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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

May 2-May 10




Ariodante Gallery, 535 Julia Street

It is always a heady mix of art objects at Ariodante, and May carries on this standard with great ease.  See the colorscapes of Erin Lee Gafill, paintings by Julie Breaux, airtight hand-turned wood vessels of Paul Burk and jewelry by Eric Silva.  Burk’s wooden wonders dabble in the cosmic truth of mathematics and will also stand dutifully on your mantle or table informing everyone about your exquisite taste.  Just a little something Ariodante can do for you this month.  Opening reception this Saturday the 3rd from 6pm to 9pm.


Arthur Roger Gallery, 432 & 434 Julia Street

Photo-real still-lives of Amy Weiskopf harken back to the days of the Baroque, with their wilted leaves and hyper-ripe details.  But instead of posing them next to dirty-nailed cherubs, Weiskopf strips them down and lets them stand alone in a postmodern examination of varying relationships between form, color, composition and psychology.


What’s unpleasant about the powerful glass works of Dale Chihuly?  Absolutely nothin’.  Arthur Roger invites his fancy friend to hang out in NOLA for a little while and we all get a refresher course on why Chihuly is a very, very big deal.


Boyd Satellite, 440 Julia Street

Boyd Satellite presents the eerily quiet paintings of Elizabeth Fox this month in her show “Played to Win.”  Silent backgrounds layered as flat as newspaper present characters from the viewer’s dreams which are indistinguishable from nightmares.  Fox’s innate ability to haunt with blue skies and terrify with blank expressions of “Businessmen in the Snow” is a wonder which beckons like a Pandora’s Box of fun and hopefully her special brand of trouble.  Opening reception Saturday the 3rd from 6pm to 9pm.


Callan Contemporary, 518 Julia Street

“I Search in Snow” by Sibylle Peretti features slightly askew neo-classically-styled sculpture, etchings in innovative mediums and precious bells capturing fairy tale scenes.  Sensuously cast in milky or silvered or paper-coated glass, Peretti’s strange and enthralling methods demand investigation.  Jam your hands deep inside your pockets because you are going to want to touch them.


Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, 400 Julia Street

NOLA favorites Gina Phillips and Skylar Fein take us on magical mystery tours of isolated objects and arbitrary words out of context.  If you ever dreamed of being spirited away by the Cat in the Hat in real life, these concurrent exhibitions at Jonathan Ferrara are your very best shot in adulthood, artistically speaking.  Cake in the bathtub, Ms. Phillips?  Don’t mind if we do.


David Buckingham wows with witty, wacky onomatopoeia whose medium is inseparable from their messages, and metal notes to keep sacred.  Their concepts are as sharp as their edges so as Wolsey would have warned, “Be very, very careful what you put in your head because you will never, ever get it out!”  Buckingham cautions us to drink deep with tongue-in-cheek works like “The Gum Chewer’s Dilemma.”


LeMieux Gallery, 332 Julia Street

Artist and musician Jon Langford presents “Summer Stars,” a collection of beloved musical idols like Snooks Eaglin, Johnny and June, Lou Reed and Elvis.  The show’s centerpiece is a love letter to New Orleans’ music, with local legends like Big Chief Jolly, Blue Lu Baker and Allen Touissant set in the night sky, finally getting the respect they deserve.  Gather and get low to bow to the jazz heritage of this cosmically gifted city alongside the outsider-ish, folky altars of Mr. Jon Langford.  Event with artist in attendance tonight, Thursday the 1st.  Opening reception Saturday the 3rd from 6pm to 9pm.


Martine Chaisson Gallery, 727 Camp Street

Joli Livaudais’ “Dreams and Replies” continues through May 31st, providing 31 more grateful opportunities to taste every flavor this honey-covered jewel of an exhibit has to offer.  Get there.


Octavia Gallery, 454 Julia Street

Michael Varisco’s “Fluid States” presents many views of water and our relationship to it, both in first-person perspective and aerial views.  A highlight of this show may prove to be Varisco’s choice of medium for individual prints.  Utilizing dye-sublimated silks at times and archival chromogenic print at others.


TEN Gallery, 4432 Magazine Street

“Remembrance” featuring works by Roderick Worden opens Saturday at TEN.  Worden’s crisp, nighttime photography tingles with Eggleston-esque verve and crispness.  A feast for the eyes, hopefully replete with more Southern scenes like feature the game-show “PAWN” letters, “Remembrance” offers a dusky slice of Louisiana life.


Rex Dingler mystifies with new work, and also a working title!  The only thing we know for sure is that it’s gonna be good.


St. Claude


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

Ben Reid’s “Blip. Repeat” is going up through the month of April, launching out from a Second Saturday to another Second Saturday.  A fleet of vessels made from leftover scraps, Reid explores the physical and metaphysical ramifications of items that “seem already old before their fabrication” and whisper a little about the clunkiness of living on planet earth.


Pop-Up show, David McPherson’s “179 Apples” pops in representing the pop art still life genre, of which there are no others.  Isn’t McPherson a variety of apple?  Well, it should be.


Byrdie’s, 2422 St. Claude Avenue

 “Still” by Miki Glasser features works in porcelain mishima in contemporary, childlike designs (think: lovable dinosaurs and imaginary flying machines) that would make Anthropologie’s Keith Johnson droolSorry, Keith, Byrdie’s has dibs on Glasser this month! Mishima is a traditional Korean surface decorating technique that involves inlaying a colored slip into incised lines on leather-hard clay. 


Good Children Gallery, 4037 St. Claude Avenue

Brian Guidry’s “Phantom Vibrations” brings ghostly abstractions into real space and then paints them, as if documenting the Memphis Movement firsthand.  Imagine what it must have been like to party a little with Ettore Sotsass through the painting of Brian Guidry!


The Front, 4100 St. Claude Avenue

Room 1

Text to Textile, featuring work by women produced by digital means.  A little

Tasheka Arceneaux-Sutton, Leah Floyd, Katerie Gladdys + Deshae E. Lott, Maria Lino, Venessa Monokian and Garima Thakur


Room 2

“Grown Ass Kids” invites an exploratory look into hobbies, adulthood and the appropriateness of grown-up kickball leagues.  You must be this high you must be to ride this ride?  50iv, John Isiah, Jason Childers and Ron Bennett contribute to an intriguing show which seeks to explore pastimes with artists.


Room 3

James Goedert’s left hand, Toby Franklin reminds us that “There Are Only So Many Days in a Planet.”  In a show possibly channeled from Lars Von Trier’s “Melancholia” during a late-night nap on the couch, Toby kept control of the remote while James Goedert slept.  James lets Toby out to tell the tale, proving that every day is Groundhog Day for the majority of left hands in the world.


Room 4

Southern-educated New Orleanian Angela Berry explores the boundaries between public and private space in “Outside the Latmian Cave.”  Berry’s work focuses on mundane scenes where encroachment and intrusion is happening all the time.  New Orleans’ lack of zoning makes for an interesting case study by this accomplished Southern photographer.


The May Space, 2839 North Robertson, Ste 105

Lotte Geeven’s “VIGOR” is “a solo exhibition comprised of a video projection, a moving image and an immersive installation with a proprietary publication” which explores our relationship in this specific place, to the forces of matter, power and water.  Multi-media artist Geeven collaborated with Milo Daemgen and Alexander H Payne in conjunction with Greenhouse Collective to produce the video projection portion of the installation.


Press Street’s Antenna, 3718 St. Claude Avenue

 “Parameters” features multi-media works by artists Gerald Cannon, Jessica Hoffman, Heidi Neilson and Robin Price who use chance experiments, media or process restrictions, and conceptual rules to form their work.


“Diversions” presents a juried selection of artist books and book-related works in Press Street’s new Reading Room 220. Selected by local artists Friedrich Kerksieck and Luba Zygarewicz, these works explore the use of rules and play as a way for making work and/or creating interaction with the viewer.  Usually open from Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 5pm, the Reading Room will participate in Second Saturday this month.


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

The nature photography of Cindy Kassab, printed using an Epson archival ink printer onto watercolor paper to enhance their painterly appearance.


Staple Goods, 1340 St. Roch Avenue

Bonnie Maygarden presents her most recent body of water, that is body of WORK, titled “The Simulated Tide.”  Known for her razor sharp depictions of “virtuous reality” this New Orleans born, Pratt and Tulane trained artist always seems to offer a new perspective and a sumptuously-painted surface.  Show hangs through the 4th of May.


UNO St. Claude, 2429 St. Claude Avenue

Natalie McLaurin presents “You are a weird bird,” a mixed-media extravaganza of video work, textiles, paintings and sculpture loaded with witty gender investigation.  McLaurin’s sheer range of art-making skills might tend to take center stage, but her sense of humor and keen sense of nostalgia round this thesis exhibition into a must-experience.


An alumni exhibition featuring works by Alex Podesta, Nina Schwanse, and Monica Zeringue, each of whose work investigates notions of identity formation.  Revisit mythic heroes as the proverbial woman this time, and let Zeringue lead you through the ensuing adventures.  Dabble in the media circus around identity with Nina Schwanse as your shaman.  Adore Alex Podesta’s furry, horny dueling tricycles while New Orleans still has him in our clutches.  On exhibit through the 4th of May.


CAC, 900 Camp Street


“30 Americans” showcases works by many of the most important African American artists of the last three decades. This provocative exhibition focuses on issues of racial, sexual, and historical identity in contemporary culture while exploring the powerful influence of artistic legacy and community across generations.  “30 Americans” involves all three floors and a one-time-only collection of prominent and important black artists.  Through June 13


“Hello, I Am”  is a peer-curated exhibition of contemporary artworks by New Orleans area teenagers. Developed by the CAC’s Teen Board, the show is comprised of art inspired by the “30 Americans” show of work selected from an open call. 


Mark Of The Feminine: Call For Submissions through June 11th

This is an open call inviting female artists and artists identifying as female who live and work, or regularly show work, in the Greater New Orleans area including Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, Plaquemines and St. Tammany parishes to submit work


NOMA, One Collins Diboll Circle, City Park

Friday Nights at NOMA

May 2nd from 5pm to 9pm

Patrice Fisher and the Arpa Quartet perform 5:30 to 8:30 pm

A dance performance at 6pm in the Sculpture Garden by Isidore Newman School

Screening of “REBEL: Loreta Velazquez, Secret Soldier of the American Civil War”


Mel Chin’s “Rematch” continues on the first floor.  This legendary Chinese American Southern artist’s most important and best loved works remain on display.  A video game, a deconstructed encyclopedia, a creative and massive attempt to clean up New Orleans lead-contaminated soil, and so very much more await you at NOMA through May.  “Rematch” is a great family-geared show, fun and thought-provoking for all ages.


“Photography and the American Civil War” traveling exhibit organized by Met Curator Jeff Rosenheim features rare and newly discovered photography and objects which tell the story of photography’s intimately intertwined relationship with the War Between the States.  Innovations on the stereograph incorporate some shockingly modern technology into the mix in this one-of-a-kind, one-of-a-lifetime exhibit.  Exhibit traveling on after May 4th!




Ongoing at the Ogden Museum of Contemporary Southern Art


“A Sense of Place II

This comprehensive exhibit once again brings together some of the most important and significant acquisitions from the permanent collection to celebrate and expand upon the original vision for the museum. Ranging from works included in the initial donation from the Roger Houston Ogden Collection to more recent acquisitions, this exhibition showcases one of the most important collections in America.


“Shadows of History:  Photographs of the civil War from the Collection of Julia J. Norrell”

A traveling collection encompassing the most iconic photographs of the Civil War by the most prominent photographers including George N. Barnard, Alexander Gardner, Timothy H. O’Sullivan, and Mathew Brady.


“Into the Light II: Photographs from the Permanent Collection of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art” 

Housing “one of the most important and comprehensive collections of Southern photography in the U.S.” Ogden’s second phase of this unique exhibition highlights rare and previously-unseen photographs from its holdings. More work culled from the ouvres of Shelby Lee Adams, William Christenberry, the late George Dureau, William Eggleston, Birney Imes, Roland L. Freeman, Marion Post Wolcott, and many others.


 “I’ll Save You Tomorrow” Juan Logan’s multi-media collection continues on the fourth floor, with installations, paintings, collages and sculpture.


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.

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


“Creole World:  Photographs of New Orleans and the Latin Caribbean Sphere”

A book and exhibition by renowned author and photographer Richard Sexton exploring the architectural and urban similarities among the culturally rich locales of Haiti, Colombia, Argentina, Cuba, Ecuador and New Orleans.  Trace these connections with this unique and enthralling exhibit.


Shout, Sister, Shout!  The Boswell Sisters of New Orleans


In the 1920s and ’30s, a trio of sisters from New Orleans became the darlings of radio’s golden age. Martha, Connie, and Vet Boswell were classically trained musicians heavily influenced by the city’s vibrant jazz scene. Together they pioneered the cheerful, close-harmony style that became emblematic of 1940s girl groups. Join The Historic New Orleans Collection in rediscovering the Boswell Sisters, one of the city’s most celebrated musical exports.


“Civil War Battlefields and National Parks” the photography of AJ Meeks final weekend, through Saturday the 5th.


From Cameo to Close Up:  New Orleans in Film

Celebrating Louisiana’s role on the silver screen, this exhibition features posters, lobby cards, photos, press books and other ephemera from the silent era to the mid-1990’s.  Objects are from THNOC’s permanent holdings.


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.


Listings by Cheryl Castjohn 

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