29 August 2009

How I Will Celebrate Katrina’s Four Year Anniversary


Today is such a hallowed day in New Orleans and when asked by a friend how I would celebrate the anniversary of Katrina, I thought…what cause for celebration is there? This day isn’t just about what happened on this one day in history, but the culmination of all of our worst fears and life experiences that followed as a result. I don't see it as a celebration of a day, but the memory of a series of experiences and emotional occurrences.

In New Orleans, it wasn’t just the hurricane, but the resulting failures of the burdened and aging levee system and the subsequent failures of leadership. It was the emotional duress we endured internally and the apathy we experienced from externally. It was the loss of friends and family during the floods, and the loss of those who couldn’t go on after it…be it by suicide or overdose.

I cannot even comprehend the road I took in the last four years. I can look back and try and recall the various paths I have taken, but I cannot really see it as a complete whole. I made many bad decisions, drove loved ones away from me, and turned down many dark roads until all I had left was my city. In that reckless abandon and in a way you can only do in New Orleans, I found my redemption wandering her streets at night.

After destroying myself to feel the way my city looked, I finally realized the beauty that was New Orleans. It’s not in her over-described oak trees or her detailed architecture, but in the resilience of her people. It’s in the faith of a good time coming and the joy of a good time passed.

The architecture, the art, the food, the music…these are the expressions of a free spirited people that make our city culturally wealthy. I embraced those expressions before, but didn’t understand that its wealth came from the people. Despite having lived here my entire life, I didn’t get that until the storm and the many, many months that have followed.

Though we experienced troubles, evils and illnesses, we did get to see the inherent good in man. Regular people came from all over the country and the world to care, to lend a helping hand, and share their strength when we were weak. It has matured me and I trust it has also matured many of you.

Those of us who survived and stayed to rebuild our lives and our home, have been made stronger by it. We have learned that life is shorter than we expect and have embraced it with a greater ferocity. We’ll eat dessert first, have another drink with a friend and hug each other a little tighter. On such days as this, though, we recall with great pains our individual and collective struggle.

To those we lost, our promise to you is that we will continue to be a city of pirates and swashbucklers, of lovers and dreamers, of Catholic priests and voodoo priestesses. We might appear as the good, the bad and the ugly to many who don’t understand our ways, but we are also the balanced, the fun and the full of life!

Today, President Barack Obama eulogized the spirit of the Senator Kennedy and, in so doing, wasn’t able to schedule an appearance for Hurricane Katrina. While I believe President Obama has a moral duty by his own words to honor our struggle as a people, I can think of no better reason not to visit our city than the passing of Senator Kennedy. In that eulogy, I found hope in the words and related them to the strong spirit of the people of New Orleans:

“We cannot know for certain how long we have here. We cannot foresee the trials or misfortunes that will test us along the way. We cannot know God's plan for us.

What we can do is to live out our lives as best we can with purpose, and love, and joy. We can use each day to show those who are closest to us how much we care about them, and treat others with the kindness and respect that we wish for ourselves. We can learn from our mistakes and grow from our failures. And we can strive at all costs to make a better world, so that someday, if we are blessed with the chance to look back on our time here, we can know that we spent it well; that we made a difference; that our fleeting presence had a lasting impact on the lives of other human beings.”

In the end, I will celebrate as a New Orleanian should. I will celebrate my friends who have returned and still fight the specters of the past. I will celebrate the many new faces who have come to New Orleans not to take from it her riches, but to lend their positive spirit to the greater whole. I will celebrate those who come to gawk at our history and drink on our streets, enjoying the freedoms we take for granted in this city. Rex raises his glass to you all!

Ultimately, I will celebrate by offering forgiveness to those who I believe have slighted our city, who have stolen from her coffers, and have made irreverent gains from the suffering of her people. I forgive George W. Bush for the ineptitude of his leadership and those under him for their failings. I forgive the modern day carpet-baggers who have come to be known as disaster profiteers. I forgive those who squandered our opportunity to build a better New Orleans and failed to right the ailments of our city, deciding instead to return to business as usual.

While I forgive them, I will not forget them nor make excuses for their actions or behaviors. I forgive them not to ease their conscience, but to ease my own. I forgive them not to ease their way for greater plunder, but to allow me the clarity of vision to carry out my own dreams for a better city. I forgive so that I can let go of the past and move toward a better tomorrow, hopefully leaving behind the waterlines of misery that this storm had wrought.

And, that…that is my celebration today…

NoLA Rising


28 August 2009

Silent Dynamism - Works by Karina Wisniewska


Paintings by Karina Wisniewska

Please join us for a reception with the artist

Saturday, August 29, 6 - 8 pm

"Can stillness be moving? Doesn't stillness just remain still? Restful and at rest. The companions of silence are immutability, the eternal, the echoless. But even if silence is in motion, as in the pictures of Karina Wisniewska, order never runs out of control. When the body of silence flows, its tissue stretches and breathes; as its structure calls forth a resonance, it can sound a hum. Like cells of a honeycomb. Like the wind when it strokes the beach and the sand corrugates, these panels conquer space and form a body of work obeying its own laws in an equilibrium of stillness and movement."

Karina Wisniewska was formally trained in both classical music, as well as fine arts in Austria and Switzerland. After an ill-fated accident ended her career as an established concert pianist, Wisniewska turned to painting with quartz sand as a means for the visual expression of rhythm and musicality.

Wisniewska's work can be found in the UBS collection in Zurich, Switzerland, the Musee Abbatiale de Payerne, Switzerland and in numerous established private collections. The paintings have also been presented at Art Basel Miami, Art Cologne, ArteFiera Bologna, Scope New York, Art Dubai and Art Shanghai among others.

Karina Wisniewska's paintings will be on display
from August 29 - October 2, 2009

Octavia Art Gallery is located at 4532 Magazine Street. Hours are Tuesday - Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm or by appointment. For more information, contact 504-309-4249, art@octaviaartgallery.com or visit www.octaviaartgallery.com

26 August 2009


When I first met MARRUS, I came to the startling conclusion that I was not meeting an ordinary woman. An amazing talent in most every avenue that I've been able to determine, MARRUS wows me with her first book. It's not just an art book, but a book about the journey from point A to point F'n A. It's about forging your path through the journey of life and being a success at it, being happy with it and loving the nuances that made the journey what it was.

This Thursday night at PRAVDA in the French Quarter...details below...


"Lightsurfing: Living Life in the Front of My Mouth" is an anecdotal, illustrated, autobiographical journey of what it takes to carve your own path in the world, make a living at it, and all the wild, weird, and whack things that happen as a result.

"Lightsurfing" is 186, full-color, 7x10" pages full of paintings & the nascent sketches that inspired them. There are skinned deer and burned out buildings. There are some felonies, but the statute of limitations has run out, so the guilty are safe. There's sex & some kinky stuff, and hefty chunks of wisdom that Marrus hopes will inspire her tribe and mebbe stop some of the younger ones from making the dumb, fear-based mistakes she made.

Miz invited you to "LIGHTSURFING" on Thursday, August 27 at 7:30pm.

Event: My book is finally available!
"Come out, get a drink, buy a book, watch me freak out..."
What: Opening / Booksigning
Host: Miz Marrus
Start Time: Thursday, August 27 at 7:30pm
End Time: Thursday, August 27 at 11:00pm
Where: Pravda on Decatur in the French Quarter

To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below:

18 August 2009

Priest Spams it up with Crack For Your Eyes

Our brother PRIEST recently chatted with the folks at CRACK FOR YOUR EYES in a question and answer interview. It is, by far, the best interview I've seen in awhile. It's cheeky, in your face and 100% the substance of a good Priest... those of us here at N.R. are eagerly anticipating what's next. Until then, here's the latest in the works and some excerpts from the interview (full link to follow below):
The Latest From Priest...


CFYE: "What was the first thing you put up on a wall?"
Priest: "It was a tribute to Jackson Pollock, but generally Crayola doesn't splatter as well as acrylic, and then my parents buffed it and I got locked up in my crib."

CFYE: "What got you into to street art and what makes you keep on doing it?"
Priest: "An abandoned oil refinery I raided in high school had a stencil that said "TRASH". After spraying it on a wall I was hooked. The stencils I make have changed but they still have that original message."

CFYE: "Do you prefer doing your work legal or illegal?"
Priest: "I generally prefer to ask the person living there if they mind, which most don't care as long as you don't steal their cardboard houses and use them as stencils. But the legality of painting an abandoned eyesore is something I take very serious, seriously."

For a full and fun-filled interview, click here...no HERE

Vigilante Vigilante - Film Trailer...

Enter the lives of anti-artists.

Join investigative documentary producers, Max Good and Nate Wollman on this underground journey into the secret lives of buffers, vigilantes and anti-graffiti advocates in this hard hitting film headed to festivals in 2010. We really delve head first into the topics and issues in public space, property defacement and the differentiation between art and crime.

Explore the points of view in the lives of psychologists, city planners, police officers, public agencies, controversial graffiti writers, and the vigilant citizens who are hell bent of silencing them in this original documentary!

Visit this link for the feature article written about this project at the link below:


Why do we need your funding?

We need to raise additional finances for post production, specifically for the editing process and promotion campaigns! We hope you find this project interesting enough to join us in the effort to help us finish the production on this project. We're working hard with San Francisco Film Society to raise additional capital as well. Our crew aims to make this a quality feature production and have planned this film out from start to finish, the only issue that remains is our need for more capital. We thank you for even considering sponsoring us, and should you decide to do so, we want to thank you with all our sincerest appreciation,

Full budget spreadsheet is available for your review by emailing: natedubb [at] yahoo.com


15 August 2009

Henry Miller Quote from Tropic of Cancer

...a favorite author clears up my view on art well before I internally summarized it myself...


"I have no money, no resources, no hope. I am the happiest man alive. A year ago, six months ago, I thought that I was an artist. I no longer think about it, I am. Everything that was literature has fallen from me. There are no more books to be written, thank God.

"This then? This is not a book. This is libel, slander, defamation of character. This is not a book, in the ordinary sense of the word. No, this is a prolonged insult, a gob of spit in the face of Art, a kick in the pants to God, Man, Destiny, Time, Love, Beauty...what you will. I am going to sing for you, a little off key perhaps, but I will sing. I will sing while you croak, I will dance over your dirty corpse...

"To sing you must first open your mouth. You must have a pair of lungs, and a little knowledge of music. It is not necessary to have an accordion, or a guitar. The essential thing is to want to sing. This then is a song. I am singing."

13 August 2009

AMMO presents work by LOREN SCHWERD

The directors of AMMO are pleased to present an exhibition of works by Loren Schwerd, from her acclaimed series of hair sculptures, “Mourning

Portrait”. The exhibition opens on Saturday, August 15, with an opening reception from 6 -9pm, and will be on view at AMMO, located at 938 Royal

Street in the French Quarter, through September 16, 2009.

“Mourning Portrait” is a series of memorials to the communities of New Orleans that were devastated by the federal levee breaches following Hurricane Katrina. The sculptures are made of human and synthetic hair extensions and wigs that were discarded outside the St Claude Beauty Supply in the fall of 2005. The sculptures interpret many of the abandoned homes of the Ninth Ward.

Schwerd draws on the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century tradition of hairwork, in which family members or artisans would fashion the hair of the deceased into intricate jewelry and sentimental objects and memento mori. Hair serves as the essential metaphor of this exhibit, by evoking a sense of profound intimacy and absence.

Her sculptures portay individual residences, many of which are no longer standing. Collectively, Mourning Portrait venerates the less of entire neighborhoods and communities. Schwerd’s “Mourning Portrait” series was featured on the cover of the November 2008 FiberArts Magazine, and has toured extensively in the United States.


06 August 2009

05 August 2009

The Infection Spreads... Seattle Strikes Again!

Folks have been giving us some mad love on the NoLA Rising T-shirts so we thought we'd take a moment to share some of the photos we've been getting. We just recently put them in a couple of local stores, Winky's and Buffalo Exchange.

Winky's is located in the Lower Garden District conveniently near Juan's Flying Burrito (I said get your grub on while you're down there). Buffalo Exchange is in the Garden District near Slim Goodies (I'm seeing a food theme here).

If you can't make it to New Orleans, then we'll be glad to send you one like we did the people we have below...

NoLA Rising, helping the good times roll since 1973...or 2005 depending on how you look at it...

A few pics from our friends in Seattle - -
A few pics from our friends in Seattle - -
A few pics from our friends in Seattle - -

More photos to come later this week featuring our friends in Boston...

Tactical Stencil Lab :: Kill or Die

02 August 2009

Burlesque 101 :: Classes by Bella of Fleur de Tease

As many of y'all know, here at NoLA Rising world headquarters, we like to support all things New Orleans. Dance and theater is no exception. Our city has always had a rich nightlife and one of the more enjoyable outlets that has been thriving again is the burlesque scene.

One such troupe in NoLA is Fleur de Tease and they describe themselves as such:

Fleur de Tease is a premiere Variety Burlesque Revue. This modern twist on a classic vaudeville show has something to please and tease every audience member. Magicians, fire eaters, comedians, aerialists and of course beautiful burlesque dancers all make up the core members of the troupe. Special guest artists such as sword swallowers, singers, and other circus acts make each show a unique and different experience so no two programs are ever the same. Please join us and be prepared to thrill your senses with the lovely burlesque beauties, the comedic cuties, and talented tricksters of Fleur de Tease.

But, how does this burlesque scene develop and how do the girls learn such seductive dance? For women in the city who are interested, where do they go to find out more? A Burlesque 101 class would answer most of those questions...

Every Thursday night at the Crescent Lotus (located at 3143 Calhoun) from 6:30 to 7:30, there are Burlesque classes for every skill level. No need to make a reservation as you can just show up for lessons. However, it's recommended you bring a pair of comfortable heels...pink sunglasses are obligatory...

And if you're unsure of going, on the group's facebook page, Bella says, "Most of the girls in the class have had little or no dance experience! Have no worries."

For more info: Burlesque 101 is designed for anyone and everyone to learn the sexy art of the tease. Class is only $10 per person and promises an amazing adventure into the world of burlesque every time. Call Bella at 504-912-1734 for more info.


01 August 2009

Kids Go to The Woods...Kids Get Dead

A night of horror and mayhem when “Kids Go To The Woods… Kids Get Dead” Premieres at The Marigny Theater! Featuring an art exhibit by New Orleans own Stephanie Stelmach.

"I Absolutely Love This!" - Sarah Jahier www.Fatally-Yours.com

"A Lot of Fun" - Kelsey Zukowski www.HorrorYearbook.com

"Best indie horror flick I've seen all year!" - Gregg Dumont www.KillerReviews.com

Do you remember staying up late to watch your favorite horror host on local television? With VHS tape in hand to record all the action (and hopefully not tape over anything important - like your home movies) this nearly forgotten ritual was a mainstay of our youth. "Kids Go To the Woods... Kids Get Dead" brings back the classic slasher flick - horny teenagers, worthless cops, a crazy war vet and a masked killer, Complete with VHS Static, fake commercials, and vignettes with horror hostess Candy Adams..

It's Casey's (Leah Rudick) birthday and to celebrate her and her friends are headed to a cabin in the woods for a wild weekend of sex, drugs and partying. A crazed Killer (Joseph Campellone) has other plans for them and it's up to Casey's younger brother Scott (Andrew Waffenschmidt), aided by a mysterious novel that seems to spell out their fate, to find their only hope of survival.

Screening - Sat. Aug.8th at The Marigny Theater located @ 1030 Marigny ST (Corner of St. Claude and Marigny), New Orleans, LA. Doors open at 11:30pm, movie at 12am Admission is only $5.

For more info about the movie please check out www.KidsGetDead.com or email michaelhall@darkstarentertainment.net If you are doing a review we’d be happy to give you some exclusive pictures and video clips.
Full press kit - Includes an information packet, trailers, and pictures. Approx. 50mb .zip file.

Download only the information packet. Approx. 5.6mb .pdf file.

Thank You,
Michael Hall
Writer / Director