Galeria Alegria

Promoting Louisiana One Bead At A Time

Anne Cutler, Sanctuary of Alegria, Guinness World Record, News with a Twist

The technique is new - 95% of Mardi Gras beads are recycled - all beads are individually cut - and molded into shape with regular adhesive

Anne Cutler with "News with the Twist" is here covering the Guinness World Record attempt - signing the skyline along with 300 signatures

Press Releases & Interview Opportunities


April 2012 - LOUISIANA LEGENDS ART PIANO

 

Astounding Artwork "Louisiana Legends Art Piano" has been signed by over 30 grammy award winning musicians and is on auction until May 7, 2012 8:00pm CDT on www.biddingforgood.com
Piano is completely covered in recycled Mardi Gras beads and the proceeds will benefit Music Programs all over Louisiana
New Orleans, LA - One year ago, an idea was born to turn an upright piano damaged by Hurricane Katrina into something magnificent and valuable by having the keys signed by local, legendary musicians. That idea has morphed into an historic and captivating piece of art, thanks in no small part to countless volunteers and world-renowned artist Stephan Wanger. The Louisiana Legends Art Piano features 88 keys that have been signed by musicians with great love for Louisiana, including Fats Domino, Bonnie Raitt, Irma Thomas, Harry Connick, Jr., Chubby Carrier, Dr. John, Donald Harrison Jr, Trombone Shorty, and countless more. 
"The incredible accomplishments by over 30 grammy award winning musicians, that signed the keys, was a humbling and nerve wrecking experience, and weighted heavily on me when I was thinking about the design for the Piano," said Stephan Wanger, a german born mosaic artist living in New Orleans. Wanger added that, "My theme for the work is - stars inspiring youth - and the choice of a classical midnight blue in order not to distract from the signed keys." 
Stephan Wanger, whose chosen medium is recycled Mardi Gras beads, has adorned the piano in beads creating a beautiful and intricate mosaic. The piano is not a working instrument, but rather a collectible art piece. However, each component of the piano can be removed without damaging the art work should the winner choose to restore the piano to its original musical capacity. Included with the piano is a book that lists every artist that signed the keys with a short biography of each one.  
Instruments A Comin’ (IAC) is Tipitina’s Foundation’s annual benefit concert and auctions featuring the best of New Orleans’ music, food, and art. The goal of the IAC program is to increase youth participation in the Greater New Orleans area school and after school music programs by providing high quality instruments.  IAC is an ongoing program now in its eleventh year and has purchased $2.5 million dollars worth of instruments for over 4,000 students in more than 75 schools. 100% of the proceeds from the benefit and from the Louisiana Legends Art Piano goes toward buying instruments for the schools and after-school programs.
Link to the online auction http://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/item/Item.action;jsessionid=+beV4pp+h8iS4Cdw8kpwEQ**.app3-i?id=159768494
Artists who have signed keys: 
• Fats Domino • Bonnie Raitt • Aaron Neville • Art Neville • Charmaine Neville • Irma Thomas • The Funky Meters • Allen Toussaint • Harry Connick Jr • Ani DiFranco • Kermit Ruffins • George Porter Jr • Deacon John • Irvin Mayfield • Dr. John • Dr Michael White • Nicholas Payton • Ellis Marsalis • Terence Blanchard • Jeremy Davenport • Stanton Moore • Donald Harrison Jr • Dave Malone (Radiators) • Camile Baudoin (Radiators) • Delfeayo Marsalis • Ben Jaffe (Preservation Hall Jazz Band) • Jon Cleary • Harold Battiste • Johnny Vidocovich • Leah Chase • Germaine Bazzle • Ike Stubblefield • Tony Hall & Dumpstaphunk • Chubby Carrier • Del McCoury • Henry Gray • Fred Wesley • Alfred "Uganda" Roberts • Zigaboo Modeliste • Al "Carnival Time" Johnson • Joe Krown • Dirty Dozen Brass Band • Tony Dagradi • Robert Mecurio (Galactic) • Richard Vogel (Galactic) • Ben Ellman (Galactic) • Jeff Raines (Galactic) • Margie Perez • Tom McDermott • Amanda Shaw • Hot 8 Brass Band • Tab Benoit • Harry Connick Sr • Derrick Tabb (Rebirth Brass Band) • Stafford Agee III (Rebirth Brass Band) • Mia Borders • Watermelon Slim • Big Sam's Funky Nation • John Gros (Papa Grows Funk) • Uncle Lionel Batiste • Super Chikan • Phillip Manuel • Josh Garrett • Johnny Sansone • Meschiya Lake • Jesse McBride • Luke Winslow-King • Bonerama • Lena Prima • The Revivalists • Trombone Shorty • Ying Yang Twins • Bruce Daigrepont • Jamil Sharif • Mark Meaux (Mercy Brothers) • Wilson Savoy (Pine Leaf Boys) • Ann Savoy • Luther Kent • Chris Stafford (Feufollet) • Cedric Watson (Bijou Creole) • Ron Rona (New Orleans Bingo! Show) • Clint Maedgen (New Orleans Bingo! Show) • Idris Muhammad • Sunpie Barnes • DJ Soul Sista • Walter "Wolfman" Washington • Chris Severin • Will Smith (Palmetto Bug Stompers) • James Rivers • Anders Osborne • John Fohl • Terrance Simien • David Egan • Sonny Landreth • Detroit Brooks • Louis Michot (Lost Bayou Ramblers) • Topsy Chapman • Wayne Toups • And more to come!
PRESS RELEASE & INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITY
Astounding Artwork "Louisiana Legends Art Piano" has been signed by over 30 grammy award winning musicians and is on auction until May 7, 2012 8:00pm CDT on www.biddingforgood.com
Piano is completely covered in recycled Mardi Gras beads and the proceeds will benefit Music Programs all over Louisiana
New Orleans, LA - One year ago, an idea was born to turn an upright piano damaged by Hurricane Katrina into something magnificent and valuable by having the keys signed by local, legendary musicians. That idea has morphed into an historic and captivating piece of art, thanks in no small part to countless volunteers and world-renowned artist Stephan Wanger. The Louisiana Legends Art Piano features 88 keys that have been signed by musicians with great love for Louisiana, including Fats Domino, Bonnie Raitt, Irma Thomas, Harry Connick, Jr., Chubby Carrier, Dr. John, Donald Harrison Jr, Trombone Shorty, and countless more. 
"The incredible accomplishments by over 30 grammy award winning musicians, that signed the keys, was a humbling and nerve wracking experience, and weighed heavily on me when I was thinking about the design for the Piano," said Stephan Wanger, a german born mosaic artist living in New Orleans. Wanger added that, "My theme for the work is - stars inspiring youth - and the choice of a classical midnight blue in order not to distract from the signed keys." 
Stephan Wanger, whose chosen medium is recycled Mardi Gras beads, has adorned the piano in beads creating a beautiful and intricate mosaic. The piano is not a working instrument, but rather a collectible art piece. However, each component of the piano can be removed without damaging the art work should the winner choose to restore the piano to its original musical capacity. Included with the piano is a book that lists every artist that signed the keys with a short biography of each one.  
Instruments A Comin’ (IAC) is Tipitina’s Foundation’s annual benefit concert and auctions featuring the best of New Orleans’ music, food, and art. The goal of the IAC program is to increase youth participation in the Greater New Orleans area school and after school music programs by providing high quality instruments.  IAC is an ongoing program now in its eleventh year and has purchased $2.5 million dollars worth of instruments for over 4,000 students in more than 75 schools. 100% of the proceeds from the benefit and from the Louisiana Legends Art Piano goes toward buying instruments for the schools and after-school programs.
Artists who have signed keys: 
• Fats Domino • Bonnie Raitt • Aaron Neville • Art Neville • Charmaine Neville • Irma Thomas • The Funky Meters • Allen Toussaint • Harry Connick Jr • Ani DiFranco • Kermit Ruffins • George Porter Jr • Deacon John • Irvin Mayfield • Dr. John • Dr Michael White • Nicholas Payton • Ellis Marsalis • Terence Blanchard • Jeremy Davenport • Stanton Moore • Donald Harrison Jr • Dave Malone (Radiators) • Camile Baudoin (Radiators) • Delfeayo Marsalis • Ben Jaffe (Preservation Hall Jazz Band) • Jon Cleary • Harold Battiste • Johnny Vidocovich • Leah Chase • Germaine Bazzle • Ike Stubblefield • Tony Hall & Dumpstaphunk • Chubby Carrier • Del McCoury • Henry Gray • Fred Wesley • Alfred "Uganda" Roberts • Zigaboo Modeliste • Al "Carnival Time" Johnson • Joe Krown • Dirty Dozen Brass Band • Tony Dagradi • Robert Mecurio (Galactic) • Richard Vogel (Galactic) • Ben Ellman (Galactic) • Jeff Raines (Galactic) • Margie Perez • Tom McDermott • Amanda Shaw • Hot 8 Brass Band • Tab Benoit • Harry Connick Sr • Derrick Tabb (Rebirth Brass Band) • Stafford Agee III (Rebirth Brass Band) • Mia Borders • Watermelon Slim • Big Sam's Funky Nation • John Gros (Papa Grows Funk) • Uncle Lionel Batiste • Super Chikan • Phillip Manuel • Josh Garrett • Johnny Sansone • Meschiya Lake • Jesse McBride • Luke Winslow-King • Bonerama • Lena Prima • The Revivalists • Trombone Shorty • Ying Yang Twins • Bruce Daigrepont • Jamil Sharif • Mark Meaux (Mercy Brothers) • Wilson Savoy (Pine Leaf Boys) • Ann Savoy • Luther Kent • Chris Stafford (Feufollet) • Cedric Watson (Bijou Creole) • Ron Rona (New Orleans Bingo! Show) • Clint Maedgen (New Orleans Bingo! Show) • Idris Muhammad • Sunpie Barnes • DJ Soul Sista • Walter "Wolfman" Washington • Chris Severin • Will Smith (Palmetto Bug Stompers) • James Rivers • Anders Osborne • John Fohl • Terrance Simien • David Egan • Sonny Landreth • Detroit Brooks • Louis Michot (Lost Bayou Ramblers) • Topsy Chapman • Wayne Toups • And more to come!

 


March 2012 - Rachana's Alegria (The Indian Bride)

 

A huge mosaic featuring an Indian Bride made entirely out of recycled Mardi Gras beads completed by Stephan Wanger
Rachana's Alegria honors all immigrants that settled in New Orleans and call Louisiana their home
New Orleans, LA - German born and New Orleans resident Stephan Wanger has completed a beautiful, colorful and intricate mosaic featuring Dr. Rachana Sus, born in Kashmir, India and residing in New Orleans, LA. The huge mural (measuring 8' tall by 6' wide) features the famous Commander's Palace restaurant in the Garden District of New Orleans. The mural is called "Rachana's Alegria" and features an Indian Bride in traditional wedding gown. 
"The United States has been built by immigrants and as a German immigrant myself I wanted to highlight the incredible beauty that immigration has brought to this country," said Stephan Wanger of Galeria Alegria, and added "that immigration educates and fosters cultural understanding about countries that not all Americans have a chance to visit." Wanger has never been to India and was delighted learning about India through Dr. Rachana Sus. Rachana means Creation.
In India weddings are a 7 day affair. On the day of the actual wedding, the groom is led by a procession of his friends
and relatives, the groom may ride a horse or a car and is welcome with garlands and sweets at the bride's house. The bride and groom exchange garlands (Jaimala) and then rituals are performed in front of a sacred fire. Seven rounds are completed by the couple around the fire (each round signifying vows they are supposed to withhold) and then the ritual ends with the couple being showered with flowers.
The Kashmiri bride wears a colored saree with a head gear. A traditional Indian bride wears gold jewelry with a nose ring and bracelets/bangles and hair jewelry. During the wedding ceremony, she is adorned with long ear chains which signifies she is married. In other parts of India, the bride adorns a necklace with black and gold beads which signifies her marital status. The groom wears a long coat called a sherwani with a traditional turban.
Traditional henna decorations done with dried leaves made into a paste from the henna plant adorn the hands in a decorative
pattern of every Indian bride and groom. This is considered auspicious and there is whole day of ceremonial rituals centered around this event called the mehendiraat (the night of the henna). In Kashmiri culture, the aunt of the groom or the bride adorns the henna onto the bride's/groom's hands and then also hands it out to other guests. In turn she gets money for distributing the auspicious henna. There's a old wives tale that says that the love of the husband can be gauged by the color henna leaves on the hands of the bride – the darker it is, the more her husband loves her.
Rachana's Alegria shows three names on her fingers slightly touching the saree. Her husband Neel "is the love of my life and the best thing that happened to me," adds Ruchi as she is called among her family and friends, "he is very smart, outgoing, a people person, loves to talk, sing and he is the most optimistic person I have ever seen."
About Reva her first born Ruchi added "a very smart girl. She is 4 going on 14. She is an artist herself and loves to color. She loves to sing and her favorite is "Moves like Jagger". She is  a very girly girl and cracks me up with her wit. My Son Rahm is my little rascal, he is 2 1/2 yrs and is very independent. He hates being told what to do. He has the cutest smile and the most beautiful hair in the whole wide world."
Dr. Rachana Sus was born in Kashmir, India which was once said to be the heaven on earth. Ruchi said that "I grew up in the western part of India and came to the USA when I was 25. I am a physician by profession but an artist at heart. I am defined by my family and friends and one day I want to become a respected artist." 
The artwork also features Commander's Palace restaurant symbolizing a location for annual family celebrations. 
Mosaic featuring an Indian Bride made entirely out of recycled Mardi Gras beads completed by Stephan Wanger
Rachana's Alegria honors all immigrants that settled in New Orleans and call Louisiana their home
New Orleans, LA - German born and New Orleans resident Stephan Wanger has completed a beautiful, colorful and intricate mosaic featuring Dr. Rachana Sus, born in Kashmir, India and residing in New Orleans, LA. The huge mural (measuring 8' tall by 6' wide) features the famous Commander's Palace restaurant in the Garden District of New Orleans. The mural is called "Rachana's Alegria" and features an Indian Bride in traditional wedding gown. 
"The United States has been built by immigrants and as a German immigrant myself I wanted to highlight the incredible beauty that immigration has brought to this country," said Stephan Wanger of Galeria Alegria, and added "that immigration educates and fosters cultural understanding about countries that not all Americans have a chance to visit." Wanger has never been to India and was delighted learning about India through Dr. Rachana Sus. Rachana means Creation.
In India weddings are a 7 day affair. On the day of the actual wedding, the groom is led by a procession of his friends
and relatives, the groom may ride a horse or a car and is welcome with garlands and sweets at the bride's house. The bride and groom exchange garlands (Jaimala) and then rituals are performed in front of a sacred fire. Seven rounds are completed by the couple around the fire (each round signifying vows they are supposed to withhold) and then the ritual ends with the couple being showered with flowers.
The Kashmiri bride wears a colored saree with a head gear. A traditional Indian bride wears gold jewelry with a nose ring and bracelets/bangles and hair jewelry. During the wedding ceremony, she is adorned with long ear chains which signifies she is married. In other parts of India, the bride adorns a necklace with black and gold beads which signifies her marital status. The groom wears a long coat called a sherwani with a traditional turban.
Traditional henna decorations done with dried leaves made into a paste from the henna plant adorn the hands in a decorative
pattern of every Indian bride and groom. This is considered auspicious and there is whole day of ceremonial rituals centered around this event called the mehendiraat (the night of the henna). In Kashmiri culture, the aunt of the groom or the bride adorns the henna onto the bride's/groom's hands and then also hands it out to other guests. In turn she gets money for distributing the auspicious henna. There's a old wives tale that says that the love of the husband can be gauged by the color henna leaves on the hands of the bride – the darker it is, the more her husband loves her.
Rachana's Alegria shows three names on her fingers slightly touching the saree. Her husband Neel "is the love of my life and the best thing that happened to me," adds Ruchi as she is called among her family and friends, "he is very smart, outgoing, a people person, loves to talk, sing and he is the most optimistic person I have ever seen."
About Reva her first born Ruchi added "a very smart girl. She is 4 going on 14. She is an artist herself and loves to color. She loves to sing and her favorite is "Moves like Jagger". She is  a very girly girl and cracks me up with her wit. My Son Rahm is my little rascal, he is 2 1/2 yrs and is very independent. He hates being told what to do. He has the cutest smile and the most beautiful hair in the whole wide world."
Dr. Rachana Sus was born in Kashmir, India which was once said to be the heaven on earth. Ruchi said that "I grew up in the western part of India and came to the USA when I was 25. I am a physician by profession but an artist at heart. I am defined by my family and friends and one day I want to become a respected artist." 
The artwork also features Commander's Palace restaurant symbolizing a location for annual family celebrations. 

 


January 2011 - Sanctuary of Alegria

 

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY
New Orleans Mosaic Artist attempting to bring Guinness World Record to New Orleans
Stephán Wanger started to work on the largest mosaic ever created out of recycled Mardi Gras Beads to create awareness for thousand of tons of annually discarded Mardi Gras beads that are destined to become landfill
New Orleans, January 2, 2011 - Stephán Wanger has begun to create the largest mosaic ever made by a single person. The size of the work will be 8 feet tall by 28 feet wide (four times the size of his previous work) and will contain way over a million recycled Mardi Gras beads. It is estimated that every Mardi Gras season nearly 2,000 tons of Mardi Gras beads become landfill. Some beads are given to Stephán as he continues to create mosaics that will help promote his adopted hometown New Orleans. The art work will showcase the Mississippi river, elements along the river, but mainly a New Orleans skyline: a view from the West Bank complete with the Natchez steamboat, Crescent City Connection, a cruise ship, fishing boats, and pelicans. In other words, there will be a busy river scene with a beautiful skyline in the background. 
"I have always wanted to create a skyline mosaic to complement my existing work and I believe this project will be the perfect attempt for competing for a Guinness World Record," says Stephán Wanger from his gallery located at 1914 Magazine St., in New Orleans where the work has begun.
 
Since Mardi Gras will be upon us, the attempt at the Guinness World Record will be timely. Stephán plans to unveil the work on March 2, 2011, a week before Fat Tuesday that falls on March 8, 2011. He knows what it takes as he has already completed several massive mosaic murals that are on display at his gallery. 
Karen Benrud from Cafe Du Monde who helps Stephán cutting beads says, "Stephán's goals are very simple, he is trying to get the beads off the streets, recycle them into amazing artworks, and teach children the skill in order to leave a legacy - while promoting New Orleans at the same time."  
The record breaking mosaic will also be a part of "A Million Greetings from New Orleans" an exhibit Stephán has created since 2006 that will tour Europe in 2012 to further promote New Orleans. For more information visit galeriaalegria.com or contact Stephán at (504) 400-4603.
PRESS RELEASE & INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITY
New Orleans Mosaic Artist attempting to bring Guinness World Record to New Orleans. Stephan Wanger started to work on the largest mosaic ever created out of recycled Mardi Gras Beads to create awareness for thousand of tons of annually discarded Mardi Gras beads that are destined to become landfill.
New Orleans, January 2, 2011 - Stephan Wanger has begun to create the largest mosaic ever made by a single person. The size of the work will be 8 feet tall by 28 feet wide (four times the size of his previous work) and will contain way over a million recycled Mardi Gras beads. It is estimated that every Mardi Gras season nearly 2,000 tons of Mardi Gras beads become landfill. Some beads are given to Stephán as he continues to create mosaics that will help promote his adopted hometown New Orleans. The art work will showcase the Mississippi river, elements along the river, but mainly a New Orleans skyline: a view from the West Bank complete with the Natchez steamboat, Crescent City Connection, a cruise ship, fishing boats, and pelicans. In other words, there will be a busy river scene with a beautiful skyline in the background. "I have always wanted to create a skyline mosaic to complement my existing work and I believe this project will be the perfect attempt for competing for a Guinness World Record," says Stephan Wanger from his gallery located at 1914 Magazine St., in New Orleans where the work has begun.
Since Mardi Gras will be upon us, the attempt at the Guinness World Record will be timely. Stephan plans to unveil the work on March 2, 2011, a week before Fat Tuesday that falls on March 8, 2011. He knows what it takes as he has already completed several massive mosaic murals that are on display at his gallery.
Karen Benrud from Cafe Du Monde who helps Stephan cutting beads says, "Stephan's goals are very simple, he is trying to get the beads off the streets, recycle them into amazing artworks, and teach children the skill in order to leave a legacy - while promoting New Orleans at the same time."  
The record breaking mosaic will also be a part of "A Million Greetings from New Orleans" an exhibit Stephán has created since 2006 that will tour Europe in 2012 to further promote New Orleans. For more information visit galeriaalegria.com or contact Stephan at (504) 400-4603.

 


May 2010 - Taste of Louisiana

 

PRESS RELEASE & INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITY
World Premier: Louisiana’s incredible culinary treasures depicted in the most unique way, Louisiana style.
Metairie elementary school students create 12 huge mosaics made out of recycled Mardi Gras beads to be on exhibition for the first time at The Southern Food and Beverage Museum of New Orleans.
Metairie, LA - The students of Rudolph Matas Elementary School, together with German mosaic artist, Stephan Wanger of Galeria Alegria, have created a body of work entitled: Taste of Louisiana.  This show will premier at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum of New Orleans from Saturday May 14th, through Saturday June 18th, with an event opening party on May 14th from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. The pieces that will be included in the show are twelve, 4’ x 4’ depictions of the foods of New Orleans, rendered in mosaic, using recycled Mardi Gras beads in an extremely labor intensive undertaking by 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students, some of whom have special needs.  The exhibit was created to inspire students that big goals can be achieved by working together, as well as raising awareness about the importance of recycling. 
Rudolph Matas Elementary School's exhibit A Taste of Louisiana explores the artistic vision of New Orleans mosaic artist Stephan Wanger of Galeria Alegria. A Taste of Louisiana will be included in Stephan's traveling exhibit A Million Greetings From New Orleans with the purpose of promoting the State of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans nationally and internationally. This project was designed to help meet the school’s curricular goals for the arts, and to extend lessons in Mathematics, Environmental Conservation, Louisiana Culture, and Pop Art. 
Mr. Wanger, originally from Hamburg, Germany, was inspired to move to New Orleans after Katrina to help re-build and re-vitalize the city through his art. Mr. Wanger mainly uses recycled materials and channels his creative energy into assembling dazzling mosaics using Mardi Gras beads. Working in a photo-realistic style, he re-creates scenes, images, and icons of Louisiana to help bring awareness to the world of the innate beauty of the state's unique culture and varied communities. 
Matas Elementary School has an Arts Integration curriculum to enhance the learning experience for those students who want more through lesson extensions, and to provide differentiated paths of learning for those students who need more. The schools' principal Ms. Pat Helmstetter points out, "many students have come to Matas never having experienced art before. These large pieces have made a tremendous impression upon on our students, faculty, staff, and community. I am delighted that they will continue to inspire Matas student for years to come."
For more information please contact Stephán Wanger at (504) 400-4603. 
About Rudolph Matas Elementary School
Rudolph Matas Elementary School is a Pre-K - 5th grade school in Metairie, Louisiana, just outside of the city of New Orleans. The school’s population is 1/3 students with special needs and 2/3 regular education and gifted students totaling approximately over 480 students for the 2010 - 2011 school year. The school has piloted an Arts Integration Curriculum in 2008 and continues to achieve excellence and high test scores through this program. The school also has specialized classes in visual art, ballroom dance and music.
PRESS RELEASE & INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITY
World Premier: Louisiana’s incredible culinary treasures depicted in the most unique way, Louisiana style.
Metairie elementary school students create 12 huge mosaics made out of recycled Mardi Gras beads to be on exhibition for the first time at The Southern Food and Beverage Museum of New Orleans.
Metairie, LA - The students of Rudolph Matas Elementary School, together with German mosaic artist, Stephan Wanger of Galeria Alegria, have created a body of work entitled: Taste of Louisiana. This show will premier at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum of New Orleans from Saturday May 14th, through Saturday June 18th, with an event opening party on May 14th from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. The pieces that will be included in the show are twelve, 4’ x 4’ depictions of the foods of New Orleans, rendered in mosaic, using recycled Mardi Gras beads in an extremely labor intensive undertaking by 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students, some of whom have special needs.  The exhibit was created to inspire students that big goals can be achieved by working together, as well as raising awareness about the importance of recycling. 
Rudolph Matas Elementary School's exhibit A Taste of Louisiana explores the artistic vision of New Orleans mosaic artist Stephan Wanger of Galeria Alegria. A Taste of Louisiana will be included in Stephan's traveling exhibit A Million Greetings From New Orleans with the purpose of promoting the State of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans nationally and internationally. This project was designed to help meet the school’s curricular goals for the arts, and to extend lessons in Mathematics, Environmental Conservation, Louisiana Culture, and Pop Art. 
Mr. Wanger, originally from Hamburg, Germany, was inspired to move to New Orleans after Katrina to help re-build and re-vitalize the city through his art. Mr. Wanger mainly uses recycled materials and channels his creative energy into assembling dazzling mosaics using Mardi Gras beads. Working in a photo-realistic style, he re-creates scenes, images, and icons of Louisiana to help bring awareness to the world of the innate beauty of the state's unique culture and varied communities. 
Matas Elementary School has an Arts Integration curriculum to enhance the learning experience for those students who want more through lesson extensions, and to provide differentiated paths of learning for those students who need more. The schools' principal Ms. Pat Helmstetter points out, "many students have come to Matas never having experienced art before. These large pieces have made a tremendous impression upon on our students, faculty, staff, and community. I am delighted that they will continue to inspire Matas student for years to come."
For more information please contact Stephan Wanger at (504) 400-4603. 
About Rudolph Matas Elementary School
Rudolph Matas Elementary School is a Pre-K - 5th grade school in Metairie, Louisiana, just outside of the city of New Orleans. The school’s population is 1/3 students with special needs and 2/3 regular education and gifted students totaling approximately over 480 students for the 2010 - 2011 school year. The school has piloted an Arts Integration Curriculum in 2008 and continues to achieve excellence and high test scores through this program. The school also has specialized classes in visual art, ballroom dance and music.