The Fat City Mural Project
If you thought you knew what the Fat City neighborhood looked like, you should plan another visit.
Arts Council New Orleans and Fat City Friends Inc., with the support of the Metairie Business Development District and the Jefferson Parish Government announce the completion of the area’s largest mural project. Spanning two years, the Fat City Mural Project creates a new visual identity for Fat City by adding ten distinctive artworks by local and nationally-recognized artists to highly visible walls of the business community in the Fat City area.
While not related by a common theme, the murals enliven previously blank walls and unify the neighborhood by inspiring creative thought and conversation among residents and visitors. Imaginative visions from a school of fish circling through a shark, colorful abstract bead dogs, to giant legs kicking high into the air are among the new works decorating Fat City facades. A full list of artist names and mural locations includes:
Bead Dogs by Hollis + Lana, Akira Sushi Hibachi (3226 N. Arnoult Road)
Imaginatarium by Forrest Reiff, David Art Center (3020 N. Arnoult Road)
Dreams by Robert Dafford, Laurel Outdoor (3613 Hessmer Avenue)
In Fat City by Robert Dafford, Drago’s Empire Room (3521 18th Street)
She Dreamed of a Place Called Fat City by Candy Chang, Rocky’s Diner (3220 Edenborn Avenue)
The Masquerade View by Luis Hurtado, Breaux Mart (2904 Severn Avenue)
Legs in the Air by Kyle Bravo, Southern Aesthetics (3815 Hessmer Avenue)
Everyone’s in the Belly of Some Beast by Chris Pavlik, Eureka Square (3116 N. Arnoult Road)
Carnival of Time by Kyle Nugent, Lakeside Camera Photoworks (3508 21st Street)
Gabriel Sez by Aaron Harper, Louisiana Motor Vehicle Commission (3519 12th Street)
Supported by Council District Tourism Funds from Councilwoman Cynthia Lee-Sheng, this creative place making project finalizes at a moment when Fat City is undergoing a reinvention. The 100-acre area adjacent to Lakeside Shopping Center was once considered the French Quarter of Jefferson Parish. However, the numerous music clubs and restaurants in the area declined over time and the neighborhood lost much of its nightlife appeal.
“The Fat City Mural Project allowed us to add interest to the area while enhancing some of the existing wonderful businesses. I was able to provide the necessary funding but it was Fat City Friends who turned the concept into a reality – they got the paint on the wall. It may seem like a simple enough task but in reality, it was very involved and required hundreds of hours of work coordinating with business owners, artists and government,” said Councilwoman Cynthia Lee-Sheng. “After months of tireless work by many, we are now able to see these pieces of art throughout the Fat City neighborhood. While fostering conversation about beauty and art, they will serve as positive landmarks for those trying to navigate the evolving landscape and growing business community.”
Today, due in part to the efforts of public officials and private citizens the area is being redeveloped with a vision to create a town center for Jefferson Parish, attracting new commercial activity and fostering a new vitality for Fat City residents. The Fat City Mural Project exemplifies the transformative power of public art in communities.
“The Fat City Mural Project is a perfect example of involving artists in the civic process to create more dynamic cities,” Arts Council President & CEO Nick Stillman said.
Fat City Friends, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation organized to support the revitalization of the Fat City community. The organization is in charge of several initiatives aimed at enriching the Fat City district experience for all visitors to, and stakeholders of, the community.
Metairie Business Development District (MBDD) was established for the primary purpose of promoting, encouraging, and participating in infrastructure improvements to projects or plans to stimulate the economy through commerce, industry, and research and for the utilization and development of natural, physical, and human resources of the area. (www.MetairieBDD.com)
Arts Council New Orleans is a private, nonprofit organization designated as the City of New Orleans official arts agency. Now celebrating its 41st year, the Arts Council advances a mission that art transforms communities.