ARTSY NEW ORLEANS
New Orleans has always beckoned to artists. Edgar Degas painted The Cotton Exchange here in 1872. World-famous Newcomb Pottery grew out of the pottery program at the women's college now associated with Tulane University. And local artists like George Rodrique with his Blue Dogs, Michalopoulos with his slanty houses, and Dr. Bob with his “Be Nice or Leave” paintings have been offering visitors a little bit of New Orleans to take home with them for years. Wherever you go in New Orleans, there’s art. Here are some key places to find it.
Jackson Square and the French Quarter
Local artists, many of whom are nationally and internationally known, abound in the French Quarter. You'll discover incomparable original paintings, photography, sculpture and other artwork while browsing distinctive shops on Royal Street and throughout the historic Vieux Carré. And no trip here is complete without a peak at the famous wrought-iron fence surrounding Jackson Square, which is covered with works by members of The Jackson Square Artists’ Colony. This self-regulated group of artist continues the longstanding tradition of the open-air art market at the historic Place d’Armes. Legend has it that the great artist and illustrator John James Audubon also found inspiration in this revered public square
The Arts/Warehouse District
There are at least 16 galleries in the Arts/Warehouse District, a.k.a. “the Soho of the South.” Learn more here.
More than a dozen art galleries can be found on Magazine Street, five-miles of funky shops, fun restaurants and trendy coffee shops Uptown. Learn more about Magazine Street galleries here.
New Orleans Museum of Art, City Park
One of the top art museums in the South, NOMA hosts a permanent collection of almost 40,000 objects. It is noted for its impressive collection of American and French art, photography, glass, and African and Japanese works. Learn more here.
Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, City Park
With over 60 priceless sculptures on five acres, the Besthoff Sculpture Garden is a true New Orleans treasure – and admission is FREE! Learn more here.
Odgen Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St.
The Ogden, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is home to the largest collection of Southern art in the world, showcasing art from 15 Southern states and the District of Columbia. Learn more here.
The Contemporary Arts Center (CAC), 900 Camp St.
The CAC houses world-class exhibitions and hosts shows and educational year-round. Discover 30,000 square feet of bold experiments in studio and performing arts. Learn more here.
George and Leah McKenna Museum of African American Art, 2003 Carondelet St
The George & Leah McKenna Museum of African American Art collects, exhibits, and preserves the visual aesthetic of people of the African Diaspora. Come discover the private collection of Dr. Dwight McKenna. Learn more here.
Algiers Folk Art Zone and Blues Museum, 207 Leboeuf St.
The Algiers Folk Art Zone was opened in 2000 by self-taught artist Charles Gillam. You’ll find works by Roy Ferdinand, Lonnie Holey and Mr. Imagination along with Gillam’s “Blues Greats” series featuring the sculpted faces of Al Hirt, Pete Fountain, and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown and more. Learn more here.
Art Garage, 2231 St. Claude Avenue
This outpost, a former auto garage, hosts performance art, live graffiti and art exhibits on the third Saturday of every month. Want more info? Call 504-717-0750.
New Orleans is home to several open-air markets. Click on the names of the markets below to learn more.