South Louisiana is home to 36 influential creators, artists, photographers
Many of the state's most notable creations, artworks, photography, and music originate from Black creators. Writer Cynthea Corfah introduces 36 of the most influential creatives.
Louisiana is rich in culture primarily because it is rich in creatives. Many of the most notable artworks, music, and creations originate from Black creators. While we could write a book about all of the talented Black artists in The Boot, here are 36 of the most dynamic creators—artists, dancers, and photographers—in South Louisiana.
Langston “Lango” Adams is an alternative rap music artist from Baton Rouge. He has a modern sound with echoey, autotuned melodies and raps that are often paired with electronic, rock, and trap sounds. Lango’s energy and daring persona fill the entire room, and he often connects with his fans by jumping off the stage and diving into the audience to crowd surf. @lango111
Rian Allen is a professional dance artist, personal trainer, and former NBA dancer for the New Orleans Pelicans. The New Orleans creative teaches private dance training, dance fitness classes, and offers in-person consultations. @rifitlife
John Alleyne is a New Orleans multi-media artist. His works primarily include moody, high-contrast silkscreen prints and collages featuring Black subjects. He is a member of Good Children’s Gallery in New Orleans and Baton Rouge Gallery where he was the first person to have his hair cut at an art exhibition for his solo show “In Between the Skin Fade.” johnalleyne.com
Nic Brierre Aziz is an interdisciplinary artist and curator from New Orleans. He is a current artist-in-residence at the prestigious Joan Mitchell Center. Aziz describes his work as a “historical pop cultural assemblage,” fusing narratives and images from Black popular culture, in an attempt to recontextualize the meaning and context behind those images. nicbrierreaziz.com
Julien Bass is an all-around creative. His art has been showcased all over Baton Rouge. He is a clothing designer, hairstylist, painter, model, and event curator. He hosts fashion shows, dance parties, and music events.
Trinity Barriere is an emerging artist and designer based in New Orleans. Since earning a bachelor of fine arts degree from LSU, Trinity has collaborated with Nike and Sneaker Politics. In January 2022, she was one of seven creatives to be awarded an Eternal Seeds Grant, providing support to talented BIPOC artists.
Bryson Boutte is a multi-faceted visual artist in New Orleans. His anime-style works are shared digitally, on murals, canvases, clothing, and accessories. He is a Walls Project muralist veteran, behind many of the most notable murals around Baton Rouge like the ones on 14th Street and Winborne Ave.
Jonathan Brown aka Skinny Dope is a Baton Rouge artist most known for his vibrant murals and trippy designs. In December 2021, Mayor Sharon Weston Broome presented him with a Certificate of Commendation for his mural “Heart of Scotlandville” at Jewel J. Newman Community Center.
Christian “Cubs the Poet” Davenport is a New Orleans-based poet and painter. In 2019, Mayor-President Sharon Broome named him the inaugural Poet Laureate of Baton Rouge. From his typewriter and stool in the French Quarter, he writes custom poems and makes custom books of poetry. His poetry has taken him from Baton Rouge to Preservation Hall in New Orleans to a Ted Talk in Rapid City, South Dakota. www.cubsthepoet.com
Yusef Davis is a Baton Rouge-based portrait and event photographer. He captures national events, destination weddings, engagements, beauty models, and graduates as @YDPhotoandArt. He has photographed collegiate life, sporting events including the Bayou Classic, Acadiana Fashion Week, and official University of Louisiana at Lafayette events. www.yusefdavis.com
Keith “Cartoon Man” Douglas is a prolific fine artist and creator. For more than 30 years, he has been the sole caricaturist for large-scale events and festivals in Louisiana. He has drawn more than 300,000 people. He creates original concepts, cartoon illustrations, and logo designs while teaching artists. His images are colorful, vivid, and spatially imaginative, and his work is in several galleries in Louisiana and parts of Mississippi. keithvandouglas.com
Kristen Downing is a stand-out New Orleans painter. Through her eye-catching paintings featuring her signature colors like teal, magenta, and purple she strives to educate, inspire and increase social consciousness by telling Black stories. Her skills go beyond painting though, she is a former tattoo artist and also designs merchandise like screen-printed clothing and custom sneakers. www.kawdartgallery.com
Sage Edgerson aka DJ Legatron Prime is more than a New Orleans DJ. She curates energetic experiences with consent-only dance floors safe for women, people of color, and everyone in between. She wears many hats. Outside of music, she is also a wardrobe stylist, vintage clothing collector, and seller. www.legatronprime.com
Malaika Favorite is a visual artist known for her emotionally charged text, figurative paintings, and collages. Her work would be described as a celebration of nature and womanhood. In January 2022, Favorite was selected as one of the newest members of Baton Rouge Gallery’s Board of Directors.
Erick Fields is a self-taught Baton Rouge artist who uses his portrait work to convey the strength and beauty of Black people by employing contrasting colors, geometric shapes, and text in flat digital paintings. His work has been showcased locally at Healthcare Gallery and Yes We Cannibal. ericklfields.com
Marian Gbaiwon is a jack of all trades. This Liberian-American creative is the owner of Our Treats Designs, a company that makes cakes for special occasions, and Marian Gbaiwon Productions which offers photography, videography, video production, and creative directing of films and professional videos. www.ourtreatsdesigns.com
Jackie Gray is a portrait artist, facepaint artist, private art instructor, and avid crafter. Through her company, All About That Face, she decorates children and adult faces at small and large-scale events in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas. She’s hosting art camps this summer at the Mid-City Artisans and Baton Rouge elementary schools.
Jae Hale is a New Orleans videographer and owner of Blue Jae Films. With a special eye for capturing emotion and a subject’s essence, he most often films business and personal events, weddings, real estate, and other creative projects.
Randell Henry is a Baton Rouge painter, mixed media collage artist, and former pupil of the late legendary Frank Hayden. Henry is an art legend in his own right, and well-known for his colorful collage paintings which depict scenes of everyday Black family life. According to Baton Rouge Gallery, Henry is the longest-tenured Black artist member since 1985.
Taylor Hunter is a New Orleans photographer, artist, and writer whose work is dedicated to documenting the modern-day, multifaceted woman. Through lifestyle, editorial, and product photography she creates storytelling, dynamic imagery that has an aura, feeling, and soul. Her work has been published in major publications like Vogue, Essence, and Glamour. www.taylorshunter.com
Shagari Jackson is an award-winning international photographer, creative, and licensed real estate agent in Baton Rouge. He is the owner of Achroma Studio and Fine Arts and Mosaic by MG. In 2022, he was selected for the sixth year in a row as The Knot’s Best of Weddings 2022 for his photography. http://mosaicbymg.com
Nathaniel A. Landry is an illustrator, graphic artist, and art instructor in Baton Rouge. He is known for his angular pen-and-ink and watercolor mazes, brightly colored skateboard decks, and limited edition Black Messiah and Magdalena prints.
Gabrielle Ledet is a New Orleans mixed media artist, focusing on painting, drawing, and video. In her work, Ledet explores themes associated with African-American life and the Diaspora. She is a frequent traveler to West Africa and invites others to explore their African heritage.
Kayla ‘Rose’ Magee is a photographer, designer, and visionary in Baton Rouge. She is the designer behind the local clothing brand Muse the Label and the founder of Blueprint 77 Creative Lab, a community of creatives that provides photography, prop rentals, and fashionable streetwear. www.blueprint77.co
Chloe Marie is almost always performing. She is the lead singer for Baton Rouge band Alabaster Stag, played “Sally Bowles” in Little Town Theater’s 2022 Cabaret, and was part of The Victory Belles of The World War II Museum. Her harmonic and timeless voice brings her to stages across Louisiana.
Elle Marie is a traveling editorial fashion stylist based in Baton Rouge. She intentionally pieces together cohesive, personalized outfits with character and unique details. She styles creative looks for fashion photoshoots, videos, film, product photoshoots, and other creative projects. www.ellemariebrand.com
Mia Lake Marshall is a Hammond-based artist and retired, certified art educator. She paints professionally, teaches private art lessons, and hosts Paint-and-Sip parties.
Sasha Matthews is a natural light, family, and lifestyle photographer and owner of Green Tangerine Photography. The Baton Rouge photographer’s dreamy, velvety smooth images have been published in Essence, yahoo! and 225 Magazine. www.greentangerinephotography.com
Antoine GHOST Mitchell is a Baton Rouge visual and spoken word artist, Afro-fantasy comic creator, and illustrator. Along with producing the third issue of his Sankofa’s Eymbrace comic, he transforms art lovers into superhero paintings, honors families in personal commissions, and showcases his work on the walls of East Baton Rouge Parish libraries. www.sankofaseymbrace.com
Damien Mitchell is a Baton Rouge designer and maker who specializes in making leather goods. He handcrafts minimalistic and earth-toned leather wallets, shoes, backpacks, chairs, and bags. www.www.damienmitchell.us
Tyronecia Moore is a New Orleans graphic designer, illustrator, and creative. She creates original hand-drawn and animated graphic designs at LSU, curates vintage clothing for her online and in-person vintage shop House of Sassfiend, and writes and designs relatable zines. www.tyroneciamoore.com
Mya Parker is a teen art entrepreneur who is making her mark in digital arts with NFTs. Her NFT collection, Mya’s Treasures is a hand-drawn 1/1 genesis. She is a 15-year-old athlete, artist, gardener, investor, and collector in Addis, La.
Travis Pickett aka Art Soul Life is a Baton Rouge multimedia artist who makes bold, colorful, and funky wooden art such as wooden record players and cassette tapes, paintings on wood, and groovy, pop-art style designs.
Twajuana Spears is the owner of Twajoku, a studio photography business in Baton Rouge. She is the go-to spot for birthday, graduation, and business portraits. Her photos are sharp, colorful, and fresh. www.twajoku.com
Taylor Watson is a Baton Rouge wedding and portrait photographer. Her bright, airy photos are professional and crisp. She was a photographer and editor for The Front Steps Project, where families were photographed on their front porch or steps during the COVID lockdown of 2020. www.taylorwatsonphotography.com
Tamara Williams is a visual artist from Baton Rouge who specializes in videography and photography. While she relocated to Chicago, the multi-skilled artist still influences the Louisiana community with her contributions to the Futures Fund Tech Academy and Let That Sh-t Go women’s wellness retreat.
ξ By Cynthea Corfah, Guest Contributor
Cynthea Corfah is a New Orleans-based journalist, social media specialist, and entrepreneur. In 2018, she became the first Black staff writer at 225 Magazine before moving to New Orleans in 2021. Follow her at @cyntheacorfah
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