In the Community + Where Y’Art Teams up with JAMNOLA for New Orleans’ First Experiential Pop-up

Blinged-out umbrellas, giant crawfish, feather chandeliers, a sequined gator, and a  virtual costume closet—these are just a few of the quirky, unexpected, interactive exhibits guests will explore at JAMNOLA.

Over the past year, Where Y’Art has been working in creative partnership with JamNola to design and curate a 12 room artistic funhouse, in the spirit of Joy, Art, and Music of New Orleans. J.A.M.N.O.L.A stands for Joy, Art, Music, New Orleans. JAMNOLA is a love letter to New Orleans.  It’s a cultural funhouse; a fantastical playground. A place to celebrate the cultural gems that make the city so special. It is an experience for New Orleanians, told through the eyes of 20 New Orleans artists.

Big Freedia, George Porter, Jr. and Tarriona “Tank” Ball at JamNOLA. Image Courtesy

The remarkable lead artists, Julianne Dodds, Ceaux, Noah Church, Jeremy Paten, Josh Hailey, Wyoming Quinn, Scott Greenfield, Robin Durand, Felici and Joey of The Milagros Collective, Hugo Gyrl, Kari Shisler, Shel Roumillat, Marcus Brown, Skye Erie, Jacob Reptile and Beau Hoffacker were selected to tackle this creative challenge and their box thinking and innovation will blow you away. They have been working tirelessly, under a tight deadline to imagine each space into an experience that will leave you…well, I’ll let you come and find out.

“Wacky World of Food” by Jeremy Paten / Image Courtesy of JAMNOLA / Portrait by Erika Goldring

In New Orleans, there is so much art, so much music, so many incredible cultural gems to explore. That is what “What’s Your Jam?” is all about. JAMNOLA invites you to come and find your J.A.M, then, connects you with cultural experts via the digital concierge activations that give you the tools you need to go out, discover and see and do the real thing. 

For example, the activation in “What’s Your Jam?” connects you with Dr. Nicole Caridad of @EatenPathNola who gives you the history of the Po-boy, as well as connects you with 11 restaurants in the city to get one for yourself.

“Come Outside” by Ceaux. / Image Courtesy of JAMNOLA / Portrait by Erika Goldring
 “Bling Bayou” by Wyoming Quinn & Scott Greenfield / Image Courtesy of JAMNOLA / Portrait by Erika Goldring

Pompadour Productions designed the Bling Bayou as a golden bayou scene. 50% of the elements used in the room are up-cycled. From the reclaimed papasan chairs that now illuminate the room from above, to CDs that are integrated into the floor, as water, you can follow the shimmery path and shimmery Shrimp Boot bayou cabin, shaped like a boot reminiscent of the state of Louisiana.

“Royce Osborn” by Jessica Strahan / Image Courtesy of JAMNOLA / Portrait by Erika Goldring

This room is a tribute to New Orleans documentary filmmaker, Royce Osborn. His beloved “All on a Mardi Gras Day” documentary celebrates Black Carnival traditions. Jessica Strahan worked alongside Royce’s family to capture his essence in a portrait.

“Spirit Trees” by MILAGROS Collective/ Image Courtesy of JAMNOLA / Portrait by Erika Goldring
Get to know the 20 lead Artists here

We’ve been receiving a lot of questions about what Where Y’Art involvement in JamNOLA has been, so we will do our best to answer those questions here.

Chad Smith and Jonny Liss (Co-Founders of JamNola) with Collin and Cat (Co-Founders of Where Y’Art) in front of the famous fountain at Lincoln Center for the Performing arts in New York.

What is Where Y’Art’s involvement in JAMNOLA?

Where Y’Art served as curator, artistic director, and creative partner of the experience. JAMNOLA reached out to us a year ago because of our deep relationships with artists in the community. They understood that we are a mission-driven company rooted in New Orleans, which works to support and create opportunities for local artists. They understood that these artists are our most valuable natural resource and essential to maintaining our culture.

After an action-packed 3 day adventure in New York, getting to know each other, visiting other “Instagram museums” and various other cultural gems of New York, JAMNOLA hired us as a creative partner of the experience and chose to invest in our creative economy.

“Sound Garden” by Pompadour Productions
“Garden of Legends”  by Skye Erie and Jacob Reptile / Image Courtesy of Erika Goldring

 How did Where Y’Art find the artists?

Wrangling up this dream team was a welcome creative challenge. Where Y’Art works to support and create opportunities for local artists through art consulting with businesses and special projects, as well as, our online platform, where we host over 100 New Orleans artists.

We had existing relationships with several of the selected artists, either by way of Where Y’Art, or simply by being active participants in the creative community here in New Orleans. We tapped into our extended network to find the kind of artists we didn’t know, like sculptors, fabricators, set designers, costume designers. We are lucky that our community of artists is deep and rich. We tapped artists we knew had the skill sets to execute the rooms and asked them to take a chance on something they’d never done before.

Artist Noah Church pulls back the curtain in “You Hold the Key” mural in What’s Your Jam?

The beauty of JAMNOLA is that even in the shutdown, a sense of community emerged. A lot of us were out of work, looking for something to carry us through these unpredictable times, but JAMNOLA brought joy to a lot of us in a time of crisis. JAMNOLA gave us a sense of place during the pandemic. It gave us refuge from our home when we needed an escape. It’s a reminder of all the things we love about New Orleans that we dearly miss now.

JAMNOLA opened to the public, August 1st at 2832 Royal Street.
Get your tickets here 

In the News

JAMNOLA on WWL. A sneak peek of New Orleans first experimental pop-up inspired
by the Joy, Art, and Music of the city.

“JAMNOLA’s Permanent Art Pop-Up is all the Fun You’ve Missed During Quarantine,” Very Local New Orleans