When I arrived in New Orleans last week it was a strange site to see empty streets and the impacts that Coronavirus has had on the city. I was happy to arrive at my second home after a 14-hour drive from Cincinnati. This is usually the place that I go to relax and eat great food but the city definitely feels different this time. Most of the buildings, stores and restaurants are boarded up with plywood. The streets are empty with only a few people walking and biking to get some exercise and enjoy the perfect May weather.
On Saturday morning I got up and walked around Frenchmen Street and the French Quarter. I knew that a local artist, Josh Wingerter has been creating art on the plywood covering the doors and windows of the usually busy establishments. Josh’s art represents the spirit of New Orleans music and the current situation with the virus shutdown. You can see art work that represents the famous musicians of the city like Alan Toussaint and Louis Armstrong and graphics that represent the virus like toilet paper with angel wings. My street of Frenchmen has been turned into a drive thru art gallery and it is spectacular.
I ended up taking walks at several different times throughout the day to photograph the murals in even light. Josh has been selling his paintings and giving the proceeds to several charities in New Orleans including Second Harvest Food Bank and #HashtagLunchbag to help provide supplies and groceries to those in need. So far he has raised thousands of dollars for these charities and he is still creating art for sale and display around the French Quarter.