By: Meghan Holmes*6/12/2020 Update: Today, you can find Christina's work at Redoux Market and Fleurty Girl - Mandeville, as well as online at www.ChristinaPappion.com.*
Christina Pappion’s disposition is as sunny and welcoming as her Old Mandeville gallery, a space filled with paintings of New Orleans icons, handcrafted objects and the sound of jazz. Pappion has made a name for herself as an artist for two unique talents: painting live events and custom-painting athletes’ shoes.
A New Orleans native, the artist moved to the Northshore almost four years ago and opened Pappion Gallery, showcasing her vivid and color-saturated paintings as well as gifts and accessories she personally curates. The artist also hosts events like painting classes and private parties in the space, encouraging people to gather. “I love that the Northshore is a tight-knit community, and that family is important,” Pappion says. The artist and her husband have two daughters, ages 5 and 8, who love spending time in the gallery. While she works on commissions, which comprise about two-thirds of her work, her daughters like to paint, too. “They’re always trying to paint on something,” she says. “They also like to run through the gallery-like bulls in a china shop, and I just hope things don’t fall.”
Since opening her gallery, Pappion’s career has flourished. She received publicity for her paintings of weddings and other events and became the first woman of color hired to create the annual Crescent City Classic poster in 2017. She also started selling her art at Jazz Fest and designed 24 custom pairs of cleats for the New Orleans Saints as part of the NFL’s My Cause, My Cleats initiative, in which players showcase causes that are important to them with uniquely painted cleats. “I actually attribute a lot of my success to the New Orleans Saints and being hired to do the cleats,” she says. “The entire team gives my family so much joy. Painting also gives me so much joy. I feel so blessed to be able to do this, and so happy. I’ve painted on glass, canvas, and wood, and now I’ve painted on shoes, too. I can’t wait to see what happens next.”