Review: New Orleans artists present a celebration of diversity and place

By Saskia Ozols, guest columnist

The current exhibit by the Renegade Artists Collective, “Off the Beaten Path,”?includes an outstanding combination of voices that link symbolism of New Orleans and the Greater Gulf South, through commentary on its history and notes on considerations for the future.?

RAC exhibition curators Erin McNutt and Cheryl Anne Grace, both painters themselves, organized the show to include artists of varied genres and professional backgrounds — all currently working in New Orleans and without traditional gallery representation. The exhibit features work by professional mid-career artists along with the works of select students, art majors chosen by a committee from local universities.?

Exhibiting new talent with established professionals has been a formula in historic art communities to assure longevity. It both preserves and promotes a healthy, thriving art community. The structure fosters growth and provides a pathway for both artists and collectors to persevere through generations despite otherwise challenging conditions. Cities such as Boston, New York and Philadelphia have long histories of this structure in their most venerated institutions.??

This structure is especially important now as visual arts practice, preservation and education are quickly slipping away from public view.

Poydras Home launches free conversations series with author of ‘Age Your Way’?on April 14?(sponsored)

Poydras Home is excited to introduce a new annual three-part speaker series beginning April 14. Poydras Home Conversations will host guest lecturers each spring, summer and fall, representing a wide range of topics. The first free event will be Thursday, April 14, at 5:30 p.m. in the 1857 Hall of Poydras Home,? 5354 Magazine St. Poydras Home is? excited to launch the series with our inaugural speaker, Debbie Pearson, RN, based on the insights from her best-seller book “Age Your Way: Create a Unique Legacy.”
Experience a practical introduction to life planning that extends patients’ voices when they can no longer speak for themselves. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of her book and its accompanying workbook, “The Blueprint to Age Your Way: Gather Your information.

Viewpoint: Ukrainians have what it takes to defend their country, global security expert says

A new book by a New Orleans author examines military strategy that can be applied to business success in the civilian world. James P. Farwell’s The Corporate Warrior: Successful Strategies from Military Leaders to Win Your Business Battles was released in early February, a few weeks before Russian invaded Ukraine, drawing many Americans into closely following military maneuvers.?

Farwell said the Russian offense against the Ukrainians appears to be poorly organized and lacks a key leader and well-thought-out plan. “The Russian army was not prepared for this fight. Their troops are not well trained, armed or supplied,” he said. Comparing Ukrainians’ struggle against Russia to the Afghani’s struggle against the Taliban, Farwell discussed some intangible strategic assets.

Buku Music & Art Festival celebrates a decade at Mardi Gas World on Saturday and Sunday

The 2022 Buku Music & Art Festival, a celebration of the progressive subculture of New Orleans, will take place at Mardi Gras World, 1380 Port of New Orleans Place, on Saturday (March 26) and Sunday (March 27) from 1 to 11 p.m.

Residents in the Lower Garden District and Irish Channel may feel the impact of traffic. Parking will be in the Convention Center parking lots. The festival attracts about 20,000 music fans. No street closures are anticipated; however, traffic congestion is expected along Tchoupitoulas Street. Buku organizers have contracted officers assigned to traffic and perimeter detail.

Freret Street helps revive festival season on Saturday. Here’s the music lineup.

On Saturday (March 26), the Freret Street Festival will take over the popular restaurant and entertainment corridor. The six-block street party features 18 bands music on three stages (see the lineup below). The headliners include Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band, Squirrel Queen, Erica Falls and Kermit Ruffins & the BBQ Swingers. Alongside the 46 brick-and-mortar restaurants, bars and shops on Freret, the free festival includes a food court featuring top local chefs and more than 200 arts and crafts vendors. Plus there’s a children’s area with inflatables, a petting zoo, alligator meet and greets, arts and crafts, clowns and stilt walkers.

Renegade Artist Collective presenting ‘Off the Beaten Path’ in Central City

The Renegade Artist Collective will hold the opening night of its second exhibition on Friday (March 18) from 5 to 9 p.m., at The Building, 1427 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. in Central City. The exhibit is titled “Off the Beaten Track.” The show in March 2020 attracted about 400 art patrons and was considered a huge success. Then all plans were put on hold until now because of the Covid pandemic.??

The 14 nationally and internationally known artists that make up the Renegade Artist Collective are all based in Louisiana.

Book Fest: Local authors Fatima Shaik and Michael Tisserand talk New Orleans Creole history?

Local writers Fatima Shaik and Michael Tisserand sat down Friday (March 11) to talk about “Hidden History: Black and Creole Influence and Culture in New Orleans” at the New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University.?

Shaik’s book chronicles the history of Black New Orleans through a group of free men-of-color, the Société d’Economie et d’Assistance Mutuelle. “Hidden” is part of the title because this society and its activities were unknown even though the men of the Economic and Mutual Aid Association community were significant figures in the city from the Haitian Revolution in the 1790s to the creation of jazz in the early 20th century. The name “Economy Hall” refers to the Tremé building where the association met and held events. Tisserand is the author of “Krazy: George Herriman, A Life in Black and White,” the acclaimed biography of New Orleans-born illustrator, journalist and cartoonist George Herriman, the creator of “Krazy Kat,” ?a newspaper comic strip that ran from 1913 to 1944. The book investigates his life navigating — or hiding from —? the color line in the early 20th century.?

Shaik relates that she and Tisserand discovered many affinities due to their deep research and dedication to unknown New Orleans stories.

Book Fest: Local writers and photographers take it to the streets

The streets of New Orleans were among the wide range of topics covered at the inaugural New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University. The sessions were not on the potholes or the perennial roadwork, though that was discussed, too. (“The problem with the streets is that we are sitting on top of an ever-changing river,” writer Jason Berry said.) They were on the spectacle of street life in New Orleans. Two Friday (March 11) sessions — a panel called “Visual New Orleans: A City of Neighborhoods” and a talk by Berry on his film and book “City of a Million Dreams” — covered recent works chronicling public rituals in the city’s Black communities that have become emblematic of New Orleans: the second-line parade and the jazz funeral. Judy Cooper’s “Dancing in the Streets” and Jason Berry’s “City of a Million Dreams” delve deeply into these traditions — deep enough to avoid cliches and appropriation.

Book Festival at Tulane, opening Thursday, includes sessions on jazz, Southern humor, climate change, football, race and more

The long-awaited inaugural New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University opens Thursday (March 10) and runs through Saturday on Tulane’s Uptown campus. The festival was planned for 2020 and again for 2021 but was canceled twice amid Covid-19 surges.?

The event features more than 60 panel sessions from a lineup of 130 renowned and rising authors, including an award-winning group of children’s authors, some of New Orleans’ top chefs and an all-star musical lineup. The book festival is free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The author lineup includes national bestselling authors participating such as John Grisham, Malcolm Gladwell, Michael Lewis, Imani Perry, Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Bakari Sellers, Don Lemon, Jon Meacham, Charles Blow,? Sarah M. Broom and David Brooks.?

Local authors include Jason Berry, John Barry, Barri Bronston, Richard Campanella, Donna Brazile, Macon Fry, Sister Helen Prejean, Michael Tisserand, James Gill and Tom Piazza.