From the studied, stark black-and-white images of crime scenes in Orleans Parish by photographer Deborah Luster to the unabashed artistic expression of Self-Taught, Outsider and Visionary Art, in January the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St., New Orleans, will present exhibitions that showcase the harsh realities of Southern life, as well as highlight its spiritual joy and cultural richness.

“The year 2013 brings to the Ogden Museum a bold restatement of our commitment to Art of the American South,” said Ogden Museum Director William Andrews. “We welcome the opportunity to present changing exhibitions of exceptional quality and relevance by contemporary artists, while taking the opportunity to manifest our mission by highlighting an amazing collection of Self-Taught, Outsider and Visionary Art, followed by a spectacular survey of Southern Abstraction. This juxtaposition will occur throughout the year as the Ogden Museum continues to contrast new installations from rarely seen permanent collections with temporary exhibitions by artists that capture the essence of our story.”

Opening Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, is the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts Scholarship Art Contest Exhibition, a group of works by high-school juniors and seniors who participated in the foundation’s visual arts contest. The theme was “Louisiana’s Bicentennial,” celebrating 200 years of statehood in 2012. The Ogden Museum is the final venue in a statewide tour of the exhibition. The show runs through Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.

Deborah Luster – Tooth For an Eye: A Chorography of Violence in Orleans Parish, will open Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013. The show runs through Sunday, April 7, 2013.

Luster is known for her lush black-and-white photographs documenting the rituals and customs that surround the culture of the American South and in particular, Louisiana. During the past decade, she has been making evocative and powerful photographs exploring the effects of crime, punishment and violence in Louisiana.

“With Tooth For an Eye: A Chorography of Violence in Orleans Parish, Luster focuses her camera on an invisible population—people who exist only as a memory—homicide victims,” said Ogden Museum Photography Curator Richard McCabe. Chorography is an ancient Greek term meaning “place writing.” These images focus on the sense of place created by the events depicted.

The exhibit, Self-Taught, Outsider and Visionary Art from the Permanent Collection of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art , will open Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013. It also will run through Sunday, April, 7, 2013.

The show will showcase works from the Ogden Museum’s growing collection in this genre. Including a range of work—from the naïve abstracted landscapes of Civil War veteran Charles Hutson (1840 - 1936) to Elayne Goodman’s “Altar to Elvis,” which borrows liturgical forms to represent a secular icon—this exhibition will showcase the depth and breadth of the Ogden Museum’s collection of Self-Taught art from the American South. Also included is work by Thornton Dial, Reverend Howard Finster, Clementine Hunter, Nellie Mae Rowe, Wellmon Sharlhorne and George Andrews.

Of particular interest in the context of New Orleans’ hosting of the Super Bowl in 2013 will be the installation of Benny Day’s 1950 sculpture, “LSU vs. Oklahoma” on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013.

The 1950 Sugar Bowl, played in Tulane Stadium on Jan. 2, pitted the Oklahoma Sooners against a football squad labeled the “Cinderella Team” – namely, the LSU Tigers. (Oklahoma won the game, 35-0.) “LSU vs. Oklahoma”depicts a play in the game, and features 96 intricately hand-carved and -painted figurines in balsa wood, spread over a 5-by-8-foot football field.

Films featuring the Rev. Howard Finster and his Outsider environment, Paradise Gardens, also will go on view. Called to Art and Around and Around are 16mm films shot between 1979 and 1982 by Wake Forest Art Professor Victor Faccinto.

Called to Art features still 35mm film images of Finster and Paradise Gardens with a voice-over by Finster recounting his vision of God telling him to make sacred art. Around and Around features Finster playing banjo and singing with stop-motion single frame shots of Finster and Paradise Gardens.

Other exhibitions opening in January are:

  • Well Suited: The Costumes of Alonzo Wilson for HBO’s Treme, Jan. 24-March 31, 2013.
  • Southern Abstraction from the Permanent Collection of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Jan. 24-March 31.

For more information, call (504) 539-9600 or visit

Ogden Museum of Southern Art