Whether you are a newcomer to the New Orleans art scene or a seasoned aficionado, the New Orleans Arts District’s monthly Art Walk is an ideal time to discover local Art. From 6 to 9 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month the New Orleans art galleries host free exhibitions and openings.
This Saturday, March 3, 2012, marks an important addition to the Art Walk, as NolaVie will celebrate its one year anniversary, serving birthday cake in front of the creative art space L’Entrepot (527 Julia Street), starting at 6 p.m. A Nola Art House Music jazz concert follows at 8 p.m. (Click here for tickets.)
Joining in on the NolaVie celebration is only one reason to visit the Art Walks. These monthly events, which also offer free wine and beer, allow visitors to amble about the galleries and interact with gallerists, artists, and fellow art appreciators. Like many other aspects of New Orleans life, Art Walks build a community based on common interest and love of all things NOLA.
With so many galleries to choose from, one’s first Art Walk may seem like a daunting task, but I’ve garnered the philosophies and key focuses of a few of the Julia Street galleries in the following guide. It’ss only a starting point for engaging with the inspiring art available in the Arts District for your discovery and enjoyment. Stay tuned in the upcoming months for more featured articles about galleries and artists in the Arts District.
The Jean Bragg Gallery, at 600 Julia Street, supports Louisiana art and artists through selection of contemporary gallery artists and themed shows. The monthly shows here spotlight the landscape, urban architecture and culture of our state. It is the only art gallery on the street with an extensive collection of late 19th-century and early 20th-century Louisiana artists, as well as a premier offering of Newcomb College Pottery and Crafts.
Jean Bragg’s March opening features its annual “Smalls for the Walls” show, an exhibition of miniature paintings of Louisiana lifestyles featuring Baton Rouge artist Michelle Conques, as well as contemporary and historical New Orleans artists.
Since the Arthur Roger Gallery at 432 Julia Street was founded in 1978, it has attracted a number of New Orleans’ most prominent artists. Gallerist Arthur Roger played a leading role in forming the New Orleans Gallery Association and in arranging the remarkably successful coordinated exhibition openings that would transform the art scene in New Orleans. The gallery has anchored the New Orleans art scene, and this month, Rodger celebrates 200 years of Louisiana statehood with Francis X. Pavy’s “200: Artwork Inspired by 200 years of Statehood.” Other exhibitions include Mary Jane Parker’s “Keepsakes,” which combines natural patterns with dissimilar elements to evoke the “disquiet of suppressed memories,” and Kieth Perelli’s recent series of paintings with monotype and collage, “Mosquito Muerto,” which exposes our emotional defenses as a penetrable, raw façade of our psychological armor.
Since 1983, the mission of LeMieux Galleries at 332 Julia Street has been to unite seasoned collectors and new art enthusiasts with artists of the Louisiana and the South. Its March show features a transplant to New Orleans, Deedra Ludwig, who creates a sense of place with the multimedia pieces from her “Primordial and Sacred” collection by combining physical materials from her travel experiences with her meditative journeys in her studios.
Established in 1997, Heriard-Cimino Gallery at 440 Julia Street quickly gained a reputation identified by its assembly of nationally established mid-career artists. The gallery showcases abstract, figurative, and conceptual bodies of work that include painting, photography, and installations, all possessing an underlying poetic nature. Representing primarily New York- and Miami-based artists, the gallery also represents prominent Louisiana artists, each having a distinctive personal vision. This month, the gallery features a most important show of powerful works by internationally-renowned artist José Bedia.