New outdoor sculptures make downtown debut in New Orleans
The public outdoor art program Sculpture for New Orleans (SFNO) has completed installation of seven outdoor sculptures on the neutral ground along the Poydras Street corridor, Convention Center Boulevard and Diamond Street, where they will be a prominent part of the streetscape for residents and hundreds of thousands of people visiting New Orleans for Super Bowl LXVII and Mardi Gras 2013.
The seven sculptures are the first phase of an outdoor sculpture exhibition in the downtown area that will ultimately feature 25 sculptures from 25 of the American South's most significant artists, many with national and international relevance. These sculptures join 45 other sculptures that have been placed throughout the city.
The backdrop for the downtown sculptures is a $756,000 landscaping project that was designed and implemented by the City of New Orleans Department of Parks and Parkways. Funded through the Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG), the project included removal of concrete slabs in front of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to make way for new planting beds and the planting of new palm trees, native trees and hardy plants along the Poydras Street corridor. Existing trees and healthy established shrubs and groundcover were incorporated into the design.
The sculpture exhibition, curated jointly by SFNO and The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, is funded by The Diana Helis Henry and The Adrienne Helis Malvin Art Funds of The Helis Foundation, and in partnership with the Department of Parks and Parkways, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art/University of New Orleans, UNO Foundation, and the Wisner Foundation.
"These sculptures are a great addition to our cultural landscape," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “New Orleans is world class city with world class art on every level. We are proud to partner with Sculpture for New Orleans on this project."
Started in 2008, SFNO began as a program to support public art in New Orleans, using large-scale outdoor sculpture to increase visibility and make the city even more appealing as an art destination. The inspiration for the SFNO Poydras Street Corridor is the acclaimed Sculpture on Park Avenue program in New York City. Artist and SFNO founder Michael Manjarris has been working for seven years to create a version of that project for New Orleans.
SFNO Poydras Street Corridor: Currently on View:
Approaching from Lake Pontchartrain side to Mississippi River side...
Reawakening, 2007 Wesley Wofford (North Carolina) Polyurethane, Poydras Street/O'Keefe Avenue and Baronne Street
Standing Vase with Five Flowers, 2010 James Surls (Texas/Colorado) Bronze, Poydras Street/Baronne Street and St. Charles Avenue
At Rest, 2010 Jason Kimes (Mississippi) Steel, Poydras Street/Camp and Magazine Streets
Nethership, 1997-2013 Ed Wilson, (Texas) Steel, Poydras Street/Tchoupitoulas and S. Peters Streets
Man Defeats Chair, 2010 Russell Whiting (Louisiana) Carved steel, Poydras Street/Convention Center Boulevard
Zach's Tower, 2007 John Henry (Tennessee) Painted steel, Poydras Street/Convention Center Boulevard (in front of Harrah's Casino)
Sunflower Gate, 2010 Jim Gallucci (North Carolina) Galvanized steel, Convention Center Boulevard/N. Diamond Street
Installation Scheduled in February/March 2013
Enrique Alférez, Gymnast, c. 1990, Bronze, (Louisiana)
David Borgerding, Sasookasoon, 2010, Bronze, (Louisiana)
Carlos Borer, No. 386, 2006, Stainless Steel, (Switzerland)
Mia Kaplan, Swamp Flower, 2012, Plate steel, (Louisiana)