Home CULTURE ARTS Arts: February 2018

Arts: February 2018


A Walk in the Park: The New Orleans Museum of Art is expanding the Sydney and Walda Beshoff Sculpture Garden by six acres.


The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, which is home to 64 sculptures by renowned artists from around the world (including several of the 20th century’s master sculptors), is undergoing a six-acre expansion in an effort to further unite, inspire and engage the New Orleans community. The New Orleans Museum of Art has undertaken this project to continue sharing significant art and artists with the public.

Scheduled for completion this winter, the expansion will include additional sites for sculptures, an outdoor amphitheater and stage, pedestrian bridges and walkways, a new gallery (offering exhibition space for indoor sculpture and other works in NOMA’s collection that complement the garden’s installations) and an outdoor learning environment. Contemporary sculptures inspired by the space will be located in the open lawn, under tree canopies, across open water, on cypress islands and within understory planting, all connected by pedestrian bridges designed to complement the vegetation and lagoon setting. Just like the current sculpture garden, all elements of the expansion will be free and open to the public seven days per week.

In addition to the physical additions, the expansion will allow NOMA to offer increased programming such as film screenings, theater productions, musical performances, events, tours and city-wide festivals. There will also be the hundreds of trees, palmettos and shrubs that will be added to the site. Meanwhile, the lagoon system — a central element of the sculpture garden expansion — will perform vital functions for the larger park ecosystem. For example, NOMA will employ best water and soil management practices, and preserve the heritage live oaks and extend the adjacent live oak canopy through the garden, for water quality improvement and re-oxygenation efforts throughout the park. 1 Collins Diboll Circle, 504) 658-4100, noma.org/sculpture-garden

Three Hundred Years and Counting: The Historic New Orleans Collection has developed four cornerstone projects to commemorate New Orleans’ Tricentennial.
The Historic New Orleans Collection has developed several exciting projects all taking place this year to celebrate the city’s Tricentennial. The first project is an exhibition entitled New Orleans, the Founding Era, which will be on view Feb. 27-May 27, 2018. The exhibition will tell the stories of the city’s early days through an array of rare artifacts from THNOC’s holdings, and from institutions across Europe and North America.
The second project, presented by the City of New Orleans 2018 Commission’s Cultural and Historical Committee, is called Making New Orleans Home: A Tricentennial Symposium. The event will take place March 8-11 at various locations throughout the city and will feature individual lectures, panel discussions and cultural programming to explore the 300-year history of how New Orleans came to be inhabited by diverse, vibrant people.

The third project — it’s most ambitious — is the expansion of THNOC to a third campus (the Seignouret-Brulatour Building, located at 520 Royal St.) this fall. The new campus includes the renovation of the 19th-century building, with a state-of-the-art rear addition plus a beautiful interior courtyard. With more than 12,000 square feet for permanent and changing exhibitions, dynamic interactive displays, and a hands-on educational display for children and families, this campus will be the institution’s largest exhibition facility.
The fourth and final project is an exhibition entitled Art of the City: Postmodern to Post-Katrina, which will open this fall. This groundbreaking contemporary art exhibition will feature works from more than 75 artists — such as Lin Emery, Krista Jurisich, Douglas Bourgeois, Luis Cruz Azaceta, Candy Chang, Gina Phillips, Zarouhie Abdalian and Brandan Odums — reacting to the strife and progress of New Orleans. 533 Royal St., (504) 523-4662, hnoc.org


Eye on Photography: A Gallery for Fine Photography’s two new exhibitions are on view through the end of the month.

Known for housing an inventory of more than 5,000 photographs spanning the history of photography from its origins to the present day, A Gallery for Fine Photography is one of the largest and most respected photography galleries in the United States. Two of its newest exhibitions are still in full swing through the end of February.

First up is Michel Varisco: Below Sea Level, which is being held in conjunction with PhotoNOLA and Prospect.4, is on view through Feb. 25. This latest body of work from photographer and multi-media artist Varisco, imagines a metaphorical future for New Orleans and its residents after global sea levels have risen to overtake the land. Varisco’s poetic response to global warming, wetlands erosion and the predicted fate of rising waters is one in which we struggle, adapt and endure to create a new world beneath the water’s surface. Below Sea Level explores the intimate and complex experience of life in an endangered community, where citizens feel such a powerful connection to their home that they would rather reinvent themselves than abandon it.

Below Sea Level is combined with an exhibition entitled Great Photographs by Michael Kenna:1990-2017, which is on view through Feb. 28. This exhibition spans the career of one of the most prolific and renowned landscape photographers working today. The collection of 30 black and white landscape photographs portray a vision of nature that is at once familiar and foreign. Trees stretch forth at impossible angles, clouds burst over rolling mountaintops and bodies of water are rendered as flat and reflective as glass. Kenna’s work also often depicts man’s intrusion on the natural world. He often works at the transitional hour of dawn or in the darkest depths of night, and uses long exposures to photograph what the human eye is incapable of seeing. 241 Chartres St., (504) 568-1313, agallery.com