One of the great things about traveling is dipping into new experiences. New Orleans was filled with them. There is a spirit and soul to the city unlike any other and I felt so privileged to partake in its riches. It is a raw city with the humanity spilling out into the streets.
When I first arrived I missed the turn off for the city and ended up in Algiers, where I took the Broken Steeple photograph in 2005, post Katrina. I photographed the church again with my iphone. Although much has been repaired and rebuilt since the storm, some things have not.
What you can't see in the photograph is a white tent that is located on the parking lot to the left of the church where services are held.
I visited the New Orleans African American Museum on the last day of the Prospect 2 show and it was there that I came across the amazing work of Harlin Miller. He was born and raised there and his work speaks for itself. It was riveting. The pieces are created out of newspaper print and speak volumes in a very quiet, understated way.
© Harlin Miller ~ Abandonment
© Harlin Miller ~ More Prayer Than Planning
Another highlight was hearing John Boutte sing Hallelujah at d.b.a. He won the Best of the Beat Awards and hearing him sing was truly a religious experience. The power of music is unparalleled as it is universally understood. New Orleans is where all the musicians are flocking and it is a true musical extravaganza every day and night. I told my father, aged 92, that if I ever return in another life, I would like to be a musician to which he responded "it's not too late, why don't you start lessons now?"
The Ogden Museum of Southern art had an exhibit of Will Henry Stevens's Louisiana Waterways. I loved his insights into artmaking...
"It has been my experience, and I think the experience of all serious creative artists, if they have the good fortune of working over a long period of time, gradually to depart from the representation of surface appearance and to develop symbols expressive of cosmic values. Art is based on emotional understanding, a feeling of that which lies back of appearance, and on the creative power to reconstruct in visual or audible terms the artist's feelings and moods. There is always the desire to express the harmonious inter-connection of each and every element, and to create a feeling of wholeness more satisfying than our ordinary experience in time. The practice of art is a way to knowlege, since the artist continually learns through experience."