Poydras Street sculptures on parade

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New Orleans (WGNO) -- Have you ever noticed the sculptures up and down Poydras Street?  Those pieces are getting praise from the International Sculpture Center.  Reporter Deepak Saini explains why the group is so impressed with the art culture of New Orleans.

"I get emails about how people pass it by and it brightens up their day," says visual artist Mia Kaplan.

The Swamp Flower is Kaplan's creation.

"It's designed to be free-standing and hurricane proof made out of solid steel. And the steel is intentionally left raw to speak about the strength and also the vulnerability of nature," says Kaplan.

The Swamp Flower was a massive undertaking.  It took a team to make a huge chunk of steel come to life.  It's one of 16 sculptures that line Poydras from the Mississippi River to the Interstate.  They're put on by the Poydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition presented by the Helis Foundation.

"I think it's fantastic. It's a great program that can be taken anywhere and I think more cities should do something like that," says Johannah Hutchison.

Johanna Hutchison is the Executive Director of the International Sculpture Center, which is holding it's annual conference in New Orleans.

"I really saw how the artist community had revitalized New Orleans and it's very exciting, so we based the conference around the city and the topic of revitalizing communities through arts," says Hutchison.

The conference gives artists like Mia Kaplan a chance to network, be inspired and show off their work.  The Swamp Flower already has quite a fan following.

"I call them fans of Swamp Flower because it is more fun to see people visiting it and it being more about the community surrounding a love for what I do," says Kaplan.