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ARTWARD BOUND: Life and art on a shoestring


Beam by Sophie T. Lvoff

Disruption of the status quo is the gorilla in the room that gives me hope. Bitcoin, digital money, says forget the banks and Wall Street, who forgot about us long, long ago. Self-publishing tells the few remaining NY publishing houses, thanks but no thanks, we can do it ourselves cheaper and better. Musicians and artists go directly to their fans. SHIFT HAPPENS!

NOLA is a hotbed of young people taking the reins, and for anyone enthused about the arts, the Hand In Glove Conference coming here Oct 17-20 is the perfect example of this grass-roots mentality. It focuses not just on practicing artists, but also on arts administrators, arts publishers, residencies and grants. Think the flowering of St. Claude Avenue and its collective mindset and you’ll get Hand in Glove.

As organizers say on their website, the conference “was conceived as a way to start a national conversation on creative activity happening outside of traditional institutions and spread the word about innovative organizing models and under-the-radar opportunities that could be useful to artists and organizers. A vibrant and vital art world would be unimaginable without these spaces and projects.”

Registration for the conference is $50.


Opening Thursday, October 17

Keynote speaker Martha Wilson founded Franklin Furnace Archive in downtown NYC in 1976, as an action museum featuring book and paper arts, performance, and installations. She’ll open the Hand in Glove conference on October 17 with a mixer to follow at the Den of Muses, where Krewe du Vieux floats are built and stored.

Friday, October 18

Daytime at the beautiful Joy Theatre brings together art leaders from across the country to compare unconventional organizational models and issues of fundraising, volunteerism, and community involvement with such local notables as Delaney Martin (best-known as one of the founders of the much-praised Music Box installation in the Bywater).

Friday night, October 18

Party at the gallery, PARSE, with the latest collectible art from Pelican Bomb’s THE DROP featuring new multiples by Abdi Farah (Bravo’s Work Of Art winner), Sophie T. Lvoff (Tulane Photography & Good Children Gallery), and Bob Snead (Press Street). Don’t miss picking up The Saint Claude Index, a gorgeously designed little book (such beautiful photos by Sophie Lvoff and designed by Constance New Orleans) that clearly guides you to the gems scattered throughout the Saint Claude area.


st claude index

St Claude Index. Design: Erik Keisewetter, photos: Sophie T. Lvoff

Daytime, Saturday, October 19

Jump on the shuttle and visit at your own speed exhibitions, performances, and events throughout the city. Jump off for lunch, do some more traveling around, jump off for coffee, then go to the dinner event at The Joan Mitchell Center and participate in the peer-to-peer interview project, which nicely captures the point of Hand in Glove Conference, to meet, connect, and help one another grow the arts, detouring around the establishment, disrupting the status quo.

Go gorillas! or do I mean guerillas?

Sunday, October 20, 10 am-3 pm – sold out

Lagniappe Sunday Tour with DJ Brice Nice

It’s sold out, but worth noting for next time: DJ Brice Nice leads a tour that’s described only as “attendees may be required to get wet, dance, meet creepy or amazing people, nap, laugh, cry, walk, climb, limp, or run.”

Sunday, October 20, noon to 5 pm

For an inside look at the funky, elegant, and always surprising style of New Orleans, the Creative Alliance of N.O. gets you inside on its house and studio tour.


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