Art In The Neutral Ground

—I knew I wouldn’t be able to put any new posts up with the new baby home, so I did a few before the new baby came, using Blogger’s feature to publish posts automatically for a date in the future. ((Just so you aren’t wondering how I am able to do this with a newborn!))—

As of yesterday in New Orleans, 14 streetcar shelters on Canal – from the River to Claiborne Avenue – will have reproduction artworks covering them as part of the Downtown Development District’s ‘Artification’ project. The plan is to keep the artwork up for up to three years.

The artists are all from Louisiana and were chosen by blind jury from a pool of 127 entries. It cost $1000 to get the artwork printed and installed and each of the artists received $2500.

The complete story at the T-P is here. They also made a photo gallery with all the winning works, and made available to bloggers the code for direct-linking the winning images – so some of them are below:

above: Amzie Adams
Artist Statement: I want my art to make the world more beauty full..and uplift people’s emotional state. I have had people say when they put one of my paintings in a room it makes the room twice as happy..and the people like it too. when they put it 2 it doubles the happiness again on and on .. It also also makes people think and see things in a different way ,opens new horizons.

above: Caitlin Clifford
Artist Statement: Painting is my way of communicating how I see the world. Painting allows me the opportunity to affect others in the most honest way I know how by showing them my point-of-view. I feel most centered and connected when I have the chance to make something beautiful. I believe that we are given life not merely to survive it, but to create. I paint my abstract watercolors intuitively. I start by covering the paper with a light, watery pigment and letting it dry. After looking at the shapes and shades that creates, I decide what new hues and forms to introduce into the piece. From there I paint in layers letting each dry before starting the next. I try to let the outline of water puddles determine the outlines within the piece. The piece that I am proposing was taken from an abstract watercolor series that I am currently expanding. This le came out of an experimental attempt to familiarize myself with watercolor. I develop my method further with each piece I create. I am most drawn to this style at this time because it allows me to surprise myself. The pieces come to life in ways I couldn’t imagine as I add each layer of color combinations. I propose that this piece be applied to the shelter panels using transparent laminate appliqués. This would allow the piece to emulate a contemporary stained glass. Light shining through the panels would flood the pavement around the shelter with vibrant and uplifting color. These color shadows would be cast on all who pass by allowing them to become a part of the artwork.

above: Morgana King
Artist Statement: Morgana King received her BFA in Ceramics from Washington University in St. Louis in 2000. Since moving to New Orleans in 2001, she has been both an artist and arts administrator – managing public art projects and directing arts programming. Her artwork, which varies from drawing and painting to ceramic and sculptural installations, is often colorful and abstract though it is intrinsically tied to the foreground/background of landscape. The paintings and drawings are often about temporal elements like wind, sound and temperature rather than the representational images they sometimes suggest. She plays with relationships between line and form using colorful images to re-define spatial concepts. Spatial planning is a method of regulating the use of space on the page, which must be as carefully balanced as a bridge is engineered. Inspired by imminent collapse, delicate balance and fleeting moments, each of King’s pieces teeters on the brink — as does the artist herself, especially post-Katrina.

above: Miranda Lake
Artist Statement: As a nationally exhibited New Orleans artist for the past five years, my encaustic collage paintings have always been informed by the beauty of the Crescent City and southern Louisiana. The visual rhythms of the architecture and lush vegetation, along with a palpable sense of the cycles of decay, rebirth and regeneration directly inform the aesthetics and philosophy of my work. The piece I am proposing for this project, “swallows whole” is about the resilience of our community and the importance of home. Swallows are very industrious and territorial birds with no qualms over defending their space. As we rebuild New Orleans, we too have had to justify our efforts to a sometimes doubting public, and probably at times, our sometimes doubting selves. But this is our home, and it is worth saving. That means not just rebuilding our homes and fixing our levees, but saving our wetlands as well. I believe my piece is a hopeful and uplifting depiction of the way we have all come together as a community to stake our claim to the right to call this great city our home.

above: Robert Guthrie
Artist Statement: i paint with a very dynamic style with vibrant colors and stylized forms to paint street scenes and landscapes.

above: Sandra Bolen
Artist Statement: Nothing expresses the joie-de-vivre and adventure of New Orleans better than the second line, that unexpected parade that takes one by surprise so often on the streets of New Orleans, and that demands the participation of neighbors and passerby alike. The parading of the Mardi Gras Indians at times other than Mardi Gras is one example of this. My submission to you is a mural painting depicting them in their colorful costumes, with the brass band that defines second line in the background.

Here are links to the other artists:
Alan Gerson
Anne Boudreaux
Carol Hallock
Gwendolyn Siniard
Keith Perelli
Rat Rod
Olivia Hill
Shawne Major

Can’t wait to take pics of these the next time we are there!

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