Five years ago, when Diego Larguia and Kelly Sherman bought their Holy Cross house. It was “enter at your own risk.” Kelly had already seen the area and loved it. Diego, who is a fine artist, had heard that fellow artist Bob Tannen and his wife Jeanne Nathan had recently purchased a double shotgun nearby, dubbing it The Art House. To Diego at that time, the neighborhood across the Industrial Canal was still a “mystery.”
The couple visited the Global Green Project and found a converted shotgun on Dauphine Street that had been vacant since Hurricane Katrina.
“The sign had fallen and we could walk right in, but it had good bones,” he said.
At the time, the couple owned a house in the Irish Channel. To renovate, Diego virtually put everything on hold for two years. His guesstimate of what the cost might be was totally off, but that was because they chose to keep the house “historic.”
Kathy Muse and Warrenetta Banks, who worked at the Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development, were thrilled Diego and Kelly were moving into the neighborhood and assigned groups of volunteers to assist with gutting and other unskilled labor. Finally, they were able to rent out the Irish Channel house and move full-time to Holy Cross where they bicycle and enjoy their proximity to the river.
Originally from Buenos Aires, Diego studied art in Florida and later at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts under Don Anderson, Jerome Weinberger and Phil Sandusky. Diego now teaches oil painting at the Academy where he has received numerous awards.
The majority of his subjects are landscapes, including scenes from the Lower Ninth Ward and Arabi. Inspired by masters such as Sorolla, Sargent and Monet, his objective is to capture that specific point in time and place while communicating his own perspective.
Diego’s work is included in an exhibition through November 2016 at Gallery 600 Julia.