ST. ROSE — St. Rose native Deante Armstrong has always thought outside the box as an artist. His creative vision transformed an ordinary caravan into a traveling place that invites the community to experience art in new and innovative ways.
When not teaching art at Reserve’s Fifth Ward Elementary, Armstrong operates the D.ArtXperience mobile art studio. Equipped to accommodate 20 adults or up to 25 children, the mobile studio offers painting nights, private art lessons, slime nights, video game nights, movie nights, karaoke and more.
“I love being able to show the world new things and being able to separate myself from others,” Armstrong said. “I love being able to see people expressing themselves through art. It brings me great joy to know that I am actually helping them tap into their inner artists.
Armstrong, 30, has drawn all his life and painted for 11 years. He’s also a skilled carpenter who went viral when a video of one of his handcrafted picnic benches garnered nearly 1.8 million views, resulting in 300 orders in five months.
Armstrong’s passion for teaching art began when he worked at the now closed Geaux Paint location in LaPlace.
Inspiration for a mobile art business took shape in 2018 after Armstrong saw FEMA trailers for sale in LaPlace. He bought a trailer for $400 and transformed the simple structure into a fully equipped traveling venue for all of life’s celebrations.
Armstrong sold that first trailer in February 2022, at which point he built a more durable trailer to move his business forward for the next few years.
“I was ready to really show the world what I have to offer,” he said.
Painting and karaoke nights are the most popular among adults. Children normally enjoy slime and video game parties. The D.ArtXperience is currently equipped with 10 50-inch televisions and 10 game systems, including PlayStation, X-Box, Nintendo Switch and Occulus consoles.
The Mobile Art Studio has also hosted several school functions, religious events and community fundraisers.
Beyond D.ArtXperience, Armstrong has made a living as an artist throughout the New Orleans metro area. His large-scale murals can be found at NOLA Sips on St. Claude Ave., a St. Gabriel Veterinary Clinic off Highway 30 in St. Helena Parish, and at the Liberty Learning Center in Kenner.
Her work, including painted backdrops and handmade wooden props, has been featured at numerous weddings and baby showers throughout the region.
Armstrong said his two children motivate him to strive for success every day.
For more information about D.ArtXperience, call 504-441-8417.