Ogden Museum of Southern Art Opens Call for Entries for 2020 “Louisiana Contemporary,” Presented by The Helis Foundation "Louisiana Contemporary" is the Museum’s Annual Juried Exhibition Featuring Selected Works by Louisiana Artists

NEW ORLEANS, La.—The Ogden Museum of Southern Art has opened the call for entries for the Museum’s annual juried exhibition, Louisiana Contemporary, presented by The Helis Foundation, now in its ninth year. The 2020 guest juror is René Morales, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Chief Curator at Pérez Art Museum Miami.

Louisiana Contemporary is open to all artists 18 years and older residing in the state of Louisiana. All work must be original and completed within the last two years (2018-2020).

Important dates:

  • Online entries will close at 11:59 p.m. central on Friday, June 26, 2020.
  • Mailed entries must be postmarked by Friday, June 26, 2020.
  • Notification of accepted entries will be sent through email to all applicants the week of July 20, 2020.
  • The exhibition will open to the public Saturday, September 5.
  • A VIP closing reception will take place Saturday, February 6.
  • The exhibition will close Sunday, February 7.

Guest juror René Morales will curate a selection of the works submitted, and then choose four award winners to receive further recognition. First, second and third place award recipients will receive cash prizes. Additionally, The Helis Foundation Art Prize, an unrestricted grant of $5,000, will be presented to a fourth selected artist.

In addition to Morales, prior jurors have included David Breslin, Director of Curatorial Initiatives at the Whitney Museum of American Art; Courtney J. Martin, Director of the Yale Center for British Art and former Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the Dia Art Foundation; Shantrelle P. Lewis, an independent curator, author, and documentarian; and Bill Arning, former Director of Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.

Jurors also participate in public programs that examine the scope of each year’s presentation. Programming for the 2020 Louisiana Contemporary will be announced this summer.

Ogden Museum first launched Louisiana Contemporary in 2012 to establish a vehicle that would bring the work of artists living in Louisiana to the fore and highlight the dynamism of art practice throughout the state. Since the inaugural exhibition, nine years ago, the Ogden Museum has shown 394 artists, making Louisiana Contemporary an important moment in the national arts calendar to recognize and experience the spectrum and vitality of artistic voices emanating from New Orleans and across Louisiana.

“Since its inception, Louisiana Contemporary has served as an innovative vehicle for discovering and experiencing the depth and diversity of work being produced by Louisiana artists,” says William Pittman Andrews, Executive Director of the Ogden Museum. “We are excited to see how artists use their unique artistic practices to reflect some of the most pressing social and political issues of our current time. I’m continually impressed with how this exhibition inspires conceptual and formal dialogue and fosters admiration and respect for the art of the American South.”

Louisiana Contemporary is made possible by presenting sponsor, The Helis Foundation.

Learn more about Louisiana Contemporary or submit artwork at: https://ogdenmuseum.org/exhibition/louisianacontemporary2020/.


René Morales is Director of Curatorial Affairs and Chief Curator at Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). Morales has organized over 50 exhibitions for PAMM, including Meleko Mokgosi: Your Trip to Africa; Polyphonic: Celebrating PAMM’s Fund for African American Art; Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Surrounded Islands, 1980–1983; Dara Friedman: Perfect Stranger; A Human Document: Selections from the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry; and Amelia Peláez: The Craft of Modernity. He has spearheaded the acquisition of hundreds of works for PAMM’s collection, and he played a pivotal role in PAMM’s transition into its Herzog and de Meuron-designed facility, which opened to the public in 2013. Prior to joining PAMM, he worked at the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, where he organized and co-organized several exhibitions, including Island Nations: New Art from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. Morales is a recipient of the 2019 Center for Curatorial Leadership Fellowship, as well as a 2019 Suncoast Emmy Award, which he received for producing the film Remembering Surrounded Islands. Morales teaches museum history and curatorial practice as Adjunct Professor at Florida International University, and he sits on several local and national boards and committees, including the Board of the City of Miami Art in Public Places program. Born in Cienfuegos, Cuba, René received his B.A. from Swarthmore College and his M.A. in Art History from Brown University.


*While we’re temporarily closed, Ogden Museum will be offering live online programming, plus social media and blog content to help you See the South virtually! To see what’s coming up, visit ogdenmuseum.org, follow us on social media and subscribe to our e-newsletter.*

Located in the vibrant Warehouse Arts District of downtown New Orleans, Louisiana since 1999, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art welcomes 85,000 visitors annually to experience and learn about the artists and art movements of the American South. It is home to a collection of more than four thousand works, making it the largest and most comprehensive repository dedicated to Southern art in the nation, with particular strength in the genres of Self-Taught art, Regionalism, photography and contemporary art. The Museum is further recognized for its original exhibitions, public events and educational programs, which examine the development of visual art alongside Southern traditions of music, literature and local craft. Among its recent exhibitions are Memory is a Strange Bell: The Art of William Christenberry (2019-2020) Piercing the Inner Wall: The Art of Dusti Bongé (2019), New Southern Photography (2018-2019), The Whole Drum Will Sound: Women in Southern Abstraction (2018), and Solidary & Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection, presented by The Helis Foundation (2017-2018).

The Helis Foundation is a Louisiana private foundation, established and funded by the William Helis Family. The Helis Foundation’s resources and objectives are divided into two areas: the general fund, and the Diana Helis Henry and Adrienne Helis Malvin Art Funds. The general fund focuses on community needs primarily within the Metropolitan New Orleans area by granting funds to numerous local nonprofit organizations.

The Art Funds were established by bequests from Diana Helis Henry and Adrienne Helis Malvin. The Art Funds make grants to sustain operations, to provide free admission to, and to acquire significant art works on behalf of major institutions within the Metropolitan New Orleans area. The Art Funds also underwrite major initiatives and special projects, such as Prospect.3’s Basquiat and the Bayou presented by The Helis Foundation, the ongoing Poydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition presented by The Helis Foundation, the installation of Lynda Benglis’ The Wave of the World in City Park, The Helis Foundation Enrique Alférez Sculpture Garden, Solidary & Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection presented by The Helis Foundation organized by the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the Baltimore Museum of Art, and The Historic New Orleans Collection’s Tricentennial Exhibition, Art of the City: Post Modern to Post Katrina. In 2019, the Foundation launched the first large-scale mural exhibit: Unframed presented by The Helis Foundation, a collection of five murals in Downtown New Orleans. In partnership with the Arts Council New Orleans, Unframed features the first Southern U.S. commission by internationally-acclaimed artist Fujiko Nakaya at the Louisiana Children’s Museum.