"Rocketman" Jimmy Descant and his wife moved to Salida in 2006 under less than auspicious circumstances. "I'd been a lifelong resident of New Orleans, but it was getting time for me to go out west somewhere," Descant says. "When Katrina happened, we were at the end of a few-month trip doing art shows and having a blast. We were two days from getting home.
"We didn't own our house. We were renting, and that was the only lucky thing," Descant continues. "Once they pumped the city dry, we still couldn't get in. It was three weeks of rot. We lost everything. All our personal possessions, my early art, my tools, my raw material for the art. We had what we had in our camper when we were on the road. It was a mess."
But Descant has taken the lemons life dealt him and turned them into flavorful lemonade with his new exhibit, Katrina to Colorado Saints Preserve Us, which opened Friday and runs through November 30 at Art & Soul Gallery, 1615 Pearl Street in Boulder. "It's like asking the heavens to preserve us, but it's also my journey and everybody's journey in New Orleans of what they've had to go through.
"The Katrina event, in many ways, was like 9/11," Descant muses. "It was a chance for the world to change for the better. And in neither event did it happen. Bush was there with generators to light up Jackson Square and have a big speech and say, 'We're going to stay until it's all taken care of.' Well, after his speech that night, they packed up all those generators and shipped them out of state, when each one could have powered a city block. It was ridiculous. It was unbelievable."
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Descant's art will go to the New Orleans Musicians Relief Fund. Check out his futuristic rockets and political collages at Art & Soul before the month is up.
Nov. 2-30, 2007