POSTED Thu. Jan 22, 2015

Creative Culture

Capturing A Legend
Adam Karlin
Written by ADAM KARLIN
SHARE

There are years when the subject of the official New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival poster is an open question, and there are years when there is no doubt who will assume that spot. 2015 is an instance of the latter, as the city mourns Big Chief Theodore Emile “Bo” Dollis, who died on Jan 2015.

As Big Chief of the Wild Magnolias, Dollis brought Mardi Gras Indian music, and by extension, the culture of the New Orleans backstreet, to the wider world. Local painter Randy Frechette, better known as Frenchy, has been commissioned to capture this icon of the Crescent City.

So, how many Jazz Fest posters have you done?
This is the first.

And how does that feel?
Man, it’s something. A lot of emotions.

What kind of creative control were you given?
I was given full direction. I can tell you, it was all a little bittersweet, what with Bo passing. I listened to Bo every day I’ve been working on this. I was doing 12 to 14 hours days through a whole week: just me, a studio, and Bo.

We went through four different images before we got to the final one, but getting there only came after a ton of ground work and research.

How involved would you say you’ve been with the Mardi Gras Indians in the past?
I’m very involved with Mardi Gras Indians. I’ve been brought to Indian practices plenty of times. The Indians and their chants…it’s one of those things… Look, as soon as I moved to New Orleans, back in 1998, a number of things happened that made me realize I am never leaving. Watching and hearing the Indians was one of them.

New Orleans has that affect on people.
I was 26 when I came here. I’m 44 now. I became a man in New Orleans for sure. As a young artist in this town, being into the music, I was able to paint the Wild Magnolias a bunch of times. And they’re just soul.

How much of this poster is about capturing Bo Dollis, and how much is it creating a poster for a big music and cultural festival?
I mean, the way I look at it, this poster is about New Orleans. About all the adventures and shenanigans and people who create it. And that also includes the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Because for every Jazz Fest, there’s Mardi Gras Indians. They’re a really integral part of our city. and this will hopefully bring a light on the Indian nation.

You’re known for standing next to the stage at a live show, painting while the music is happening. What was the painting process for this project like?
I just did a lot of praying, listened to Bo’s music, burned incense. Honestly, I’ve been keeping a low profile. It’s just been heavy, you know. I spent all day yesterday crying, trying to get work done.

So this is a pretty personal project for you? I’ve been painting Indians in New Orleans for awhile, and have a personal relationships with a bunch of them.

How does that influence your approach to depicting them?
I guess I feel as if I’ve been granted permission to tackle this subject matter, and I take it very seriously. If you’re gonna recapture some of their energy, you have to know that subject matter, and you have to approach it with the utmost respect.

More information on Frency’s local galleries can be found here and here. Above image courtesy of Wiki Commons.

POSTED Dec 14, 2018

Atmosphere

Breaking Down the Best New Orleans & Louisiana Holiday Music

Breaking Down the Best New Orleans & Louisiana Holiday Music

Hey, the weather outside is kind of frightful! About as frightful as it gets down here anyways (also, note that next week temperatures will be back in the…....
CONTINUE

Written by ADAM KARLIN
POSTED May 10, 2017

Creative Culture

Carnival Redux at the New Orleans Museum of Art

Carnival Redux at the New Orleans Museum of Art

On May 12 the New Orleans Museum of Art will fling open its doors for Masquerade: Late Night at NOMA, a costume party replete with float builders, mask-makers,…....
CONTINUE

Written by DAVID JOHNSON
POSTED Dec 23, 2016

Atmosphere

Some Holiday Music for the Weekend

Some Holiday Music for the Weekend

Happy holidays, y’all. We hope you find plenty to occupy you during this busy Christmas weekend, but if you find yourself having a small, quiet moment, or just…....
CONTINUE

Written by ADAM KARLIN
POSTED Dec 21, 2016

Creative Culture

A Native New Orleanian's Retrospective at NOMA

A Native New Orleanian's Retrospective at NOMA

Imagine doing something you love for seventy years. Many people aren’t lucky enough to live that long, much less put their heart and soul into their passion projects…....
CONTINUE

Written by FRITZ ESKER
PAGE

    Our Local Publisher Partners

    • The Arts Council of New Orleans
    • WWNO
    • WWOZ
    • PRC
    • NOMA
    • The Historic New Orleans Collection
    • Southern Food
    • Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.

    WWNO

    WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at WWNO.org.

    WWOZ

    WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.

    PRC

    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.

    NOMA

    As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

    The Historic New Orleans Collection

    The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.

    X

    Thanks.

    was added to your favorites.

    VIEW YOUR PROFILE

     


    Share On Twitter Share On Facebook