Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Marcus Brown's interactive sculpture Sunday

Join the Arts Council Sunday, Jan. 4th from 3-5:30pm in Washington Square Park to play Marcus Brown's "Human Universal Musical sculpture: HUMs" (pictured above). Marcus personally developed the electronic system that creates a humming sound derived from your touch, on top of building the larger than life saxophone sculpture.
Special thanks to the City of New Orleans Parks and Parkways Department and the Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association for hosting the sculpture in Washington Square Park. For more pictures and a map to park click here.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cutting D. Eric Bookhardt's column: another least favorite thing

The Gambit Weekly has decided that art criticism is not important.

WOW! It's hard to imagine that art critics would be cut, now, right after New Orleans was the center of the art world, however briefly, the first weekend of November. Our city was also briefly the center of the theatre world in November for the Fringe Fest. But theatre and visuals arts are still in the back seat, judging from the news that one or the other critical columns will be cut in the new "redesign" of the Gambit, starting this coming week.

I guess it's news to those not in the arts that critical response is important. Artists need to be written about. We need to see our work from other eyes - we learn and grow from it. We also use reviews to put in our grant and job applications. Reviews show that we are part of a community, part of a dialogue that extends beyond ourselves. Our arts community is experiencing a huge boom right now. This is not the time to cut art criticism!

We don't know what the redesign will actually look like, but we think that there will be more "blurbs." "Blurbs" are not an acceptable substitute for art criticism! Don't be fooled by the Gambit response you will get if you write them, stating that "we are not eliminating arts coverage, we are actually adding it..." "Blurbs," like the current ones we see in listings section with the small photo, will not be an acceptable substitute for thoughtful arts criticism.

Karen Kern of the New Orleans Arts Council wrote this brief and elegant letter to the Gambit. I wanted to post it here and encourage those who have not yet written the Gambit to write and demand Eric's column back:

I'm writing to urge you to keep the "Inside Art" column by D. Eric Bookhardt. The dramatic post-K rebound of the local arts scene and it's impact on our economic and spiritual recovery have been hard to miss. The boom has been evident across the arts spectrum - from the explosion of high art (new arts districts such as the St. Claude corridor, Prospect.1, the amazing array of new public art all over town) to the overwhelming number of arts activities presented by a slew of local groups. For arts enthusiasts, it's been nearly impossible to keep up with the wealth of offerings. The positive effects of all of this have touched business owners, school children, and neighborhoods. It has brought New Orleans positive attention in national publications and media.

At this time of unprecedented local arts activity and notoriety, we need more critical review, not less! Eric Bookhardt's "Inside Art" column is vitally important to our burgeoning, internationally-recognized local arts scene. And, our arts and culture are vitally important to our economy and our future. To eliminate the column and Eric's important critical review is short-sighted; it’s not only a disservice to the arts community and to the Gambit readership, but to the city.

Please reinstate "Inside Art" and Eric Bookhardt!

Karen Kern
Grants Manager
Arts Council of New Orleans

Here are the addresses:
Gambit main email address:

Kevin Allman:

Margo Dubos:

Saturday, December 27, 2008

all things printmaking

watch a video by Kyle Bravo of a recent trip to the Southern Graphics Council Conference

Kyle's also teaching a class soon at Louisiana Artworks, "Saturdays in the Printshop," see below and more classes by other artists at the website.

January 3rd; 12-6pm
Screenprinting: Basic Photo-Emulsion Processes
Instructor: Kyle Bravo
Fee: $90

Learn the basic techniques for screenprinting using the photo emulsion process and produce an edition of screenprints. Participants will learn to coat screens with emulsion, various ways to create imagery, exposing and reclaiming screens, as well as printing and registration methods. All materials are provided though students should arrive with imagery and/or drawings to work from.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

one of my least favorite things

check out the before and after photos of a grave in the Leeville Cemetery, slipping into the bayou...a sobering look at our future at
I traveled down there 2 augusts ago, and the majority of vehicles on the road were 18-wheelers. The rest of the vehicles had something to do with seafood. They were vying with each other on a narrow 2-lane road with water lapping the edge of the shoulder.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

some of my favorite things has videos! video art, interviews, etc. Like this Bruce Connor video for a My Life in the Bush of Ghosts track!
UbuWeb has all sorts of obscurities in sound and motion. I just read an article about video artist Guy Ben-Ner and can see his work here! However, a word to the wise: UbuWeb's content are not official releases. Watch with an awareness of your own ethical comfort zone.

Pecha Kucha Night : New Orleans : Volume 1

Global creative show-and-tell event comes to New Orleans
WHAT: Pecha Kucha Night, devised by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham (Klein Dytham architecture), was conceived in 2003 as a place for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public.
The key to Pecha Kucha Night is its patented democratic system. Each presenter is allowed 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds - giving 6 minutes 40 seconds of fame before the next presenter is up. This keeps presentations concise, the interest level up, and gives more people the chance to show.
Pecha Kucha (which is Japanese for the sound of conversation) has tapped into a demand for a forum in which creative work can be easily and informally shown, without having to rent a gallery or chat up a magazine editor. This is a demand that seems to be global - as Pecha Kucha Night, without any pushing, has spread virally to over 150 cities across the world.

WHO: Unité, a local arts initiative, has invited 10 practitioners from various fields in the local creative community to present at the first Pecha Kucha Night : New Orleans. Please see website for full list of presenters.

WHERE + WHEN: Zeitgeist Multi-disciplinary Arts Center, Thursday January 15th, 2009
Doors 6pm / Start 7pm, FREE W/ RSVP

WHY: In essence, PK is a conversation starter, a networking opportunity, and an informal night for folk to come together, share and draw inspiration. And just as crucially, it's a brilliant night out- DJs, visual treats, and a chance to connect with ideas and creatives in our disparate community.

For more information please visit
CONTACT: Sergio Padilla

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

AORTA project Deep Water Markers opens Saturday

Here's some shameless self promotion:
AORTA Projects is pleased to announce the unveiling of mixed media artist Courtney Egan’s “Deep Water Dates” installation along Franklin Avenue. Expanding her 2007 AORTA Projects installation in Mid-City, Ms. Egan has installed approximately 25 anodized aluminum plaques along Franklin Avenue marking flood levels of the Federal levee break catastrophe at each specific point. Using personally collected stories from first hand witnesses, “Deep Water Dates” aims more for cultural than historical accuracy and in the process keeps one engaged with the intimate task of honoring one’s history while moving forward with one’s recovery.

“Deep Water Dates” will be unveiled Saturday Dec 20th from 1-4 pm, light refreshments compliments of Whole Foods will be served. Please visit for further information and feel free to contact us with any questions – Elizabeth Underwood, Director, 504-388-9844

Who Killed the Underground Film?

Recently Rene brought German experimental filmmakers Wilhem Hein and Annette Frick to Zeitgeist. Hein’s film was appropriately called "You killed the underground film." The “you” ambiguously refers to Hein and of course you, the reader, who are both involved in doing in the underground. Judging from the usual small turnout at Zeitgeist, these endeavors are successful. As further evidence, the New York Underground Film Festival will shortly cease to exist. Of course the demise of underground film can be squarely put on the rise of cheap video tools. Also in terms of venues like Zeitgeist, home theatres, Netflix, and the internet have done their damage.
But has the underground really lost its potential? Is there an underground, or a need for one? One of the great things about the internet is that it has the potential, and the occasional effect of leveling the playing field. Every thing on youtube has the same potential of being watched, from the most highly budgeted production to the kids with a cell phone video camera.
written by d.s.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Arts Markets time of year

Economic development of the creative sector is big big right now -- if you do the gift thing, here are a coupla ways to stay inside the parish, knock some names off your list, see some art and Prospect.1 exhibits at the same time, and give to the cause:
Louisiana ArtWorks is offering a HUGE sale of handcrafted housewares, jewelry, artwork, coffee tables books,kids merchandise and MORE! Saturday 11am-8pm; Sunday 11am-6pm
Studio at Colton School to Host Holiday Affordable Art Bazaar *December 13 – 21 *
Special Affordable Art Bazaar Kick-Off Party *(featuring music and food)**
Saturday, December 13, 2008, 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Weekdays from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., weekends from noon – 5 p.m.
The Studio at Colton School, 2300 St. Claude Avenue

Closing event Weds night: "New Orleans Free People of Color & Their Legacy"

The exhibit called "New Orleans Free People of Color & Their Legacy" by artist José Torres Tama has been at Dillard University as part of the satellite art projects in conjunction with the Prospect 1 Biennial. This Wednesday, December 10 from 5-7PM, there will be a closing event with a gallery talk and performance to follow beginning at 6PM.

These portraits on paper of 19th Century Creoles of color is a touring
exhibition of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the first site to host the
show is the Dillard University Gallery in the historic Gentilly neighborhood.
The show has been handsomely prepared by Dillard Professor and Gallery Director
Amy Bryan, and made possible with the support of the Louisiana Creole Research

Professor Bryan and José Torres Tama would like to invite you to this special closing event on Wednesday. The Dillard Gallery is located inside the Cook Communications
Center, Room FN 116 on campus, 2601 Gentilly Blvd. The event is free and open
to the public.

Monday, December 8, 2008

CALL FOR ARTISTS: Colton School "Turning the Tables"

Contact: Jessica Dore, 504.218.4807

Studio at Colton School's Turning the Tables project invites local artists of all disciplines to submit proposals for collaborative-based exhibitions
Proposals due Monday, December 15, 2008

Studio at Colton School's Turning the Tables project invites local artists of all disciplines to submit proposals for collaborative-based exhibitions that foster exploration of new media, innovation, and expanded networks of collaboration between creative disciplines. Proposals will be considered for both main ground floor gallery spaces (the Red Ballroom and the Convergence Gallery) on either side of the auditorium. For more information e-mail Natalie at or call.
Submission Guidelines: download the .pdf flyer with all the info here or call or email.

NOMA'S MidWeek in MidCity, Weds night

Renowned New Orleans-based artist Willie Birch discusses his contribution to the historic Prospect.1 contemporary art biennial, an installation of several recent works in the New Orleans Museum of Art, with Prospect.1 Founding Director and Chief Curator Dan Cameron.
Wednesday, December 10, at 6pm. Free admission. Call 658.4100.

Vestiges Project screening and reading

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Award give to Helen Hill

The Flaherty, the group that puts on the amazing Flaherty Seminar every summer, recently awarded their Samu Award to Helen Hill. There is a wonderful write up on the Orphans Film Symposium page, by Dan Streible, who accepted the award for the family. The award is given yearly for “a universal message illuminating our sense of world community.” I am anxiously awaiting Paul Gailunas's completion of Helen's last film, the Florestine Collection, which was inspired by a collection of dresses Helen found, left on street here.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

DesCours time of year

Free Architecture and Art Festival 2nd annual DesCours brings five days of architecture, art and design to New Orleans, Louisiana

WHO: The American Institute of Architects New Orleans
WHAT: DesCours, a five-day, contemporary architecture and art event that explores hidden spaces through the newest in design and technology using new media and interactive installations. Sixteen internationally recognized architect and artist teams of three to five people per team have been invited to transform familiar and hidden spaces in Central Business District lobbies and throughout the French Quarter.
WHEN: December 10-14, 2008
WHERE: New Orleans, Louisiana-Sixteen sites in the French Quarter and the Central Business District will feature an eclectic variety of architectural installations and fine art with nightly changing entertainment by various musicians in conjunction with the exhibits and a closing party on December 14.
HOW: This event is free to the public and invites locals and visitors to view New Orleans' historical spaces while being transformed through the eyes of talented artists and modern designers. The discovery of hidden courtyards, walkways, sidewalks and lobby locations within the Central Business District and the French Quarter will come alive with sights, sounds and technology.


I can't pass up an opportunity to get more people to watch one of the greatest films ever, Koyaanisqatsi by Godfrey Reggio, who grew up a New Orleanian before he embarked on his life journey. Godfrey is in Santa Fe trying to raise funds for an epic about Africa -please, gods!

Introducing the BYOP (bring your own popcorn) Before 1st Saturdays Friday Night Film Series at CANARY. 329 Julia St. New Orleans.
About: Before each 1st Saturday art opening we will screen films starting at 7pm on the dot and we shut down at 10pm. We will provide the film and the beer, you provide the salty sweets. Room and seating is limited so first come, first sit.

Dec. 5th • 7pm • Koyaanisqatsi - Life Out of Balance (1982)

Calls to Artists - BECA

BECA gallery has posted 2 new Calls to Artistson their website, check them out.

AORTA presents: “New World Wailing Wall”, a site-specific sculptural installation

What: “New World Wailing Wall”, a site-specific sculptural installation
Who: Cynthia Scott
Where: 2761 Dreux, Gentilly/New Orleans
When: Unveiling Sunday Dec 7th, 2-5 pm * Work is open to the public
AORTA Projects is pleased to announce the unveiling of sculptor Cynthia Scott’s “New World Wailing Wall”. Erected on a vacant concrete slab in Gentilly, “New World Wailing Wall” is comprised of both salvaged and new steel, joined with shimmering plastic strips which catch and reflect sunlight as water does. This installation signifies the precariousness of life in the Gulf South and also functions as a memorial for the lives lost in the levee breaks of 2005, many in this Gentilly neighbourhood. “New World Wailing Wall” also aims to deliver a warning to residents of other regions that protective infrastructure everywhere is crumbling, with potentially disastrous results.

“New World Wailing Wall” will be unveiled Sunday Dec 7th from 2–5 pm, light refreshments compliments of Whole Foods and Fairgrinds Coffeehouse will be served. Please visit for further information and feel free to contact us with any questions:

Elizabeth Underwood, Director

Weds nights @ NOMA

note: go to NOMA's website and sign up for their newsletter to learn about these events-
NOMA continues to help you get over the mid-week hump with a cash bar and an engaging public program. Karoline Schleh, Assistant Professor of Foundations and Director of the Diboll Gallery at Loyola University, leads a printmaking demonstration at 6:30 p.m. in the Café space. To learn more about Schleh, whose work is in the collection of the New Orleans Museum of Art, visit her website,

Before and after the Schleh demonstration, have a drink in the Great Hall (cash bar open 5-8 p.m.) and peruse our newest exhibitions, Objects of Desire: Fabergé from The Hodges Family Collection and Prospect.1 New Orleans, the international contemporary art biennial now on view at NOMA and 24 other venues around the city

'1986' by Butch Merigoni

endurance performance by Loyola alum Butch Merigoni
see some of his last performance "Sunrise" here
Friday, December 5, 2008
10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Loyola University, New Orleans, Main Campus

Excerpt from statement: ‘1986’ is a performance built around the construction and
dismantling of a bullfighting ring....The performance represents my own struggle with the uncontrollable forces that took my father's life when I was young...

Monday, December 1, 2008

PhotoGALA Benefit Party & Auction

Thursday Dec 4th 7-10pm at NOMA
See the auction preview at the website

"How a Book is Made" opens in Collins C. Diboll Art Gallery

Wooden Diaries by Jacqueline Bishop

Exhibition dates: December 4 - January 7
Opening reception: Thursday, December 4, 5 - 8 p.m.

Selections from the special collections of Loyola University New Orleans’ J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library and contemporary examples by national and international artists will be featured in the upcoming exhibit “How a Book is Made” to be shown in the Collins C. Diboll Art Gallery, located on the fourth floor of Loyola’s Monroe Library.

There will be a reception held in honor of the opening on Thursday, Dec. 4, at 5 p.m. Exhibiting artists will be present to meet those attending. The reception is open to the public.