In the Community + Louisiana Contemporary

Every August the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, in connection with Whitney White Linen Night, hosts its opening reception for its annual exhibition Louisiana Contemporary Presented by The Helis Foundation. Established in 2012, this statewide, juried exhibition promotes contemporary art practices in the state of Louisiana, provides exhibition space for the exposition of living artist’s work, and engages a contemporary audience that recognizes the vibrant visual culture of Louisiana and the role of New Orleans as a rising, international art center.

Where Y’Art would like to congratulate participating artists: D. Lammie Hanson, Sarah Nelson, Natasha Sanchez, Jessica Strahan and Vincent Weber. Get to know these artists in their own words.

A Portrait of His Blackness, by D. Lammie Hanson

D. Lammie-Hanson

As an artist, I believe everyone has a story that we don’t normally comprehend at first glance. I paint my subjects from the quietness of their soul. Most times it’s a reflection of my own soul landing onto the material. I collect hundreds of images and as I create my textural backgrounds, I sort out what I’m going to bring forth. This process is intermittent and timely. It could take hours, days, months or even years for me to complete a painting based on mood, the image and the release within my mind and soul.

A Portrait of His Blackness is a silverpoint and charcoal image of a black male is from the ‘Barna Black’ series. This particular piece was created in Barcelona, Spain with self-made charcoal made from vines from the vineyard from the Penedes region.
The texture of his skin is a drawing completed in pure silver which becomes a reflective representation of the afflictions he has endured in his young life.
The charcoal is his true base color of blackness.
It is his connection to being grounded.
In the end his afflictions transforms into his endurance that is what radiating through his skin.

D. Lammie-Hanson is an artist living and working in the Central City neighborhood.
Follow Lammie on Instagram @dlammiehansonfineart

Two Lots Left, Sarah Nelson

Sarah Nelson

The ancient Celts described the windswept, Irish moors as “thin places.” It was in these places they believed that the distance between the physical and spiritual world became shorter. To stand in a thin place, a person had the ability to touch the edge of the transcendent. These places were not for comfort, but rather for finding meaning through reflection. In my work, I try to capture the thin places in my own life. I am very interested in the abstract and emotive qualities of the sky and how they work in conjuncture with the overall tone of my work. While some subjects lend themselves to artists to paint what they see, the landscape allows me to paint what I am in. This can be both a physical or emotional space, and through the process of painting, my own internal landscape is conveyed.
It is only through painting the enormity of what surrounds me, that I feel and reconcile its weight.
Two Lots Left illustrates the last vacant lots in the Bywater, a part of the city that is ripe with the remodeling and reconstruction of a quickly gentrifying neighborhood. The vegetative overgrowth and structural disorganization that once was there is now becoming obsolete, living in the pockets of properties still in limbo, waiting for change.
Sarah Nelson is a New Orleans artist living and working in the Bywater neighborhood.
Follow Sarah on Instagram @sarahnelsonart

Cypress Tree, Ancient Algiers, Natasha Sanchez

Natasha Sanchez

I am a photographer and songwriter living in New Orleans. My photographic works use a variety of mediums – lumen printing, a 19th century photo process, 35mm and a smidge of digital – 20th and 21st century processes respectively. My photographic adventures began with 35mm film in 1999. I learned how to shoot by how to print so the two go hand in hand for me. I quickly became interested in hand coloring photographs and alternative styles of printing, using solarization and liquid emulsion. Years later, inspired by the need to recycle the boxes of expired photo paper tucked away in my kitchen cabinets, I began working with the lumen print process. Using only sunlight to imprint the image on to photographic paper, a lumen print captures the natural and pure beauty of our world. I was hooked from the first lumen print I made, and am always exploring new subjects and techniques within this process.

Natasha Sanchez is a New Orleans artist living and working in the Lower Garden District neighborhood.
Follow Natasha on Instagram @natasha.sanchez.nola

Blow Pop, Jessica Strahan

Jessica Strahan

Being born and raised in New Orleans has been an endless source of inspiration for me. The city’s rich culture, distinct landmarks, and colorful (and tragic) history all shine through the worlds I create in my paintings. Known in the art world as “JHand,” my work aims to capture all that makes my hometown special: the flavor, the essence, the jazz, the originality.

Drawing and painting have always brought me peace. My earliest creations were on the backs of worksheets, inside books. I was always drawing, on everything. As my artistic abilities became more apparent, I found support from family, friends, and teachers: my mom’s friends gave me sketch pads; an elementary school teacher let me decorate the classroom and showcased my work to other faculty. I found creating to be liberating, and, thankfully, lifesaving. I had a crazy childhood. I lived with a lot of different people in a lot of different places, and I can’t imagine what would have happened if I never picked up the brush.

My paintbrush strokes are also inspired by my children, the people I’ve met on my journey through life, and the mental, emotional, and spiritual space I’m in while creating. My latest pieces have been blue, a reflection on a lifetime of “living here and living there.”

Having depicted countless scenes and characters, I found the greatest creative clarity when I focused on myself. l painted many different topics growing up. But when I tapped into myself, and really went deep into my emotions through my work, I really felt free as an artist.

Jessica Strahan is an artist living and working in the Uptown neighborhood.
Follow Jessica on Instagram @JHandPaints


Sunset, Vincente Weber

Vincente Weber

For me, art and photography have always gone hand in hand. Since I can remember I have always been fascinated with the mechanics of cameras, their operation, and their ability to capture. I deem myself more an artist than that of a traditional photographer and have always been interested in alternative image making processes. Experimental photographic practices such as double exposures, shooting with expired film, & hand tinted photographs have all inspired and interested me. More recently I’ve been exploring making photographs by hand. This has lead me to make weavings from my photographs. It begins with slicing my photographs into strips, working them back together and framing them in frames (you guessed it) that I also make myself. The art I create from this point forward will borrow from the best from the past, with inspiration from today, to become contemporary artworks that are a unique combination of the two.

Sunset was a photograph originally shot on film. Prints are made on two different types of paper, hand sliced into strips and handwoven back together. The piece measures 16×20 inches and is framed in a handmade pine shadowbox frame. I use transparency paper as one of materials because as you can see when the transparent paper is woven over the photopaper it darkens therefore bringing the pattern of the weave out more. I chose to make a zig-zag weave with this piece to bring out the natural movement of the image. I like to say this type of piece I make is where fiber art meets photography. Also, cool fact is the photograph was shot at the intersection of Royal and Kerlerec, the location of Where Y’Art. As with all my work, these pieces explore change and adaptability. 

Vincente Weber is an artist living and working in the Bywater neighborhood.
Follow Vincente on Instagram