Happy Mardi Gras! Here’s a lively piece of artwork from New Orleans artist Terrance Osborne that has a distinctive Coast connection.
Osborne was picked by Biloxi-born Barq’s root beer to depict its label in a series of Mardi Gras paintings. They wanted something bold and colorful, something that went along with the Barq’s brand.
“Soirée de Mardi Barq’s” is the second installment.
Barq’s, created in Biloxi in 1898, has been a part of Gulf Coast culture for nearly 125 years.
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Because Barq’s originated in the South, it wanted a Southern artist, preferably from the Gulf Coast.
This is how Osborne evolved into the festive artist Barq’s wanted:
This painting is about, feeling good. You see the band coming in, spilling over to the tailgating scene. That’s the South.
Artist Terrance Osborne
Osborne was an elementary art teacher in New Orleans, doing his artwork at night after class. He had a small following.
When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, he lost his job teaching, “but it caused a lift in my career,” he said.
It left him focused only on his artwork. The father of three moved his family to Georgia for two years after the storm, then back to New Orleans.
“I think the city was calling us,” he told the Sun Herald.
His career took off. People started calling and emailing, wanting Osborne to paint portraits of their houses and neighborhoods as they had been before the storm, from pictures that were salvaged.
“Something to hang over their fireplaces,” he said.
His work was vivid, vibrant and uplifting.
But then it became festive, he said.
“I made a choice to go more toward Mardi Gras,” he said. “It was consistent with what I wanted my work to have. There are enough negative things in the world. I’m always looking for that thing that makes you feel good and is festive.”
His latest for Barq’s art does that.
“That’s what this painting is about, feeling good,” he said. “You see the band coming in, spilling over to the tailgating scene. That’s the South. We know how that feels.”
Barq’s is giving away posters of the painting in New Orleans through Monday.
Osborne will be signing free posters
- Saturday, 10 a.m. to noon, Breaux Mart, 3233 Magazine St., New Orleans
- Saturday, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m, Zuppardo’s, 5010 Veterans Blvd., Metairie
- Sunday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Canseco’s, 1519 Metairie Road, Metairie
- Monday, noon to 2 p.m., Subway, 1021 Veterans Blvd., Metairie