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The New Orleans Advocate: Up against a wall - ‘Unframed’ mural project goes big in CBD

A mural by artist duo Etam Cru, featuring motifs from Polish culture, is in progress May 24 at 600 O'Keefe Ave. Several new works are being painted around the city, part of the "Unframed" project by the Arts Council of New Orleans sponsored by the Helis Foundation. Advocate Staff photo by CHRIS GRANGER

Street art in New Orleans has come a long way over the years — and is more visible today than ever.

This weekend, the already vibrant New Orleans street art scene will receive a new infusion of color and creativity with the unveiling Saturday of five large-scale murals in the CBD and Warehouse Districts as part of the “Unframed” project.

A project of the Arts Council New Orleans, “Unframed” is presented by The Helis Foundation and features work by four New Orleans-based artists along with one team from Poland. (A second international artist who was originally scheduled to participate had to cancel due to scheduling conflicts and was replaced.)

The pieces range from MOMO’s on the side of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art on Camp Street to Carl Joe Williams’ tribute to Dr. Louis Charles Roudanez, a prominent 19th century Creole physician and founder of the first African American newspaper in the South, at 827 Tchoupitoulas St.

The Poland-based team known as Etam Cru are contributing a surrealist-tinged figurative piece featuring motifs from Polish culture at 600 O’Keefe St., while Tulane University School of Architecture educators Adam Modesitt and Carrie Norman, who go by the alias Team A/C, will create “a new collective vision of how the inhabitants of New Orleans saw, see, and imagine their city” at 333 Julia St., according to ACNO.

And artist Brandan “B-Mike” Odums, in partnership with a team of young artists associated with the Young Artist Movement, is responsible for a piece at 636 Baronne St. that explores the spirit and resilience of New Orleanians in living with and adapting to their watery environment.

The five muralists were chosen by a committee of leaders of New Orleans-based visual arts organizations and cultural institutions. The pieces themselves are collectively described as “the first multi-mural exhibition of large scale artwork in Downtown New Orleans.”

But of course, street art — a broad term which can encompass everything from graffiti to public murals and even certain examples of advertising, depending on one’s perspective — has already long been a part of the urban fabric of the city. (Odds are that more people have seen and photographed the giant sign for Uneeda Biscuits near the corner of Dumaine and Bourbon streets in the French Quarter than ever tasted one in real life.)

Read the entire article on The New Orleans Advocate website.

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