From Blight to Beauty: Exhibit Be

From Blight to Beauty: Exhibit Be

A tagged, tattooed and vacant apartment building in Algiers might sound like an eyesore, but it's using art to heal the wounds of blight.

"It's a wonderful way to re-inform museums that things are happening within the community and this is a fantastic example," C.C.H. Pounder said. 

Actress C.C.H. Pounder, who's currently filming in New Orleans, was just one of the hundreds of people who flocked to the 2300 block Murl St. (formerly De Gaulle Manor) for "Exhibit Be."

It turns out the event was only supposed to be opened for one day, on November 15. However after 2,500 people showed up at the initial event, organizers said they had to find a way to keep things going. 

A week later, on November 22, Exhibit Be opened for a second showing with another great response.  

Organizer Brandan "B. Mike" Odums says he hopes the project helps in the city's problem with blight.  

"We live in a city where unfortunately there still is a lot of blight. There's still a lot of places that have no real purpose and we're hoping that this process will get people to think creatively on terms of how spaces like this could be used and activated," Odums said.  

Exhibit Be is the legal follow-up to Project B, which took place last summer when a group of artists went into the former Florida housing development and created a montage of graffiti art, illegally. Artists used the blank walls to story the strides and struggles of the African Americans throughout the civil rights movement.

However, for this project 30 artists were granted permission to transform the temporarily vacant apartment complex into a 'street art museum' of sorts. They used the same concept, but this time adding even more of a New Orleans flair to it. In the project you see images and quotes from icons like Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and Muhammad Ali next to depictions of local legends like Tuba Fats.
"The goal of this from the beginning is to make this as large as possible so people can pay attention to how powerful art can be. The function of art; not just the fact that it's pretty pictures,"  Odums said. "It's actually doing something. It transforms the space, it changes the way people think about spaces."

Exhibit Be, a place where blight inspires beauty. 

Public openings are free to the public; however donations determine the amount of showings.

To find out more about this project and future dates visit 

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