Katrina has changed so many lives in huge ways. One such life is Michael Dingler's; pre storm he was close to gaining certification for a legendarily well-paid job as a riverboat pilot
In early 2006, a creeping depression swallowed him completely. He walked away from the job, lost his marriage, left town, spent months driving around out West, searching for, himself. From nola dot com:
"I was searching for myself," he says. "At the same time, I was also running from myself, not realizing that, no matter where I ended up, I was still going to be me."
So he returned to New Orleans and - at age 34 - he was developing a purpose for his life, a reason to get back on his feet.
He gave himself the nickname of "ReX" and started NoLA Rising, a group of art emissaries who post artwork in public places as far and wide across the region as possible.
More of their work can be seen here
Now, this group faces a legal challenge from the City of New Orleans, spurred on by the activities of local anti-graffiti crusader Fred "the gray ghost Radtke , a REAL vandal and his group Operation Clean Sweep.
Here's a link to the background on Dingler's legal wrangling with Radtke
While I don't think Radtke's raison d'etre was bad before Katrina, I think he's become a little fanatical when it comes to taking on Dingler's art, which Radtke considers grafitti.
Here's a you tube video that discusses Dingler's work
There's a great article on Dingler at Neighborhoods Partnership Network
written by Angela Pate.