Students with YAM New Orleans (Youth Arts Movement) discovered information that inspired their designs through: an online zoom meeting where they created digital works that reflected their understanding of environmental injustice, a presentation led by Sierra Club representative Jessi Parfait that focused on the Houma Nation, LNG plants and the many contributions of the Mississippi River, a trip to the French Quarter where they visited the Mississippi River and an ongoing Katrina Exhibit, and rallying with Gordon Plaza Residents who are seeking a fair and fully funded relocation from the toxic landfill upon which their community was built. Students gathered ideas throughout these experiences and were able to deliver vibrant sketches that reflected their vision of a Gulf South that evolved into an environmental oasis as a result of a combination of both innovative and natural practices that healed the ailments that impacted the land overtime. After engaging with the students, collecting their creative contributions, and drafting sessions with our community partners, a design was developed that speaks to the impact that the LNG plants have had upon low-income communities with a highlight dedicated to the residents of Gordon Plaza that transforms from black and white imagery to a vibrant composition that reflects a world without environmental injustices. Woven throughout this portion of the composition are distinct details that reflect the work that Thrive9 is doing in the 9th Ward community to make this dream a reality.
Kentrice Schexnayder
Kentrice is a multifaceted New Orleans artist/muralist. From timeless fine arts pieces sold nationwide to one of the largest historical murals in New Orleans history - Schexnayder is most known for captivating life-like portraits and history in her Art/Murals.  Inspired to be an artist from the ripe age of 6, Schexnayder graduated in 2010 from the University of New Orleans with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and a minor in business. Schexnayder was the featured artist for the Essence Music Festival in 2018, amongst receiving several prestigious art awards throughout her career. She volunteers at local camps and non-profits and has partnered with New Orleans public libraries to conduct Mural workshops for local youth. Schexnayder wants to inspire upcoming creatives to know not to give up because creativity is needed in the world. Schexnayder’s recent accomplishments include receiving first place among community voters in Arts New Orleans’ “Art of the Black Experience” Call for Artwork and Exhibition, along with a solo exhibition “We Grew Here” at the Ashé Cultural Arts Center. She has also had work featured in several popular tv series including the Own Networks “Queen Sugar” and a host of others.
Connect on Instagram @KenisArt

While YAM's intention is to develop the skills of aspiring young artist, our acceptance of students isn't based upon their level of creativity or previous experience that art. Although we have a number of students who are experienced muralists who have worked on previous projects with us, the Sierra Club kiddos were a mix of these students along with students from local high schools who both were seeking to advance their skills and/pr who may have had very limited skills but were interested in learning more about the process of mural making in an environment that allowed them to connect with their peers. Nonetheless, each student's commitment has been instrumental in helping us to achieve this project and the impact of the experience has been priceless.

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