For Terrance Osborne, art means home.
After Hurricane Katrina ended his work as an art teacher in 2005, Osborne searched for another endeavor that could bring him the same level of purpose. Art seemed like the perfect avenue.
While he didn’t start painting until middle school, his passion for art began early on. Both his mother and older brother created artwork as a hobby.
“I always had a natural interest in art because of them,” Osborne says.
It’s no surprise he followed in their footsteps. Family is a central value in New Orleans, and remains just as vital to Osborne as it was throughout his childhood.
Also important to his childhood? A bottle of Barq’s Root Beer.
For Osborne, Barq’s and family go hand in hand. He still remembers when his parents would send him to the store for a loaf of bread and a bottle of Barq’s.
“For me, Barq’s has always been there,” Osborne says. “The South is home, and Barq’s is woven into the fabric of the South, so Barq’s is home.”
He’s not alone. People have loved the bite of Barq’s since 1898, when a Biloxi, Miss. sugar chemist named Edward C. Barq, Sr. created the unique soda from flavors he mixed in backyard tubs and named the blend after himself. Nearly 125 years later, Barq's is a staple in homes all over the country, including Osbourne’s.
Thanks to cherished memories with Barq’s, Osborne says it was natural to incorporate his favorite drink into his artwork. He recently created "Mardi Barq’s," a painting that features Barq’s and showcases the people of New Orleans and the energy Mardi Gras brings to the community.
“The painting drops the viewer right in the center of the parade,” Osborne says. “If you’ve never seen the parade before, you can look at the painting and understand what it’s like.”
A self-proclaimed "colorist," which he describes as one who “indulges in color to create a mood,” Osborne paints with vivid tones, aiming for a final blend of emotions others can relate to.
“I mix colors until I feel right about them, and hopefully people experience that same emotion when they look at the color as I was feeling when I created them,” he says.
So what does Osborne want people to feel when they see his Mardi Barq’s painting?
“The boldness of the Gulf Coast come to life. Barq’s with its unique ‘flavor’ and Mardi Gras with its colorful festivities are a celebration of the region,” he says. “I want people to get a true sense of what Mardi Gras feels like—the excitement, the festivities, the energy. You can’t really find that in too many places in the world.”
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