Thursday, October 9, 2008

Art Walking In New Orleans

There was a wonderful event in New Orleans this past Saturday night: An Art Walk that combines two great areas of the city, called Art For Art's Sake.
One is museum row in the CBD (Central Business District), where The Contemporary Arts Center, and the galleries on Julia Street host a huge shindig.
Further Uptown where I live is a six mile stretch called Magazine Street, that is filled with cute shops, galleries, cafes, and restaurants. Many, many of the merchants throw open their doors on this night, often showcasing a special artist for the night. Each place has drinks and delish tidbits, and often live music too. It spills out onto the street, and its very, very festive. This is the kick off event for the new season on the art scene. The weather was perfect, and we had a list of places we wanted to stop in and say hello. The event started at 6 PM and went on until 10 PM, and there was a nifty free-of-charge shuttle bus that you could hop on and off along the six miles of incredible choices.
We started close to home at our favorite store Perch. By the way, Perch is just one of two NOLA stores mentioned in the new Domino The Book Of Decorating! Perch is located at 2844 Magazine Street (504 899-2122) and you can see their great web site HERE
The artist Caroline and Jack from Perch featured was Viorel Hodre HERE
He makes astounding lamps out of paper, shaping it in the most beautiful and fantastic way.
Here's Jack from Perch with the hubs (Alberto), and Sabina my best friend visiting from San Francisco.
The store looked fantastic, all spiffy for the occasion, and I couldn't resist taking a few photos.
I love this antique table. It would be perfect in any place you have your books.
This bird painting is so charming too, and I love the curtains as well. Perch does quite a bit of work doing custom curtains, and they have the most beautiful fabrics to choose from.
Here's some more curtain panels. The fabric is linen with black velvet flocking. I love the burnished metal return rods they use.
And of course I just had to show you this fanciful over size lantern shape chandelier!
We made our way up the street, to a place I've been a zillion times. But tonight was extra special because this is the store of blogger Bayou Contessa aka Julie Neill! I was so excited to introduce myself to her.
The store is absolutely beautiful. Besides featuring the custom lighting fixtures Julie designs and manufactures, there are some other goodies too in this very pretty shop. Julie Neill is located at 3908 Magazine Street (504 899-4201) and you can check them out on line HERE
And here she is! The Bayou Contessa! We squealed like school girls when we met, and it really felt like meeting a long lost sister. She said, "Hey Vamp, let me take your picture!"
Here are some of the beautiful chandeliers Julie makes.
The artist she was featuring is Michelle Rosato-Tullis. Her paintings are so lovely, starting at $350. and up. Julie says she can't keep them in the shop, that people just love them (and I can see why). You can read more about Michelle HERE
Here's Michelle with Julie in front of one those gorgeous paintings.
Nearly next door to Julie Neill is a favorite shop of mine called Aux Belles Choses, owned by the very sweet Bettye Barrios and Anne Gauthier, who stock this charming old house, turned into a store, with a vast variety of French goods for the home.
Located at 3912 Magazine Street (504 891-1009), you can also reach them online HERE
Every vignette is charming, and the shop has all the things good little French homemakers just adore, like a bath tub filled with antique linens, or a cupboard filled with sets of antique flatware.
The stacks and stacks of Provencal napkins always cheer me up, and I grab a few to add to some I bought years ago from these lovely ladies.
I love these little note pads with the parrot on the cover - they're made from banana fiber paper. The classic French rush seat chair is always something good to have at home too.
One of the most exciting things in the shop are these antique iron children's beds. They would make a great settee. They sell for only $275.! It folds flat and can definitely be shipped.
The store is so charming, filled with hand milled soaps, bundles of lavender, tin ware, ceramics, baskets, textiles - a zillion belle choses for sure!
Across the street is another great shop, called Passages Antiques owned by Helen Wirth and Jennifer Tujague. Located at 3939 Magazine Street (504 899-3883), situated in another century old house turned into a shop, room after room unfolds revealing treasures upon treasures. They also have a shop in Atlanta, and a web site HERE
The majolica collection is astounding, and the oyster plate their speciality. I just love the little painting of the oyster perched in front of the plates.
New Orleans has a love affair with oysters, and oyster plates.
Their store also focuses on many things French...
...from street signs, to the Tri Colour, to armoires and chests and tables and chairs.
Hopping the shuttle to go further Uptown, Jack and Caroline at Perch told us not to miss a place at 4848 Magazine. They said it was a gallery that had not officially opened so it didn't even a sign out front yet. The owner wanted to be a part of the Art Walk, and Jack and Caroline said her name is Ashley and that the gallery was fabulous and not to be missed. And they were so right!
Ashely is Ashely Sarah Longshore, and the gallery is called Longshore. She was recently featured by New Orleans Magazine in their annual People To Watch article.
She's shown in the article holding a painting she just sold to the actress Selma Hayek for $75K! Good for her! And we got to see it in the gallery that night, along with dozens and dozens of other paintings by this talented and prolific and beautiful and fabulous woman.
Ashely says she paints all the time. Some of her paitnings have this terrific shiny glaze on them, adding a depth to the already rich colors she uses. I asked her how she did it, but she demurred, so I'm sure it's a secret personal process that makes her work so unique.
She doesn't always use the glaze, as in one of her favorite paintings called "Shirley Temple Bombed".
I love her paintings of French ladies with big hair. Oui, oui, oui indeeed!

Here's Ashley with some cute guys from Baton Rouge.
Be sure to visit her at Longshore, 4848 Magazine Street (504 458-5500), and of course her web site HERE
I'm so lucky because Julie Neill, Ashley, Jack and Caroline from Perch, are all neighbors, so I'm sure I'll be seeing them at Starbucks!
The last stop furthest Uptown is another place I adore called Hazelnut at 5515 Magazine Street (504 891-2424) and on line HERE.
If you look in my labels section you'll see Hazelnut listed there as I have written a few posts about this wonderful place. Take a look at all the great things they have.
The artist Hazelnut featured was Suzie Allain who does captivating still life paintings.
The front windows were especially filled with great looking things. I love the rocks glass in the hand, and of course the frame with Hazelnut owner and Mad Men star Bryan Batt.
These silvery Chinoiserie figures would be so fabulous on an entry table. The bejeweled frames have more Mad Men cast members displayed, a wonderful nod to the show's connection with the shop.
Here's Alberto and Sabina sipping another cocktail. It's nearly 10 PM and we never made it to Lower Magazine Street where I had hoped to visit Juliet Home Furnishings, and Antiques On Jackson (again look for them in my labels section). Four hours seemed like plenty of time when the evening started, but we lingered awhile at each place, and stopped along the way to listen to music (there were at least a dozen bands playing at various locations, adding a party vibe to the whole night), and visit with friends we met in the street.


Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

THAT was a great tour! How lucky you are to have all of that in your 'hood!!!

pve design said...

For heaven's sake, what a wonderful bit of heaven...all in the name of ART! Looks like my kinda walk!

Karen said...

Oh you are making me SO homesick, I can hardly stand it! Thank you so much for the visual tour of all the places that were my neighbors on Magazine Street. I miss Art for Art's Sake and the chance to open the store doors at night and just visit with everyone. Sometimes I dream that New Orleans Custom Linens is still there watching over Lilette and that I am still sneaking calamari every time I got a chance.
Come up to Baton Rouge on November 21st for our White Light Night when all the Mid City galleries and shops will be open and partying- Red Stick would love to have you visit with us here also!

Swank Lighting said...

I feel like I was there. What an enjoyable evening. Thanks
Ed at Swank

Pigtown*Design said...

One of my most favourite days was spent winding my way back and forth across Magazine Street, visiting all of the wonderful shops.

I see you've got the Josephine Ryan book there. I am planning on visiting her store in London in a few weeks.

PS Let me know when you will be in Baltimore!

TTI said...

Great post! I am the proud owner of a pair of Julie Neill sconces, and they are so beautiful. It is wonderful to see a little glimpse of her shop!

I remember reading about Hazelnut in a magazine, and forgot about the Mad Men connection. I started watching Mad Men last month, and I am absolutely addicted!

Thank you for feauring all of these wonderful New Orleans stores and artists.

Alkemie said...

That was an Awesome Tour of wonderful shops in New Orleans!! It's so fun when you get to meet a blogger in person that you've gotten to know online. Thank you so much for sharing!