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Defender Picks


Art Openings and Shows in NOLA

Each week, NoDef brings you a comprehensive directory of visual arts
in the Crescent City from Julia to St. Claude

Jan. 24-31

Daria and the Hip Drops soldier on with their Friday Nights at NOMA performance despite the atmospheric cold shoulder.  Julia Street galleries wind down their January shows this weekend making this your last opportunity to see the likes of Norah Lovell, Georgia Polkey, Jack Niven and Marjorie Pierson, and the Ogden soon bids Gina Phillips’ “Sweet Things” adieu, and Lee Deigaard’s SubMERGE enjoys a last weekend at CAC in situ.  Brave the chill and seize your final opportunity to see “Drawing From the Inside” at Byrdie’s and UNO St. Claude’s “Keep It Up” and “Chubby Crimson Bottoms!”


CAC, 900 Camp Street

SUBMERGE, Lee Deigaard
NEA-sponsored digital video exploring the commonalities between nature and the corporeal body.  Until February 2nd.
“Walking, Sometimes Standing Still” Brendan Connelly
Five-channel field recording compositions by sound designer Brendan Connelly feature decisive moments in ambient sound recorded on foot throughout Connelly’s travels, most recently northern Scotland, London, Paris and the South of France.
“Visual Arts Network Exhibition 2013 Annual Meeting Exhibition”
VAN 2013 features multidisciplinary work by VAN Exhibition Residency graduates including Castillo, Katrina Andry and photographer Eric Gottesman.  Sculpture/installation, digitally planned  woodcut, and framed inkjet prints are just a few of the attractions on view.


NOMA, One Collins Diboll Circle, City Park


Friday Nights at NOMA

Featuring music by Daria and the Hip Drops, 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Panel Discussion – Rescheduled to February 7th

Art on the Spot from 5pm to 8pm


-Houma Basketry, on view through through March 2, 2014  This exhibit looks at the United Houma Nation of Louisiana practice of basket-making and Palmetto weaving.

-Camille Henrot’s “Cities of Ys” continues on the second floor.


Ongoing at the Ogden Museum of Contemporary Southern Art

 “Trespass,” Lee Deigaard  Photography, video installation taken from her “Unbidden” and “Pulse,” series, respectively.  Trespass is part of Deigaard’s ongoing exploration into the complex relationship between humans and nature.

“Rediscovered,” Steffen Thomas  A Stone Mountain, Georgia artist who left his native Nuremburg in 1928 to earn acclaim as a Southern American artist.  Selections of his works.

CURRENTS 2013 features works by fourteen New Orleans Photo Alliance members. Featuring four to five images by each selected artist, the show gives viewers a deeper insight into each photographer’s vision and reflects an overview of contemporary photographic practices. 


Gina Phillips, “I Was Trying Hard to Think About Sweet Things”

Wood, metal, paint, and fabric figure into this magical collection of works by local renowned artist Gina Phillips, sometimes all in one composition.  The exhibit features a three feet tall skating skirt and Fats Domino levitating.  Try hard to see all the sweet things Phillps has created!  Final weekend.


Into the Light: Photographs from the Permanent Collection of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art: This exhibition will highlight many rare and previously-unseen photographs from the permanent collection. Included will be photographs by: Shelby Lee Adams, William Christenberry, George Dureau, William Eggleston, Birney Imes, Roland L. Freeman, Marion Post Wolcott, and many others.


Walter Inglis Anderson: Selections from the Permanent Collection of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art


Southern Regionalists: Selections from the Permanent Collection of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art
Andrews-Humphrey Gallery: George “The Dot Man ”Andrews (1911-1996) was a self-taught artist from Plainview, Georgia. The exhibit also includes his son, the late Benny, who was a civil rights activist and proponent for change in the art world, where he faced discrimination as a multiracial artist. Nene Humphrey is a sculpture, drawer, and printmaker whose work draws from her Roman Catholic background.


George Rodrigue’s Aioli Dinner depicts members of the Creole Gourmet Society at dinner. 

Thornton Dial’s “Struggling Tiger in Hard Times” 
Will Henry Stevens Gallery: A pioneer of southern modernism, Stevens organizes the landscapes around him in clean shapes and colors

The Historic New Orleans Collection, 533 Royal Street
Civil WarBattlefields and National Parks: Photographs by A.J. Meek


In 1993, long before the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War—upon which we, as a nation, are now reflecting—A. J. Meek, professor of photography at Louisiana State University, presented a proposal to the university’s council of research stating a desire to photograph the 384 documented Civil War battlefield sites at the same time of year the battles were fought


Occupy New Orleans!  Voices from the Civil War
New Orleans, the largest and most prosperous city in the antebellum Deep South, spent the Civil War in fetters.  Occupied by Union troops in late April 1862, the city emerged from the conflict with its infrastructure intact but its psyche fractured. This exhibition taps into the experiences of ordinary men and women—Northerners and Southerners alike—to tell the story of the war years. Exhibition visitors will discover that these 19th-century voices sound remarkably modern, for debates over the meaning and cost of occupation continue to this day.

Daguerrotype to Digital:  A Presentation of Photographic Processes

This exhibition traces the evolution of the photographic method from the 1840’s to the present day.

Scale Model of 1915 French Quarter

In conjunction with HNOC’s 2007 exhibition Four Hundred Years of French Presence in Louisiana, the Minister of Culture and Communication of France presented a model of the French Quarter as it would have appeared in about 1915 to the people of New Orleans. Built in 1962 by French artists and jazz enthusiasts Pierre Atlan and Pierre Merlin, the large model depicts the look and character of the French Quarter when it was still a thriving residential area, as well as Storyville and the city’s rail lines. Although the original model covered the entire city, the only surviving portion is the French Quarter.


The Cabildo & The Presbytere, 701 Chartres Street

Krewe of Hermes:  The Diamond Jubilee

An exhibition of the accoutrements of one of the historically most opulent of Carnival organizations, including gowns, invitations, favors, float designs, crowns and scepters.


Mardi Gras:  It’s Carnival Time in Louisiana

Parades, Balls and the Courir du Mardi Gras are explored in this newly renovated show. Based on original research, the exhibit traces the emergence of New Orleans' parades and balls to the present-day, statewide extravaganza that attracts millions.


Visions of Excellence

An annual exhibition of extraordinary images by photojournalists around the world, this exhibition returns for the 5th consecutive year.  Thirty-seven photographic prints are on view in the current show, selected from more than 40,000 submissions to the Picture of the Year competition.

The Wildlife Carvings of Cleo Scott

This exhibition of life-sized bird sculptures showcases the talents of one of Louisiana's master carvers. A retired law enforcement officer from St. Mary Parish, Cleo Scott's lifelong interest in hunting and fishing led him to decoy and wildlife carving.


They Call Me Baby Doll

Dating to about 1912 among women working in city's red-light districts, the Baby Doll tradition both embraced and mocked stereotypes of women as "babies" or "dolls" in popular culture. They Call Me Baby Doll: A Mardi Gras Tradition features historic photographs, costumes and artifacts, including many items loaned by baby doll members.


The Louisiana Photographs of Robert Tebbs

Tebbs photographed nearly 100 Louisiana plantations, including well-known sites such as Elmwood, Parlange, Ormond, Whitney, Houmas House, L'Hermitage, Waverly, Belle Chasse, Chr?tian Point, Shadows-on-the-Teche, Ren? Beauregard House, Rosedown, Woodlawn, Oak Alley and Belle Grove. Because he also sought out more obscure or modest properties, the collection contains a comprehensive record of Louisiana plantation architectural styles.



Living with Hurricanes: KATRINA & beyond 
Katrina and Beyond is a must-see exhibition on the history and science of these awesome storms -- and their profound impact on our lives. At the Presbytere on Jackson Square.

St. Claude

Barrister’s, 2331 St. Claude Avenue at Spain Street

“How Are Things?” features the tongue-in-cheek pastiche of artist Jennifer Maloney.  Sometimes it is reassuring to know that you are not the only one slightly obsessed with Bosc pears in Styrofoam sweaters.  Photo-real paintings want to know, literally, how things are


“Southern Settings” is a less controversial work by personality Keith Duncan, featuring the same fresh approach to materiality which utilizes acrylic paint on wallpapers as his watermelons series from Second Story Gallery in October.  Never fear:  Duncan’s self-aware humor carries out the work just as much as his skill holds true.  Charmingly isolated vignettes examine some of the many facets of New Orleans culture through scenery.



“Drawing from the Inside” by artist Raven Creature promises lifelike depictions of whatever subject matter the artist – “yes,” she assures… “that’s my real name.” – takes on.  Favorites from her repertoire are sketches of literary favorites like William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Philip K. Dick and many other deliciously culty writers and poets.


The Front, 4100 St. Claude Avenue

“18 and Life,” A group show of the current updated collective of artists that make up The Front.

To celebrate the beginning of its fifth lease cycle, The Front invites one and all to a group show of new work by spanking new and ongoing member artists.  Last fall, an open call for new members reaped the gallery a bounty of new talent. Come see what's new. We were 14, now we are 18. We're an octadecagon. We are e pluribus unum/ duodeviginti members 

Good Children Gallery, 4037 St. Claude Avenue
Daphne Loney’s "The Winter of Our Discontent"

Gabrial Alexander’s "Nothing Personal” 


Press Street’s Antenna, 3718 St. Claude Avenue

“ROOTS” is a solo exhibition by Pat Phillips which examines issues of social hierarchy, race, and consumerism, and their entanglement with black southern heritage and the artist’s own personal history.


Staple Goods, 1340 St. Roch Avenue

Cynthia Scott’s “Punditry”


Second Story Gallery at New Orleans Healing Center, 2372 St. Claude Avenue

"Traverser," artwork by Karen Abboud, Maureen Krail and Belinda Tanno.  Up through February 1st.


UNO St. Claude, 2429 St. Claude Avenue
Vanessa Centeno’s “Keep it Up” and Peter Hoffman’s “Chubby Crimson Bottoms,” two thesis exhibitions.  Hoffman’s work features 8 oil paintings and 4 painted plaster sculptures. 

Centeno’s work tends to focus on the twisted byproducts of consumerism.




Ariodante Gallery, 535 Julia Street

“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Georgia Polkey.  Is it a coincidence that this installation of paint and paintings takes its name from the Charlotte Perkins Gilman short story by the same name?  Look for feminist themes about being trapped in the domestic realm.  This reviewer will be, as well as re-reading The Yellow Wallpaper to prepare for the full effect of Polkey’s unique mixture of paintings and gallery manipulation.

Arlyn Jimenez’s cool and funky tables will be on display, featuring repurposeful one-and-onlies sure to enhance your hipness factor.  See how artfully this artista Dominicano bends found materials to his stylish will.

Wispy, earthy flair characterizes jewelry by Hopella Designs.


Arthur Roger Gallery, 432 & 434 Julia Street

Holton Rower, “Viscous Resin Extruding from the Trunk”
New approaches to color field genre of work crosses the line between sculpture and painting in Rower’s work.  His meticulous methods take Helen Frankenthaler’s innovation for a modern, chemically-altered spin around the block.


James Drake, “Can We Know the Sound of Forgiveness”

This show is Drake’s take on “three life cycles” which feature a “classical attitude and approach.”  Some are big, some are small, all are red, and you can rest assured in the classical tradition, there will be nipples.

Both shows hang through February 15th.


Boyd Satellite, 440 Julia Street

“Megalomania Two” features work by Harry Shearer, Marianne and Jack Niven, Galina Kuriat and some 20 other stellar artists.  Up through January 29th.


Callan Contemporary, 518 Julia Street

Norah Lovell, “Beneath the Shades”

The show’s title brandishes a little voyeuristic flair to get the blood pumping and delivers questions, questions, questions.  Her colors are clues and her bold comic-book sequencing within the works keep the eye bouncing and intrigued from one rationally-sized work to the next.  No need for overpowering size when you know how to use what you’ve got, folks.  Up through January 28th.


d.o.c.s Gallery, 709 Camp Street

Brad J. Dupuy, “” elements of 80’s Neoclassic consumerism wind their way gracefully and subtly into these Neue Sachlichkeit-inspired figural studies that feel a lot more like the sensual pastiche of Christian Shad than the flaming social bludgeon of Otto Dix or George Grosz.  Slip into bed to read the paper with Dupuy’s composed, relaxed characters while you ponder the flora, fixtures and furnishings you are not trimming, hanging or polishing. Is this anything?  Yes, it surely is something; something a little delectably twisted.  Throughout January.


The Foundation Gallery, 608 Julia Street

Jeana Baumgardner’s “Beyond this Point” exuberant works placed lovingly, imaginatively on the universal grid by an artist to watch.  Up through January.


Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, 400 Julia Street
Sandy Chism’s “Regarding the Incidence of Purpose” is a sometimes cuddly, sometimes acerbic survey of paintings which hang at Jonathan Ferrara this month through February 8th.  These far-flung works which range from abstraction to still-life to painful expressionistically blurred landscapes make you first want to purchase them all, then beckon you to know just what makes Chism tick.  Intriguing work by an intriguing artist.


LeMieux Gallery, 332 Julia Street
Nonagenarian John Clemmer’s show “Nine Years Later” features oil on canvas works of generous proportions.  Haunting vignettes and collages in subtle colors defy gravity in a particularly Cubist fashion.  Temporality rules in this show of deciduous vegetation and frigid windowscapes that marks a fleeting but momentous and ultimately mysterious occasion.


Martine Chaisson Gallery, 727 Camp Street
Marjorie Pierson’s “Immersion” joins the PhotoNOLA festivities with her painterly photographic interpretations of environmental issues facing the South.  A native of Durham, North Carolina, Pierson’s recent monograph Struck by Nature: Bald Head Island further explicates this highly imaginative, savvy auteur’s body of work. See her dream-like visions of endangered wetlands and evolving oceans Through January 25th.


Octavia Gallery, 454 Julia Street

“Dueñas (owners)” by Karlos Pérez and Alex Hernández is a bubbling mixture of emotive, evocative portraiture and the resort-scapes of affluenza paired together in a purposefully unsettling show.  Despair, anger, ecstasy and suspended hopefulness bleed out of Pérez’s canvases in astounding abundance considering his economy of depiction, which occurs in tight vignettes sometimes devoid of facial characterizations at all.  They serve in sharp and cutting contrast with the stoic and breezy pool scenes offered by Hernández whose austere and deceptively loose style hide cold, careless animosity barely at arm’s length.


Soren Christensen, 400 Julia Street

“Group Work,” also known as best-of-the-best inhabits Soren Christensen this month, including more of photographer Brooke Shaden, poignant collage by Melissa Herrington and the gentle mixed media magic of Gretchen Weller Howard.  Includes works by Audra Kohout and Daniel Minter, Steven Steinberg, Evelyn Jordan and many other perennial favorites.


Stella Jones Gallery, 201 St. Charles (enter on Gravier)
“Twentieth Century Works on Paper by Artists of the Diaspora” featuring the clear and brilliant grandeur of works by Faith Ringgold, the distinctive clarity of Elizabeth Catlett, the sweet, serene scenes of Huey Lee-Smith, and the impressionistic interpretations of Louis Delsarte among works by other critically important artists of the 20th century.

TEN Gallery, 4432 Magazine Street

“Cappuccino: A Collaboration between Rebecca Herbert and Ida Floreak” has nothing to do with the hot Italian beverage and everything to do with remains.  Work inspired by the crypts of the Capuchin monks examines the macabre nature of the reliquary.

Peter Barnitz’s, “Amid the Strikes” are rhythmic paintings which seem to meditate on the microcosm and intricate nature of creation. 



Listings by Cheryl Castjohn


Image: 'Unbidden' by Lee Deigaard. Photo via Deigaard's website. 


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