April 26, 2013

Native murals at Jazz Fest

New Orleans Jazz Fest displays Native American graffiti-style murals

By Doug MacCashThe New Orleans Jazz Fest will include graffiti-style murals by Arizona artists Douglas Miles and Thomas "Breeze" Marcus. The 2013 fest places an emphasis on the arts, culture and cuisine of Native Americans. Miles is part of the San Carlos Apache Nation, Marcus descends from the Tohono O'odham Nation.

During an eerily quiet visit to the mostly deserted Fair Grounds on Thursday (April 26) afternoon, I met Miles in the ground floor of the grandstand, where the 80- foot mural he and his collaborator painted earlier this week spans an entire wall. The dramatic black on white aerosol painting has the feel of an enormous pen and ink drawing.

At the center of the symbol-laden image is a huge angel, which Miles said represents the Crescent City. People everywhere know that New Orleans is the mother of much of American music, he said, but people also know that the city "has been through a lot."

The face of the angel figure is based on the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell's cultural heritage coordinator, Rachel Ornelas. She posed next to the painting with her hands pressed together in prayer to demonstrate the likeness.
Comment:  For more on Native murals, see Native Mural Protests Ethnic Studies Ban and American Indian Mural Krew.

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