NOLA Has Wiiings

United StatesNew Orleans, United States

NOLA Has Wiiings brought artists from around New Orleans together to celebrate, brighten and educate communities through colorful displays of art that showcase the city's unrivaled ability to rebound.

Basketball · 8 min
NOLA Has Wiiings Feature Story
Red Bull, the New Orleans Pelicans, and the BE Collective teamed up to take down and replace old backboards throughout the city. Eight local creatives were hand-selected by renowned visual artist, Bmike to transform the original backboards into works of art, which can be seen on display in the Smoothie King Center.
NOLA’s ability to rebound is apparent in the people, places, and personality of the Crescent City, and the BE Collective’s ability to amplify and teach through art has shown what resiliency looks like despite the pandemic’s unprecedented impact on the community.
In this special celebration of sport and art, fans were encouraged to support local artists and vote for their favorite backboards. The artist with the most votes was commissioned to design a basketball court in New Orleans.
Bmike’s custom backboard, for exhibit only, can be seen on display at Studio BE.

NOLA Has Wiiings Artists:

  • WINNER: 1985 Poet; Artist. Monique Lorden, an artist, author and co-illustrator of “I Wish for Freedom,” a poetic picture book, was inspired by her memories of hooping at the park to create “Hoops Dreams and Poetry,” a visual story of childhood hope and community.
  • Ceaux, a New Orleans-born multidisciplinary artist, has created a backboard inspired by Harrell Park - located on the “Pigeon Town” side of Carrollton - and the color and playfulness that’s felt at playgrounds.
  • Ayo Scott, painter and son of nationally recognized artist John T. Scott, has created “Big Ol’ Lil Big Chief” in collaboration with Big Chief Terrence “T” Williams of the Black Hawk Hunters, which is inspired by the resilient spirit of the people of New Orleans.
  • Kara Crowley. Visual Artist, an artist who embraces black culture and positive representation in her own artistic interpretations, has created a backboard which showcases multiple hands expressing the message of unity.
  • Jessica Strahan, a self-taught painter and muralist native to and based in New Orleans, has created a backboard inspired by dance and its ability to take people through vibrant moments in time.
  • Marc Verrett. MarcFreshArt, a Baton Rouge based muralist, has created a backboard that illustrates a positive rise to overcome obstacles through imagery of a skull paired with colorful butterfly wings to represent the eternal drive to fly above.
  • Jade Meyers/THEARTISTJADE, Art director and founder of the art-based company, “J A D E 1 9 9 1,” has created a piece inspired by liberation, growing up in New Orleans, power, nature, Black culture and sports culture.
  • Bryan Brown, an artist whose work focuses on New Orleans culture, random but beautiful moments, and philosophy, has created “The Big Brain,” a representation of getting mentally healthy to unlock one’s true full potential.