25 March 2008

Black Sails Photography Voices An Opinion

In the form of expression that Sharky is good at, we see here that Black Sails Photography has an opinion about FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION. So, here's to New Orleans being the cultural mecca it always has been with artwork as the new flagship.

Paint over the Bill of Rights if you dare

NoLA Rising Meets Seattle

NOLA Rising meets Seattle!

NOLA Rising meets Seattle!


24 March 2008

NoLA Rising Appropriately in Dingle Harbor, Co. Kerry, Ireland

The Tracks, Dingle Harbor, Co. Kerry

Hats Off to Mimi Weddell

Hats off to Mimi Weddell

These may be her twilight years, but this star has never shined brighter.
Mimi Weddell is a New York-based actress and model who has posed for high-end Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Juicy Couture ads,
stolen scenes in TV hits "Sex and the City" and "Law & Order" and appeared in the films "Across the Universe," "Hitch" and "The Purple Rose of Cairo."
She's also the focus of "Hats Off," a feature-length documentary profiling the prolific performer - who happens to be 93.

"I don't think of them as jobs," Weddell says. "I just think of it as going along day to day and doing what I have to do."

Weddell didn't begin acting full time until she was 65, following the death of her husband, Dick. "I suddenly decided that I wanted to go a different route, not just having ordinary jobs and things like that," she says. For "Hats Off," which opens Friday, director Jyll Johnston spent 10 years capturing Weddell's life on film.

A true New Yorker, Weddell takes the bus or burns old-fashioned shoe leather to her weekly Pilates and dance workouts, cattle-call auditions and photo shoots. And the dignified dame never steps out of her East Side apartment without her gloves, signature cigarette holder - and hat. "Oh, I probably have about 300 hats," she says. "I think they make a lovely frame, particularly for a woman. You can put on a simple housedress, but when you put on a hat, by golly, you've got a whole different look. As long as you hold your neck up."

Holding her head high is the key to her strength and vigor. Her personal mantra, "Rise above it," is painted on her kitchen

"Whatever comes along, try to think above it," she says. "I came to New York in 1941, and you have no idea how much fun it was then, even with the war. There was a vibrancy and a lightness of just being alive, and we sang all the time. It's different now, of course, but just don't take it too seriously."

She also recommends a home remedy for lifting your spirits. "If I feel a little spacey or weary," she says, "I take a teaspoon full of brandy - one of the best things in the world to make my brain come back. Not much, just a teaspoon, and it works!"

22 March 2008

An email from my mom

Your dad just went out to fish and came back immediately with a 8-1/2 lb wide mouth bass, 25 inches long and about 17 inches diameter. He's got his Easter present! and it's a beauty.


19 March 2008

NoLA Rising Makes Art Donation to the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies

The NoLA Rising community of artists held a paint party on March 8th and out of this came the following piece from Clare Marie of Sin.Thesis. It was donated today to Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies and they can be found at www.iwesnola.org. Thank you very much to both Clare Marie and IWES for helping NoLA Rise!

Donated to the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies

18 March 2008

NoLA Rising Makes Art Donation to Rebuilding Together New Orleans

NoLA Rising is making the donation today of several works of art created at the Paint Party on March 8th to Rebuilding Together New Orleans. The mission of Rebuilding Together is to preserve and revitalize houses and communities, assuring that low-income homeowners, particularly those who are elderly and disabled, can live in warmth, safety, and independence.

It is in the spirit of NoLA Rising to help make a house a home through artwork donated by the coming together of the arts community. The Preservation Resource Center has helped many people through Rebuilding Together and this is NoLA Rising's way to say thank you to them and welcome home to the people they have helped. Enough talk, now let's see a portion of the artwork donated!

Donated to Rebuilding Together from the NoLA Rising Community of Artists
Donated to Rebuilding Together from the NoLA Rising Community of Artists
Donated to Rebuilding Together from the NoLA Rising Community of Artists
Donated to Rebuilding Together from the NoLA Rising Community of Artists
Donated to Rebuilding Together from the NoLA Rising Community of Artists

14 March 2008

FEMA Trailers Invade Elysian Fields - Temporary Art Installation

ReX salutes this thoughtful use of wine boxes in this custom made street installation of FEMA trailers. I think those who made them probably put more care and time into their creation than FEMA did of the real trailers. With the CDC now involved because of the formaldehyde problem with the trailers and the federal deadlines rapidly approaching, we can expect to see over 22,000 cases of homelessness come June 1st. Thanks City Hall! Thanks George Bush! All of your band-aids have really helped on our sucking chest wound! Maybe one day, it'll all trickle down...

Allegedly the Work of Fred Radtke - In Part Funded by a Grant Supposedly from Freeport-McMoran


Next time you're thinking about what non-profit to support, consider Operation Clean Sweep. The creator (Mr. Fred Radtke) is down with supposedly paying himself out of grant money while crying (for eleven years) he doesn't have the materials to properly clean-up graffiti. Mr. Radtke says that he receives free grey acrylic primer from Helm Paint Supply and a grant from Freeport-McMoran and the city. Here is but one example of his artwork::

Many of you may know that Mr. Radtke has a lot of negative and untrue things to say about me and has tried to slander me in the press. He has come to my very street yet again to slather his atrocious grey blobs all over the signs in my neighborhood. Fine job, Mr. Radtke...your work is almost complete...you've instigated more graffiti in this city than you have actually eradicated and I encourage you to keep up your five star job...for it is merely feeding the negative wave that is rising up against you.


NoLA Rising has a lot of opinions about Mr. Radtke that is best kept private, but we encourage you all to look at his finest work and think for yourself whether he is helping or hurting your city. This is a link to his finest work: The BLOBSTER.

If you disapprove of what he does: Write City Hall and complain! Write Freeport-McMoran and complain! Write Helm Paint Supply and complain! Call your district N.O.P.D. Quality of Life officer and file a complaint! And if you see the street signs damaged by the acrylic grey paint that is admittedly his signature (a.k.a. "tag"), then please call the city number at 504-658-2299 and tell them the sign must be replaced, as it has been allegedly damaged by Fred Radtke. If you ask, they'll even make a notation on the order as it gets forwarded along.

If you happen to be one of the last bastion of people who agree with what he does, then keep supporting him. I salute you for having an opinion and sticking by those convictions. But, there is a need for meaningful solutions to the problem and his hasn't worked for eleven years.

Oh, this is safe!

All of his hard work is making him famous and notoriously disliked from home owners to business owners, from fine artists to graffiti writers, and from teachers to students...and is making his signature grey splotches more viable for this:
ray ray <3 fred

I'm not asking you to dislike the man or his work and I'm certainly not going to encourage anything against him that is not through legally accepted means...all I am asking is that you pause and think about this as an issue that is truly a non-issue. It is my opinion and the opinion of those in groups in this city that what he does is more damage to the spirit and the culture of New Orleans than any one man alone. I don't ask you to share that opinion, I ask that you form an opinion of your own.


12 March 2008

Donated Artwork for NoLA Rising Auction - Michalopoulos - ReX - Steve 504Whatstyle - Defend New Orleans - Lance Vargas - Joy Gauss - STARHEAD


Donated Artwork for NoLA Rising Auction :: Michalopoulos Print- ReX (Michael Dingler)- Steve 504Whatstyle - Defend New Orleans Poster- Lance Vargas - Joy Gauss - STARHEAD - ChadMo - Ellipses - Emily Macafor - JAUG - Mojo - unknownparts - Lisa from J'anita's - Sarah Rosedahl - DREW - Laura Skelton - JAMES DINGLER - BonuS SaveS - Miss Manou - Kid A - & Other Donations that are on their Way and will be posted once they are received...

Sit back and enjoy the pictures coming your way:

Donation of Michalopoulos Print #424 of 500 from Anonymous Donor

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by "ChadMo"

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by KID A

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by Crista Rock

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by Anonymous Artist

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by Emily Macafore

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by JAUG

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by Steve "504 What Style" Williams

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by Mojo

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by Mojo

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by Lisa from J'anita

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by unknownparts

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by Steve "504 What Style" Williams

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by Sarah Rosedahl

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated - Kimo The Pineapple

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by Anonymous NoLA Riser

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by Lance Vargas

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by T.S.

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by ReX and Laura Skelton (in collaboration)

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by Joy Gauss

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by JAMES DINGLER

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by DREW

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by Anonymous NoLA Riser

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by STARHEAD

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by STARHEAD

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by BONUS SAVES

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by KID A

Artwork for NoLA Rising Art Auction Donated by Miss Manou

11 March 2008

A message from a NoLA Riser with a tale of an Ani Deifranco show!

I just received a message from one of our noble NoLA Risers!

"My friend in FL (who used to live in Nola) went to see Ani Difranco play at a small venue called the Tampa Theater tonite. Apparently, Ani has a home here in NO and she was here for Katrina. If you’re not familiar with Ani, she likes to make little speeches between songs on topics that she feels need addressing. So tonite she spoke a little about New Orleans, how the city is still recovering and how it’s important to continue to support the people and the city in rebuilding. Sarah, my friend, shares my passion for all things Nola and I’ve told her about Nola Rising. So when Ani paused in her speech for a slight moment Sarah felt compelled to yell out “NOLA RISING!!!!!” She was so pleased with herself and the audience response that she called me as soon as she left the concert to tell me about her nite. I got a kick out of it so I thought you might also."

Thanks, keep up the good fight!


To Whom It May Concern:

I first made the acquaintance of Michael Dingler (whom I know as Rex) and his organization NoLARising back in September, 2007, while doing some research for a college course in my own hometown, Tucson, Arizona. Rex had posted a few notices on the website craigslist.org to promote the early work of NoLA Rising, before it became the endearing art movement it is today. Rex had the unassuming belief that if he offered public words of encouragement to those souls striving to eke out a life in post-Katrina New Orleans, that perhaps he could buoy his community and help everyone work towards a happier, and decidedly healthier future.

In my own project, I held the belief that those signs we all see everyday--lost pet posters and announcements for community events among them--had a lasting impact on the community, that the authors of those signs were imparting communiques filled with hope, creativity, honesty and an often unrealized request to connect with other members of their communities. Rex, and NoLARising at large, seemed to prove this very assertion.

Rex and I formed a quick and easy friendship, and I'd like to even call it something more akin to a collaboration. He was instrumental during the early phase of my own project, thoughtfully providing me with all the proof I needed for my coursework but also educating me to the everyday realities faced by a largely forgotten population in the Crescent City. As friendships often do, it led me to a new network of artists (and friends) in a city which has always called to me for no particular reason. New Orleans is certainly a truly American city, where diversity and art and culture mingle and have helped to cement it as a unique outpost unlike any other across this nation.

It would be easy to fly off on a tangent about the recent challenges to pop up in front of Rex and all those involved with NoLARising, but it is my hope (and faith-filled belief) that the actions taken by a certain city-approved contractor will immediately be seen for the ridiculousness and danger-filled idiocy that they are. I cannot imagine any bureaucracy where Mr. Radtke's action will be seen as sanctioned, authorized or welcomed in any sense. I can see where his original intention may have been a step in the right direction, but he long ago wandered off that path and drifted towards a willful destruction of public and private property, and of personal and community spirit.

Even though I have yet to set foot in New Orleans, I feel I have a stake in its future and this is absolutely, 100% because of Rex's efforts to preserve that uniqueness that all Americans hold dear, regardless of where our legal addresses keep us anchored. Rex is nothing less than an ambassador and he has the global support to back up this notion. I encourage you to take a stroll through NoLARising's web/blogsite to get a feel for how extensive this support is, to see for yourself that Rex is doing the impossible: he's building a community of creativity and compassion, one person at a time.

I would be happy to discuss this further should you have any questions for me.

S. E., Owner/Photographer (I have abbreviated her name for this post)
Gracie Shoots Photography
Tucson, AZ

---Thank you! ReX salutes!

Read the Post Below and then go see what Humid Haney has to say

Click on the link:


10 March 2008

Operation Clean Sweep No Longer Monitored by Graffiti Hurts


Howdy everyone...

A short while back, those of us at NoLA Rising World Headquarters located here in sunny and temperate New Orleans sent a letter to Graffiti Hurts, an organization that promotes meaningful graffiti solutions in the form of public works of art and for changing the environment to make it less hospitable to graffiti.

Comic book (-esque) arch-nemesis to ReX, The Grey Ghost, often touts the following award to members of the media as part of national recognition he has received for all of the good things he does. Please read and see what they have to say:::

From Graffiti Hurts


Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Operation Clean Sweep won a Graffiti Hurts award in 2004. We have not been monitoring the activities of this group since around that time.

Graffiti Hurts does not advocate any removal from private property without appropriate permission. Graffiti Hurts also encourages graffiti removal that matches paint, does not create a new canvas, and provides for changing the environment to deter further graffiti vandalism.

Graffiti Hurts
Keep America Beautiful, Inc.


In other news on The Grey Ghost Front, City Business has put out a call in the online weekly of 3/10/08 that reads as follows:::

Gray Ghost graffiti solution has problems
by CityBusiness Staff

Posted: Monday, March 10, 2008

Fred Radtke, aka the Gray Ghost, was once the welcomed wiper of all New Orleans graffiti.

Mayor C. Ray Nagin, New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Warren Riley, the Louisiana State Police, the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI all praised his work.

“What he’s doing is work that the city would be doing itself provided we had the resources and manpower,” said NOPD spokesman Sgt. Joe Narcisse. “He’s covering up graffiti and, if the city had a team to do that, it would do so. He’s not doing anything that we aren’t asking him to do.”

Irked property owners disagree. They say Radtke is no different from the vandals he is fighting.

He began his one-man crusade in 1997 and now slathers gray paint on whatever doodles or obscenities vandals have scrawled on public or private property, including street signs.

Critics say they would rather see the graffiti than the splotches of gray paint Radtke coats it with.

“He may think what he’s doing is a corrective measure, but it’s unauthorized in many cases and doesn’t correct the graffiti, but just camouflages it with another color of paint. That’s the same thing,” said Lary Hesdorffer, Vieux Carre Commission director. “It may be with better intent but that doesn’t make it right.”

Radtke’s nonprofit Operation Clean Sweep is clearly dedicated to eradicating graffiti. Radtke, a retired Marine, is not a city employee or an independent contractor. The NOPD and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development frequently contact him to paint over graffiti.

Radtke’s civic involvement is certainly to be applauded.

In response to the complaints, he said he would obtain permits and the consent of property owners before painting over any graffiti in the French Quarter. He also agreed to match his paint to the color of each individual building instead of always using gray.

That’s a start. If he fails to do so, the NOPD needs to pull the plug on his assignment.

Radtke’s penchant for applying gray paint, even when graffiti is on private property, makes him a trespasser in some cases and a vandal in others. Breaking the law to frustrate lawbreakers is not a solution.

The Grey Ghost in Action Allegedly Destroying City Property - You Decide

Mr. Radtke has recently made incorrect statements about me to members of the press...among them that I am not a New Orleanian (but a person from Michigan who moved down after the storm to try and make money), that I was not a United States Marine, and that I wasn't ever a boat captain on the Mississippi River. All of these I answered with documentation proving that his statements were wrong, misleading and slanderous.

He has said of me in City Business and I quote: "Radtke dismissed Dingler’s accusations, called him a “loser,” a “phony” and the “biggest pain in the ass I ever met.” He said Dingler’s so-called “messages of hope” are “vertical trash” that promote other forms of vandalism. “It’s real simple: people either want to abide by the law or not,” Radtke said.

My response to Mr. Radtke's ridiculousness is simple...I have never met him though I have offered to. I no longer make that offer, however, having been the mark of his personal vendetta where he brought the police to file charges against me for illegally posting on telephone or utility poles...the very same thing that every music venue, everyone who loses a pet, and even the NOPD sponsored Neighborhood Watch does. The difference is that Mr. Radtke took it personal when I publicly questioned his ethics. We know have a case for selective prosecution should it become necessary to file and further clog up our already tired court system. And a man who clearly violates the city's definition of Violence to Property and Other Structures should really throw stones...


Excellent question. Considering Mr. Radtke receives city funds and is supported by the NOPD in his efforts, then if anything, he is city sanctioned. And when the city takes sides in what is admittedly personal vendetta, then they are then culpable for the actions of that man. Why am I able to question the methods of this man? Because I am New Orleanian just like everyone else living here and I disagree with his methods.

I personally believe we want the same things...a more beautiful New Orleans. Perhaps our ideologies on how to get that are divergent. I'd like to include people and assist in making New Orleans the epicenter for the cultural renaissance of our region. I don't believe that haphazardly sloshing or blobbing grey paint fixes the problem, nor does it work in the efforts to showcase out rich cultural heritage.

I won't publicly attack this man who dislikes me because I have made it known that his practices are questionable. Sure, I'd love to make up outlandish things about him like he has of me, but it doesn't serve the purpose of NoLA Rising nor does it do anything to enrich the quality of our city. Mr. Radtke's problems are of his own making and his own design. If he is losing funding as a result of the negative press he has received, then perhaps he should look at cleaning up his own mess and thought before he lept into action. Painting on peoples' businesses and seeing it as collateral damage in a war against graffiti is not a way to win a war.

Fact of the matter is, "Grey is Graffiti." The businesses that financially support him (such as Freeport-McMoran and Helm Paint Supply) need to recognize that and put stipulations on the funding and supplies they give him. Our position is simple and clear...grey paint is not a meaningful solution to the graffiti issue. Much like Sisyphus, it's clearly an exercise in his futility that apparently hasn't worked for eleven years.

It is your job to be involved in New Orleans the best way you know how. I won't ask you to believe in NoLA Rising if it's not in your prerogative...but I do ask that you believe in New Orleans and think about what truly is in the best interest of New Orleans when it comes to this issue. Sure, we have bigger fish to fry and that makes this whole argument that much more ridiculous.

I don't perpetuate it out of spite, but because I have the personal belief that what he is doing is wrong, that the fact that the city is sanctioning him is an inappropriate use of funds, and that his solutions are archaic and not well thought out. As an aside, the Broken Windows Theory Mr. Radtke uses as his argument has been rebuffed by knowing scholars, further proving the argument moot. On behalf of NoLA Rising, we are ready for this to be over so that we can move on to meaningful uses of our time, skill, artistry and effort. Thank you for reading this awfully long piece, we apologize for that and promise in the coming week pictures of art from the art party, pictures of art being donated to the cause of NoLA Rising, and pictures of a happy, growing, rising New Orleans.

All the best to everyone, Thanks for helping NoLA Rise,