For as long as I can remember, I’ve been going to the art openings on Julia Street the first Saturday of every month. Since Katrina, I’ve also been going to the second-Saturday shows in my own neighborhood, the Bywater. When I do, I inevitably run into Doyle Gertjejansen.
Doyle is a longtime fixture of the New Orleans art scene. For his entire professional career, he taught art at the University of New Orleans. (He was actually the head of the department when my sister went there.) He’s exhibited his own work here and around the country, and he’s served on numerous boards and committees. “Going to the openings is a way to connect with former students and colleagues,” says Doyle. “Some of my students are now showing in museums. It’s pretty inspiring.”
Doyle recently retired from teaching at UNO. When he did, he gave up his studio on campus. Like a lot of artists, instead of renting a space, he simply converted his house into a studio. With the possible exception of his bedroom, every room, including the backyard, is a workspace. There are canvases, brushes, paint cans and sketchbooks EVERYWHERE.
“I’m fascinated by the intersection of life and work,” said Doyle. “I’m growing tomatoes and making art side by side. I’m sure it’s gonna take my work in a whole new direction…”
This Saturday, my wife and I plan to check out the galleries in the Arts District. I’m sure we’ll run into Doyle…
Doyle Gertjejansen is represented by Callan Contemporary. You can visit Callan Contemporary, which will also be part of White Linen Night on August 5, 2017, to see his work. To learn more about the artist, go to http://doylegertjejansen.com.