If White Linen Night is New Orleans’ annual boozy, slightly irreverent excuse to slip on some rumpled linen and head to the Warehouse District for a roving cocktail party that just happens to take place with some interesting paintings and sculptures in the background, Art for Arts’ Sake is the occasion when everyone gets a little more serious about the art.
But not too serious. This is still New Orleans, after all, and the happenings on and around Julia Street on Saturday will include plenty of opportunities for socializing in addition to taking in the current and new crop of fall exhibitions.
As in years past, the event will hinge on the annual gala at the Contemporary Arts Center, where Art for Arts’ Sake all began 35 years ago.
The CAC will offer free admission between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday with a cash bar and an opportunity to see the sprawling “REVERB: Past, Present, Future” exhibition featuring work from the post-Katrina art scene before it closes on Nov. 1.
The CAC will also be presenting a pop-up performance by progressive string quartet ETHEL ; the grand opening of the newly relocated The Stacks art and design bookstore; an assortment of family-oriented visual arts and theatre workshops; and a large-scale, stop-motion animation event by artists Kira Akerman and Silvie Deutsch as part of the evening’s festivities.
Not to be outdone, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art across the street also will be offering free admission and a cash bar to accompany the opening of three exhibitions on Saturday, including a suite of recently rediscovered photos documenting life at a 1970s Florida roller skating rink by Bill Yates; a career retrospective of work by Southern-inflected artist Michael Meads; and a selection of more than 50 new additions to the museum’s permanent collection.
For many Art for Arts’ Sake fans, the main draw of the night will also be a chance to enjoy a fall evening outdoors and take in the nearly 20 other openings at galleries and exhibition spaces along and around the Julia Street corridor.
One highlight will be a collection of works at boyd|satellite by and about legendary underground actor, artist and poet Taylor Mead, who died in 2013. The show will include several of Mead’s sketchbooks as well as drawings and photographs by some of his contemporaries in the downtown New York City art scene of the 1960s and 1970s, including Andy Warhol and film director Jim Jarmusch.
Other notable shows opening on Saturday include new mixed-media sculptures and works on paper by Christopher Saucedo at LeMieux Galleries; recent fabricated bronze sculptures by David Borgerding at Callan Contemporary; mixed-media paintings on canvas by Mallory Page at Martine Chaisson Fine Art; and paintings and drawings incorporating hand-sewn beads and embroidered hair by Monica Zeringue at Jonathan Ferrara.
Arthur Roger will be presenting a show of shimmering, natural form-based kinetic sculptures by veteran New Orleans-based artist Lin Emery, along with David Leventi’s grand photos of opera houses and prisons and river- and cityscapes by Simon Gunning. And one of the newest additions to the Julia Street scene, Julie Silvers Art, will be celebrating its grand opening Saturday with a DJ, door prizes, and other “surprises” from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Oh, and there will be cocktails too — just in case you needed a reminder that Art for Arts’ Sake is also one more reason for New Orleans to throw itself a party.