On Saturday, June 1, five new murals will be unveiled throughout the Arts District New Orleans as part of Unframed presented by The Helis Foundation, a project of the Arts Council New Orleans. Unframed presented by The Helis Foundation is the first multi-mural exhibition of large scale artwork in Downtown New Orleans.
Of the initial mural commissions, two are dedicated to local artists who competed in an open call for artists led by the Arts Council New Orleans that garnered hundreds of submissions. The selection committee also nominated international artists to complete two additional murals. The final mural will result from a youth-led process in partnership with Young Artist Movement. The inaugural Unframed presented by The Helis Foundation artists are:
Etam Cru (Poland): 600 O’Keefe St.
Team A/C (New Orleans): 333 Julia St.
MOMO (New Orleans): Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St.
Brandan “B-Mike” Odums in partnership with Young Artist Movement (New Orleans): 636 Baronne St.
Carl Joe Williams (New Orleans): 827 Tchoupitoulas St.
The new murals, set to transform Downtown New Orleans on June 1, will be celebrated with a public event:
Unframed presented by The Helis Foundation Unveiling Block Party: Join the Arts Council New Orleans and The Helis Foundation at the Arts District New Orleans’ First Saturday gallery openings for a block party celebrating the unveiling of five new murals. Music, food, drinks, along with mural information and maps.
Saturday, June 1 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM 400 Block of Julia Street
“The Helis Foundation is committed to providing access to world-class art to all New Orleanians and visitors,” said David Kerstein, President of The Helis Foundation. “Partnering with Arts Council New Orleans, we are able to bring innovative artwork from our own city and around the world directly to the streets of New Orleans.”
Muralist selections were made by the Unframed presented by The Helis Foundation selection committee comprised of:
Andrea Andersson, The Helis Foundation Chief Curator of Visual Arts at the Contemporary Arts Center
Brandan B-Mike Odums, Artist and Curator of Studio BE
Chris Alfieri, Esq., Arts District New Orleans Resident and President & Board Chair, Prospect New Orleans
Danielle Del Sol, Executive Director, Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans
Leslie-Claire Spillman, Director and Curator at Soren Christensen Gallery and Board Member of Arts District New Orleans
William Andrews, Director of The Ogden Museum of Southern Art
“Vibrant and engaging murals have the power to transform communities. They transform bland facades into contemporary works that enhance our shared urban environment, reflect community character, seed civic dialog, and help strengthen an area’s sense of place.” Arts Council New Orleans Executive Director Heidi Schmalbach said. “We are proud to partner with The Helis Foundation to reflect the artistic energy happening inside the museums and galleries on walls within the Arts District for the public to enjoy.”
As New Orleans’ largest signature mural collection, Unframed presented by The Helis Foundation will generate economic benefit for artists, stimulate pedestrian traffic in the area, and reinforce New Orleans’ position as a national and international destination for contemporary art.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Etam Cru is comprised of Polish street artists Sainer and Bezt, known for their building-sized murals. Etam Cru impresses their worldwide audiences with their drawing skills as well as their handling of spray cans and mastery of classical painting with acrylics and oil. The way Sainer and Bezt unite pop-cultural with realistic imagery results in a deeply surreal, fantastic ambiance.
Team A/C is comprised of Adam Modesitt and Carrie Norman. Adam Modesitt is a designer with extensive experience in the area of digital design and fabrication. Carrie Norman is a registered architect and partner in the award-winning office, Norman Kelley. Both are educators at Tulane University’s School of Architecture. Their work samples and repurposes historic imagery to re-represent familiar concepts of New Orleans’ industrial past.
MOMO is an American artist working in public spaces with homemade tools. His current interests lie with an evolving range of adapted masonry techniques to draft, design, and organize wall murals. The artist has been commissioned for murals by the New York City DOT, the John Hancock Tower in Boston, the Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art in Brussels, The Contemporary Art Museum in Oaxaca Mexico, Art Production Fund NY, Facebook, Pepsi, NFL, World Trade Center, and The European Capital of Culture, all while living and keeping a studio in New Orleans.
Brandan B-Mike Odums in partnership with Young Artist Movement. Brandan B-Mike Odums, New Orleans muralist and founder of Studio Be will collaborate with Young Artist Movement, New Orleans’ first city-wide youth mural initiative, engaging youth, artists, and communities in sustained public art and place-making.
Carl Joe Williams was born in Uptown New Orleans and was accepted to The New Orleans Center for Creative Art (NOCCA) at the age of 14 where he began his formal training. Upon completing high school, Williams continued his studies at the Atlanta College of Art. Williams’ work involves figures and narratives. His work also includes many complex color combinations, rhythmic patterns inspired by geometric patterns found in nature and through cultural echoes of African diasporic memory. Rhythms and harmonies converge into a symphony of colors, repurposed objects, reflective, and textured surfaces that work together to create a transportive visual experience. Over the years Williams work has expanded to involve murals, sculpture, sound and videography. Williams continues to explore narratives that speak to our collective human condition.
ABOUT THE PARTNERS
The Helis Foundation (thehelisfoundation.org) is a Louisiana private foundation, established and funded by the William Helis Family with a mission of advancing access to the arts and continuing a family legacy of philanthropic support to the New Orleans community.
The Helis Foundation makes grants to sustain operations, to provide free admission to, and to acquire significant art works on behalf of major institutions within the Metropolitan New Orleans area. The Art Funds also underwrite major initiatives and special projects, such as Prospect.3’s Basquiat and the Bayou presented by The Helis Foundation, the ongoing Poydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition presented by The Helis Foundation, the installation of Lynda Benglis’ The Wave of the World in City Park, The Helis Foundation Enrique Alférez Sculpture Garden, Solidary & Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection presented by The Helis Foundation organized by the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the Baltimore Museum of Art, and most recently, The Historic New Orleans Collection’s Tricentennial Exhibition, Art of the City: Post Modern to Post Katrina.
Arts Council New Orleans (artsneworleans.org) Unframed builds upon the Arts Council’s experience in mural curation and established partnerships with public and private entities. Notably, the Arts Council coordinated the creation of 10 murals across the Fat City Neighborhood and organized murals for the One Time in New Orleans Campaign in partnership with the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. The Arts Council is private 501c3 nonprofit organization, whose mission is to improve quality of life in New Orleans by supporting, activating, and investing in our City’s greatest natural resource – our artists, cultural producers, and creative citizenry.