"FLAG" Installation On Jeff Davis Parkway Will Commemorate Katrina Anniversary
NEW ORLEANS – A collaborative sculptural installation entitled “FLAG” will be unveiled on the median/ neutral ground at the intersection of Jefferson Davis Parkway and Canal Street on Tuesday, August 25, 2015, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The neighborhood was devastated by the storm.
The bones of the sculpture will be created by artist Michael Manjarris, founder of Sculpture for New Orleans. Manjarris has been the driving force in obtaining major sculpture by internationally recognized artists – Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Mark DiSuvero, Chakaia Booker, Ed Wilson, Martin Payton, Carole Feuerman and James Surls, to name a few – and placing them in New Orleans’ Central Business District. Since Katrina, Manjarris has been responsible for placing 65 monumental sculptures in New Orleans, adding to the contemporary fabric of the cityscape.
Flags for the installation will be created by young artists led by Keith Duncan, Chandra McCormick, and Keith Calhoun. McCormick and Calhoun sponsor an active youth arts program in the Lower Ninth Ward through their L9 Studio.
Students from the Ashé Cultural Arts Center, under the direction of Frederick Delahoussaye, co-coordinator of Kuumba Institute, and artist Ron Bechet, will also paint banners. “We're delighted to support endeavors that promote creativity and engage the talent of our youths,” said Carol Bebelle, Executive Director of the Center.
In addition, flags will be contributed by YAYA, a New Orleans-based community organization that provides a safe, welcoming, creative space for students, families and artists. YAYA supports the work of 10 area schools through arts education and enrichment programming.
Internationally recognized photographer Tina Freeman and author Morgan Molthrop, who collaborated on the award winning book "Artist Spaces, New Orleans" (UL Press 2014), dedicated a portion of the proceeds of their endeavor to fund “FLAG.”
“Artists are the catalysts of positive change," said Freeman. "’FLAG’ is a reflection of the diverse and collaborative nature of the book we created and the [Artist Spaces] show currently running at the Ogden Museum."
"Tina Freeman and I envisioned ‘Artist Spaces, New Orleans’ as a movement with a purpose beyond the coda,” said Molthrop, author of two other books about New Orleans. "'FLAG' continues an artist-led, ongoing, collaborative, community conversation."
Other contributors to "FLAG" include some of the 21 artists featured in "Artist Spaces, New Orleans." In addition, Molly Jahncke, Casey Johnson, Dylan Cruz Azaceta and Sharon Jacques are creating flags. Sallie Ann Glassman, an ordained Vodou priestess, will lend her creativity to the installation.
Manjarris envisioned "FLAG" as a circle of 26 wooden poles from which two seven-foot banners, each unique to the artist, will hang. The colors of the 52 canvas flags will create a subtle uniformity. The artwork will be changed during the exhibition to allow many different artists, schools, and community organizations to participate. The installation will be on display for a year, after which the flags will be auctioned for charity.
C.Bel for Awnings created the canvas flags and donated several to the artists.