O What a Night! Gala is Saturday, October 21 and the silent auction, presented Neal Auction, is officially opening for bidding!

We are pleased to present 100+ works of art by regional artists in our O What a Night! Gala silent auction, supporting and celebrating the art of the American South. Support the O and the artists, who receive a portion of the proceeds, by bidding online now through October 21 at 5 p.m.!


Shabez Jamal, Les Fleur, 2022, Wall paper print (ink jet print on adhesive vinyl) in found frame, 22 x 18 inches, Courtesy of the artist

Shabez Jamal, also known as Donny Bradfield, was born in St. Louis in 1992 and works as an interdisciplinary artist and educator in New Orleans, LA. Their art encompasses still portraiture, experimental video and performance, and aims to challenge power relations in physical, political and social-economic spaces using queerness. Rather than focusing on sexuality, Jamal uses queerness as a means of questioning and redefining racial and sexual identity. They received a B.F.A. from the University of Missouri St. Louis in 2019 and an M.F.A. from Tulane University in the spring of 2022. Jamal was awarded a Mellon Community-Engaged Research Fellowship at Tulane and was one of the first members of Harvard Universities’ Commonwealth: In the City Fellowship in 2020.

Jamal states, “for as long as I can remember, my grandmothers’ homes served as places of comfort and self-realization. It was within these thoroughly curated spaces that I experienced my grandmothers’ careful planning, attention to detail and dedication to home-making; their aesthetic choices resulted in a space that communicated the importance of our existence. As you enter the space and traverse through the corridors of these quaint but warm homes, you’re immediately met with a myriad of images, some old and faded, made with analog technologies of yesteryear sit alongside glossy digital images made within the last decade, each holding equal significance in the framing of this home and its inhabitants. Scattered haphazardly along the walls and tucked into crevices of vanities and china cabinets, the images at some point tend to take over, engulfing visitors within the many faces of the loved ones belonging to this small but mighty family. Although not formally trained, my grandmothers act as archivists, their archive a treasure trove of not just images but objects such as church fans and programs, as well as obituaries, birth certificates, diplomas, so on and so forth. These objects are not only significant in understanding this particular family’s legacy but are vital to understanding the community at large. Their innate archival practices transformed these homes from regular spaces of dwelling and into private repositories of history and culture that are vital to the sustainability of the communities in which they existed.”

Claire Christine Sargenti, Cemetery Unseen, 2021, Infrared photography on metal, 8 x 10 inches, Courtesy of the artist

Claire Christine Sargenti is an interdisciplinary artist largely inspired by the intersectional feminist movement and working primarily in her signature colors of black, white and pink. Her work has been seen at New Orleans Museum of Art and Ogden Museum of Southern Art, as well as in galleries, digital spaces and print publications nationwide. She is the creator of the world’s largest spinning vulva sculpture and occasionally moonlights as a street artist under the pseudonym “PALEO.” Some of her favorite pieces include “Vagina Book,” “Pussy for President,” “Let Love Be Viral” and her award winning “Interludes: A New (Orleans) Play.” She is very excited to be releasing her upcoming Noble Moon Tarot Deck & Grimoire in October 2023.

Sargenti states, “Through my art I seek to celebrate the human experience through visual storytelling that inspires thought, compassion and positive change in the individual and collective viewer. Working at the intersection of mysticism, gender identity and psychedelics, my mixed media and cross-genre work calls into question the status-quo while promoting a message of love, all in my signature color palette of black white and pink.”

Sherry Owens, Windswept, 2023, Crepe myrtle, milk paint, wax, 16 x 15 x 7 inches, Courtesy of the artist, Octavia Art Gallery & Cris Worley Fine Arts-Dallas

For over 35 years Sherry Owens has used the sinewy crepe myrtle tree to tell her story – of the Texas landscape, of death, renewal, beauty and of today’s growing environmental concerns. Owens, a native Texan, lives and works in Dallas, Texas and received a B.F.A. from Southern Methodist University. Her work has been shown throughout Texas and the southwest. Recent solo exhibitions include The Grace Museum (Abilene, TX), Cris Worley Fine Arts (Dallas, TX), the Art Museum of Southeast Texas (Beaumont, TX), the Martin Museum of Art (Waco, TX) and a two-person site-specific installation at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum (Austin, TX). She was also included in the exhibition Commanding Space: Women Sculptors of Texas, at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art (Fort Worth, TX) and recently was in Knowing Who We Are: A 20th Anniversary Exhibition, at Ogden Museum of Southern Art (New Orleans, LA). Her work is in the permanent collections of Ogden Museum of Southern Art, San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts and The Grace Museum.

Owens states, “remnants of personal stories, visions and observations in nature are the driving forces in my work. I believe what we see and do in our daily lives leaves a mark on our planet. It is the direct impact of human activities on the natural world which is often visualized in my artistic practice. I respond to stories and scientific reports about our world ecology. Over the years, I have collected numerous books on native grasslands, the environment, atmosphere, rising temperature of the oceans and the extinction of animal habitats. It all creates a giant bundle in my mind to feed the narrative of the work I make.

I create connections with nature using collected trees—crepe myrtles found along the side of the road and construction sites. I like to think that I make the most of what a single stick has to offer by emphasizing its linear movement. Making a mark on a page is similar to building a sculpture, one stick at a time. Each stick is hand-carved and cut to fit, then laid in place and secured with a small myrtle peg. The work is labor intensive and the importance of detail and evidence of my hand in the work takes precedence in my interaction with materials. Drawings are often created intuitively and spontaneously through gestural mark making. Likewise, sculptural forms in wood or bronze can be considered gestures in space.”

Jose Angel Castro, The Dancer in a Box, 2023, 36 x 24 inches, Courtesy of the artist

Born and raised in New Orleans, Jose Angel Castro is a Garifuna, multi-disciplinary artist, teacher and facilitator based in Miami. Castro has an eclectic range of professional experience including dance, photography, theater, fashion, music and teaching. Castro was featured as a teaching artist in residence at the 2023 Museum of Latin American Art’s Afro-Latinx Festival in early 2023. He exhibited his work as a transformation-themed, solo art show entitled Chrysaline which opened in June, 2022 at Loiter Galleries in downtown Long Beach. In May 2021, Jose Angel co-created and was lead artist and facilitator for “Go Make Something: Working Through and Beyond The Convergence,” an Arts Council for Long Beach program meant to help creatives process the convergence of crises in 2020. He continued this work leading a cohort of ACLB 2021/22 Professional Artist Fellows in the program’s next stage called “Converge Presented by Go Make Something Kids”—a youth arts expo seeking to teach students resilience through artistic expression.

Aron Belka, Blind Lagoon Revision, 2019, Oil on wood panel, 18 x 18 inches, Courtesy of the artist and LeMieux Galleries

New Orleans-based artist Aron Belka was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1974, and earned his B.F.A. in illustration from Utah State University in 1998. He has exhibited in numerous venues including Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Alexandria
Museum of Art and a solo exhibition at the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art in Georgia. He won the Juror’s Choice Award at the 2017 Huntsville Museum of Art’s Red Clay Survey and was announced the inaugural and prestigious COHN-GNOF-NOLA-ARTS award program winner in October, 2021. Aron was an artist in residence at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans in 2016, and more recently at the Cill Rialaig Project in County Kerry, Ireland in 2022 and 2019. Belka’s paintings hang in numerous private and public collections, including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, the Benton Convention Center, Greater New Orleans Foundation, Alexandria Museum of Art, Huntsville Museum of Art and a recent acquisition at  Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

Bidding on silent auction items, presented by Neal Auction, will close on Sunday, October 22 at 5 p.m.


O What a Night! Gala raises critical funds for Ogden Museum’s exhibitions and programming. Come support the arts and culture of the South on October 21, 2023 while also joining us in honoring this year’s recipient of the OPUS Award, Luis Cruz Azaceta. The gala will feature live music, food, entertainment, live and silent auctions, cocktails, dancing and more!

Reserve your tickets today!