That hint of fall weather New Orleanians experience around this time of year is splendid, so trust us and get yourselves outdoors as often as possible. A perfect excuse to get outside is for gallery and store-strolling at Art for Art’s Sake, the citywide art event heralding the beginning of New Orleans’ arts season, held Saturday, Oct. 4. Events in two arts districts give you a reason to traverse across the city to take everything in.
From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Magazine Street Merchants Association hosts Art for Art’s Sake festivities all along that thoroughfare. Galleries and shops spanning the street open their doors, many of them offering discounts, libations and special in-store events. Tami Curtis Gallery hosts the official AFAS opening block party that includes live music by singer/songwriter Julie Odell, jewelry by Miss Smarty Pants, drinks and snacks. The best part? Complimentary shuttles will run up and down the street to provide safe, convenient transportation.
Head to the arts district anchored by Julia Street for the usual art walk featuring 20 museums and galleries from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. – but with some extra perks. The Contemporary Arts Center serves as downtown’s AFAS headquarters, and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. offers free admission, cocktail and cuisine tastings and cash bars. Exhibitions currently on display at the CAC include the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series’ New Orleans Semi-Finalist Exhibition, the International Sculpture Center’s exhibition of 2013 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award winners, and Regine Basha’s Mark of the Feminine, featuring female and female-identifying New Orleans area artists. Restaurants in the area will offer discounts to benefit the CAC.
Bonus: PARK(ing) Day Art Installations
Get started early downtown to check out installations for this local celebration of the worldwide PARK(ing) Day annual event where artists, designers and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks. Ten parking spaces on Julia Street, between Convention Center Blvd. and St. Charles Ave., will be transformed into “parklets” during the event. You can see the tiny parks until 8 p.m. that day.