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GoNOLA Guide to Fall 2018 Art Exhibits

Celebrate the city’s Tricentennial by attending one of the many art exhibits being featured this fall.

Professor Longhair at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 1977 by Michael P. Smith, 2003.003.63. © The Historic New Orleans Collection

New Orleans is a series of neighborhoods each with a unique vibe. Each one has its own feel, architecture, and residents. Each is known for bringing something different to the city, and making New Orleans an international and cultural hub. One thing that each neighborhood shares in common is its own art scene. Whether it’s through galleries, museums, events, or education, art is an important aspect of New Orleans that is not to be overlooked.

This fall, several of the city’s most prominent art institutions will be hosting and opening art exhibitions that coincide with the city’s Tricentennial and celebrate the city’s history and connection to the arts. Read about this season’s can’t-miss exhibits below.

The Orléans Collection

October 26, 2018 – January 27, 2019

To celebrate the city’s tricentennial, The New Orleans Museum of Art presents The Orléans Collection, which will bring together a collection of masterpieces from the private collection of The Duke of Orléans, Phillippe II. The collection contains works that once hung in the Palais Royal in Paris and includes masterpieces by Rembrandt, Rubens, and Poussin.

Second Story Gallery (Photo courtesy of Charles M. Lovell)

Thirty New Orleans Artists

September 8 – November 3, 2018

Thirty New Orleans Artists includes the works of thirty different local artists and their reactions to the resilience, multiculturalism, and dynamism of the city through two and three-dimensional artwork. The artwork will be exhibited in the Second Story Gallery, an artist-run cooperative gallery located in The New Orleans Healing Center in the burgeoning St. Claude Arts District. 

Higgins Boat at Normandy by Justin Lundgren, 2018 (Image courtesy of The Ogden Museum of Southern Art)

Louisiana Contemporary, presented by The Helis Foundation

August 4 – November 4, 2018

Since 2012, Louisiana Contemporary has highlighted several contemporary artists from the state of Louisiana through this annual statewide exhibition. Through the Ogden Museum and a jury of art experts, artists have been given the chance to engage with a contemporary audience that recognizes New Orleans as a rising, international art center. This year, Louisiana Contemporary features 34 works by 25 artists.


November 29, 2018 – February 17,  2019

BIG is an exhibition at The Ogden Museum of Southern Art highlighting the museum’s largest holdings, drawing from the museum’s permanent collection for the first time. This exhibition will bring together artwork that has not been showcased together before. The art was even hidden from public view, due to their complicated size, and will celebrate the Southern works of art on a grand scale. Artists included are Willie Birch, Nicole Charbonnet, Michael Roque Collins, Clyde Connell, Jeffrey Cook, Robert Gordy, Gregory Saunders, Kendall Shaw, and Hunt Slonem, among others.

Professor Longhair at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 1977 by Michael P. Smith, 2003.003.63. © The Historic New Orleans Collection

Me Got Fiyo: The Professor Longhair Centennial

August 2, 2018 – July 1, 2019

Me Got Fiyo launches just in time to celebrate both the city’s 300th birthday as well as the 100th birthday of one of the most beloved New Orleans musicians – pianist Henry Roeland Byrd. Most notably known as Professor Longhair, his music has been influential to New Orleans music and culture throughout his life and even after his untimely death. The exhibition, held at The New Orleans Jazz Museum, will showcase all things ‘Fess, including the development of his early hits, his 1970s comeback, and his continued presence in New Orleans.

Photo Courtesy: Lesley Dill, Hell Hell Hell / Heaven Heaven Heaven, Encountering Sister Gertrude Morgan and Revelation, 2010, Mixed media installation, Photography: Michael Smith, Gift of the artist, 2014.45.1

Changing Course: Reflections on New Orleans Histories

June 29-September 16, 2018

This exhibit celebrates New Orleans’ three-hundredth anniversary by bringing together a group of seven contemporary art projects that focus on forgotten or marginalized histories of the city. Don’t miss this last chance to see installations that pay tribute to the UpStairs Lounge fire of 1973,  the commonalities of Vietnamese funerary rituals and jazz funerals, the legacy of urban renewal in black communities, the changing face of the Old Prieur neighborhood, a photo exhibition addressing the history of New Orleans’ public education system, and more. You can read more about the artists here.

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