Water meter covers turned into public art on Uptown sidewalks

By Sue Strachan, Uptown Messenger

Most art is not supposed to be stepped on. But for LeLuna, this artist’s canvas is unexpectedly underfoot: Sewage & Water Board of New Orleans meter covers. The water meter covers are painted with short, often politically universal messages, such as “Make Art Not War,” “Erase Hate,” “Love Me Tender.” Others have a local focus, such as “Copper is Currency” with the tagline, “Strip copper, fight gentrification” or an image of the city’s unofficial mascot, the flying cockroach. If you haven’t seen the reimagined water meter covers already — LeLuna said there are now more than 800 — you’re not looking down at the sidewalk. The covers grace Uptown sidewalks from the Riverbend to the Lower Garden District and can also be trampled on in Bywater and Marigny, with a few in the French Quarter and Mid-City.