Mapping NOLA

Local artists put New Orleans' unique topography on the retail map

With its below-sea-level placement at a curve in the Mississippi River, New Orleans has long fascinated geologists. The city’s unique topography inspires area artists and designers as well, and has helped put a number of them on the map. Take Brandi Couvillion, who creates cool, metal cuffs depicting Crescent City neighborhoods etched with images culled from an 1891 map.

Brandi Couvillion Crescent City ciff

Or Ellen Macomber, whose paintings of maps on glass have spawned a growing line of textiles in the form of baby blankets, bibs, bow ties, placemats, coasters, napkins ... and her own boutique. You’ll spot both artists works at I.J. Reilly’s, Söpö and other local gift shops. 

Ellen Macomber's Crescent City map on silk ties. (©Ellen Macomber)

Macomber’s map imagery is also found on T-shirts at Dirty Coast, where Scott Campbell’s “River.Lake.Uptown.Downtown” compass design, offered on everything from tanks and totes to posters and woodblocks, ranks as the shop’s most popular.

Dirty Coast

Douglas Brantley
About the author

Doug serves as the New Orleans editor for Where. He has lived ...