“THE SPIRIT OF THE PEOPLE OF ST. BERNARD: Portraits and Videos”
Location: Crevasse 22 & The River House – 8122 Saro Lane, Poydras, LA
Viewing Hours: Saturday – Sunday, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm or by appointment
Press Coverage: Article on nola.com by Doug MacCash HERE
Cost: Free – Open to the public
CANO’s second presentation will open on August 26th at the River House at Crevasse 22 in St. Bernard Parish (8122 Saro Lane, Poydras, Louisiana) in partnership with the site’s owners, the Torres I Burns Trust. The new exhibition, “The Spirit of the People of St. Bernard: Portraits and Videos” will celebrate the people of St. Bernard, including the “Islenos,” who trace their lineage back to the original settlers from the Canary Islands, to people who currently live off the land, farming, hunting, and fishing; working in the energy industries; or who help shape the public and private sectors of the Parish. The exhibition will include portraits by noted artists Jonathan Traviesa, Monique Verdin, Blake Boyd, and New Orleans fine art photographers Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick, who represented the U.S. at the Venice Biennale 2015.
The opening of the new exhibition will be part of a parish-wide “open house” organized on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and will take place as a reception on August 26th from 4:00-7:00 pm. The show will continue to be open through September.
“From the first day we opened the sculpture garden in October of last year, we have had wonderful experiences welcoming people who were delighted to learn about a part of this region they had not experienced before,” said Sidney Torres of the Torres I Burns Trust which owns the site of the Crevasse 22 Sculpture Garden and River House Museum.
“It has been especially pleasing for us to enjoy with them the beauty of the landscape, our new sculpture garden, and our new River House museum,” said Torres.
“We want to use this opportunity to make the world aware of St. Bernard’s recovery from one of the worst natural disasters to strike an American metropolitan area, from showcasing the critical facilities and infrastructure that were rebuilt with federal tax dollars, to celebrating our unique Islenos heritage and culture, to highlighting our parish’s place in the local art scene,” said Mike Bayham, Chairman of St. Bernard Parish Katrina Commemoration Committee.
The Spirit of the People of St. Bernard: Portraits and Video Interviews
Presented by the Torres I Burns Trust and the Creative Alliance of New Orleans
The people of St. Bernard – those who have returned and those who have not yet come back – have a remarkable love for their parish. It is a tenacious love, built upon the close relationships that bind these people together into a family. As with any family, all is not perfect. Tensions exist, founded in history, and reflecting the economic and environmental challenges of the region. But overwhelmingly, the spirit of the people is giving, caring, and looking to move the Parish forward. In view of the risk from coastal erosion, brought on by many causes, this spirit and love is all the more exceptional.
We present this cross section of St. Bernard people in portraits by artists Blake Boyd, Keith Calhoun, Chandra McCormick, Kelsey Scult, Jonathan Traviesa, and Monique Verdin, all exceptional photographers from this region.
We also present a series of interviews by Jeanne Nathan and videographer Michael Lancaster. They are simple one on one interviews – unedited and heartfelt. They are the beginning of an ongoing process that will aim to include even more voices and images to match the richness of thought and emotions communicated.
We believe people of St. Bernard offer a model of a small community’s determination to maintain its place in this ever tightening globe. We hope other communities can reflect on and learn from the deep commitment to the past and the future by the people of this place on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico.
“LAND-SCAPES: Photographs | Paintings | Drawings”
Location: The River House at Crevasse 22 – 8122 Saro Lane, Poydras, LA
Dates: January 2015 – August 2015
Press Coverage: Article on nola.com by Susan Langenhennig HERE
NEW ARTS VENUE TO OPEN IN ST. BERNARD PARISH
“River House” in Poydras to open with an exhibition of landscapes organized by the Creative Alliance of New Orleans
POYDRAS, LA.— The Creative Alliance of New Orleans (CANO) and the Torres | Burns Trust announce the opening of the River House, a new arts space in Poydras, Louisiana in St. Bernard Parish, close to the Mississippi River levee, and adjacent to a lake created by the Crevasse of 1922.
The first exhibition at the new space will open on December 20th, 2014, with a holiday brunch from 12:00 pm until 3:00 pm at 8122 Saro Lane. The visual arts exhibition, a grouping of landscapes and waterscapes by local and regional artists, is a companion to CANO’s “Crevasse 22”, a temporary sculpture exhibition on the same property.
The exhibition, “Land-Scapes: Photography, Drawings, and Paintings”, will include works by Errol Baron, Ron Bechet, Henry Butler, Sandra Russell Clark, Tina Freeman, Gabrielle Gaspard, Gary Cecchine, Jillian Gibson, William Guion, Simon Gunning, Diego Larguia, Robert MacDonald, Robert Perrin, Sandra Buring Pulitzer, Rudolf Karl Radlinger, Richard Sexton, Michel Varisco, and Jane Randolph Wipple; all artists who live and work in New Orleans. Jane Wipple is deceased.
The exhibition is designed to reflect the underlying environmental theme of the Crevasse 22 Sculpture Exhibition about the destructiveness of nature, and yet its resiliency and beauty. CANO hopes the exhibitions will underscore awareness of the environmental threats and the natural beauty of our region and of St. Bernard Parish.
“Many people think of St. Bernard as the highway that runs through the parish, unaware of the natural beauty of the land beyond the highway that includes bayous, graceful oak trees, and abundant bird life and fisheries that support a unique cultural legacy spawned by the Islenos people who came from the Canary Islands to settle the area in the 18th century,” said Jeanne Nathan, Executive Director of CANO, who curated and produced the exhibitions.
“CANO continues our mission of helping regional creative artists and producers develop sustaining careers and helping our creative economy to grow,” said Nathan.
The Torres | Burns Trust sponsored the exhibitions on land owned by Sidney Torres III and Roberta L. Burns surrounding a lake created by the natural crevasse of 1922. That crevasse triggered the idea of blowing up the near-by levee as a strategy, not supported by science, to prevent the flooding of New Orleans during the great flood of 1927. The levee was exploded near the 1922 crevasse. In the end it was a crevasse up-river from New Orleans that relieved the threat of the 1927 flood to New Orleans.
Sidney Torres III said, “I am excited to share the beauty of the natural setting with others, as an example of the beauty of this region.”
“The site also provides an opportunity for artists to be inspired to create and show work that relates to the nature and culture of the area,” said Torres.
The sculptures, photographs and paintings also interpret the dangers of flooding, the impending dangers from the loss of wetlands, and the importance of treasuring and protecting the region’s natural assets.
The Crevasse 22 and Land-Scapes shows comprise one of three Prospect 3+ sites at which CANO is presenting the work of New Orleans artists during Prospect 3. Works are also on view at the Myrtle Banks Building at 1307 O.C. Haley Boulevard, and the St. Maurice Church in the Lower 9th Ward.
CANO’s mission is to provide training, education, and information for creative artists, cultural producers and the community, to protect our cultural legacy and to promote the revitalization of the city as a cultural and economic center.
Directions: Take St. Claude Avenue to the bridge, keep going as St. Claude veers left and becomes St. Bernard Highway. Travel down St. Bernard Highway for about 12 miles, passing through a canopy of live oak trees and two port sites. After the second port, where a large military ship is berthed, go to the next stop light, with Guillory’s grocery on the left, and a purple and pink snowball stand on the right and turn right. Without coming out of the turn, see the Saro Lane sign, and signs for the River House. Stay right, passing through a small suburban area; proceed almost to the levee, where a gate opening on the left welcomes you to the Crevasse 22 site. You will be directed where to park.