Second Line Mural on St. Claude2600 Saint Claude Avenue
New Orleans LA LA
This mural, titled “The Third Line,” is 150-foot-long, 35-foot-tall homage to second line culture. The artist, Henry Lipkis, with contributions from Ceaux Young, Jessica Strahan, and Devin Reynolds, depicts several recognizable members of the cultural community. Lipkis, a relative newcomer to the tradition, sought and received their their blessing before beginning the project near the start of 2016.
The mural represents three parading organizations from the Ninth Ward, identified by their banners: the Nine Times Social Aid & Pleasure Club, the Big Nine Social Aid & Pleasure Club, and the Original CTC Steppers Social Aid & Pleasure Club. Each of these clubs parades past this spot on St. Claude Avenue; since the mural went up it has become a destination on their routes.
Looking at the mural from left to right, the man at the grill represents the vendors who prepare and sell food at stops along the parade route.
The man on horseback represents the Buffalo Soldiers Horse Riding Club, one of the clubs who attend second lines on their steeds.
The woman in sunglasses with the necklace that says “Twerk” is Cheeky Blakk, a beloved bounce artist from the Ninth Ward.
The bridge in the background is the St. Claude Avenue drawbridge over the Industrial Canal, the waterway separating the Upper Ninth Ward from the Lower Ninth Ward.
The man playing the saxophone is Brandon Franklin of the TBC Brass Band (TBC stands for To Be Continued, an allusion to the band’s place in the New Orleans brass band tradition). Tragically, Franklin was killed in 2010 at age 22.
The woman in glasses with the white head covering is Evella Pierre, known as Ms. Coochie, mother of Louis Pierre, known as Lil Louis, co-founder of the Nine Times Social Aid & Pleasure Club.
The smiling man in the hat with a 9 on his sash is Ronald W. Lewis, founder of the House of Dance and Feathers and co-founder of the Big Nine Social Aid & Pleasure Club.
The dancing man in the suit and hat is Andrew Johnson, President of the Original CTC Steppers (CTC stands for “Cross the Canal” a reference to the Lower Ninth Ward).
The man in a baseball cap and sunglasses is Action Jackson, a DJ on WWOZ and ambassador of second line culture.
The woman on the motorcycle represents the Caramel Curves, a female motorcycle club that frequently turn out at second lines — the pink smoke coming from the back of the bike is an effect the motorcyclists actually create on the street with pink dye on their tires.
"After Sunday - New Orleans Second Line Mural" by Camille Lenain shows the relationship between the mural and the community it portrays.
Artist Henry Lipkis identifies the members of the second line community in the Ninth Ward depicted in his mural.
Artist Henry Lipkis puts the finishing touches on his mural depicting the three social aid and pleasure clubs based in the Ninth Ward.
"The Third Line" mural is on the former site of Frankie and Johnny's Furniture, renown for TV commercials featuring "the Special Man" (the namesake of local R&B band King James & The Special Men).