What is NoLA Rising?
NoLA Rising is a grassroots arts movement that encourages the use of artwork to uplift the people of a community. It is the belief of NoLA Rising that public displays of artwork not only enhance the beauty of a community, but bolster the spirit of the people within that community.
Currently: We are a loose collaboration of artists that come together quarterly and make artwork. Often, the artwork is later found on the streets for the public to view it or it is left as gifts on people's doorsteps. With artwork from the last Paint Party, we have been donating to non-profits around New Orleans that are helping people who are finally getting settled into their homes following Katrina.
The Mission: To become a non-profit organization that encourages public murals on a large scale in the City of New Orleans. The City of New Orleans has a vast amount of usable space that would improve the general mood of New Orleans and beautify our daily lives. NoLA Rising would also like to facilitate artwork in the schools of New Orleans, from mural work in the schools to encouraging the growth of emerging artists.
Aside from the Goals of NoLA Rising, What else is going on?
If you think you know what is happening in the art scene of New Orleans, you'd be surprised to find out what you don't know. Our list of artists grow by the day, but what is available here is just the beginning. All NoLA Rising projects bear the name and encourage positive, artistic growth with the hopes of keeping the spirit of New Orleans alive and well.
How do I become a NoLA Rising artist?
It's easy. Have a love for New Orleans and share that love through your artistic means, regardless of your talent level or skill. Make a piece of artwork and leave it anonymously for your neighbor...Join us for our Paint Parties and come create something that will be donated under the NoLA Rising umbrella. We're a loose association of people and we don't discriminate against whichever medium you are comfortable with. Get in contact with ReX, visit us at one of the shows, we're open and receptive to new and innovative ideas that will benefit the daily lives of all of us in the city.
All you have to ask yourself is: WHAT WILL MY CONTRIBUTION TO NEW ORLEANS BE? If it's not artwork, perhaps it can be something else. Keep your eye on what is going on here at the blog and as we move to non-profit status, we'll be organizing a webpage that's appropriate. Also, we'll be expecting to see you at the next Paint Party!
Any Notable Criticism?
Of course there is. Mr. Fred Radtke of Operation Clean Sweep has taken issue with the concept of NoLA Rising and says that it promotes gang graffiti. NoLA Rising does not promote gang-like activities and the assertion that it does it absurd. He's made the comment in a January City Business article that graffiti artists are "anarchists, agitators and members of the church of Satan."
For the record, NoLA Rising will not give any merit to Mr. Radtke's outlook and will let the absurdity of his own statements stand on their own for you to determine. Mr. Radtke's efforts are seen as an inconsequential and meaningless solution to the graffiti issue in New Orleans...a method that is outdated and has City Business calling for a change of pace. We are offering a tested and proven solution to the issue. NoLa Rising will no longer entertain any more questions about Mr. Radtke and wish him well in his future endeavors.
NoLA Rising, as stated before, will not exclude any artist that is capable of assisting in the beautification of New Orleans. Other cities have used graffiti artists to their benefit and NoLA Rising will include anyone who submits a meaningful design for mural work. There will be themed projects and an order to projects chosen using artists of all mediums in the arts...we believe in including people, not excluding them.
So, who's ReX?
ReX is the New Orleans native and a local artist, Michael Dingler. He was born here and came up with the idea of NoLA Rising after seeing it spray-painted on a home on Tchoupitoulas. Then, when coming across a series of painted canvases hanging from an electrical tower in the Marigny, the thought of public displays of art was born. Those two combined images of daily New Orleans life spawned the movement that has now spread to 21 countries and over 80 cities.
ReX believes that New Orleans can export to the rest of the world its artwork and artists much like it once did with its musicians. New Orleans is a cultural mecca for music and it can be for the art as well. He's just a guy with an idea that did something with that idea. Little did he know...
He will be having artwork available for viewing at The Bean Gallery, 637 N. Carrollton Ave, near the corner of Orleans and Carrollton and there will be a show at XO Studios with a few other NoLA Rising artists on April 12th. See www.scadnola.com for details on what is happening in the Marigny/Bywater art world during French Quarter Fest.
And your quote for the day:
"artists are, by nature and necessity, solitary souls"