Marked by elaborate celebrations and steeped in tradition, Mardi Gras is an honored custom throughout the U.S. gulf coast region. This year, Barq’s root beer is kicking off its 120th anniversary and celebrating its heritage in the region during Mardi Gras by partnering with a familiar face: Terrance Osborne.
Osborne is a local New Orleans artist and a self-proclaimed "colorist.” He paints with vivid tones, aiming for a final blend of emotions others can relate to. On the heels of last year’s “Soiree de Mardi Barq’s and in honor of the brand’s 120th anniversary, this year’s painting, titled “Cheers to 120 Years” (see above) celebrates Barq’s root beer and Mardi Gras in a festive street parade where the good times roll.
We caught up with Osborne at his gallery to talk about Barqs, Mardi Gras and art.
Tell us about the 'Cheers to 120 Years' painting. What inspired it?
This painting was really inspired by the 120th anniversary and the Barq’s bottle. The bottle is iconic, and really lends itself to my artwork, so I painted a large Barq’s glass bottle float in celebration of the brand’s 120th anniversary. This painting, like all of my paintings, is also an experiment with color. So I really played on that, as well.
Why do Mardi Gras and Barq’s root beer pair so nicely?
Both are a large part of our culture in New Orleans, so it makes sense to bring the two together. Celebrating Mardi Gras is in our blood, and Barq’s is at the table. Both are part of the way we celebrate.
You’ve partnered with Barqs for the past three years. Do you have a favorite painting and why?
I love all three of them combined, because together they tell a story, centered around a band who goes from celebrating in the French Quarter to a house party, and then ultimately through the neighborhood. What makes this year particularly special is that it is also in celebration of Barq’s 120th anniversary, and I think this painting really showcases that.
There seems to be a special culture in New Orleans, and that especially comes to life during Mardi Gras. Why do you think that’s the case?
Our culture is a lively one, and we love to celebrate together – no one is a stranger. Mardi Gras is evidence of that.
What do you have coming up next?
I’m making appearances at Barq’s retailers in New Orleans and Gulfport February 7-11. You can find the full schedule on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ArtistTerrance). I’m also exhibiting at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival at the end of April as the poster artist for the fifth time.