Metry Gets Muralized

I’m always encouraged to see improvements in my native New Orleans.

So, I was happy to learn that Metairie, an area of the city that we often called, Metry, as it was often pronounced, and otherwise affectionately known as “Fat City” passed an $150,000 initiative a year ago to have murals painted to beautify the town. The Arts Council of New Orleans is overseeing the project. Here are some of the first murals that have been painted.

Metairie Mural 4 on Art is Everywhere

Fat City Murals —  photos via Times Picayune

Metairie Mural 5 on Art is EverywhereCertain areas of Metairie flooded during “The Storm” — Hurricane Katrina. Most all the homes have been rebuilt but some business sections are up and running but many have been slow to come back or improve. The murals will add color and interest.

Metairie Mural 3 on Art is EverywhereA flooded Lakeside Shopping Mall after Hurricane Katrina.

Lakeside Mall after Katrina on Art Is Everywhere

New Orleans, LA–Aerial views of damage caused from Hurricane Katrina the day after the hurricane hit August 30, 2005.
Photo by Jocelyn Augustino/FEMA

Lakeside Mall on Art Is Everywhere

Lakeside Shopping Mall today

18 th st back of lakeside mall_metairie_times picayune on Art Is Everywhere

18 th Street in Fat City –  back of Lakeside Mall, Metairie via Times Picayune. This is where some of the murals are planned to be painted.

Scenes of Veterans Boulevard after Hurricane Katrina.

Veterans Blvd after Katrina on Art Is Everywhere

Veterans Blvd after Katrina via

Corner of Clearview and Veterans Blvd in Metairie, day after Katrina on Art Is Everywhere

Corner of Clearview and Veterans Blvd in Metairie, day after Katrina

 Scenes now — the water is gone but there’s a lot of empty parking lots.

Causeway and Veterans Memorial Boulevard on Art Is Everywhere

Causeway and Veterans Memorial Boulevard


The long stretch of Veterans Boulevard (right side), Metairie and Jefferson Parish — Suburbs of New Orleans

When I return and drive down Veterans Boulevard, the main strip through Metairie, many of the buildings still look the way I remember in the 80’s, when I was in high school and even older than that but that’s when I started driving, so started paying attention. Since that time, many areas have just become a “concrete jungle.”  The mural arts programs is trying to change this with murals that definitely help to reinvigorate and spruce up the place.

Metairie Mural 6 on Art is EverywhereMetairie Mural 7 on Art is EverywhereThis concrete corridor reminds me of a Radiohead song…that just keeps getting better (see below).

Robert Dafford, the same artist who painted the now iconic clarinet on the side of the downtown Holiday Inn, painted this beautiful mural of a girl blowing a visionary bubble.

Metairie Mural 1 on Art is Everywhere Metairie Mural 2 on Art is EverywhereClick here, if you’d like to read more about this story.

Meanwhile, enjoy Radiohead’s great song Fake Plastic Trees, recorded without an audience in a studio in Holland.

I found this interesting edited film set to their music, using footage from the 2006 movie Cashback by Sean Ellis that I thought was well done.

This is a last minute addition that I thought could help with some healing in Charleston, South Carolina right now. If you’re there or nearby this coming Friday, June 27th, everyone is welcome to go paint a section of a “Power” mural as part of FestivALL.

FestivALL Charleston mural on Art Is Everywhere

Art Fest – Gyotaku

The second part of this two-part post about two artists who stood out among the crowd at Old Town Alexandria’s Art Festival.

Part 2 –  Jim Roberts does Gyotaku = Japanese for Fish (gyo) + Rubbings (taku). He had a large triptych that I wish I had photographed of what looked like a large grouper. It was wonderful and was printed on handmade rice paper.

Jim Roberts, Gytoaku - as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Jim Roberts, Gytoaku print starts with a fresh catch, in this case grouper

Perhaps you may remember doing fish prints at camp? Well, this takes it to whole new level and scale (no pun intended). What I like most about his prints are actually seeing the scales. This brings reality to the artistic print that can’t be overlooked. It adds character to the print that would not exist without the subject. In this sense, you can fish for your dinner in a double way — both immediate and with the future purchase of prints.

Jim Roberts_Gyotaku print as seen on Art Is Everywhere

The Gyotaku print

Jim Roberts book on Gyotaku as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Jim Roberts, book on Gyotaku

Not all of his prints are black and white or monochromatic. I love these colors in his fish prints below and the movement of water suggested with the ink or paint used in the process.

Jim Roberts yellowtails Gyotaku, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Jim Roberts, Yellowtails Rising, Gyotaku


Jim Roberts rainbow-trout_gyotaku, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Jim Roberts, Rainbow-Trout, Gyotaku

I’m partial to blue and green myself.

Jim Roberts, In the Zone Gyatoku, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Jim Roberts, In the Zone, Gyatoku

Radiohead’s new music upload, Mrs Magpie – Modeselektor RMX to Kick Start the Weekend is below. They are appearing as Saturday Night Live’s musical guest this coming weekend to kick off their new fall season. It will be interesting to hear what, if any, of these new songs or remixes that they might play. Their music has been heading in a dubstep direction. Here’s a pretty fascinating video from alberito80 to help visually explain, as it mixes this electronic music style with fine art masterpieces. See if you can recognize some of the paintings. Here is some of Radiohead’s newer music.

Lotus Flower (+ disjointed dancing that a bit disconcerting if not mesmerizing to watch).

Supercolider, which I like and has some meditative repetitiveness that is more typical of their older music.