Presented by The Helis Foundation

Arts Council New Orleans announces Unframed presented by The Helis Foundation, downtown New Orleans’ first multi-mural exhibition of large-scale artwork by local and international artists. With a focus on the epicenter of the Arts District’s museums and galleries, the initiative will commission a series of large-scale public murals, enhancing New Orleans’ reputation as a leading city for contemporary art.

“The Helis Foundation is committed to providing access to world-class art to all New Orleanians and visitors,” said David Kerstein, President of The Helis Foundation. “Partnering with Arts Council New Orleans, we are able to bring innovative artwork from our own city and around the world directly to the streets of New Orleans.”

The first round of commissions to be awarded will result in an inaugural exhibition of five large-scale murals to be unveiled in Spring 2019. Opportunities are still available for property owners in the Arts District to partner with organizers to be considered for a mural.

Unframed presented by The Helis Foundation launches with a “Call for Artist Qualifications” on Saturday, August 4th, in coordination with the annual Hancock Whitney White Linen Night.  Arts Council New Orleans will have an interactive mural on the 600 block of Julia Street during the festivities, inviting locals to contribute to a work of art and learn more about the project.

Muralist selections will be made by the Unframed presented by The Helis Foundation selection committee comprised of:

  • Andrea Andersson, The Helis Foundation Chief Curator of Visual Arts at the Contemporary Arts Center
  • Brandan Odums, Artist and Curator of Studio BE
  • Chris Alfieri, Esq., Arts District New Orleans Resident and President & Board Chair, Prospect New Orleans
  • Danielle Del Sol, Executive Director, Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans
  • Leslie-Claire Spillman, Director and Curator at Soren Christensen Gallery and Board Member of Arts District New Orleans
  • William Andrews, Director of The Ogden Museum of Southern Art

Of the initial mural commissions, two will be dedicated to local artists through an open call for artists. The selection committee will also nominate international artists to complete two additional murals. The final mural will result from a community-created effort led by Brandan Odums in partnership with Young Artist Movement. The murals will be strategically situated within a walkable cluster to reinforce Arts District New Orleans as an emerging contemporary art hub while driving traffic to the businesses and venues within the district and enlivening the streetscape.

“Vibrant and engaging murals have the power to transform communities. They transform bland facades into contemporary works that enhance our shared urban environment, reflect community character, seed civic dialog, and help strengthen an area’s sense of place.” Arts Council New Orleans Executive Director Heidi Schmalbach said. “We are proud to partner with The Helis Foundation to reflect the artistic energy happening inside the museums and galleries on walls within the Arts District for the public to enjoy.”

Unframed Call for Artists can be found on ArtsNewOrleans.org beginning on Saturday, August 4th. Artists are not required to have past mural experience to apply. The application deadline is September 2nd. During the month of August, Arts Council New Orleans will host two public workshops for interested artists. Following review by the Unframed presented by The Helis Foundation Selection Committee, the next round of artist applications will be invited to submit a final mural design for committee review. Finalists will be announced on site at LUNA Fête, the Arts Council’s annual festival of light, art, and technology on December 6th in Lafayette Square.

Unframed Call for Walls Business and property owners who have a wall within the boundaries of Loyola Avenue, Poydras Street, Calliope Street and Tchoupitoulas Street, and would like to be considered as a site for a future Unframed mural can apply here: https://artscouncilofneworleans.submittable.com/submit/121338/unframed-call-for-walls-2018

As New Orleans’ largest signature mural collection, Unframed presented by The Helis Foundation will generate economic benefit for artists, stimulate pedestrian traffic in the area, and reinforce New Orleans’ position as a national and international destination for contemporary art.