“Whitney’s White Linen Night: A showcasing of artists of color,” The Louisiana Weekly

By David T. Baker via louisianaweekly.com
[This is an excerpt. For full article, click here]


New Orleans, LA – It’s hot. It’s humid. It’s summer; which means the time has yet again come for droves of art patrons and revelers alike to garb themselves in linens woven of white and gather in the streets to party like an artist. Julia Street to be precise. The annual art-meets-wine extravaganza known as Whitney White Linen Night is once again upon us.

On August 5, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., the art galleries located along the 300-700 block stretch of Julia Street will open their doors to let the art, food, music, whimsey and wine flow freely into the street.

The massive block party will showcase more than 20 art galleries and museums from throughout the Arts District, cocktails and cuisine from 25 local restaurants and live music. (View the Street Guide for more details about food and beverage vendors.)

Whitney White Linen Night was originally devised and organized by Arts District of New Orleans as a means of attracting art enthusiasts and others to the downtown galleries during the slow early summer months (the event is now planned and organized by the Contemporary Arts Center).

During the free four-hour event, thousands stroll up and down Julia Street hopping from gallery to gallery taking in the art. While the crowd can range in diversity, representation amongst the artists may not always be easy to find. Thus, as art lovers and party-goers plan out the night, here are some suggested galleries to visit that are showcasing works by artists of color:

1. ARTHUR ROGER GALLERY (432 Julia Street) – “John T. Scott: His Legacy”

Whether at the intersection of St. Bernard Avenue and Gentilly Boulevard or the riverside path along the Moonwalk, if you’ve walked the streets of New Orleans, you’ve already come face to face with the works of John T. Scott. His vibrantly colored paintings and meticulously crafted yet raw sculptures hold prominent place both in outdoor public spaces, such as those at De Saix Circle and Woldenberg Park, and prominently displayed in institutions of art and learning, such as those in the Louisiana Humanities Center, New Orleans Museum of Art and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

While his early works focused on Christian imagery, he later began to focus on African, African-American, Caribbean and Creole cultures. Scott, a world-renowned artist and 1992 recipient of a John D. MacArthur Fellowship (“MacArthur genius grant”) famous for his paintings, sculpture and metalwork, was born in New Orleans and was raised in the city’s Lower Ninth Ward. He passed away in Houston in September of 2007 at the age of 67. Close to thirty of his works (including some prints) will fill the gallery walls of 432 Julia St. during the exhibit opening of “John T. Scott: His Legacy.”

The exhibit opens on August 5 and will be on view until September 23.


Also on display at Arthur Roger Gallery (next door at 434 Julia St.) is “Dapper” Bruce Lafitte. Lafitte, who was born Bruce Washington in 1972, grew up in the former Lafitte housing development in the 6th Ward. Lafitte’s vividly colored drawings focus on documenting the vibrancy and ceremony of the New Orleans marching band culture, in addition to exploring issues of race and poverty.

Lafitte is a self-taught artist whose works have been displayed in galleries and museums in New Orleans and New York for years. The exhibit opens on August 5 and will be on view until September 23.