All posts tagged: Baton Rouge

Ethel Seno : Wishes & Hopes for 2017

Ethel Seno : Wishes & Hopes for 2017

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As we near the new year we’ve asked a special guest every day to take a moment to reflect on 2016 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for him or her. It’s an assortment of treats for you to enjoy and contemplate as we all reflect on the year that has passed and conjure our hopes and wishes for the new year to come. It’s our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and of saying ‘Thank You’ for inspiring us throughout the year.

Author, editor, curator, and cultivated corraler of unruly Street Artists for exhibitions like “Art in the Streets”, Wynwood Walls, Coney Art Walls, and this falls’ “Magic City” in Dresden, which she co-curated with Carlo McCormick, Ethel Seno is the sage point person for many Street Art, graffiti, and contemporary art heads. Endlessly curious and steeped in the geo-political influences and activist roots of Street Art, Seno shares with us this powerful image that shook her conscience this year.


Ieshia Evans in a Black Lives Matter protest
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Date: July, 2016.
Photograph by Max Becherer / AP

I love this photo by Max Becherer, which went viral this summer, because it is an inspiring example of peaceful resistance against state violence. The photo is of a nurse named Ieshia Evans in a Black Lives Matter protest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in July 2016 after the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling.

Unfortunately the November presidential election marks 2016 like a historical turning point, and makes it more urgent to act on what we believe in; to stand up against any unprovoked aggression, bullying, or terror being inflicted on innocent people, and against the destruction of our social and natural environments.

I am planning to go to the Women’s March on Washington on January 21st because so much is at stake. As a good friend said, we must never normalize rhetoric rooted in fear, hate, greed, and ignorance. My wish for the new year is that we are braver and more empowered to move forward together.

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Photograph by Max Becherer / AP

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Daze is Hotter Than July in Baton Rouge for Mural Program

Daze is Hotter Than July in Baton Rouge for Mural Program

New York’s DAZE was just in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for some of the hottest painting weather he’s experienced and he’s happy he went.  Painting alongside folks like Seth, Hunto, Pose2, and Sabotaje al Montaje (Matheus) from Tenerife, he tells BSA that was satisfied with the work and the experience despite the surprising heat.

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A summer burner from Daze for Kevin Harris’ Museum of Public Art. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. July 2014. (photo © Daze)

“I was told by members of The TATS crew that it was hot and humid but even still it was crazy!” he says. “The average day saw temperatures climb into the 90s with a very high humidity percentage and these temperatures were usually followed by a severe late afternoon thunderstorm . It felt as if I was climbing through the jungles of Cambodia.” We haven’t been to Cambodia but we’ve been inside a steam dumpling kitchen in Chinatown, and Baton Rouge in July sounds very similar – except it is outdoors.

 

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Daze for Kevin Harris’ Museum of Public Art. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. July 2014. (photo © Daze)

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Daze for Kevin Harris’ Museum of Public Art. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. July 2014. (photo © Daze)

DAZE was part of this year’s Museum of Public Arts summer youth program, the same one we told you about that OverUnder participated in a couple of weeks ago.  The museum and the program is the brainchild of Dr. Kevin Harris, who began bringing primarily graffiti artists to the city in 2012 to create murals.  Now, the selection is widening, says DAZE.

“He has brought together some of the most important names from both the Street Art and graffiti worlds,” he reports. “All have created large scale murals that are contributing to the cultural climate of Baton Rouge.”  In addition to the murals themselves, DAZE says the programs that work with local youth are crucial when assessing the success of the museum. These youth workshops, which were held at Family & Youth Service Center, consisted of each invited artist working in collaboration with local teens to realize murals in the surrounding area.”

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Daze for Kevin Harris’ Museum of Public Art. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. July 2014. (photo © Daze)

Despite the heat DAZE says he had a great time in the steamy south interacting with the youth and the other artists, and he thinks Dr. Harris has put Baton Rouge on the map as a “must see” experience. “This place has become a “go to” destination for incredible murals done by some of the most important practitioners in the game.”

So the New York 70s/80s graffiti writer-turned-fine artist created some murals that reflected the local history and culture while in Baton Rouge. Naturally he completed an old school burner just for balance. “I wanted to get as much accomplished as I could before the thunder and lightning came, and the climate made me understand the people better,” he says as he talks about what inspired him to create these new pieces.

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Daze for Kevin Harris’ Museum of Public Art. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. July 2014. (photo © Daze)

“My main mural was actually of the neighborhood itself. On the far left I painted a portrait of recently deceased blues legend Tabby Thomas. This flowed into images of the street itself and the old, legendary Lincoln Theater. These images are floating on a bed of fast moving clouds.” Does he think these clouds were a reference to the passing thunderstorms? “Maybe. I didn’t think so at the time – but they probably were.”

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A Summer Burner and shout out to Daze from Cope2 for Kevin Harris’ Museum of Public Art. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. July 2014. (photo © Daze)

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Daze for Kevin Harris’ Museum of Public Art. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. July 2014. (photo © Daze)

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Daze for Kevin Harris’ Museum of Public Art. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. July 2014. (photo © Daze)

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Daze for Kevin Harris’ Museum of Public Art. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. July 2014. (photo © Daze)

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Daze for Kevin Harris’ Museum of Public Art. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. July 2014. (photo © Daze)

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Seth for Kevin Harris’ Museum of Public Art. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. July 2014. (photo © Daze)

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Hunto for Kevin Harris’ Museum of Public Art. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. July 2014. (photo © Daze)

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Sabotage Al Montage for Kevin Harris’ Museum of Public Art. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. July 2014. (photo © Daze)

 

To learn more about the Kevin Harris’ Museum Of Public Art click HERE and HERE

 

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Paint a Mural on My House : Overunder With Baton Rouge Youth

Paint a Mural on My House : Overunder With Baton Rouge Youth

“I try to create these open-ended situations with a loose play of abstract iconography to allow various interpretations. My interpretations alone change overtime, which I enjoy, so it makes sense to me to not be too didactic in my public work,” says OverUnder about his work and we can swear by it!

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For this piece entitled “The King”, Overunder did a portait based on an anonymous African slave. (photo © Overunder)

The Street Artist and otherwise artist just spent some time in South Baton Rouge, not too far from the Mississippi in Louisiana making a handful of murals with some local youth there.  Sponsored by the The Museum of Public Art, OverUnder worked on walls as part of the Love Our Community Summer Youth Employment Program along with some other artists like Seth (Paris), Static (Chicago), Aniekan (Nigeria), Pose2 (CA), Hunto (Italy), and Daze (NY). Overunder reports that the neighborhood where they were creating a majority of work was isolated and abandoned – even though it was just within earshot of downtown and prominent neighborhoods like the Garden District.

Check out this varied collection along with some details of the pieces themselves.

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Overunder “Natural Fence” (photo © Overunder)

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Overunder “Ben’s House” (photo © Overunder)

This was a class project on the side of one of the students home.”The mural refers to ten of the most historically significant African American quilt templates,” says Overunder of the patterning beneath the huge riveting orbs, as he explains that there were just ten basic building blocks for the multitude of quilt designs that came from the quilt-making tradition in the US.

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Overunder. Ben’s Mom painting. (photo © Overunder)

“Of course there are many deviations and permutations but the basic building block of the majority of quilts can be traced back to these ten. While most people (especially the slave masters) viewed these quilts as decorative blankets, the underlying agenda of the quilt patterns and stitching provided an ingenious method of Underground Railroad communication,” he says. “Within these quilts slaves remixed African symbols to convey information pertaining to escaping the bonds of slavery. The quilts in this mural partially obstruct the face as a symbol of protest. The piercing, yet kind expression of the eyes reinforces the notion of communication without words.”

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Overunder. Ben’s House reflection. (photo © Overunder)

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Overunder. Ben’s House group shot (that’s Benjamin in the center). (photo © Overunder)

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Overunder. Sundial. Detail. (photo © Overunder)

For a piece called “Sundial” Overunder made a time capsule for freedom on the 4th of July. “It uses the natural shadows from the building’s architectural features to keep time starting at sunrise, ” he says. “Gradients of color and the letter “I” from the nearby I-beam are transcribed every 15 minutes starting at 7 am. Behind that is a vertical “Red Stick” (Baton Rouge) with radiating detached branches forming the majority of the mural. In the lower right corner is a hovering shutter door graffiti’d with the outline of the state of Louisiana. A highway encompassed my metallic seeds flows out from the shutter door.”

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Overunder. Sundial. Detail. (photo © Overunder)

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Overunder. Sundial. (photo © Overunder)

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Overunder. Iris. (photo © Overunder)

Iris, who owns this house, requested that the collaborative piece include her favorite things, namely, her namesake iris flowers. “She looooved her flowers!” says Overunder, who created a chain link outline for the students to paint their individual floral sections within. He says the Interstate highway and its placement looks like it has a lot to do with the neighborhood’s isolation from affluent neighborhoods and the racial segregation that is evident, and he wanted to reflect that and the history of the neighborhood, if obliquely.

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Overunder. Iris. Detail. (photo © Overunder)

“This mural shows an inverted landscape with an abstract interstate dividing the plane. Three large Iris’ grow through the fence, shuffling between the links referencing the history of immigration (both forced and voluntary) as well as the common Louisiana flower and it’s stylized transformation into the iconic fleur de lis. On the front of the house, the fence transforms into 2 criss-crossing wild roses alluding to the concept of fences being a man-made construct based on nature,” says Overunder

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Overunder. Iris. Detail. (photo © Overunder)

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Overunder (photo © Overunder)

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Overunder (photo © Overunder)

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Overunder. Old Trap House. (photo © Overunder)

This was a preliminary workshop with Overunder’s students transforming an ex-trap house. “Within each of my signature paper birds the students painted positive messages they wished upon the neighborhood,” he says.

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Overunder. Malachi in front of the old trap house. (photo © Overunder)

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Overunder. Malachi painting on the old trap house. (photo © Overunder)

Thanks to Dr. Kevin Harris of the The Museum of Public Art.

 

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