26 December 2008

A Successful Toys for Tots drive

This Christmas, NoLA Rising asked you to donate toys for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. We offered you artwork in return. We had a very successful turn out at The Green Project at 2831 Marais. All total, we were able to donate over 100 toys to the program. Our friends at the W Hotel on Poydras gladly accepted carts of toys.

Also, many special thanks to the It's Yours, Take It group on Flickr.

NoLA Rising Toys for Tots

NoLA Rising Toys for Tots

Special thanks to Angie Green at the Green Project, Angela Thompson and her amazing staff at the W Hotel on Poydras, Max and Angela for curating and hanging the artwork, and all of our brothers and sisters in the IYTI world.

Shannon Helps Deliver Toys at the W Hotel for Toys for TotsShannon helps deliver presents!

Any late toy donations that we missed and toys that were donated at Deville Books at 134 Carondelet ended up going to a 7th Ward toy drive at a community center.

09 December 2008

NoLA Rising presents an art swap to Benefit Toys for Tots

NoLA Rising Toys for Tots Benefit

Please come join us this Saturday night for an art swap / benefit to help raise toys for Toys for Tots. The idea is simple. Bring a brand new toy in a box and get a free piece of artwork. It's not a pish posh party, but a stop in during your Second Saturday Scad NoLA art-walk. Help us bring a little extra holiday cheer to some children who may not have it otherwise.

Who: NoLA Rising and The Green Project
What: An art swap - we have the art, you have the toys...let's swap
Why: For the kids, ya'heard me?
When: Saturday, December 13th 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (or until the artwork is gone)
Where: The Green Project, 2831 Marais at the train tracks, upstairs showroom, around the side at the Garden Entrance

See you there...

p.s. If you're an artist and would like to contribute, pls bring a piece the night of...

08 December 2008

NoLA Rising / Slightly Askew Send a Heartfelt Thank You

click on the photo to enlarge

NoLA Rising and SlightlyAskew would like to thank everyone who came out and supported the Festival in New York. In addition, I would like to personally thank everyone who put their hard work, time and effort into making this Festival happen. Without your spirit and enthusiasm, it could never have been a success. Because of your support, we will be able to make a nice donation to Young Audiences here in New Orleans.

Thank you to Slightly Askew, Ad Nauseum Lyceum, IRT, Endless Love Crew, Robots Will Kill, Erik Sanner, Suspicious Brown, Jennifer Pagan, Scarlet O'Gasm, Elizabeth Wood, Gabriel Nussbaum, Caitlin Meissner, Eboni Hogan, Nick Gaswirth, cassettenova, Eddie Mars & The Vietcong Disco, DJ Theo Action Lorraine, The Talking Band, NY-Neo Classical Ensemble, The Movement Theater Company, Meres One, Elizabeth Barnett, Maranda Barskey, Ryan Frank, Deena Selenow, Rory Sheridan, the Epoxy Painted Crew (Christin, Barry, Sam, Nick and Victor), Neville Braithwaite, and, of course, Meryl Murman.

And, thanks to the New Orleans crew for coming up, helping out, passing the time and keeping me sane. NoLA crew: Avi BenBasat, Angela Pate, Robin Walker and Max Ochester. Ya'heard me?

Day 6 - NoLA Rising Festival - A Day in Queens

A day in Queens...

Unfortunately, the program we were going to do with the class of second graders for canceled due to a scheduling conflict with the teacher and the holiday. However, since I had been up until a good 5 a.m. walking around Manhattan with the lovely and talented tour guide, it worked out well. This gave us a full day to buy another round of paint and head to Queens where I was able to paint the premier wall of the trip in Five Points.

Liz Giegerich, a graduate student at New York University focusing on multimedia and metropolitan reporting,gives the best account HERE:

“Five-points,” as it is known to grafitti artists around the world, is a large factory in Long Island City where it is legal to spray paint the walls. The owners of the factory allow artists to paint the walls as long as they seek permission first. The building, which fills an entire square block is covered from the ground up mostly in “wild style” grafitti - much different from NoLa Rising’s more mural-like Aztec inspired work, something Mike was initially nervous about. Mike, two other artists from New Orleans, the executive director of NoLa Rising and a photographer ventured out to Queens to tackle a large estimated 10 by 10 foot wall with spray paint cans and a ladder. I met them there while they were scouring the large dumpsters outside of the clothing factory for some left over fabric to use as scarves.

Around 3 p.m. the man who was in charge of allotting painting space led the crew to the wall they’d spend the next five hours covering with what Mike later considered his best street work ever. By 8:30 Mike and the other artists finally finished.

See Liz's blog by clicking on this line

And yet, nothing would be complete without the obligatory tourist photo...

My Rainy Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge
From the late-night rainy walk across the Brooklyn Bridge

07 December 2008

Day 5 - NoLA Rising Festival - Murals and Performance

Dramatic Double Feature. Part one is the four top short plays written by New Orleans high school students in the Recovery Public School District commissioned by the Ogden Museum of Southern Folkart and performed by NYC theater companies The Talking Band, NY-Neo Classical Ensemble, The Movement Theater Company, and IRT. The students will view the staged readings via live webcam down in New Orleans.

Performance at NoLA Rising Festival

The second performance of the day was artist Jennifer Pagan's Shoebox Lounge an admired performance artist and activist in New Orleans, Pagan is bringing her catchy and meaningful show which last appeared in NYC at UCB to IRT. I cannot tell you how touching this piece was to me. Jennifer's piece was so uniquely New Orleans that those of us from down here found ourselves at some point shedding a tear. If you want to talk about someone who knows the soul and spirit of New Orleans, see Jennifer's Shoebox Lounge any and every opportunity you get. Pagan is also a teacher and administrator with Young Audiences.

Jennifer Pagan's Shoebox Lounge

Earlier in the day, Rex and crew (Avi, Lady Robin, Max-O and super reporter Liz) went out to Brooklyn to bring the mural art of ReX to that neighborhood. It was damned cold, but we were able to accomplish two pieces:

Brooklyn Murals by RexMadonna and Fetal Jesus

Brooklyn Murals by RexI know What He's Saying

06 December 2008

Day Four - NoLA Rising Festival in NYC

Sorry for the delay in getting the updates of the NoLA Rising Festival posted. I've been nursing a cold that I neglected to take care of and it's finally gotten the better of me.

SATURDAY, Nov 22nd, 2008

The day fortunately began late with IRT transformed into a Jazz Cafe. While light Jazz was being performed live in the background, refreshments were served up and painting began...

Jazz Cafe at the NoLA Rising Festival
Astoria loves New Orleans

The afternoon we held two screenings of "Wade in the Water, Children", a documentary by Elizabeth Wood, Gabriel Nussbaum and the Film Class from the first school to re-open after hurricane Katrina in Central City. "Wade in the Water, Children offers a poetic and devastating look at life in New Orleans through the eyes of the kids who call it home." To find out more about the film, visit www.wadeinthewaterdoc.com

Around eight that night, we kicked off all night festivities with WET!, an all night dance party hosted by SLIGHTLYaskew. Featuring the DJs: cassettenova, Eddie Mars & The Vietcong Disco and DJ Theo Action Lorraine.

The DJ goes wildDJ with Scarlet O'Gasm

Team America - F*&# Yeh!Team NoLA Rising

No night would be complete without a little burlesque. We were proud to have New Orleans native Scarlet O'Gasm, of the Peach Tartes, performing the "Devil Went Down to Georgia."

Burlesque from Scarlet O'gasm
Burlesque from Scarlet O'gasm

But no night would be complete without light-up hoola-hoops! And this is how it went until the morning...

Hoola-Hoopers! at the NoLA Rising Festival in NYC

02 December 2008

Day Three - Art Opening and After Party

NoLA Rising couldn't have done it alone. With the help of artists from Endless Love Crew, Robots Will Kill, And Erik Sanner and the support of Slightly Askew, Ad Nauseum Lyceum and IRT, we got an installation together in 24 hours. That's the way to bring two cities together...

Before the music of Suspicious Brown began, two spoken word poets graced us with their work. Thanks to Caitlin Meissner and Eboni Hogan for their works.

DSCN0865Collaborative Wall b/w Rex, El Celso, & Infinity

Endless Love CrewEndless Love Crew and Robots Will Kill Collaboration

Avi, Meryl and RexAvi, Meryl and Rex

Rex and Erik SannerRex and Erik Sanner

ReX and Max-ORex and Max-O

Rex and the Delightful MarandaRex and the Delightful Maranda Barskey

29 November 2008

Day Two - Over 24 Hours of Paint Time to Prep for the Opening | Endless Love Crew - Robots Will Kill - NoLA Rising

Can I take a Break now?

By the time I got into the space on Thursday, I had just over 24 hours to finish making the space mine. So I did what any decently insane artist would do...put on music and started tuning out people, eating only when food happened to show up, and avoided meaningful banter. In the end, the show was ready with me finishing the walls about an hour before the doors opened...

Endless Love CrewEndless Love Crew

Robots Will KillRobots Will Kill

Rex Standing infront of his creation

Click on THIS LINK to see the photos on FLickr as they are uploaded

28 November 2008

First Night in NYC Preparing for the NoLA Rising Festival | Photos by Nick Gaswirth


Howdy Folks!

It's been awhile since there's been an update, but as you can imagine, I've needed a little decompression time. I've spent that time organizing over 800 photos, shipping artwork, making phone calls and all the usual post-show craziness. So, to update everyone who would have liked to come up to New York for the NoLA Rising Festival, I'm going to do an event by event post.

Upon landing in New York, I took a taxi direct to IRT where the event was to be held by Slightly Askew for NoLA Rising. Five models awaited my arrival to be painted. I was going with the New Orleans cemetery theme/with Dia de La Muertos faces (as a tribute to our friend Mardi Claw). Everything was going smoothly except that the paint wasn't drying in a manner I was accustomed to. Considering it might be a difference of humidity, I painted on. However, much to our dismay after the photo shoot, Christin came in slightly panicky {approximately 2 a.m.} and announced, "the paint is NOT coming off!"

At that point, I stopped trusting that the base coat had been a latex primer, looked across the room and saw that was indeed not. INDEED not. As I read the words "High Epoxy Medium Enamel", I knew the models were screwed. A few days later, all the paint was off with minimal rashes and I learned a valuable lesson. Had I double checked what paint I had requested, all would be well. Unfortunately the hardware store where the paint was bought decided to rip off the girl who bought it seeing that she didn't know the difference of the paints.

The following photos were taken for NoLA Rising archive purposes, but professional prints of the shoot can be found by photographer Nick Gaswirth. ::: To SEE the photos that Nick Selected, GO HERE

First Night of the NoLA Rising Festival

First Night of the NoLA Rising Festival

First Night of the NoLA Rising Festival

First Night of the NoLA Rising Festival

NoLA Rising NYC

27 November 2008

CANO has an art-filled Thanksgiving weekend

CANO - Creative Alliance of New Orleans

Studio at Colton to host local arts-themed Thanksgiving weekend


The Studio at Colton School invites our New Orleans neighbors, visitors, families and friends to join us for a Thanksgiving weekend experience like none other filled with local arts and culture. Diverge from the beaten path of mainstream movies and malls in favor of a one of a kind post-Turkey Day weekend at the Studio at Colton School, where 100,000 square feet of work spaces, exhibitions, workshops and classrooms converted to screening rooms will be open all weekend from noon until 8:00 p.m.

A film-festival exclusively featuring the work of Colton resident filmmakers including Court 13, New Orleans Video Access Center, Film Charitable Network and 2 Cent Entertainment will run on both Saturday and Sunday from 2:00 until 5:00 p.m. in room 318. Stray from the traditional holiday weekend path of the high-budget blockbuster packed theater experience in favor of the local, independent film industry. (See below for a list of films to be shown.)

Fueled by bountiful Thanksgiving dinner and dessert local kids are sure to have energy to burn. They'll love any and all of the unique children's events at The Studio at Colton School this weekend including a special production of "Blues for Kids," with Clifford McPeak of Good Children Gallery and the exciting opportunity to see artists at work in classroom studio spaces throughout the school. NOLA Project and Alex Martinez Wallace will also offer the once in a lifetime Superhero Enterprise Workshop for kids who want channel their inner super hero through a rigorous imagination operation while developing confidence and teamwork skills.

Black Forest Fancies Laboratories will also present a unique puppetry theater experience featuring the drama of string-controlled creatures in "The Tragical Ballad of Black Bonnet," a story of romance between locally hand-crafted marionettes.

All events except the Superhero Enterprise Workshop, ($5.00 per child) are free.

Saturday + Sunday November 29th + 30th, 2008

Studio at Colton School
2300 St. Claude Avenue
New Orleans, La. 70117
Building open from 12:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Thanksgiving Weekend Mini Film Festival
Saturday and Sunday from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. in Room 318

Court 13 presents:
* Glory at Sea
* Death to the Tinman

*(Part of the set of Glory at Sea, a myth entrenched car that was once a boat, has been reconstructed and is on display in the gallery on the Spain Street side of the ground floor.)

NOVAC presents:
* A Loud Color
* Scenic Highway

Film Charitable Network presents:
* Talkin' Water

2 Cent Entertainment presents:
* New Orleans for Sale
* Operation Education
* Hip-Hop Mirrors

Blues for Kids with Clifford McPeak
Saturday from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Red Ball Room (ground floor, Mandeville St. side)

Superhero Enterprise Workshop
Sunday from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Red Ball Room (ground floor, Mandeville St. side)
*$5.00 per child (ages 5-12 recommended – younger and older welcome)

The Tragical Ballad of Black Bonnet: Puppetry Theater by Black Forest Fancies Laboratories
Sunday at 6:00 p.m.
Room 213


The Studio at Colton School is designed to be a facility that will provide working and exhibition opportunities to artists and students in order to advance their career, education and marketing opportunities and thus contributing to the economic development of the creative sector of our community. One of this year's most exciting and important community projects, The Studio features 78 local artists, designers, arts organizations, performers, film makers, builders and culinary artists who have signed contracts to utilize free studio and exhibition space granted by CANO in the 100,000 square foot Studio at Colton school.

14 November 2008

NoLA Rising NYC | Slightly Askew | Ad Nauseum

NOLA Postcard

ReX of NoLA Rising arrives in New York next week for the NoLA Rising Festival. We don't have any trapeze artists lined up that I know of, but we have a full line-up of art lunacy. CHECK IT OUT HERE!

November 21 8pm Opening Event
This is the opening of the exhibit A Tag of Two Cities. Solo musicians James Subudhi, Lauren Pritchard (Spring Awakening) and the fabulous funk reggae band Suspicious Brown will share the stage with world renowned spoken word poets Eboni Hogan and Caitlin Meissner. Meet the artists, drink, view Michael Almereyda's new film, and make a shirt with fashion designer David Withrow and graphic artist Maranda Barskey.

November 22nd – 24 Hours of ART!

9-10:30am FREE! Yoga with Elizabeth Barnett. Come salute the opening of 24 hours of ART! with this free yoga class.

12 – 1:30pm Java Jazz. FREE! An event for all ages, come enjoy jazz, coffee, bakery, and explore the exhibit. Mike "Rex" Dingler of NoLA Rising will have wood, paint and supplies set up for you to make a piece of art for the people and students in New Orleans who are still trying to return to their homes after Katrina.

3pm – 5pm Screening of Wade in the Water. This documentary was made by students in the first school to open in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Produced and directed by Elizabeth Wood and Gabriel Nussbaum, the children of New Orleans' violent Central City neighborhood create riveting and remarkably honest portraits of a New Orleans that was a disaster long before Katrina, a New Orleans that adults are slow to discuss and that the media could never penetrate, and that the flood has exacerbated. In addition there will be four award winning short stories and poems written by students in the Recovery School District Public Schools in New Orleans performed by NY artists and viewed by live webcam by the students in New Orleans. This project was commissioned by the Ogden Museum of Southern Folk Art in New Orleans, LA. $5 proceeds from this event go towards a literary publication of the student's work.

7:30 – 9pm Comedorleans Hosted by Lucas Kavner this event will be a fun mix of the best sketch comedy groups in the city. $10 admission also gets you into the WET! party

9pm – 3am WET! all night dance party Dress to get wet… whether that means your best galoshes and slickers, yellow polka dot bikini, goggles or the color BLUE we hope you'll join us for an all night bash featuring Pat O'Brian's famous Hurricane Cocktails, drink specials, N'awlins Burlesque dancers and a great mix of DJS including ITP's cassettenova, Black and White's DJ Theo "Action" Lorraine, Eyebeam's Dj "dubs", and bringin the house down with Eddie Mars and the Vietcong Disco. $10 plus one free drink

November 23rd 8am FREE Yoga with Elizabeth Barnett for those of you at the after party Liz will offer a great Restorative Yoga session…yeah….see you at the finish line.

November 23rd 5pm and 8pm Dramatic Double Feature. You have two chances to see this double feature. Part one is the four top short plays written by New Orleans high school students in the Recovery Public School District commissioned by the Ogden Museum of Southern Folkart and performed by NYC theater companies The Talking Band, NY-Neo Classical Ensemble, The Movement Theater Company, and IRT. The students will view the staged readings via live webcam down in New Orleans. The second feature is performance artist Jennifer Pagan's Shoebox Lounge an admired performance artist and activist in New Orleans, Pagan is bringing her catchy show which last appeared in NYC at UCB to IRT. Pagan is a teacher and administrator with Young Audiences. $10

November 24th
Michael "Rex" Dingler will do a workshop with Crown Heights First Achievement school second grade class. A class made up primarily of Afro-Caribbean students, many of whose families have been effected by recent hurricanes, they will partner with the NHP foundations Tanglewood Youth Center in New Orleans on a "Drawing" pal exchange.

November 25th
NoLA Rising and SLIGHLTYaskew go to Southstreet Youth Center in Jamaica Plains Boston, MA. NoLA Rising will join members of SLIGHTLYaskew who have been working with the youth community in JP for the past two years in an art therapy workshop surrounding a recent shooting and killing of several children in the community. The students will get to share their thoughts and feelings through art and make work both in response and for their community.

NOLA Postcard

NOLAPostcard Full

06 November 2008

NoLA Rising at Prospect Everyone

Prospect EveryOne - The New Orleans Opening for Prospect 1

On Thursday, October 30th, NoLA Rising joined the team of New Orleans all stars on Julia Street for the locals opening of Prospect One. NoLA Rising opted to provide the entertainment of an art jail where you could have your friends thrown in jail for a small fee. Once inside the jail you had to work hard labor making artwork until you could convince someone to come and bail you out. A good time was had by all...enjoy the pictures of our madness:

Jess & JennJess and Jen Patrol the streets

Avi Gets ArrestedImmunity for no one

Cause we roll like 5-0NoLA Rising

Max and RexI eat a lot of donuts to look this good

Our very first prisonerThe first prisoner of the evening

---And a very special thanks to everyone who helped make this night happen: Avi, Angela, Max, Mags, Travis, Jess, Denise, Varg, Jenn, Romy, & Alicia---

30 October 2008

NoLA Rising at Voodoo Fest - October 2008

Last weekend, the city was alive with music once again with Voodoo Festival in full swing. While we could have been out partying with Stone Temple Pilots, we stayed in The Land of Nod under the sanction of our brothers and sisters from NooMoon. We set up a full paint party and even set up temporary headquarters in City Park for those who like to paint and listen to music. Below are some of the photos from Voodoo weekend: