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New Orleans Style Makers 2016: Brendan “Bmike” Odums of ProjectBE 

click to enlarge brandanodums.jpg

Photo by Greg Miles

In 2013, New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts graduate Brandan Odums founded 2-Cent Entertainment, which creates music videos and commercials. Odums then turned his attention to spray paint, creating large-scale murals of black civil rights leaders at the former Florida housing projects in the 9th Ward, known as ProjectBE. The result has been a game changer for the way locals think about art.

  "People saw them and wanted to find them," says Odums, whose work speaks to his African-American heritage in order to evoke change. The latest incarnation of the BE Series, StudioBE — a warehouse filled with Odums' works — is open in Bywater.

What is inspiring you now?
Nikki Giovanni said, "If you're bored, you're not paying attention." I'm constantly inspired from just observing and listening — listening to the memories of my elders or the imagination of a child; observing the times, the present and the past. It doesn't take much stimulation to inspire me.

Favorite local brands?
>Community Book Center on Bayou Road to feed my mind; Rolling Fatties Food Truck to feed my body; my father's church, House of Refuge Apostolic Church on the West Bank, to feed my spirit; Axiom Fine Art Gallery on Freret to feed my imagination.

Words of wisdom?
I don't know who orchestrated these words, but they help me daily: "Learn to embrace change and you'll begin to recognize that life is in constant motion and every change happens for a reason. When you see boundaries as opportunities, the world becomes a limitless place."

Favorite style secret?
All black everything.

Favorite place to hang out?
StudioBE, a 35,000-square-foot warehouse where I am creating and building my first solo art show. Come visit me.

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