Every fall, thousands of art lovers flood Julia and Magazine Streets to kick off the arts season in the most New Orleans way – with live music, cocktails, and gallery openings. Art for Art’s Sake, the annual kickoff event that takes place on the first Saturday of October, will be held on October 6, 2018 this year from 6p.m.-9 p.m. The annual art walk is the perfect opportunity to preview all the unique work that will be exhibited in galleries this fall. With each their own aesthetic, here are our top five galleries to check out in New Orleans.
Octavia Art Gallery on Julia Street is best known for showcasing some of the most exciting work in contemporary and modern art, all in an equally modern and welcoming space. Their current exhibition, which is on display through the end of September, celebrates the gallery’s 10th anniversary with work from 10 different artists that are both familiar and new to the gallery. Opening on September 6 is Aaron Collier’s show “Of Rocks and Ruins.” His collection of abstract paintings was inspired by the ruins of the Palatine in Rome, capturing the dichotomy of what is known and what is unknown when trying to make sense of the space he saw on his journey.
The Arthur Roger gallery is a big, open beacon of art, showcasing art in different mediums as one of the leaders in the New Orleans art scene. Opening on Saturday, October 6 is an exhibit by American sculpture Joseph Havel who is best known for taking commonplace items (such as a shirt or bed sheets) and transforming them into something ethereal. His artwork challenges viewers to reevaluate what they think they know and feel. Also opening at Art for Art’s Sake is the work of Simon Gunning who captures the unique Louisiana landscapes in his oil paintings.
Soren Gallery’s vast white walls and warehouse feel is the ideal white canvas for showcasing art. Opening on Saturday, October 6 is a mixed media exhibition from Ashley Pridmore. Although she is based in Brooklyn, she travels frequently along the gulf coast while creating her nature-inspired sculptures that will be on display in her first solo gallery presentation.
Jonathan Ferrara Gallery features the cutting edge works of local, national, and international contemporary artists. His monthly exhibitions bring different mediums and voices to the renowned gallery. Opening in October is a show by Bonnie Maygarden, who creates paintings that are reflective of what we see in today’s digital world. Maygarden recently won second place in an open call for contemporary artists at The Ogden Museum of Southern Art.
The walk along Magazine Street has a different feel than Julia, with more stores and restaurants that add variety to the traditional Art for Art’s Sake walk. Among some notable stores and bars on Magazine is Guthrie Contemporary. Showcasing on October 6 is nationally-renowned artist Brenda Zappitell. Her abstract expressionism paintings, while bright and colorful, are still serene while reflecting the artists mindfulness and spiritualism.