Louisiana Contemporary 2022 Presented by The Helis Foundation

Ogden Museum of Southern Art first launched Louisiana Contemporary, presented by The Helis Foundation in 2012, to establish a vehicle that would bring to the fore the work of artists living in Louisiana and highlight the dynamism of art practice throughout the state. This year’s juror, Valerie Cassel Oliver, Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, has selected 51 works by 49 artists from a total of 1,036 submissions. Read More about Louisiana Contemporary 2022 Presented by The Helis Foundation

Bélizaire and the Frey Children

This portrait captures the complex relationship between an enslaved boy and the children of his master – growing up in the same French Quarter mansion, where there existed simultaneously a sort of intimacy alongside the psychological trauma of forced bondage. At some point, likely in the late 19th or early 20th century, the figure of Bélizaire was intentionally painted over; effectively erasing him from the portrait. In 2005 the painting was sold to a private collector and underwent conservation, revealing Bélizaire’s image oncemore. Read More about Bélizaire and the Frey Children

Focus: Leah Chase by Aron Belka

This portrait of New Orleans’ chef and “Queen of Creole Cuisine,” Leah Chase, is appropriately larger than life as is Chase’s legacy as an advocate for both Creole cooking and African-American art. Her restaurant, Dooky Chase, became central to the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, providing a safe place for meetings with leading figures of the movement including A.P. Tureaud, Ernest “Dutch” Morial, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Freedom Riders. Over the years, she fed scores of luminaries – such as Sarah Vaughn, Nat King Cole, James Baldwin, Ray Charles and two US Presidents, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. She would often say, “In my dining room, we changed the course of America over a bowl of gumbo and some fried chicken.” Read More about Focus: Leah Chase by Aron Belka

Aquatic Colonnade Maquettes The Sculptures of Ida Kohlmeyer

In 1987, Ida Kohlmeyer received a commission to design a major installation for the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas located in Woldenberg Park near the Mississippi River in downtown New Orleans. The installation, Aquatic Colonnade, was completed in 1990 and consisted of 20 brightly-colored abstracted sculptures representing sea creatures. While designing the installation, Kohlmeyer created small maquettes from soda cans, using these diminutive sculptures as preliminary sketches for the larger installation. These maquettes, now on view at Ogden Museum, were used as reference material in that process. Read More about Aquatic Colonnade Maquettes The Sculptures of Ida Kohlmeyer