The Arthur Roger Gallery, like other art galleries both locally and nationally, remains subject to the business closure policies necessitated by COVID-19. Galleries around the world are looking for ways to maintain connections between artists and the public. The Arthur Roger Gallery and its artists are creating self-made videos called “Artists’ Chronicles: 2020”. The gallery is also creating a series of Artist Profiles that highlight material from its rich 40+ year history and can be easily accessed online at the gallery’s website (arthurrogergallery.com/).
Some artists that have already participated in the gallery’s Artists’ Chronicles: 2020 are Jacqueline Bishop, who spends mornings gathering materials for medical masks and discusses New Orleans’ Masking Culture. Luis Cruz Azaceta gives a tour of his singular Tchoupitoulas St. studio and a revealing commentary on how he creates different elements in his startling work. Troy Dugas offers a look at and an explanation of his very latest work. Today Big Chief Demond Melancon gives a tour of his 9th Ward neighborhood and studio and shows his 2020 Mardi Gras Indian suit that, due to the lockdown, he was only able to wear once on Mardi Gras Day. These artists had planned exhibitions that had to be rescheduled due to the stay-at-home order. Artist Profiles include Lin Emery giving a tour of her studio and discussing her process of creating cut paper models which she transforms into monumental aluminum kinetic sculptures. Also featured was a rare 1998 symposium where artist John T. Scott has a conversation with Ellis Marsalis on the nature of creativity and improvisation.
The varied videos will continue throughout the spring and summer with intense personal reflections on the conditions of life during the time of the virus, glimpses of studios, and statements about the evolution of the artists’ work.