UNO's Ogden Museum of Southern Art Plans Major Exhibitions to open in January 2013

Ogden MuseumStark black-and-white images of crime scenes in Orleans Parish by photographer Deborah Luster account for some of the artwork in a new series of exhibitions planned by the University of New Orleans' Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Photo courtesy of the Ogden Museum

Stark black-and-white images of crime scenes in Orleans Parish by photographer Deborah Luster account for some of the artwork in a new series of exhibitions planned by the University of New Orleans' Ogden Museum of Southern Art. The exhibitions debut in January and "showcase the harsh realities of Southern life, as well as highlight its spiritual joy and cultural richness," said Ogden Museum spokeswoman Sue Strachan.

"The year 2013 brings to the Ogden Museum a bold restatement of our commitment to Art of the American South," said Ogden Museum Director William Andrews, who said that this year, the museum will present changing exhibitions of "rarely seen permanent collections with temporary exhibitions by artists that capture the essence of our story."

Strachan provided the below synopsis of upcoming exhibitions at the Ogden:

Opening January 10, 2013 (On view through February 17, 2013)
George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts Scholarship Art Contest Exhibition
A group of works by high-school juniors and seniors who participated in the Foundation's visual arts contest. The theme was "Louisiana's Bicentennial," celebrating 200 years of statehood in 2012. The Ogden Museum is the final venue in a statewide tour of the exhibition.

Opening January 17, 2013 (on view through April 7, 2013)
Deborah Luster – Tooth For an Eye:  A Chorography of Violence in Orleans Parish
Deborah Luster is known for her lush black-and-white photographs documenting the rituals and customs that surround the culture of the American South and in particular, Louisiana. Over the past decade, Luster has been making evocative and powerful photographs exploring the effects of crime, punishment and violence in Louisiana.

With Tooth For an Eye: A Chorography of Violence in Orleans Parish, Luster focuses her camera on an invisible population—people who exist only as a memory—homicide victims," says Ogden Museum Photography Curator Richard McCabe. Chorography is an ancient Greek term meaning "place writing." These images focus on the sense of place created by the events depicted.

Self-Taught, Outsider and Visionary Art from the Permanent Collection of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art
Self-Taught, Outsider and Visionary Art will showcase works from the Ogden Museum's growing collection in this genre. Including a range of work—from the naïve abstracted landscapes of Civil War veteran Charles Hutson (1840 - 1936) to Elayne Goodman's Altar to Elvis, which borrows liturgical forms to represent a secular icon—this exhibition will showcase the depth and breadth of the Ogden Museum's collection of Self-Taught art from the American South. Also included is work by Thornton Dial, Reverend Howard Finster, Clementine Hunter, Nellie Mae Rowe, Wellmon Sharlhorne, George Andrews, and others.

Of particular interest in the context of New Orleans' hosting of the Super Bowl in 2013 will be the installation of Benny Day's 1950 sculpture, LSU vs. Oklahoma. The 1950 Sugar Bowl, played in Tulane Stadium on January 2, pitted the Oklahoma Sooners against a football squad labeled the "Cinderella Team" – namely, the Louisiana State University Tigers. (Oklahoma won the game, 35-0.)  LSU vs. Oklahoma depicts a play in the game, and features 96 intricately hand-carved and -painted figurines in balsa wood, spread over a 5 foot-by-8-foot football field.

Films featuring Reverend Howard Finster and his Outsider environment, Paradise Gardens, will also go on view. "Called to Art" and "Around and Around" are 16mm films shot between 1979 and 1982 by Wake Forest Art Professor Victor Faccinto. "Called to Art" features still 35mm film images of Finster and Paradise Gardens with a voice-over by Finster recounting his vision of God telling him to make sacred art. "Around and Around" features Finster playing banjo and singing with stop-motion single frame shots of Finster and Paradise Gardens.

Other exhibitions opening in January include:

Opening Thurs. January 24, 2013 (On view through March 31, 2013)
Well Suited: The Costumes of Alonzo Wilson for HBO's Treme
Well Suited will include costumes designed by Alonzo Wilson for HBO's award-winning series, Treme. With an emphasis on the exquisitely crafted Mardi Gras Indian Suits from the series, the exhibition will also include Mardi Gras costumes from select characters, as well as design sketches, film stills and behind-the-scenes photography.

"The HBO series, Treme, has built a reputation for authenticity through the desire to 'get it right' at every level of production. Clearly one of the truest depictions of post-Katrina New Orleans in popular media," says Ogden Chief Curator Bradley Sumrall. "I believe the series will be viewed as an important cultural documentation of this period in our history as a city. Alonzo Wilson has created costumes that represent all walks of life during Mardi Gras. His Indian Suits, especially, show his commitment to the culture, in relation to the community and skill as a costume designer."

Southern Abstraction from the Permanent Collection of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art
Southern Abstraction will showcase the abstract work from the permanent collection of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Spanning more than seven decades and representing a range of medium and styles, Southern Abstraction will include works by Dusti Bongé, Vincencia Blount, Fritz Bultman, Benny Andrews, Ida Kohlmeyer, Kendall Shaw, Jack Stewart, Bess Dawson, William Moreland, Brian Guidry and others, exploring the development of this visual landscape across the American South.