What: Paulus Antenna Art gallery in New Orleans, LA
Film By: Brooke Paulus
Editors Note: ViaNolaVie partners with students of UNO professor László Zsolt Fülöp, pairing them with artists, non-profits, environmental groups, and cultural entities to facilitate a live curriculum that results in a short documentary.
Brooke Paulus, a film student at the University of New Orleans, gives us a documentary about Antenna, the Non-profit Art gallery in New Orleans. She interviews the Development and Operations Manager of Antenna to give us a tour of what Antenna looks like and how they operate.
Grace-My name is Grace Van Dyke, and I am the development and operations manager at Antenna. I work on fundraising and keep things moving forward.
Grace-Antenna is a multi-disciplinary arts organization. We have a space that has two Gallery spaces in it. There’s the reading room downstairs which presents work that’s at the intersection of print and visual arts, and then upstairs is General Gallery. We’ve done a lot of stuff up there. It’s been very sculptural; sometimes, it’s paintings on the wall all over the place, sort of at the artist’s discretion. Down the road in the Lower Ninth Ward on Saint Claude, also we have our print shop paper machine. They’re a full-service print shop, so they do services for the public. They also host a Residency program and publish books from Antenna artists and other artists from around the community.
Grace- So we are a part of the St. Claude Arts District. That means we do gallery openings every second Saturday, along with many other galleries on the strip of this stretch of Saint Claude. We do our openings, and the artists usually get a chance to talk to folks in the community. It’s every second Saturday from like six to ten, we have drinks, it’s fun, sometimes we have food pop-up, and sometimes we have a DJ. It’s always a really fun opportunity to interface between the artists and the audiences and get everybody in the room.
Grace-Antenna has a host of artist opportunities. We try to provide opportunities for artists to get paid for their work as often as we can. We just instated that whenever you show at Antenna Gallery, we offer a stipend for everyone who shows up in any of our spaces. Throughout the pandemic, we were doing the creative response collaborative relief funds. These were emergency relief grants for artists, culture bearers, musicians, and everybody out of work due to the pandemic, Hurricane Ida, and new variants as they popped up. We’ve done four rounds of that, which distributed just a little over a million dollars. We’re really proud of that work and our partners across the city who helped make it happen.
We also do the platforms fund, a re-granting opportunity for project-based work, so folks can develop a project. We offer both research and development grants. As well as project of limitation grants that range up to six thousand dollars, people can apply annually as well. As for our open calls, there are honorariums, so across all the work we do in all of our programs, we try to offer some sort of stipend honorarium so that folks are getting paid for their time and the work that they do with us, and we’re really proud of that. We try to put that at the center of everything we do.
Grace- Draw-a-Thon is one of our oldest standing programs. We’re coming up on the 17th Draw-A-Thon. Hence, it was one of the first things the collective established when Antenna started programming outside gallery shows. The original version of it is a 24-hour create for the sake of creation. We have workshops within it; we cover everything in paper, and everybody just sort of goes crazy. There are free art supplies and free screen printing workshops.
Sometimes Krewes will parade through, and it’s super fun. Since the pandemic, we’ve been doing mini-versions; we distributed about a thousand Draw-A-Thon kits, that were little packs of free school supplies. We had sites where folks could come and grab some colored pencils, kid’s scissors, and all different things and make their own little bundle of Draw-a-Thon activities. We made an activity book with a lot of the artists that usually participate.
We are hoping to get back to in-school Draw-a-Thon in the 24-hour version in the next year or so. We’re building back up post-pandemic, but, Draw-A-Thon is a community favorite, and we always love it every time it happens. I love it.
Anonymous- oh, that’s edgy.
Grace- it’s an all-ages event.
Grace- I love it. The drawings are so cute.