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Defender Picks



July 21st

Friday Pop Up

Drifter Hotel, 1PM

By Lucille’s Roti Shop


Louisiana Sportsman Show

Superdome, 3PM

Back in NOLA after 12 years


Dinner and a ZOOvie

Audubon Park, 6PM

A showing of Moana


Summer Nerd Movie Nights

Tubby & Coo’s, 7PM

A showing of The Neverending Story


John Waters Film Festival


A showing of Pink Flamingos


Leonardo Hernandez Trio

Casa Borrega, 7PM

Great food, great music


Comedy F#@k Yeah

The Dragon’s Den, 8PM

Ft. Shane Torres


New Rebel Family

House of Blues, 8PM

Ft. AYO, The Other LA, Akadia, and Ventruss


Mia Borders Trio

Foundation Room, 9:30PM

Open to the public


Alligator ChompChomp

The Circle Bar, 10PM

Crunchin’ on those notes


Foundation Free Fridays

Tips, 10PM

Ft. Walter “Wolfman” Washington + The Fortifiers


Spektrum Fridays

Techno Club, 11PM

Ft. Mikel Douglas + Dozal


July 22nd

Ice Cream Social

Longue Vue, 10AM

Plus adoptable pets from the SPCA


Veggie Growing Basics

Hollygrove Market, 1PM

Grow your own food


National Hot Dog Day

Dat Dog, 3PM

Raffles, ice cream and more


Cocktails and Queens

Piscobar, 6PM

A queer industry dance party


Immersive Sound Bath

Nola Yoga Loft, 7PM

Soothing 3D Soundscapes


Paul Mooney

Jazz Market, 8PM

Also ft. music by Caren Green


New Orleans Beatles Festival

House of Blues, 8PM

Come together, right now


Christmas in July

The Willow, 8PM

Ugly sweaters and peppermint shots



Three Keys, 9PM

With Coolasty ft. Jack Freeman and more


Particle Devotion

Banks St Bar, 9PM

Ft. Paper Bison +  Tranche


Cesar Comanche

Art Klub, 9:30PM

Ft. Ghost Dog, Knox Ketchum and more


Gimme A Reason

Poor Boy’s Bar, 10PM

Ft. Savile and local support


Techno Club

Techno Club, 10PM

Ft. Javier Drada, Eria Lauren, Otto



July 23rd

From Here to Eternity

Prytania Theatre, 10AM

The 1953 classic


Eight Flavors

Longue Vue, 12PM

Sarah Lohman will discuss her new book


Book Swap

Church Alley Coffee Bar, 12PM

Bring books, get books


Urban Composting

Hollygrove Market, 1PM

Learn about easy composting


Brave New World Book Club

Tubby & Coo’s, 2PM

Open to all


Gentleman Loser

The Drifter Hotel, 3PM

A classic poolside rager


Mixology 101

Carrolton Market

With Dusty Mars


Freret Street Block Party

Freret St, 5PM

A celebratory bar crawl


Mushroom Head

Southport Music Hall, 6PM

+ Hail Sagan and American Grim


Glen David Andrews

Little Gem Saloon, 8PM

Get trombone’d by the greatest


Hot 8 Brass Band

The Howlin Wolf, 10PM

Brass music for a new era



The Dragon’s Den, 10PM

Ft. KTRL, Unicorn Fukr, RMonic

Grand Curator

Review: UNO St. Claude Gallery's Alumni Exhibition

In a 2003 Chicago Tribune article, art critic Alan G. Artner characterized the 1990’s as a time during which “pseudo-intellectualism” began “replacing scholarship” in the area of curation.     


Further blurring the lines between curator in “position of service,” as elucidated by Artner, are sometimes artist-curators like Robert Gober, asked to curate in a guest capacity at Houston’s Menil Collection.  Gober’s work within “Meat Wagon” not only drew visitors to the Menil, it offered a glimpse into Gober’s own unique and intriguing way of seeing.  It is this particular viewpoint, this “way of seeing” that started taking second-stage to the selfless and academic approach to curation.


Because of this intensified relationship between art and curation, sometimes the distinction between curating a solid show and “celebrity curating” gets dicey.  Particularly within collectives like TEN Gallery, Good Children and The Front where artist members are presumably expected to share the duties of curating shows, keeping one’s academic ethics intact seems paramount. 


As an art critic working with local museums, this reviewer is frequently cautioned by the curatorial staff themselves against emphasizing their roles in the making and display of art.  The dedicated and educated of the New Orleans art world generally eschew garnering such acclaim in lieu of maintaining academic ethics and (presumably) mutual professional esteem.


As an exercise in learning about the curatorial process, NOLA Defender sought out two academics involved in curating on behalf of UNO St. Claude Gallery.  Instructor and Managing Director Kathy Rodriguez curates UNO St. Claude throughout the year, finding congruous pairings amongst the MFA candidates’ final theses as a mainstay and pulling in other faculty work and work by alumni as well.  When a candidate fell through, Natalie McLaurin’s “You are a weird bird” stood alone.  Enter Assistant Professor of Art History Dr. Rebecca Reynolds who proposed offering MFA grads an opportunity to submit work which would eventually make up the gallery’s April-May show.


Rebecca Reynolds explains that when a letter was sent to MFA alum’, no subject matter was imagined.  However, as artists responded, Reynolds saw an overwhelming amount of work coming in that dealt with the process of identity formation.  This theme coincided well with McLaurin’s work in its own investigations.  Reynolds chose works by Alex Podesta, Nina Schwanse and Monica Zeringue on their works’ thematic and visual strengths.


Alumni Alex Podesta’s work can’t help but greet the viewer, its sculptural and tactile prowess measuring up at the most, around six feet tall.  His work “The Victors” consists of a quasi-pre-adolescent Podesta of adult height dressed in childlike clothing.  Podesta-the-sculpture pulls a legless yet confined unicorn in a red wagon, and leads a paraplegic bunny in a unicycle contraption of his own creation.  Scale is skewed, sort of.  None of the creatures “exist”, giant child Podesta and giant fluffy rabbit staking little more claim to reality than quadruple amputee plush unicorn.  In terms of identity, Podesta’s childlike sense of wonder seems to have been grimly transformed by the journey into adulthood.


Also of note is Podesta’s “I vs. I (Tanner Stage II),” a pair of toddler-sized tricycles covered in the same pristine white fur as the bunny and the unicorn of “Victors” and locked in combat at handlebars modified into antlers.  Tanner Stage 2 refers to the first step towards puberty, and quite possibly the onset of battle within to form the autonomous adult personality.


Monica Zeringue’s entire body of work within the show, five astoundingly intricate works in graphite pencil, four on primed linen and one on paper, boldly and successfully broaches the subject of female identity.  Zeringue’s approach is beautifully communicated and readily relatable from a female standpoint.  The artist takes on characters from Greek mythology like Rhea Silvia, Ophelia and Hercules as a means of transcending the gender constraints inherent in myth. 


Zeringue fearlessly depicts her own body distorted into the nursing canine in terms of nursing capability only.  “She Wolf” offers the sacrificial hare as she ambulates on all fours, possessing three extra sets of breasts swollen with milk.  Charged with the tasks of hunting, feeding her young, the work’s subject bears tender flesh instead of thick fur, short human forearms and oversized human breasts.  Regardless of her inadequacies, our heroine surmounts inconceivable challenges.  This is interesting in itself, until the viewer realizes further that Zeringue also presents her nakedness, her vulnerabilities in the appraising public eye.  The feminist commentary is somewhat absent.   Zeringue instead chooses to discreetly and artfully frame the challenges with an expert hand. 


Zeringue’s “Unbecoming ” discusses the tedious physical and emotional pain of conforming to current standards of beauty.  The fearful prospect of the haircut is depicted, performed by the artist’s mother with pruning shears.  The specter of a well-pruned and fecund rose bush looms in the background, the entire work floating on a blank backdrop.  Zeringue addresses themes throughout the show dealing with the beholden nature of femininity, especially in relation to hair, an important link to Podesta’s work in “Tanner II” which is distinctively masculine in nature.


Nina Schwanse, is an artist seemingly driven to deconstruct the sensational.  Her work often consists of getting inside of a controversial thing at its roots and experiencing the painful process of growing with it.  In her multi-faceted confrontation of feminist anti-hero Veronica Compton, Schwanse reportedly experienced a disjunction when she attempted to portray the woman in a video work.  Compton, a wanna-be screenwriter and attempted murderer who conspired with Hillside Strangler Kenneth Bianchi through letter-writing on the outs’, is the subject of multiple works by Schwanse originally shown as her “Hold It Against Me: The Veronica Compton Archive” exhibition at Good Children Gallery in 2013.


A well-curated show then, conceivably takes into account a body of work evaluated on its rigorous approach to a topic.  It explores many aspects, from both a male and female perspective and generally insists on performing a ghostly task.  It culls as much talent from as far and wide as possible, in this case finding graduates from as far back as possible.

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Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.


Alexis Manrodt

Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

B. E. Mintz

Editor Emeritus

Stephen Babcock

Published Daily