On March 30, Ogden Museum of Southern Art will Host Free Family Day: Self-Taught Saturday, Inspired by Permanent Collection Exhibition, Vernacular Voices Art Activities for All Ages, Music, Food, Performances and More!

NEW ORLEANS – Mar. 19, 2019

On Saturday, March 30 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., the Ogden Museum of Southern Art will host a Free Family Day: Self-taught Saturday for the New Orleans community. The day’s free programming will include art activities, music, food, performances and other family-friendly activities – all inspired by the Museum’s exhibition, Vernacular Voices: Self-taught, Outsider and Visionary Art from the Permanent Collection.

From 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. guests of all ages are invited to explore the work of Self-taught artists on view in Vernacular Voices through hands-on art activities:

George Andrews: Paper Sculptures
Self-taught artist George Andrews used anything he could find with which to make art. Like Andrews, use paper plates to make your own masterpiece.

Thornton Dial: Mixed Media Collage
Thornton Dial was known for his use of the tiger as a symbol of strength and his incorporation of industrial materials into his work. Create a symbol of strength using mixed media.

Minnie Evans: Symmetrical Dream Drawings
Minnie Evans was a visionary artist her ideas came to her in her dreams. Illustrate your dreams as Minnie Evans has done.

Reverend Howard Finster: Cutout Creatures
Reverend Howard Finster was inspired by God to create his unique artwork. Use your imagination to dream up a creature like Reverend Howard Finster has done.

Lonnie Holley: Yarn Portraits
Lonnie Holley is known for his sculptures and art installations of found objects. Use yarn to draw your self-portrait or a portrait of a friend or family member.

Clementine Hunter: Memory Paintings
Through her “memory paintings” Clementine Hunter depicted her everyday life on a plantation. Use watercolors to illustrate your favorite memory.

Welmon Sharlhorne: Pen and Ink Drawings
Facing injustice, Welmon Sharlhorne used art to survive incarceration. Let your imagination run wild and create creatures using only a manila folder and pens.

Willie White: Abstract Drawings
Willie White’s abstract imagery was influenced by his dreams and television. Later in his career, he almost exclusively used felt markers and white poster board in his work. Use markers to create an abstract drawing that utilizes color, line and shape.

Johnette Downing and Scott Billington will play their duet show, “Swamp Romp,” a Louisiana dance party for children. Following their performance, the duet will be signing CDs and books available for purchase.Throughout the day there will also be performances by KIPP Believe Jazz Ensemble and DJ Heel Turn. La Cocinita food truck will also have food available for purchase during this free admission day.

For more information regarding Free Family Day at the Museum, please contact Samantha Scoggins at sscoggins@ogdenmuseum.org or 504.539.9604.

About Vernacular Voices

Vernacular Voices brings together a range of works by Self-taught, Outsider and Visionary artists from the American South to showcase the Ogden Museum of Southern Art’s significant collection of Vernacular Art.  Together, these works offer a broad view of the practices of a diverse group of artists who share many commonalities, perhaps the most important being that they have each created truly original bodies of work outside of any formal academic dialogue. This is art drawn from life itself – intuitive, honest and tied to the culture in which it was created.

The term “vernacular” is most commonly used to describe the language of the common people of a particular place. It implies a unique iteration of language – both visual and spoken – bound to location and free from the confines of an academic dialogue. Just as spoken vernacular dialects change with the land itself, the visual art of the region also contains a vocabulary built upon a strong sense of place. The artists presented in this exhibition are often classified as Self-Taught, Outside or Visionary, but they are all specifically situated by time and location within the history of the American South, and they each express themselves through a vernacular visual idiom tied to that culture.

With birth dates ranging from 1886 for Clementine Hunter to 1952 for Welmon Sharlhorne, these artists witnessed the Old South change from a mostly agrarian culture with a majority of the common people tied to the labor of the land, to the New South of industry and sprawling suburban development.  Most of them suffered the injustices of the Jim Crow era, and all of them witnessed the difficult, yet inspiring struggle of the Civil Rights Movement. From the pastoral depictions of rural life by Clementine Hunter to the social commentary of Herbert Singleton’s bas-relief, these artists express unique personal visions with universal implications.

Unlike folk art in a broad sense – which includes craft genres deeply rooted in tradition, such as ceramics, basketry, blacksmithing and quilting – the Vernacular Art included in this exhibition concerns itself with an expressive esthetic more commonly associated with Modern and contemporary art. Artists from both sides of the academic divide are concerned with some of the same things: line, color, shape, form, value, space and narrative. Yet, taken as a group, the artists in this exhibition – despite often having different backgrounds and motivations – have more in common with one another than with any other movement of art. They share a common tongue, so to speak.

About the Ogden Museum

Located in the vibrant Warehouse Arts District of downtown New Orleans, Louisiana, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art holds the largest and most comprehensive collection of Southern art and is recognized for its original exhibitions, public events and educational programs which examine the development of visual art alongside Southern traditions of music, literature and culinary heritage to provide a comprehensive story of the South. Established in 1999 and in Stephen Goldring Hall since 2003, the Museum welcomes almost 85,000 visitors annually, and attracts diverse audiences through its broad range of programming including exhibitions, lectures, film screenings and concerts which are all part of its mission to broaden the knowledge, understanding, interpretation and appreciation of the visual arts and culture of the American South.

The Ogden Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. with extended hours on Thursdays from 6 – 8 p.m. for Ogden After Hours. Admission is free to Museum Members and $13.50 for adults, $11 for seniors 65 and older, $6.75 for children ages 5 – 17 and free for children under 5.

The Ogden Museum is free to Louisiana Residents on Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. courtesy of The Helis Foundation. The Helis Foundation is a Louisiana private foundation, established by the William Helis Family. The Art Funds of the Helis Foundation advance access to the arts for the community through contributions that sustain operations for, provide free admission to, acquire works of art and underwrite major exhibitions and projects of institutions within the Greater New Orleans area.

The Museum is closed Lundi Gras and Mardi Gras, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day.

The Museum is located at 925 Camp Street, New Orleans Louisiana 70130. For more information visit ogdenmuseum.org or call 504.539.9650.