Alibi V.15 No.23 • June 8-14, 2006 

Art Magnified

Henry Kennison

Offcenter

Henry Kennison with a piece of his Katrina mural
Henry Kennison with a piece of his Katrina mural

Have you ever walked into a place and it just feels like home? OFFCenter (808 Park SW) welcomes with open arms anyone who wants or needs a place to express themselves creatively. The nonprofit community arts center has affected many people’s lives, including Henry Kennison. He came to Albuquerque from New Orleans, where he survived up to his waist in water for eight days following Hurricane Katrina. He's now doing finishing touches on three large panels which depict New Orleans before, during and after the hurricane. The “before” shows a lively, colorful New Orleans with images of the French Quarter and women clad for Mardi Gras. The “during” shows what Kennison lived through—people trying to escape the water, people in the water and scaled creatures that lurk below with sharp teeth and fatal venom. Cluttered with debris, the “after” panel illustrates the damage Katrina left behind. Each panel tells its own stories, but when the three are looked at as a whole, they become an epic filled with color, culture, danger, survival and memories of that horrible disaster. Kennison's show opens Friday, June 9, with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. 247-1172.