We are immensely grateful for the continued outpouring of support from our artists, friends of the gallery, and the New Orleans community. Since reopening our doors, we have diligently adhered to national and local guidelines to keep our staff, clients, and artists safe.
In October, we opened Art in the Time of Empathy, an exhibition of over 70 artists and the largest exhibition in the gallery’s 40+ year history. The idea for this exhibition came in a time of deep uncertainty, and my expectations for the exhibit have been exceeded in every way possible. The ingenuity of our artists continues to astound me. It was an honor to present this show, which encompassed a spectrum of perspectives and experiences on what it means to find empathy amidst adversity. The Advocate published a glowing review by Doug MacCash and Steppin’ Out featured a segment dedicated to discussing Art in the Time of Empathy. Dianne Mack did a feature for Inside the Arts during NPR’s Morning Edition, and WWL’s Thanh Truong came to the gallery to cover the show, interviewing both Jacqueline Bishop and Demond Melancon. Randy Polumbo’s installation Antigenic Rift in the exhibit will be featured at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum following the close of the gallery exhibition.
In a time where a strong online presence has never been more critical, we have turned our attention to increasing the gallery’s online engagement. At the beginning of the pandemic, we began working on a video series titled “Artists Chronicles” which features gallery artists speaking about their lives, work, and studio practices. These videos were incredibly effective and have attracted lots of interest to both the artists and the gallery while our doors were closed. We also used this opportunity to showcase exhibitions and artwork from our archives on Ida Kohlmeyer, Lin Emery, John Waters, George Dureau, and John Scott. Going forward, we will continue to create these videos and feel they will become an important resource for the gallery’s history.
As 2020 comes to a close, we are focusing our attention on 2021. At this time, the gallery plans to return to a rotating exhibition schedule. In January, Gene Koss and Stephen Paul Day will present striking exhibitions of recent work in glass in what is sure to be a truly impressive start to the New Year. In May, Shawne Major, Nicole Charbonnet, and David Halliday will exhibit new work at the gallery which will carry us through the summer.
In August, the gallery and curator Tim Francis will present Black Beauty, an exhibition of noteworthy work by established and emerging Black artists. Francis is an important leader and patron of the arts both locally and nationally. Art Historian Rick Powell will do an essay for the catalog that will accompany the exhibition.
In September of 2021, Dawn DeDeaux’s comprehensive museum retrospective, titled The Space Between Worlds will open at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Organized around a series of immersive installations, this retrospective explores Dawn’s multifaceted career, which has included video, performance, photography, sculpture, and installation. The exhibition will be accompanied by a comprehensive fully illustrated catalog by Berlin-based publisher Hatje Cantz.
In October, artists Mario Moore, Wayne Gonzales, and Demond Melancon will present their work at the gallery. Their exhibitions will open in conjunction with the rescheduled Prospect.5 triennial. George Dureau’s photographs have been selected to be featured in Prospect.5. The gallery has also been working closely with The West Baton Rouge Museum which will exhibit a selection of Douglas Bourgeois’ paintings from June to August 2021.
I would like to commend the incredible gallery staff (Bradley, Brenda, Emma, Stephen, Tierney, Mike, and John) who have worked together to navigate through the challenges of COVID-19. They are a remarkable team, and I am grateful to them for their dedication, which is truly uplifting.
In closing, we remain genuinely optimistic as we press on through 2020 and into the promise of 2021. We genuinely appreciate your interest and support. I wish you and your family a safe Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!