June 9- July 8, 2012

June 9- July 8, 2012

Room 1:

Jan Gilbert
30 Years / 30 Blocks: a retrospective installation of place and public artworks

Native New Orleanian artist Jan Gilbert installs a new collection of photographs that formally and conceptually partner her 30-year body of public art projects with architectural elements of The Front. The new photographs, featuring the interior and exterior of the gallery at St. Claude Avenue and Mazant Street, are presented alongside archival documentation of Gilbert’s public art portfolio. 30 Years / 30 Blocks transforms Room 1 into a scrapbook-like album that simultaneously chronicles three decades of public art, amalgamates these works with the current physical presence of The Front, and introduces an upcoming plan for a new series of public pieces to appear on the streets of New Orleans in 2014.  Says Gilbert, “I have reveled in the invitation to present these works at The Front in the St. Claude Arts District.

The architectural nuances that expose layers of life and function of this building have become a parallel narrative underscoring certain contextual attributes of the thirty works. The Front collective’s mode of operating and the surfaces of its physical space connect deeply with the sites I often select, coming full circle to a space that bears the egalitarian function that resonates within my work.”  The nationally recognized interdisciplinary artwork of Jan Gilbert mines memory, loss, and transition through the combination of painting, printmaking, photography, and installation. Her works run the gamut from idiosyncratic, personal meanderings to commissioned, large-scale installations and international public art exchanges. 

To see more of Gilbert’s work please visit:  

Room 2:

You Beautiful Bitch
Lee Deigaard, Kathy High, Rachel Jones, Ariya Martin, Natalie McLaurin, Brooke Pickett, Ann Schwab with Brian McCormick, Monica Zeringue 

Following hard on the heels of Standing Heat (Nov 2010, Room 4), You Beautiful Bitch invites eight women artists who each live with at least one furred companion to make work addressing these animal partnerships. Through lenses of gender and species, as tribute or critique, as portrait or self-portrait as defined by animal, these artists take their dogs and cats to work. Just in time for the dog days of summer, “best bitches” get their due. 

[Pleased with his new litter of puppies and praising their mother, a dog breeder who was also a priest wearing a “dog collar” unwittingly coined the phrase that is the show’s title.]  

Artist links:     

Room 3:

Claire Rau

Error is a form of deviancy, a supposed inhospitable climate of wrong.  The space between the concepts of wrong and right is often a zone of exile, a separate but adjoining area where mistake banishes each of us from previous convictions.   Embracing this futile yet consuming human condition, Permission speaks through the language of furniture.  As the go between of architecture and its inhabitants, these works subtly highlight dislocation through their groundlessness.  As each work essentially misses the mark, error and thus failure takes on a contemplative inflection.  

Room 4:

Nicole Jean Hill
Artifacts & Incidents

Artifacts & Incidents is a photographic series that explores human and animal activity along the periphery of rural communities throughout the American West.  The images are of subtle and aggressive relationships within the natural world- evidence of disruption, cultivation and inherent wildness along the boundary between public and private spaces.  Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Nicole Jean Hill received a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Her photographs have been exhibited throughout the U.S., Europe, Canada and Australian including the Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, OR and Gallery 44 in Toronto.  Hill has been an artist-in-residence at the Center for Land Use Interpretation in Wendover, Utah, the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, and the Newspace Center for Photography in Portland, Oregon.  She currently resides in Humboldt County, CA.  


Jan Gilbert & Babette Beaullieu
Cajun Prayer Flags

The back yard of the gallery and its chain link fence are re-purposed by Gilbert and artist/collaborator Babette Beaullieu. Ushering in the 2012 hurricane season, a new hybrid of Cajun Prayer Flags flutter with deeply textured imagery of Cajun Mardi Gras costumes in Acadiana. Paper and pen are provided as an interactive component for passers by, encouraging them to join in by offering their personal wishes or prayers and tying them to the fence amidst its dead, clinging vines. This ritual and these devotional offerings are borrowed and blended traditions from Tibetan, Japanese, and Cajun cultures.