Archive for October, 2011

App. 2′x3′
Inspired by Sermon for the Sun. Salvaged wood art featuring sunflower and the Sun gazing at each other in bliss, like the parent and child. To the sunflower and many of us, the Sun is the one true god.

Hi Lance, I conclude, per your comments, that I am not “up for making something of great value” because I disagree that art’s subject dictates rules to the artist. It’s a long, long discussion often started early in one’s career whether art has rules or is, in fact, the closest we can get to expressing completely freely…. in the name of art.

Additionally, you’re mis-interpreting that I didn’t include East New Orleans or the Algiers area because it was too hard, like travel to the moon. As I said in my last email, the decision was made for aesthetic reasons and to be able to render the neighborhoods legible. That is to say, I have to assume you’ve taken the time to visually inspect the true boundaries of New Orleans. And considered that the additional areas are 4 times the size of the area that is currently shown, so proper NO would be at least 1/6th the size as it currently is. Even to include the whole of 70114 and 70131 would render it less than half the size it is now and leave 2/3rds of the poster empty white space. We could have included only part of the southern strip, but I wasn’t comfortable taking license to determine where that arbitrary boundary is. After considering all of these things, we made the decision to include the proper area only. And that certainly wasn’t the easiest choice we could have made. I can see how looking in from the outside, one would be quick to assume that though.

Hope I’ve communicated better this time and you can find other artwork that more suitably satiates your desire for community pride.

In this blog’s ongoing documentation of the historical record on how our local media outlets were covering the decay of the Gulf and poisoning of our food supply and the unabated decay of coastal wetlands, and the erosion of the middle class in the last years of New Orleans before it all went down the tubes, for an answer to the future question that will inevitably be asked about what the media was doing in this grand congregation of media and access, I present, in the tradition of the two-legged dog, the African Antelope collision…

South African biker and antelope collide, helmet wins

Strangely, if you are following the “breadcrumbs” menu, it’s listed under “breaking metro traffic news.”


Oh, I understand! But just for fun, will you indulge me in a bit of a discussion on the value of art?

Sometimes in the creation of my own art, I wrestle with the urge to take a shortcut and make things easier and more accessible. Though, I always feel like I would cheat the Muse if I did this. And after all she’s done for me!

My approach has always been, if it CAN be done, it SHOULD be done.

Also, it’s not about New Orleans responsibility to your artist but your artist’s responsibility to it. In your project, the city is the flowers in the vase or the abstract concept or the political point. Whatever the subject of your piece is, it dictates certain rules to its creator if it’s creator is up for making something of great value.

The creator is thus tasked by the subject.

I work in Jackson Square . Often, while in the French Quarter, I will inevitably walk into the photo of some family or couple trying to take a photo in front of Cafe Du Monde or St. Louis Cathedral. I stopped trying to avoid doing this long ago. When a tourist gets uppity with me about it I always remind them that even a casual photographer must understand that the Universe does not converge around our depictions of it, our depictions must converge on the Universe. That’s what makes great art, graphic or otherwise. It should be undertaken like the first trip to the Moon, not because it is easy but because it is hard.

Also, some folks are wondering where New Orleans East is?

Swiss Krissly,


Hi Lance,

Yes it was a hard decision to leave off Algiers and the other neighborhoods, but we did so because we didn’t want to propose in black and white (literally) where ‘New Orleans proper’ ends east of Algiers (include the whole peninsula, or just Algiers and then snub the people in the other neighborhoods by Algiers). We had to take some artistic license so as not to lose the legibility of the downtown area. It CERTAINLY was not political. Rather our goal is to present the city in an objective way. In this case it’s a bit of an oxymoron because we made the aesthetic decision.

Alas, it’s something to be considered in the future, maybe another version of the poster.

Thanks for your comments and glad you like the poster!

(Ork Posters)

Hello Ork!!!

My name is Lance Vargas and I am a blogger and artist here in New Orleans, the City That Care Forgot in the Neighborhood Ork Forgot!

See, a friend recently Facebooked (is that a verb?) me the neighborhood poster for New Orleans available for sale on your site (and thank you for supporting local charities) and I noticed a huge section of our city and greater than a half dozen neighborhoods were left out! Whoa! Hey!

Believe it or not there are many New Orleans neighborhoods on the West Bank of the Mississippi River (even though it is actually east of downtown). According to my estimations, the following neighborhoods were left out of your poster…

Algiers Point
Old Aurora
Fischer Development
Tall Timbers / Brechtel
New Aurora
English Turn

Perhaps your graphic artist had difficulty incorporating the river into his design? I am an artist myself so I can understand the difficulties this natural wonder may present. However, a truly gifted artist will see this as a unique opportunity to exemplify his or her skills! Let this be an inspiration and a personal challenge!

Look what your great artists did with the waterways of Seattle!

I was wondering, was the artist who created this otherwise fantastic poster a local New Orleanian? Because his or her omission of these New Orleans West Bank neighborhoods could be indicative of many attitudes of people around here. Many East bankers like to pretend the West Bank doesn’t exist. They like to refer to it as “the Wank” when really it is the “Best Bank” while their side is the “Least Bank.”

Way I see it, if Gentilly Woods can get on the poster, why not my neighborhood Algiers Point? We have some nice parks, a pizza place, a music venue, an English pub, a great levee to walk the dog on and the last three city council persons from District C have lived here in the Point. It’s also colloquially known as the “place bartenders go to die.” I guess a lot of French Quarter service industry workers buy houses and settle here. I do know a couple actually. William S. Burroughs lived here and there are even mentions of it in Kerouac’s great American novel, “On The Road.”

How about making this right yall?

Oh and hey!!! For an enlightening talk on New Orleans neighborhoods please see:

Thanks and keep up the good work!!!!


Lance “Varg” Vargas

P.S.: I am posting the text of this e-mail on my blog,