The art community in New Orleans has continued to grow and includes many talented artists and galleries sharing in and complementing New Orleans culture. Contemporary art has played an important role in expressing the passion of the citizens of New Orleans, as well as people across the world. Helping showcase local talent is Prospect New Orleans, an organization under the U.S. Biennial, which showcases art throughout the world. From November 2008 through January 2009, Prospect New Orleans presented Prospect 1, which was the largest biennial of international contemporary art in the United States. Prospect 1 showcased 81 artists in 24 venues. It attracted 42,000 visitors and generated $23 million in the local economy. I went to many Prospect 1 events and enjoyed all the amazing talent throughout the city. For a moment, all the great art I was experiencing made me think it was time for me to become a painter.
If you didn’t get the honor of experiencing such a dynamic program, you will get another chance! Prospect 2 will start on October 22, 2011, so start preparing your favorite artistic outfits. To get everyone fired up, and to give a preview of all the amazing contemporary art we are in store for, Prospect New Orleans will present Prospect 1.5 on November 6, 2010. The U.S. Biennial will present 15 weeks of exhibitions, symposiums and events. With 50 artists presenting in 12 venues, there will be something for everyone’s artistic taste. Audiences will also get a peek into the lives of many artists who call New Orleans home.
Many of my favorite galleries will have great exhibitions between November 11, 2010 and January 1, 2011: The Contemporary Arts Center, The Presbytere, The Louisiana State Museum, and Antenna Gallery. One exhibition to get excited about is Living with Hurricanes: Katrina & Beyond at Presbytere. This will be a 6,700 square foot interactive multimedia exhibition. Contemporary Arts Center will present selections from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation. The very cool Antenna Gallery will present I Am An Important Giant.
Throughout Prospect 1.5 many events will accompany the exhibitions happening around town. Prospect 1.5 will start with openings at the Julia Street Galleries on November 6, 2010. You will also get the chance to catch the Members of the New Orleans Society for Tableau Vivant, who will perform along a flatbed truck, bringing creativity to the streets of New Orleans.
On November 13, St. Claude Arts District will present a block party, organized by the Entergy Innovation Center and Open Studio Artist Collective in collaboration with the Marigny, Bywater, and St. Claude communities. St. Claude will celebrate the arts and its growing community of galleries and neighborhood installments. Roam through the streets in awe of all the surprise art treats in the area, and make sure to visit one of my favorite art spots, Byrdie’s Gallery.
I’m anticipating Resurrection after Exoneration at Mahalia Jackson Center. On December 3, 2010, exonerees will give a theatrical performance telling their stories. An exhibition you don’t want to miss starts December 4, 2010, called Water, Water, Everywhere, So Let’s All Have a Drink at the Arthur Roger Gallery.
Prospect 1.5 includes countless festivals, exhibitions, and special events which will allow everyone to take in and celebrate our local art and culture. Starting in November, you will definitely have a full calendar of amazing things to do. Hope to see you at an event; I will be the one pondering art with one finger over my mouth, staring intensely.