"Red Beans and Rice Fleur De Lis"
at the Smithsonian
National Museum of African American History and Culture
by Myesha Francis
The Red Beans and Rice Fleur de Lis Painting on permanent display at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. was initially inspired by an exhibition Myesha developed titled "Our Food, Our Culture" at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in 2008 for her very first class of art students. Years later, as the curators for the Museum begin collecting work for their permanent collection, Myesha's Red Beans and Rice painting was selected (along side the Leah Chase exhibition) to represent New Orleans foodways culture as beans and rice is a staple meal amongst communities of color all over the world.
" I developed the "Our Food, Our Culture" Exhibition at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in 2008 where I was interning, as a way for my students to connect our Monday lunch tradition of eating Red Beans and Rice to the history of our city and art making. The project culminated with a field trip to the museum where I'd framed and placed each of their works on display. I will never forget the look on their faces when they walked into a real museum and saw their works and names beautifully curated on the walls! To this day, it is still one of the top highlights of my art teaching career."