In the Community + Hiding In Plain Sight: Must See Murals, Bywater

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 and 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.”

Ernie K-Doe by Lefty Parker

Location: 3401 Chartres Street


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

Nnamdi the Gator by Devin DeWulf

Location: 3126 Burgundy St

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!

Visit the Must-See Murals in person using our Hiding in Plain Sight Map.

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.

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