the side of the original Euclid Records.

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This is the beginning of an 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.

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