Monday, April 13, 2015

Art with Soul

A few hours in on our New Orleans adventures, we stumbled across an Easter Hat Bar Crawl. Now this alone is worth mentioning, as I love the idea and spirit of this event. Moreover, the people watching was epic. And as an excuse to stare a little longer,  we meandered into the nearest bar.

The bar was Mimi's in the Marigny, and we quickly found ourselves admiring and commenting on the "Be Nice or Leave" sign hanging above the dartboard.
It was straight-forward. And we appreciated its candor. Little did we know, this sign was kind of a big idea and a big deal in New Orleans. 

It's a simple message, but it embodies the spirit of New Orleans. Over the course of the week, we noted many times just how friendly people were, (with few exceptions—Vaughan's).

The painting was done by Dr. Bob (Bob Shaffer), a local Bywater artist, and in the days to come, we would see the sign (or variations therein) dozens of times. Dr. Bob started selling these signs after his own sign bearing the message continued to get stolen (and he continued to replace it).
Artistically, Dr. Bob reminded me of GR's Reb Roberts,  (who coincidentally has a gator gumbo painting reminiscent of Dr. Bob's gator po-boy painting). Wild, colorful folk art with big block letters, messages of kindness or animal inspired, Dr. Bob livens up the buildings of New Orleans much in the same manner that Reb adorns the streets of Easttown.
In my head, especially since we were staying in Bywater, Dr. Bob's artwork is an integral part of the visual experience of New Orleans. When I reflect back on the trip, I will see his art on sidewalks, buildings and inside restaurants.
I'm sure Dr. Bob wants everyone to be nice (or leave) but I'm sure he also gets a kick out of all the yankees who come down to NOLA and spend $50 on one of his signs. But what better message to take home, then these simple words that should be a motto world-wide.
Read the interesting and entertaining story of the messages origin here. 

No comments :

Post a Comment