LOVE in the Garden presented by Hancock Whitney celebrates New Orleans artists, food, and libations

NEW ORLEANS, LA – For the 14th year, the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) will celebrate LOVE in the Garden presented by Hancock Whitney. On September 28, 2018, 1,500 guests will enjoy cuisine from over 60 of New Orleans’ finest restaurants, and craft cocktails from New Orleans’ top bartenders as they vie for first place in the 5th annual LOVE Cocktail Challenge. Local New Orleans food trucks presented by My House Social will provide late-night fare to keep the party going into the evening.

Annually at LOVE in the Garden, NOMA honors distinguished artists either from New Orleans, or with ties to the city, celebrating their work as creative catalysts in the community. This year’s event honors artists John Alexander, Katrina Andry, Luis Cruz Azaceta, and L. Kasimu Harris. Both Alexander and Azaceta had work featured in NOMA’s summer 2017 exhibition Pride of Place: The Making of Contemporary Art in New Orleans, while Andry and Harris’ work is featured in NOMA’s exhibition Changing Course: Reflections on New Orleans Histories, on view through September 16, 2018.

“NOMA’s LOVE in the Garden event allows us to celebrate creativity and talent. These four artists represent the very best of our creative community,” said Susan Taylor, NOMA’s Montine McDaniel Freeman Director.

Event co-chairs Elizabeth Grimes, Christine LeBlanc, and Mimi Schlesinger have worked collaboratively and tirelessly on all details of the event, ranging from selecting entertainment to securing 60 participating restaurants.

“The premier summer social event in New Orleans has historically been LOVE in the Garden, and this year is no exception,” said Mimi Schlesinger, co-chair of the annual fundraiser. “Surrounded by the majestic trees and world-class sculptures, guests will enjoy cuisine from New Orleans’ top chefs, imbibe in libations by the city’s top mixologists, dance under the stars and salute favorite artists while supporting the renowned Besthoff Sculpture Garden. You do not want to miss it!”

LOVE in the Garden kicks off with the Patron Party at 7 PM with entertainment by the Storyville Stompers. The Patron Party is followed by the Garden Party at 8 PM with entertainment by The Boogie Men. The Late Night Party begins at 10 PM, and partygoers can dance to New Orleans’ favorite party starter, DJ OttO, until midnight. The evening is presented by Hancock Whitney.

“At Hancock Whitney, we pride ourselves on our commitment to our local communities and we are honored to continue to serve as the title sponsor for NOMA’s LOVE in the Garden,” said Suzanne Thomas, Hancock Whitney Chief Credit Approval Officer and member of NOMA’s Board of Trustees. “By supporting this wonderful event, you help sustain New Orleans’ oldest fine arts institution and its permanent collection of more than 40,000 objects for future generations. It’s our honor to contribute to the arts and culture of our great city.”

LOVE in the Garden is a celebration of the 15th anniversary of The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. The sculpture garden has been free to the public since its opening in November 2003, and is one of the most popular public spaces in New Orleans for locals, students, and tourists. Construction for a six-acre expansion of the Besthoff Sculpture Garden is underway, and the new garden is forecasted to open in April of 2019. Proceeds from LOVE in the Garden help to guarantee the future stability of the museum and programs that are vital to the New Orleans community, and beyond.

Fifth Annual LOVE Cocktail Challenge presented by Sazerac New Orleans

The LOVE Cocktail Challenge celebrates its fifth year in 2018. Featuring ten of New Orleans’ top bartenders, challengers vie for first place by creating a signature LOVE-inspired cocktail based on their blind drawing of a LOVE cocktail theme and a type of spirit. Themes include Forbidden Love, Love/Hate, Lust, Unconditional Love, and Unrequited Love. Spirits include bourbon, gin, rum, tequila, and vodka. A panel of judges will award First Place and Best of Spirit awards. Guests will award the “People’s Choice” cocktail by dropping a “token of LOVE” in their favorite libation’s “LOVE bank”. Abigail Gullo of Compère Lapin, T. Cole Newton of Twelve Mile Limit, and Chris Hannah of Arnaud’s French 75 Bar and Manolito make up the panel of judges who will award First Place and Best of Spirit awards. The reigning LOVE Cocktail Challenge champion is Tyler Chauvin of Trèo, who won the competition in 2017.

Challengers include Jesse Carr of Balise and La Petite Grocery, Tyler Chauvin from Trèo, Nick Detrich from Everywhen, Megan Devine from Twelve Mile Limit, Paul Gustings from Tujague’s, Konrad Kantor from Manolito, Crystal Pavlas from Bywater American Bistro, Daniel Victory from Victory, and Evan Wolf from Company Burger.

Participating Restaurants

LOVE in the Garden features New Orleans’ top restaurants and caterers, including: Acme Oyster House, Ale on Oak, Ancora Pizzeria, Antoine’s Restaurant, Atchafalaya, August, Aunt Sally’s Pralines, Blue Oak BBQ, Bon Ton Café, Boucherie, Boulevard American Bistro, Bouligny Tavern, Byblos Restaurant, Café Degas, Café NOMA, Café Sbisa, The Court of Two Sisters, Couvant, Crescent City Brewhouse, Crescent City Steaks, Delachaise, Doris Metropolitan, Effervescence, Felix’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar, Flamingo A-Go-Go, Galatoire’s Restaurant, Gordon Biersch, Gracious Bakery and Café, Highly Seasoned Catering, LLC, Houston’s Restaurant, Ice Cream 504, Joel Catering and Special Events, Louisiana Pizza Kitchen – French Quarter, Lula Restaurant Distillery, Mandina’s, Maple Street Café, Martin Wine Cellar Deli & Catering, Maurice French Pastries, Messina’s Catering Events/ Messina’s at the Terminal, Mondo, Mona’s Café, Mr. John’s Steakhouse, Nonna Mia, Nothing Bundt Cakes – Metairie, Oak Oven, Patti Constantin, Designs in Catering, Porter and Luke’s Restaurant, Reginelli’s Pizzeria, Robért Fresh Market, Santa Fe, Seaworthy, Silk Road, Southern Candymakers, Southern Hospitality Catering, The Station Coffee Shop and Bakery, Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar, Swiss Confectionery, Tito’s Ceviche and Pisco, Tommy’s Cuisine, Wayfare, and Zócalo.

Presented by My House Social, late night cuisine includes fare from Café du Monde, NOLA Sno-balls, Sultans Food Truck, and Taceaux Loceaux.


NOMA thanks this year’s returning presenting sponsor, Hancock Whitney.

Silver Sponsors include: J. Edgar Monroe Foundation, Kabacoff Family Foundation, Christine and Price LeBlanc, Lexus of New Orleans, Sheila and Britton Sanderford, Mimi and Claude Schlesigner, Jane and Rodney Steiner.

Bronze Sponsors include: Sydney and Walda Besthoff, BCM, Vivian Fonseca and Owen Grossman, MD | Chronos BHW, Kendra Scott, Miracle Makers Supporting Elizabeth Grimes, Elizabeth and Willy Monaghan, Mullin Landscape Associates, New Orleans & Company, Aimée and Mike Siegel, and UBS Financial.

Transportation Sponsor: Lyft – Lyft will be providing $5 credits to and from the event for new and existing customers.

Media Sponsors include: The New Orleans Advocate, St. Charles Avenue Magazine, The Scout Guide New Orleans, and WWLTV.

Benefactors include: Gail and Nick Asprodites, Ellen and Mac Ball, Cathy and Morris Bart, Valerie Besthoff, Virginia Boulet and Alvin R. Albe, Jr., Pamela Buckman, Sheila and Hugh Collins, Crescent Sound & Light, Bernice and Don Daigle, Judy and Tom David, Domino’s – RPM Pizza, LLC, Sally Duplantier, Julie and Ted George, Joanna Giorlando, Dr. Michael and Mrs. Morgan Packard Griffith, J.P. Morgan, Anne S. Kock, James Kock, Ginger and Mark LaCour, Ray Lagasse, Law Offices of Tim L. Fields, Lauren Levy, Ray J. Lousteau, MD, Mary and Robert Lupo, Kay McArdle and Joe Handlin, PALMISANO, Kathleen and Drew Ramsey, Donna and Ben Rosen, Suzanne and Gregory Rusovich, Julia and Bo Sanders, The Schunter Family, Susu and Andrew Stall, Pamela and Rob Steeg, Norris and Bob Williams, WilliamsWorks New Orleans, Janis van Meerveld and Charles Cerise, and Theresa and Rand Voorhies.

Contributors include: American Aquatic Gardens, Charlene Baudier, Julie D. Brown, AIA, Michelle Canerot, Henrietta Clay, Joni and Tommy Diaz, The Eliza Jane, Cherise and Bart Farris, Glendy and Larry Forster, Mr. and Mrs. John P. Fleming, Elizabeth and David Grimes, Tanya and David Grimes, Dana and Steve Hansel, Adrea Heebe and Dominick Russo, Sandy and Philip Hodgson, Lee and Jim Klebba, Millie and Robert Kohn, Sally and Jay Lapeyre, Cammie and Charles Mayer, Jonathan C. McCall, Brenda and Michael Moffitt, Miggy and Jay Monroe, Taylor Morgan, Barbara and Biff Motley, Robin O’Bannon and Richard Bertram, Anne and Edmund Redd, River Parish Disposal, Robyn and Andrew Schwarz, E. Alexandra Stafford and Raymond Rathle, Jr., Jackie Sullivan, Lindsay Van Cantfort and Charlie Grimes, Fred and Micheline VanDenburgh, Mr. and Mrs. Jay C. Van Kirk, and Lynda Warshauer.

Additional Information

Press materials, including images from last year’s event, can be found here. Facebook and Instagram: @noma1910 Hashtags: #LOVEintheGarden2018, #HancockWhitneyLOVE

About NOMA and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden

The New Orleans Museum of Art, founded in 1910 by Isaac Delgado, houses more than 40,000 art objects encompassing 5,000 years of world art. Works from the permanent collection, along with continuously changing special exhibitions, are on view in the museum’s 46 galleries Fridays from 10 AM to 9 PM; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 AM to 6 PM; Saturdays from 10 AM to 5 PM and Sundays from 11 AM to 5 PM. NOMA offers docent-guided tours at 1 PM every Tuesday – Sunday. The adjoining Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden features work by over 60 artists, including several of the 20th century’s master sculptors. The Sculpture Garden is open seven days a week: 9 AM to 6 PM. The New Orleans Museum of Art and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden are fully accessible to handicapped visitors and wheelchairs are available from the front desk. For more information about NOMA, call (504) 658-4100 or visit Museum admission is free on Wednesdays for Louisiana residents, courtesy of The Helis Foundation. Teenagers (ages 13-19) receive free admission every day through the end of the year, courtesy of The Helis Foundation.


For additional information and hi-res images, contact Margaux Krane: 504.658.4106 |