Monday, January 19, 2009

Arts enjoyment weekend

Colin and I just had a fabulous weekend. On Friday, we went to the "American Routes 10th anniversary extravaganza" at the House of Blues. For those of you who do not know, American Routes is a radio show which plays music and interviews artists in from the genres of jazz, blues, folk music, Cajun, zydeco, and more. A while back, we were listening as we always do to the Sunday night American Routes broadcast and were quite pleased to hear that to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the show a live music concert would be held at the New Orleans House of Blues. So we decided to buy tickets and attend. The show was amazing, and featured the following artists:

Dr. Micheal White and the Original Liberty Jazz Band
Deacon John and the Ivories
Al 'Carnival Time' Johnson
Topsy Chapman
Trombone Shorty

Every performer was amazing, but I think I enjoyed Dr. Micheal White and the Liberty Jazz band, Al 'Carnival Time' Johnson, and Trombone Shorty the best. Really it was an amazing show, and lucky for you it will be broadcast on American Routes on February 18th. Even if you do not get the show on your local NPR affiliate, the American Routes website has a brand spanking new digital archive that you can use to hear the program anytime after it airs on February 18th.

Then on Saturday, Colin and I headed out to see as much of the Prospect 1 Art Exhibit as we could before it closed on Sunday. For those of you that do not know, Prospect 1 was was an international art exhibit set in various locations in the city of New Orleans (from museums and galleries to flooded out buildings in the 9th ward) . All the exhibits were free, and there was a shuttle that would take you around to the 12 venues officially featured in the show. In addition, numerous galleries and smaller exhibit spaces featured the work of local artists as a complement to the official show. Colin and I only were able to visit some of the various official sites, but the quality of the artwork we were able to see was truly amazing. Some of the pieces did not lend themselves to photography, and others I took pictures of but they did not capture the whole effect of the work. Here are some of the works I was able to capture:

Each of the tare weights is the exact mass and volume of one of the people in the artist's family (pictured). Each weight is labeled with the person it represents: "father," "mother," etc. There is a diagram on the wall illustrating the process; the piece in the photo to the left is a visual representation of the purpose of the weights.

These are wall murals in a flooded house in the 9th ward. The murals show Louisiana's bayous. They are wall-to-ceiling, and intricately detailed, showing wetland wildlife. It was surreal to see these murals inside a house that became flooded in part due to the loss of coastal ecosystems.

This is the ark, one of the most well-publicized pieces of the biennial. It is made of plywood sheets gathered from wreckage in the 9th ward, pieced together to form a boat.

This sign is self-explanatory. It was part of an exhibit in a police station, and is made from welded metal.

This is a chair made for two people. You can rock back and forth with your partner. It is surprisingly comfortable, as well as stylish. It was in the Charles J. Colton School, which has been recommissioned into artist studios. While we were there, there were artists working in the machine shop, crafting non-Prospect 1 pieces.

These pieces was also at the school, and were part of an installation of five or six similar pieces made of concrete with inset LED counters. There were 1400 counters total, representing the number of people killed in Katrina and the subsequent flooding.

This piece was in the Battleground Baptist Church in the 9th ward. The diamond structure is made of rusted gym equipment from 9th ward homes, and has been welded together. There are mirrored walls surrounding the piece, and an audio recording of Martin Luther King spliced with electronic music was playing. That sounds strange, but the whole piece was actually quite moving.

This painting showed the paths of Rita, Katrina, and Ivan. In each state, there are mixed media pieces depicting things that can be found in that state. Specifically, see the fire ant in Florida, the heart of Dixie in Tennessee, and the various cut-outs of Jesus throughout.

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Blogger raisin said...

Really enjoyed this pix, thanks.

January 23, 2009 at 8:58 AM  

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