This is Atlanta with Alicia Steele

This Is Atlanta: X.U.ME

PBA30 looks back on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina at local artist Elyse Defoor's art series inspired by the events in New Orleans. 


Elyse Defoor — X.U.ME

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To mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the Spruill Center for the Arts in Dunwoody featured a series of art created by Atlanta artist Elyse Defoor titled “X.U.ME.”

Defoor has spent her life in Atlanta and considers it her home, but has always had a soft spot for New Orleans. In 2003, she married her husband in a private ceremony in the Crescent City.

Just two years later, she watched with dread as the city was devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

When Defoor finally returned to New Orleans after Katrina, she was deeply saddened by the destruction. She immediately noticed the sea of X’s painted on the outside of the damaged buildings.

Search and rescue teams used the X’s to signify whether a building had been searched, and how many hazards and fatalities were in the building. Elyse says she was overwhelmed by the symbolism of the X, and that led her to create this series of art.

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