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Maypole Stroll: CANO Art Home Springs Into St. Claude

With May 1 fast approaching communities raise up the May Day pole in celebration of spring.  But while most societies join hands and dance around the maypole, New Orleans celebrates May Day the NOLA Way.  Beginning at 3 pm tomorrow, the Creative Alliance of New Orleans’ Art Home will open art up to the people as they tour through the galleries on St. Claude and artist studios in the Lower 9th Ward. 


“We have four galleries in the St. Claude area that will be open for special hours from 3 pm to 6 pm,” said CANO Art Home’s Program and Sales Coordinator Allison Abney.  These galleries include Good Children, Antenna Gallery, May Gallery and The Front.


After strolling down St. Claude, from 4 pm to 6 pm Maydayers can also peruse the studios of Rashida Ferdinand, Bruce Davenport Jr., and L9 Center for the Arts, and acquaint themselves with a different part of the city.


“It is just really important to us to see people in the neighborhood come out,” said Abney, who also wants to take advantage of the influx of people in for Jazz Fest.  “[We want to] encourage greater awareness of art occurring in the Lower 9th.”   


But Art Home’s mission goes beyond simple awareness.  All of the art people will see will also be for sale. 


“We stress the ability of people to collect pieces of art,” said Abney.  Not only does purchasing art promote cultural awareness, but it also supports local artists. 


Like most New Orleans evenings, the celebration culminates with a party.  Art House on the Levee opens its doors at 6 pm for cocktails, a 10-foot Maypole waiting for decorators and a band.  


“[The band] Nadia and the Rabbits is not from new Orleans.  They have a really unique European sound,” said Abney.  “It’s two band members playing five instruments.”


With the art on the walls, the band on the stage and the Maypole pointing toward the sky, the only hope is that the weather will hold up.   


Purchase tickets in advance for $ 20 at or at the door for $ 25.  

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