NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)–A new 30-foot mural adorns the side of the Norman Mayer Library in Gentilly. Jade Meyers, known as “The Artist Jade,” started the mural on January 7th and completed it on the morning of March 15th.
The mural is part of the I Am New Orleans initiative, which is a community led effort of the Kellogg Foundation, which hopes to raise dialogue and action for betterment of children and families in New Orleans.
Robyn Rosenthal is part of the communications team at the Kellogg Foundation and says, “I Am New Orleans was born after the Pandemic. The community told us, we needed to find a space and a place for racial equity. Part of that dialogue and action means we need to reflect the change outwardly in artistic representation. Art is part of the fabric of New Orleans.”
Jade is known to employ vibrant colors of orange, green and lavender hues in her artistry. She also likes to use geometric shapes. Additionally she uses symbolism of monarch butterflies in her pieces as well.
“Monarchs are endangered. I think having them in my artwork is even more important to bring life and bring awareness to planting milkweed in your backyard, to feed the monarchs and all of the pollinators,” says Jade.
Jade’s butterflies can be metaphoric, because caring for endangered butterflies can be alike to caring for endangered youth. They both require planting seeds to sustain them and cultivate upcoming generations.
Deirdre Johnson Burel is the Senior Program Officer WK Kellogg Foundation and says, “It’s important for them to see beautiful images of themselves, thriving growing and doing anything they believe possible.”
Jade is a product of New Orleans and one of a few black female muralists and says, “I wanted kids to see themselves in this mural. Growing up as a kid in New Orleans art was something that saved my life. To be a black woman with a strong voice is very important because I feel like we get silenced a lot. With artwork like this, I don’t feel like I can be silenced anymore. It’s something that I am deeply rooted in.”
A second mural by Jade The Artist will soon be unveiled in the coming months at the Sanchez Center in the 9th Ward community.