With Jammin’ on Julia falling on the second weekend of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, music fans who also want to keep up with the contemporary visual arts scene may have to make some tough choices.
But organizers of the event, relaunched last year, have tried to ease the decision with a full slate of live music.
Highlights will include the transcendent violin stylings of musician and poet Sultan Isham and the raucous vintage-flavored shenanigans of the the New Leviathan Oriental Fox-Trot Orchestra. The Showtime Brass Band, Ysreal Trio, Jenn Howard and DJ Hurricane will round out the musical program of the event.
Sixteen galleries along the Julia Street corridor will be open for browsing Saturday, and it’s a great opportunity to catch some of the more interesting shows of the season in a convivial atmosphere.
In keeping with the First Saturday tradition, some galleries will be opening new exhibitions Saturday. Arthur Roger, 432-434 Julia St., leads with a one-two punch: Edward Burtynsky’s cerebral and formally precise large-scale photographic landscapes in one gallery space will be accompanied a few doors down by Christopher Saucedo’s Pop art-inflected canvases and drawings in which classic American cartoon and superhero imagery is used as a trenchant commentary on current events.
Saucedo’s show, his first with the gallery, also will include work based on plastic water bottles and go-cups, that most New Orleanian form of liquid conveyance.
Two artists working also will be sharing an opening at Octavia Gallery, 454 Julia St. Regina Scully’s new work — some of which is also on view in her current show at the New Orleans Museum of Art — includes pieces inspired by her study of Japanese landscape, while Iva Gueorguieva explores the sculptural aspects of paper in free-form mixed media pieces that blend both abstract and representational elements.
At Callan Contemporary, 518 Julia St., Sibylle Peretti’s new show will include dreamlike, sumptuously textured works made from carved, painted and mirrored acrylic glass, silver and gold leaf, and paper that blur the line between drawing and three dimensional representation.
Other galleries will be hosting ongoing shows that evening, like Michael Pajon’s wondrous “Ex Libris” at Jonathan Ferrara, 400a Julia St. Inspired by the centuries-old practice of bookplates, Pajon creates densely layered and fiercely intelligent mixed media collages using materials like vintage book covers and 19th-century cabinet card photographs. The results are miniature worlds ripe for exploration and contemplation.
Thomas Mann’s large-scale sculptures and mixed media assemblages at Lemieux Galleries, 332 Julia St., will be a pleasant surprise for viewers more accustomed to his more intimate jewelry designs. And Sharon Lee Hart’s evocative and surreal blue-toned photographs and photomontages linking the ocean with mythology, astronomy and mysticism bring an early taste of summer to the walls of Martine Chiasson Gallery, 727 Camp St.
At Callan Contemporary, 518 Julia St., Sibylle Peretti’s new show will include dreamlike, sumptuously textured works made from carved, painted and mirrored acrylic glass, silver and gold leaf, and paper that blur the line between drawing and three dimensional representation. And Degas Gallery, 604 Julia., will host an opening of light-dappled abstractions by Rhenda Saporito.
And if all that weren’t enough, Jammin’ on Julia also will celebrate the grand opening of the Arts Market Downtown at 750 Carondelet St., as well as a raffle benefiting an Arts District mural project giving participants a chance to take home work created that very evening by street art stars Henry Lipkis, Jeremy Paten, and Fat Kids from Outer Space.
It’s a culture-filled event that’s well worth making time for in what promises to be a busy weekend for art and music lovers in New Orleans.
Musical Lineup for Jammin' on Julia
The New Leviathan Oriental Fox-Trot Orchestra
Showtime Brass Band
Special Guest Appearance by: Big Chief Sysco Red, Choctaw Nation, Louisiana Star Tribe