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.
Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style