NEW ORLEANS, La. - Collectors around the world have his work hanging on their walls and if you don't know who Jamar Pierre is right now, you will soon, especially if you love art!
He's a New Orleans native who combined passion and paint in honor of the city's tricentennial. Jamar was chosen by the 2018 NOLA Foundation to create a piece of art that would celebrate New Orleans' past, present and future. "Resilience" is the result, and the original glows from the wall of his artist-in-residence studio at Longue Vue Gardens in Metairie.
"What's the one word that describes every person throughout generations, no matter what their backgrounds are, that's a native of New Orleans?" Jamar pondered that question, and the answer was "Resilience," hence the name of his painting.
"I wanted to identify the things that we celebrate in our culture in New Orleans in that piece, not just the food but also some of the landscape because this is one of the hardest landscapes to develop on," he explains.
"That's why we had a lot of coastal erosion and flooding. But we also, through that resilience, created this great cuisine and this great American music called jazz," Jamar says with a smile.
There's plenty to smile about in the painting, and a few sad notes too, such as the subtle wave that represents Katrina. But the overall message is one of hope, strength, and the importance of protecting cherished traditions so they can be passed on to future generations.
What does Jamar see when he looks at his tricentennial masterpiece?
"Layers and layers and layers of feelings and patience and never giving up. And what it means to keep going no matter how hard it gets," he says.
2018 is a milestone year for New Orleans and for this versatile artist, who is offering many kinds of classes at Longue Vue Gardens.
Jamar, who has completed residencies around the globe, says he wants the prints to be rare, so he's limiting the number that will be sold. (They are available in two sizes, for $80 and $150.) Each is hand embossed with the official tricentennial emblem, and signed and embellished in gold by Jamar. You can purchase one, and find out more about Jamar Pierre, by clicking here.
You might notice something new, each time you look at the painting, as there are dozens of iconic New Orleans images represented. It's living proof that a picture can be worth a thousand words, or in this case, 300 years!
Here's a closer look at the magnificent tricentennial painting, "Resilience:"