It was a quiet Tuesday and everyone gathered for a nice, relaxing brunch. Then the Saints and a whole bunch of New Orleans notables showed up and started waiting tables, competing for "tips" (Bridge Bucks), and raising funds for the Bridge House Grace House. The entire event, including live and silent auction, was made possible by Bridge House Grace House and Saints player Will Smith's foundation — When There's a Will There's a Way. Tons of funds were raised to support individuals working to overcome substance abuse and addiction. It was an incredible event, and I was honored to be one of the "Celebrity Waiters". How fun is that?!?!?!?
We all got sweet aprons. Included here with the Saints guys are legendary singer Charmaine Neville and fellow artist and supertalent Terrance Osborne!
FOX 8 was there and did a great segment on the event:
And if you're curious about who was there and the idea of Celebrity Waiters works, the Morning Show did a great rundown!
If you've been keeping up with the Gallery you know our Wish Dogs are really taking off!! We're having a great time sharing them, promoting them, and hearing rave reviews from people who've discovered them at Fleurty Girl shops, picked up a handful at the Gallery, or even got them as gifts from friends. And you can get them online and even get tee shirts and postcards!
We recruited our favorite New Orleans actor, Laura Flannery, to model the new tees. Stunning!!! (Cocoa and Director of Photography Ian Campbell even joined in the fun.)
Thanks to Laura for her talent, Ian for his skills, and Cocoa, for being as cute, fluffy, and orange as ever. <3 xoxoxo
This past weekend was an absolute blast. Friday night was the annual Better Than Ezra Party, followed by the LSU game on Saturday and the Saints game on Sunday. I can't believe the Saints lost!! But we still made plenty of good memories.
The boys from Better Than Ezra know how to party!! This was my second time participating in their charity gala, and it is worth the year-long wait!!
I was honored to be included in the silent auction with a signed giclee print of my St. Charles Streetcar painting, in a limited-edition square composition (24" x 24").
Local-artist colleague Jamie Hayes was in attendance and wowed us all with his meticulous and one-of-a-kind painting skills (left).
And I spent some time with my BFF, actor Paul Rae, and Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis (below).
On Saturday, Tania and I went to the LSU game!!! Paul drove and shared stories about his days on the LSU team. Tania works in L.A. with Paul, and was recognized by some besotted LSU students for her role as Alex Rousseau on the TV show LOST. They were thrilled to see she was in full Tiger spirit, as we went to the LSU Bookstore and got decked out in purple & gold.
On Sunday we watched the Saints play the Washington Redskins. I was conflicted, because I LOVE the Saints but was born and raised in Washington.
Then Tania, Paul, and I stayed at my place Uptown for the night. We read some Tolstoy, shared life experiences, and crashed because we were so exhausted. Cocoa rejuvenated himself with a lovely hot bath.
One of the best weekends in recent memory!!!!! Great times with great people. This coming weekend will be the Audubon Aquarium's Scales and Ales. Looking forward to another wonderful few days!!!
This past Saturday was our 2nd Dirty Linen Night, an annual event that invites locals and visitors to enjoy an art-filled French Quarter block party from the 200 to 1000 blocks of Royal Street. Being at 736 Royal, Gallery B falls right smack-dab in the middle of all the fun, and since Dirty Linen 2011 was our official-un-official Grand Opening Party, we also consider it a landmark day for the Gallery.
Lauren "Fleury Girl" Thom, amazing New Orleans native and founder of the Fleurty Girl tshirts and shops, stopped in to interview me about Dirty Linen Night! It happened so fast, I have no idea what I said! I hope I remembered to thank the thousands of people who come out to meet the artists and enjoy the galleries. The only thing I remember clearly is that Cocoa kept trying to eat the boom mic, and then got annoyed and gave the camera the cold shoulder. I always dreamed he would get discovered and be in movies, but maybe that's not his life plan. Being a mom is all about accepting that your children will take their own paths.
We also had a wonderful time with Anna, Kim, and Lee from Old New Orleans Rum! They graciously came for the SECOND year to serve up complimentary Dirty Frenchman cocktails. They also had free samples of their new Gingeroo, a spiced ginger drink served over ice, perfect for the hot NOLA summers.
And WHO is that beefcake, you might ask?? He's a hunky leftover from the Red Dress Run, NOLA's annual event featuring girls and guys partying around the Quarter in red. The Red Dress Run starts around 10 in the morning, so we were happy to see a few troopers who managed to pace themselves and still be standing come 6 p.m., when Dirty Linen starts. Everyone who came out contributed to making it a huge event, and one we'll remember forever!! Thank you!! Here's to our 1st birthday, and many more to come. XOXO <3.
Last night, legendary NYC artist Hunt Slonem visited the Martine Chaisson Gallery for an evening of stunning art, wine, specialty cocktails, and breathtaking gallery space. If you're not familiar with Hunt's work, visit his site to see his lively yet soothing colors and the way in which he captures the endearing and spontaneous nature of animals.
And if you just can't get enough, The Wall Street Journal published a story on him yesterday, complete with pictures, history, and an incredible slideshow of the artist's renowned New York studio space!!
As a "sometimes-New Orleanian", Hunt's incredible reputation and personal ties to the city brought out a star-studded showing of beautiful people. Writer John Berendt (of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil) was in attendance, in addition to many other creative and artistic masterminds.
While Hunt himself was the obvious guest of honor, it was impossible to pass up the gorgeous book he was signing. Full color and comprehensive of the artist's 30+ years of works.
Hunt and I standing in front of "The Guardians", one my favorite paintings.
In our last post I got to write about FREE BOOKS. As if that weren't enough of a treat, I now have the pleasure of writing about FREE ART!!!
To establish context, we'll start at the beginning of the story. A few days ago, some of you may have noticed we put up a small sign next to our mail slot:
Before you get up-in-arms over the kittens, let me say that we put food out for them. And we fully intend to spoil them with cat treats and donut beds. If there are no further objections....
I opened the door this morning, and instead of the expected cacophony of welcoming meows, I was delighted to see a piece of art!!!! At 5.5 x 7.75 inches, it featured a fleur-de-lis with sparkling stars and a green background, painted on wood and wrapped in cellophane.
How could one NOT fall in love with this!!!?!? As I turned it over, I noticed a wonderful note on the back. As a writer and language-lover, I'm partial to notes, especially when they are paired with small treasures that need looking after, like Paddington Bear or the baby in that 1980's movie Willow.
This note was especially dear, as it conveyed pitch-perfectly the joy of receiving art and also the power of art to unify people and communities.
New Orleans is famous for the pride its residents have in their city and culture, but an often overlooked aspect of this pride is the support and encouragement New Orleanians have for their fellow citizens. I love my little FREE-de-lis for many many reasons, one of which is that the inscription on the back captures how supportive and thoughtful the NOLA community is. Walking into the Gallery today to find it was like catching a shoe from Muses!
THANK YOU BILLY COUSINS!!!!!
I have a secret love of making collages. But now I don't even have to make them. I just search my favorite artists and beautiful collages of their works come up.
The New Orleans Film Society hosts its 14th Annual French Film Festival this weekend!! And the venue is none other than our favorite spot for movies and memories, the Prytania Theatre in NOLA's Uptown District.
We're particularly excited for the biopic on designer Yves Saint Laurent, "L'Amour Fou" (Crazy Love). Not only does it showcase some breathtaking fashion, but it artfully illuminates YSL's devoted relationship with Pierre Bergé and the couple's incredible art collection. Together they acquired works by Picasso, Matisse, Brancusi, Modigliani, and other visionaries.
Need more info? The New Orleans Film Society and NOLA Fashion Week's official synopsis:
"The public life of Yves Saint Laurent was as extravagant as it was decadent. As a design prodigy (he took over designing for the house of Christian Dior at age 21) and then the grand couturier of a fashion empire, he influenced fifty years of style-but few are familiar with the private life of the legend. Pierre Bergé, the man with whom YSL shared four decades of his life and love, reflects on the equally extravagant history of their personal relationship. Their three lavishly-furnished houses (in Paris, Normandy and Marrakech) are toured. Framed around the 2009 auction of the fabulous, priceless art collection amassed by the couple over several decades (including works by Brancusi, Modigliani, Picasso, Matisse, Braque and Mondrian), this extraordinary documentary provides an unprecedented look at the life of a mythic personality, whose personal life matched his public for elegance, extravagance and passion. L’Amour Fou is a must see for fans of documentary film and fashion die-hards alike. With appearances by Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger and Catherine Deneuve; directed by Pierre Thoretton. (Fully subtitled)"
We passed through the Bywater neighborhood today, and hoped to catch a glimpse of artist and New Orleans legend Dr Bob at work.
He wasn't in his studio!! His very friendly neighbor told us to give him a call, but maybe we'll just try again tomorrow. For now, we have some colorful and inspiring pictures from our visit.
Maybe the energy-sucking vampires got to him and he needed a nap. Hope to see you soon Dr Bob!! We love your work.
Hi, my name is Ally Burguieres. When I'm done painting I update this blog with new paintings, events, and news!