Erasing the ugly: New Orleans has become an outdoor art gallery!

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - No matter what the weather is like, you may have noticed your commute getting brighter lately, because a local non-profit corporation is turning the entire city into an art gallery.

The flowers outside St. Louis Cathedral are evidence that spring is here, but look carefully! Some of what's blooming is the work of local artists, not Mother Nature. This is a public art project on a mission: to find urban ugliness and transform it into cultural statements, tributes and beautiful nature scenes, painted on giant metal utility boxes.

So far nearly 100 boxes have been painted but there are hundreds more waiting for sponsorship. It takes $750 to transform each metal utility box into an outdoor canvas.

Linda LeBoeuf is one of the local artists enjoying the challenge. Twist cameras watched her put the finishing touches on a tribute to the late rhythm and blues artist Oliver Morgan. Morgan’s family commissioned this box. It tells the story of his hit song “Who Shot the La La?” The song is a tribute Morgan wrote about the death of another musician, his friend, Prince La La.

LeBoeuf says she looked up the song and was singing it while she was working on the project.

“Yesterday an older gentleman came up to me, he was 80 years old, and he knew Oliver and he knew the song. It was perfect. I was so excited that he recognized Oliver!” says LeBoeuf

The Morgan tribute, located near the intersection of Basin and Villere, is LeBoeuf’s third assignment for Community Visions Unlimited, the non-profit corporation responsible for this barrage of brushes and paint in the streets.

Artists, who are paid $250 for their work, submit their ideas online. You must have a local ID in order to participate. After the approval process, Community Visions Unlimited takes care of prepping the utility box, and supplies the paint.

The results give spring cleaning, a new meaning in New Orleans.

Find out how you can help brighten the New Orleans’ landscape by clicking here.

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