Friday, April 20th, 5pm to 9pm April 20, 2012


Join us on Friday, April 20th, from 5pm to 9pm at NOMA for Where Y’Art!

This Friday NOMA is celebrating two exhibitions, Earth Day, and National Poetry Month!

  • Opening Friday of What Is A Photograph?
  • 5pm to 8pm: Earth Day Art Making with Craft Mafia
  • 5pm to 8pm: Found Poetry Art Making with Press Street
  • 5:30pm to 8:30pm: Music by Robin Barnes
  • 6pm to 8pm: Visiting Jewelry Artist, Brandi Couvillion, in Museum Shop
  • 6pm: Poetry Panel Discussion: Join poets Megan Burns, Gina Ferarrar and artist Tricia Vitrano,for a program moderated by Susan Larson (Host of WWNO’s The Reading Life) – book signing by Megan Burns & Gina Ferarrar to follow.
  • 6pm: Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial: Tour with artist, Willie Birch
  • 7pm: What is a Photograph?: Tour with curator, Russell Lord

About What Is A Photograph?
What is a photograph? How do we define its history? This exhibition, compiled mostly from NOMA’s permanent collection, examines many forms of photography from the 1840s to the present, in order to explore these questions. Over the past 190 years, photography has infiltrated almost every aspect of modern life, from birth to war and science to religion. During this time, the photograph has taken many forms, such as the daguerreotype, cyanotype, and gelatin silver print. Scholars and historians have often found it difficult to write a history that gives equal weight to each of these distinct forms, but recent technical developments in photography have made it even more complicated. With the advent of the digital era, it appears that we must once again begin rewriting photography’s history to include not only images on metal plates, paper, and cloth, but also images on laptop screens and handheld devices, images that have no physical support and may never physically exist at all. It has become clear that a history that narrowly defines photography as one medium is insufficient. Photography, it seems, is not one medium, but many.

This exhibition describes and includes many of the most common photographic processes (daguerreotypes, salted paper prints, gelatin silver prints, and inkjet prints), but it also includes objects, artifacts, and practices that have typically been considered marginal to the history of photography (reproductions of photographs in ink, negatives, camera-less photographs, cartes-de-visite, color processes, and even a piece of jewelry). These disparate works invite you to consider what-if anything-links them together within the history of photography.

About Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial
Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial highlights the artist’s significant contribution to the field of American art and shows how Dial’s work speaks to the most pressing issues of our time-including the war in Iraq, 9/11, and social issues like racism and homelessness. The exhibition presents over 40 of Dial’s large-scale paintings, drawings and found-object sculptures. Spanning twenty years of his work as an artist, it is the most extensive showing of his art ever mounted and is organized by the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

About Willie Birch
A native of New Orleans, Willie Birch creates politically incisive yet emotionally sensitive work that addresses issues related to African-American culture and survival. Always probing in his work the artist has addressed New Orleans musical heritage and also the multi-layered experience of African-American males. Willie Birch’s work has powerful political, sociological and spiritual meaning but is wonderfully anchored in the daily life and celebratory rituals and recently even the fauna of the artist’s 7th Ward New Orleans neighborhood.
(source: http://arthurrogergallery.com)

About Robin Barnes
Named “New Orleans’ songbird” by NOLA.com, Robin Barnes captivates her audience with her unique renditions of songs and her powerful voice that ranges with each verse of each song to keep listeners wondering how she’s going to make the songs her own.

Her singing style, inspired by different musical genres, often moves from jazz to blues to soul and sometimes changes the genre of a modern song into a more bluesy and sultry piece to make a cover her own, as exemplified in her rendition of Kanye West’s Heartless. However, with her powerful voice, she still has the grace and class of some her musical role models, such as Etta James, Irma Thomas, and Ella Fitzgerald.

The singer attributes her passion and inspiration to New Orleans as well, and incorporates the sounds of the illustrious city within each song. From a young age, the singer-songwriter used music to bond with her older siblings and parents while singing with their band The Soul Heirs, and was a featured artist at Peaches Records and the “Where Y’at Best of the Big Easy” party this past year. Most recently, she has been performing consistently at Twist Cocktails, The House of Blues Foundation Room, and Hotel Monteleone’s newly renovated Carousel Bar.

About Megan Burns
Megan Burns is a poet, performer, essayist, and editor. She has a MFA from Naropa University and edits the poetry magazine, Solid Quarter, which is dedicated to poets working in the tradition of the long poem. Her critical work on poet Bernadette Mayer can be found at Jacket Magazine. She has reviews of both poetry and prose at Gently Read Lit, Tarpaulin Sky, Big Bridge, and Rain Taxi. Her poetry has been most recently published in Exquisite Corpse Annual, Callaloo, New Laurel Review, YAWP Journal and the Big Bridge New Orleans Anthology. Her book Memorial + Sight Lines was published in 2008 by Lavender Ink. She has two chapbooks: Frida Kahlo: I am the poem (2004) and Framing a Song (2010) from Trembling Pillow Press. She lives in New Orleans where she and her husband, poet Dave Brinks, have run the weekly 17 Poets! reading series since 2003. Megan has two forthcoming books of poetry entitled Anatomy of Depression and Carville: Village of Forgotten Names.

Megan has a chapbook forthcoming that is based on Surrealist games and was influenced by Surrealist artists and writer, and she has a previously published chapbook of poems based on artist Frida Kahlo’s work.

Brandi Couvillion Artist Statement
My work as a historical preservationist inspired the development of my Skeleton-Key Necklace line. Each piece is formed by an antique escutcheon (or key hole) and key from a demolished home joined together lariat style. In creating these pieces I have always been struck by the intricacy of the ornamentation with which a simple key hole was once adorned. One can often tell the architectural style of the house-Queen Anne, Gothic Revival, Arts and Crafts, and more-by the appearance of the escutcheons, as if every single detail was designed as part of an integrated whole.

I like to think of these necklaces, which cross over the heart, as talismans for the homes we have lost. My hope is that although the homes no longer stand, my work helps ensure, in some small way, their continued survival.

My work creates memorials to historic homes which are soon to be a memory, as well as to the elapsed history of the countless inhabitants which created the city we enjoy today. This is all accomplished while recognizing the symbolism within my own existence and contribution to the city.

About Craft Mafia
The New Orleans Craft Mafia formed in June 2005 and consists of several independent artists in a variety of media: jewelry, clothing, accessories, bath & body, home decor, and more.The New Orleans Craft Mafia models itself after the original Craft Mafia in Austin, Texas, ?where a small group of talented ladies joined together to support each other in their crafty business endeavors. Interest grew and Craft Mafias have been popping up all over the world.

This event is related to the exhibition Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial.