As we transition from summer to fall, the months of 2018 quickly become part of the past. 2018 has been especially significant for New Orleans because it is the city’s 300th anniversary, also known as the tricentennial. And what better way to celebrate one of the world’s most unique and diverse cities than through its art? This fall, take time to explore upcoming art exhibitions and festivals that showcase New Orleans’ rich history.

Tulane’s very own Newcomb Art Museum is celebrating the tricentennial with EMPIRE, an art installation by Los Angeles-based artists David Burns and Austin Young. The pair transformed the entire museum into an immersive experience that explores the history of people and place in terms of culture, history, and social constructs.

To create EMPIRE, David Burns and Austin Young assembled over 400 objects from the diverse archives and collections across Tulane’s campus. The exhibition invites viewers to consider the impacts that colonialism, slavery, trade, and tourism had on the movement of culture across and beyond borders to better understand the cultural position of New Orleans.

EMPIRE opened on April 13th and will close on December 22nd.

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Newcomb Art Museum

The New Orleans Art Museum (NOMA) is also celebrating the tricentennial with a special collection of pieces from the city’s namesake, Philippe II Duke of Orléans. The exhibition, The Orleans Collection, reunites 40 European masterpieces gathered from museums and galleries across the United States and Europe.

The collection, open from October 26th to January 27nd, features works by Rembrandt van Rijn, Guido Reni, and many others.

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In addition to The Orleans Collection, NOMA is celebrating the ongoing expansion of their world-renowned sculpture garden, The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. Occupying approximately five acres of City Park, it is home to a rich landscape of grasses, flowers, and trees. Over 60 sculptures from artists around the world are hidden within the landscape of the garden. The garden, open 7 days a week for free admission, is a wonderful place to enjoy New Orleans’ magnificent fall weather. 

Celebrating New Orleans’ tricentennial is a chance to examine the city’s history, however, it is also a time to look to the city’s future. LUNA Fête, a festival of light, art, and technology, uses contemporary lights, sound installations, motion graphics, and video-mapping to create large-scale outdoor light installations across New Orleans. The festival aims to look at the future of art in New Orleans by highlighting local artists and new talent.

LUNA Fête began on November 29, 2014 with an outdoor projection of light and video by France’s La Maison Productions on Gallier Hall. Since then, LUNA Fête has grown to be a festival that creates the next generation of family-friendly outdoor spectacle that is consistent with the New Orleans community. This year, the festival will be from December 6th to 9th in Lafayette Square.


COVER PHOTO: Newcomb Art Museum

About Sydney Smith

Sydney Smith is a freshman from Milwaukee. She enjoys skiing, reading, and traveling—she has even been to five continents!

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Sydney Smith is a freshman from Milwaukee. She enjoys skiing, reading, and traveling—she has even been to five continents!