Monday, November 17, 2014
Short story: Street artists from across the globe transformed an abandoned housing complex into a powerful art gallery.
Long story: I had the privilege of touring Project Be, an off-limits street art gallery, last summer. The makeshift space was like an "at your own risk" art crawl: broken glass, missing stairs, crumbled sheet rock, and other debris littered the dilapidated Florida housing project out in New Orleans East. A tour of Brandan Odums' -and several other artists- work meant you had trespass. The local media jumped on the story, more people started to show up to view the art, and eventually Project Be was shuttered for good.
Odums found a new space in Algiers and this time the property owner granted him permission to create "the largest single-site street art exhibit in the American South," according to Odums' website.
Exhibit Be attracted hundreds of people this past Saturday. It was only open to the public for one day, but rumors circulated that future events might take place. A part of Prospect 3, panel discussions, DJs, and food trucks added to the party atmosphere while still acknowledging the solemn subject matter of some of the art. The work was diverse as portraits of civil rights leaders, slain New Orleans children, to giant carrots, dinosaurs, and more abstract figures.
The building is slated for demolition in the near future, which made the experience even richer. Exhibit Be exists to remember the past but only exists in the moment.
You can view more photos from the event on the Slow Southern Style Facebook page. It's also worth your time to scroll #ExhibitBe on Instagram.
Monday, November 3, 2014
Thursday, October 30, 2014
This is a piece of flash non-fiction I wrote just as a writing exercise. It captures the spirit of childhood summers spent next to the swamp. I hope you enjoy it.
“They look like sin dipped in misery,” Mom said. We called them katydids, science calls them Romalea guttata. They invaded our yard in biblical proportions; their bodies shined like freshly cooled lava.“I think they’re pretty when they flap their little red wings,” I responded.
The black grasshoppers copulated on our front yard at dusk, sometimes sneaking into the garage like lusty teenagers. One sweat soaked evening me and my brother invented our own pest control with Dad’s golf clubs- katydid hockey.
“Take that, sucker!” Chris yelled as a katydid skidded into the storm drain.
“Yeah, Chris, yeah!” I screeched with delight. Thick yellow guts painted the pavement like a Passover door. We stayed out until the mosquitoes launched an aerial attack, their needle noses drilling the napes of our necks. We were unaware that our game was a grasshopper massacre; our consciouses only existed in those fleeting moments of sunlight. We forgot our insect graveyard, oblivious to it until it was safe to resume our game the next evening.