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Arts & Culture

New Orleans Museum Month: Art Museums to Explore

August has become the ideal month for New Orleans arts lovers. White Linen Night kicked off the gallery season at the beginning of the month, and Dirty Linen Night provided a playful foil in the Royal Street arts district the following weekend. Cultural Collision, a casual happy hour event where New Orleans arts groups promote their upcoming seasons under one roof, is also this month. The inaugural New Orleans Museum Month provides an excuse to keep the exploration of local arts and culture institutions going: Members at any of the 15 participating Museum Month institutions can get free admission for two to any of the other participants throughout August. Last week we took a look at some of the participating museums perfect for history buffs. This week we’re focusing on participating art museums. Not a museum member yet? See below for membership rates for each institution and get extra mileage from that membership in August.

contemporary arts center new orleans
The Contemporary Art Center features “Mark of the Feminine” in August (photo: joevare on flickr)

Contemporary Arts Center

The Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) is the home for contemporary art in all mediums. The CAC’s current exhibition is Mark of the Feminine, New York-based curator Regine Basha’s multimedia show featuring New Orleans female and female-identifying artists. The show includes works from visual artists and photographers, as well as nontraditional contributions from performing artists, costume makers and even local rapper Boyfriend. CAC membership starts at $25 for students, artists and educators; $35 for individuals; and $55 for families and couples.

George and Leah McKenna Museum of African Art

george and leah mckenna museum new orleans
The McKenna museum displays art from the African diaspora. (photo: McKenna Museum’s Facebook page)

The George and Leah McKenna Museum of African Art is an emporium of fine art from the African Diaspora, presenting emerging artists alongside established ones. It is currently closed until Aug. 16 for its summer break, but when it opens check out the current exhibit Donald Harrison: The Legacy Continues, featuring photographs and a suit from Big Chief Donald Harrison Sr., the founder of the Guardians of the Flame Mardi Gras Indians. Membership is $15 a year for students and seniors, $30 for individuals and $45 for families.

ogden museum of southern art new orleans
The Ogden Museum of Southern Art features an exhibit of Louisiana artists (photo: Wally Gobetz on flickr)

New Orleans Museum of Art

The New Orleans Museum of Art, the stately museum in City Park, boasts a strong collection of more than 40,000 pieces including Japanese art, African art, Spanish colonial art and decorative arts. In recent years the museum has been the site of some cutting edge contemporary art installations. Currently available to view are exhibitions closing in September and October, so see them while you have the chance: Alexis Rockman: Drawings from Life of Pi, Behind Closed Doors: Art in the Spanish American Home: 1492-1898, Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals from Talladega College. Membership starts at $60 for an individual, $75 for a dual/family membership. There also is a special for the Sustaining Membership level ($125): join now at that level and get 18 months of membership instead of the usual 12 months. This offer ends Sept. 21.

Ogden Museum of Southern Art

The Ogden Museum of Southern Art celebrates the arts contributions of our region, and the museum opened several exhibitions this month. Take some time to check out Louisiana Contemporary, the annual juried exhibition showcasing more than 30 Louisiana artists, and be sure to attend the museum’s After Hours events that features concerts by Southern musicians and interviews with art historians. Membership starts at $50 for an individual and $75 for family/dual membership.

Stay tuned to learn about more spots to explore for free during New Orleans Museum Month. All month long, be sure to provide proof of membership at any of the Museum Month participants to get free admission all around town.

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