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Contents

A U G U ST 2 0 2 1

Events

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Features

SOME LIKE IT HOT And if not, there are plenty of indoor happenings, too.

REFLECTIONS The Little Outboard that (Hasn’t So Far, but …) Could by James Fox-Smith

NEWS & NOTEWORTHIES

VO LU M E 3 8 // I SS U E 8

34 38 40

The architecture of today’s South, displayed at the Venice Biennale by Alexandra Kennon

WAISTLESS WONDERS Gretta Garments channels lazy girl chic by Kristen Foster

ON SHOTGUN HOUSES The history and future of the signature Southern structure by Ed Cullen

“In the South, I think we understand that culture, art, architecture, and ideas spring from local insight––from small conversations and agreements. Culture is always local first,” said architect Roy Decker of Duvall Decker in Jackson, when interviewed about the work of his firm and others in Louisiana and Mississippi being presented at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale in Venice, Italy. When we look back decades from now, or from across the globe, what designs will be remembered as defining this particular place, at this particular time? With so many aesthetic and innovative design developments in our region, from architecture to fashion, it was impossible to choose just one. That’s why we included four images on this month’s cover, each capturing designs that are simultaneously beautiful, practical, and very much of the South. Foremost is “GATORHouse,” a camp on False River by emerymcclure architecture in Lafayette, designed to withstand heat and floods, yet still striking to the eye—the image is currently on display in the exhibition A South Forty at the Venice Architecture Biennale (pg. 34). We hope the designs in this issue might inspire you to innovate something beautiful, something useful, something distinctly Southern––distinctly yours.

Plant-based plates for the Southern palate

Culture

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by Matt A. Sheen

44

KING OF KINGS For the second time, Chef Tory McPhail reigns in Louisiana seafood

by Jordan LaHaye Fontenot

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MODERNISM 101 A digital hub for lovers of design paraphernalia, based out of Shreveport

Escapes

52

by Chris Jay

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RIVER ROAD’S MUSEUM TRAIL Explore the collections abounding along the Mississippi by Mary Ann Sternberg

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Ashley Fox-Smith

Managing Editor

Jordan LaHaye Fontenot

Creative Director

Kourtney Zimmerman

Contributors:

G Douglas Adams, Ed Cullen, Jay D. Edwards, Kristen Foster, Chris Jay, Matt A. Sheen, Mary Ann Sternberg, Chris Turner-Neal

Cover Artists

Main image by John Osborne IV, building by emerymcclure architecture

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Associate Publisher

Alexandra Kennon

DEEP SOUTH DESIGN

NOLA CUISINE GOES VEGAN

James Fox-Smith

Arts & Entertainment Editor

On the Cover

Cuisine

Publisher

A SOUTH FORTY

HOTEL ST. VINCENT Opulence and Aperol in New Orleans’ Lower Garden District by Alexandra Kennon

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RETURNING TO DUNLEITH A second debut for the grand dame of Natchez by Chris Turner-Neal

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PERSPECTIVES Stephanie Patton: Comfort Zone

by Jordan LaHaye Fontenot

emerymcclure architecture, Grace Chetta, Alexandra Kennon, Matt Harrington

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Country Roads Magazine 758 Saint Charles Street Baton Rouge, LA 70802 Phone (225) 343-3714 Fax (815) 550-2272 EDITORIAL@COUNTRYROADSMAG.COM WWW.COUNTRYROADSMAG.COM

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Copyrighted. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced without permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed in Country Roads magazine are those of the authors or columnists and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products or services herein. Country Roads magazine retains the right to refuse any advertisement. Country Roads cannot be responsible for delays in subscription deliveries due to U.S. Post Office handling of third-class mail.


Meet Mark Hausmann, MD

A member of an elite team of robotic surgeons Mark Hausmann, MD, general surgeon at Our Lady of the Lake Surgeons Group of Baton Rouge and Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, always knew he wanted to make a difference in people's lives. "It sounds cliche, but I wanted to be able to help people," he says. "I was interested in medicine, but it's the people-part that really motivated me to become a doctor."

Embracing New Technology After majoring in computer science ("I'm a computer geek at heart," he says), Dr. Hausmann switched gears, earning his medical degree from LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans. He then completed his residency in general surgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. But his background in computers proved to be beneficial when it came to learning new surgical techniques. When laparoscopic surgery first became available, he embraced the opportunity to learn how to perform it. "I've always been an early adapter of new technology," he says. "I keep aware of new developments in surgery and I'm early on the learning curve. I like using technological advancements to benefit my patients."

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"it's the people part that really motivated me to become a doctor" Laparoscopic surgery appealed to Dr. Hausmann because it allows the surgeon to use much smaller incisions, which leads to reduced recovery times for patients. Robotic surgery now provides even more benefits. "Technology is always advancing, and robotic surgery is the next iteration of laparoscopic and minimally invasive surgery," he says. "With laparoscopy, you're working with a 2D image and using straight instruments. Robotic surgery gives you a 3D image, more precision and wristed instruments so you can work around corners that you can't with straight laparoscopic surgery."

Bettering Lives T hrough Medicine Soon after mastering laparoscopic surgery, Dr. Hausmann began focusing on acid reflux surgery and bariatric surgery-both areas he knew would allow him to truly improve his patients' lives. "Some patients had been dismissed for many years as 'just having heartburn,' and for them, surgery can be life-altering," he says. "It's very gratifying knowing you are really improving someone's life." T he same goes for bariatric surgery. "You're not just improving their weight, you're also improving their overall health and reducing risks, actually extending their life expectancy." Dr. Hausmann also teaches advanced surgical techniques to other surgeons across the country. In addition to teaching skills that will benefit others throughout their careers, he enjoys the process of learning as he goes. "I think every time you teach someone, you also learn something yourself," he says. "In order to explain techniques, you have to make sure it's clear to you and understand it completely yourself."

Dr. Hausmann is part of Our Lady of the Lake Robotic Surgery Institute, a renown team of 18 dedicated robotic surgeons.

Getting Away From It All When he's not changing lives and teaching others, Dr. Hausmann and his wife enjoy traveling and spending time with family. "I'm from New Orleans, and my wife is from Alexandria, so we decided to split the difference with a geographic compromise and come to Baton Rouge," he says with a laugh. "We enjoy it here. T he food is good and we're near family. It's home." He's also an avid reader. "I'm usually listening to and reading a book or two," he says. "My favorite is A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. It's a fascinating, beautiful novel." Learn more about our surgeons and the Our Lady of the Lake Robotic Surgery Institute at ololrmc.com/robotics

OUR LADY OF THE LAKE ROBOTIC SURGERY INSTITUTE

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Reflections FROM THE PUBLISHER

Sitting in my barn is an outboard motor that’s older than I am. One of Johnson’s classic “Turtle Motors” built from 1964–1973, this two-stroke, 9 ½ horsepower masterpiece apparently represented a high water mark in American marine engineering when my wife’s uncle bought it, new, in 1968. By all accounts the little Johnson never let Uncle Pap down through thirty years of hauling his Jon boat from Natchez down to Fourchon to chase redfish, specks, and flounder around the marsh. But to the best of anyone’s knowledge the last time the Johnson went anywhere under its own power was more than twenty years ago. Between then and now it has sat forgotten in the back of a barn, waiting for a scavenger with an inflated sense of his mechanical abilities to take an interest in it. Lord, save me from myself; I think I feel another project coming on. Right alongside the outboard is parked a twenty-two-year-old Kawasaki 4-wheeler that our son, Charles, pushed into the yard one day last summer. The reason Charles was pushing this 4-wheeler was that it didn’t work—hadn’t

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worked for years, in fact—which explains why it had been given to him, by yet another uncle savvy enough to recognize an opportunity for off-loading defunct machinery when he saw one. The fact that it wasn’t running actually solved a problem for Charles, who for years had been told that his parents would never buy him a 4-wheeler, and that the day he’d get one would be the day he paid for it himself. Of course, Charles’s parents never considered that he might contrive to be given one. Anyway, on some level I suspect Charles knew that should he turn up with a broken one, his dad’s penchant for fooling with machinery would win out, and that the beknighted thing would be allowed to stay. And let’s not forget the twenty-year-old Ford pickup truck, that I salvaged from the field into which it had been sinking since breaking down there sometime in 2015. Of course this truck wasn’t running either, although judging by the size and quantity of rats’ nests in the cab, engine bay, and behind the dashboard, if you could just have trained all the rodents to run in the same direction we could have had the fastest farm vehicle in the Felicianas. Once I’d spotted this truck, and with visions of resurrecting it to serve as Charles’s first vehicle, I approached the

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owner to see about buying it … and was surprised by how firmly he insisted on giving it to me. Should have been a sign. It took six months to get the Ford running, and another three to convince the rest of the rats to move on. Charles, it has to be said, has been less enthusiastic about the truck than he was about the 4-wheeler. I think I drive it more than he does. Do you see a pattern developing? Taking inventory of the growing collection of vintage and cast-off machinery accumulating around our property, my wife certainly does. Strangely she struggles to appreciate the aesthetic value of automotive yard art, preferring the dull utility of vehicles that move under their own power to the kind you need to mow around. But with more than twenty-five years of living in rural

Louisiana to my name now, I think this means that, finally, I’m starting to fit in. I recently had cause to visit a landowner in East Feliciana whose magnificent home, manicured acreage and enormous lakes present one of the most beautiful and well-maintained rural estates I’ve ever seen. But even there, artfully concealed behind a thicket of crepe myrtles, was a barn filled with an eye-popping variety of defunct maintenance machinery. Here were cars, trucks, tractors, motorcycles, ATVs, generators, mowers, chainsaws, boats, a combine harvester, and what might have been bits of a light aircraft— in various stages of decomposition. Gazing in awe upon this automotive Père Lachaise, I concluded that, far from being a character flaw, my evolution into a backyard scavenger mechanic should rightly be seen as a natural stage in the journey towards full membership in the club of Southern rural property owners. So, with my role model now established and my dubious contribution to this annual Design issue complete, it’s back to the barn I go. Until the Johnson sings again, I remain … —James Fox-Smith, publisher james@countryroadsmag.com


Tiki Tubing, Shopping, Antique District, Four Seasons Farmers Market every Saturday, and Music MUSIC EVENTS AUGUST 7 Old South Jamboree (1st Saturday of Every Month)

AUGUST 19-22 Food Truck Festival, Fair, and Car Show by Cajun Country Jams at North Park

SEPTEMBER 3 John Anderson at Northpark Assembly Center by Jarreau Entertainment

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Noteworthy

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N E W S , T I M E LY F A C T S , A N D O T H E R

CURIOSITIES

LO O K C LO S E R

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Power to the Parks

SIX YEARS AFTER ALMOST CLOSING FOR LACK OF FUNDS, RESTRUCTURED LOUISIANA STATE PARKS ARE EDGING TOWARDS FINANCIAL SELF-SUFFICIENCY Fontainebleau State Park. Photo by Alexandra Kennon.

D

uring the pandemic, Louisiana State Parks got busy. According to Brandon Burris, Assistant Secretary of Louisiana State Parks, Louisiana’s twenty-one parks saw visitation increase dramatically during 2020, as people went looking for safe ways to be active out of doors and close to home.

Now, with pandemic fears eased and more people getting out to do things, the state park habit seems to be sticking. “Over the Memorial Day weekend we had 22,000 people visit a Louisiana state park,” Burris said. More visitors equals more revenue, and Burris noted that during the fiscal year that ended June 30, the state’s parks

collected $11.9 million in overnight and day-use fees—an increase of more than forty percent and around a third of the system’s operating budget of $35 million. That’s a turnaround from the situation that Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser inherited when he took office in 2016, when according to Burris, the shortage of user-generated revenue made it likely that six or seven of Louisiana’s state parks would need to close. “Not only have we kept all twenty-one open, we’ve actually increased the number of hours they’re open,” Burris said. He explained that the agency accomplished this through a combination of increased fees, more efficient use of park personnel, and by expanding the number and variety of public-private partnerships, licensing more outside organizations to deliver services—like canoe or kayak rentals, horseback riding instruction, snoball stands, or even upmarket “glamping” experiences—on state park properties.

The strategy appears to be working. According to Burris, last year three Louisiana parks—Fontainebleau, Lake Fausse Pointe, and Palmetto Island— brought in more revenue than was spent to operate them. More are close behind. “On the July 4 weekend, the director at Bogue Chitto State Park (site of fourteen miles of mountain bike trails built in partnership with the Northshore Off-Road Bicycling Association) told me he counted license plates from eight states in his parking lot, and that it was impossible to find a hotel room nearby,” Burris said. He noted another interesting detail: PreCOVID the state’s parks saw about a 70/30 split between in-state and out-ofstate visitors, but that now that number is closer to 92/8. “I guess that was the silver lining of COVID,” Burris said. “People looking for safe things to do came, they enjoyed it. And now they want to come and do it again.” —James Fox-Smith lastateparks.com

A Fashionable Debut

THE LSU TEXTILE & COSTUME MUSEUM OPENS WITH AN EXHIBITION ON MAYAN ARTIFACTS

L

ast year, an exciting feature of our 2020 “Deep South Design” issue was the much-anticipated completion of the LSU Textile & Costume Museum, whose grand opening had at that time been postponed from its original March 2020 opening to an unknown date due to the coronavirus pandemic. While visitors have been invited to peruse the museum’s impressive collections of more than twelve thousand artifacts—which range from a 1966 James Galanos cocktail dress to Byzantine-era textile fragments to Larry 8

Landry’s 1936 LSU boxing robe—up until now they’ve only been able to do so by appointment. Finally, after forty years of preparation and one year of patiently waiting, the LSU Textile & Costume Museum will get its much-deserved debut on Sunday, August 29. “The Friends are enthusiastically awaiting this very special event like small children on Christmas morning,” said Jeanne Triche, President of the Friends of the LSU Textile and Costume Museum. “We have worked hard and waited a very long time to see this come to fruition.” The Museum’s grand opening will

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coincide with the exhibition Trajé: Mayan Textile Artistry, which features the Travis Doering Collection of textiles and related artifacts from forty Mayan villages in the Guatemala Highlands. Exhibits will include examples of traditional Mayan dress, which represent centuries of weaving traditions and symbolism, passed from mothers to daughters still today. Adding context to these textiles is an exhibit of photographs by humanitarian photojournalist Connie Frissbee Houda, who will be present at the exhibition to share perspectives on the spirit and sacred nature of the Mayan people and

their traditions. Dr. Travis Doering, co-director of the digital heritage and humanities collections at the University of South Florida, will also present a lecture titled “Woven Voices: A Journey Into Maya Textiles and Cultural Heritage” on opening day. On opening day, the gallery will be open from 2 pm–5 pm. Admission is free and open to the public. For details on the exhibition and museum, contact Erica Woolard at (225) 578-2448 or by email at ericaw1@lsu.edu. —Jordan LaHaye Fontenot


Traka pa konné gouvèné

Trouble Ain’t Know How to Steer

Celebrating the Arrival of America’s Greatest Artist/Naturalist with the

A POEM IN KOURI VINI FROM THE NEW BATON ROUGE POET LAUREATE, JONATHAN MAYERS Trwa-kar mérikin, li sé linmé Kolonizé tou partou lil Kawènn épi kan li li di wi Li linm li linm Fran, kakofoni Si yé donn li yê bonn lavi

‘Merican Virginia flower would love To colonize all around Isle Turtle and then when it says yes, yes It loves it loves Fran, cacophony If they give it their rich breath

Ga – çon sèt tèt fanflish, li swèt Fé særtin nouzòt gin ariyin Si fin-la sé rivé byinto Li sé di nou trouvé nô ké Pi li sé ri apré nô parin

Look–seven head bauble, baw wishing To make certain we ain’t got a thing If the end were comin’ soon He’d tell us “Watch your backends,” While he laughs about our parrains

Ki çé ki di yé yé linm kiltir Lalwizyàn, li byin inondé Avèk moun k’ap fé pa li plézi Mé yé konné ayoù vouzòt sòr Traka pa konné gouvèné

Who says they love this culture Louisiane, it’s well full up Wit’ people disrespectin’ its cheer But they know exactly where you from Trouble ain’t know how to steer Published in Kouri-Vini/Louisiana Creole on Le Bourdon de la Louisiane

In July, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced the appointment of Baton Rouge’s third Poet Laureate: the visual artist, writer, and language activist Jonathan Mayers, sometimes known as “rat de bois farouche” or “feral opossum”. Previously featured in our pages for his vivid, mythological illustrations of Louisiana’s environmental travails, Mayers’ artistic practice is a multi-facted one, centered around a reclamation of what he calls authenticité Louisiana. Language preservation is at the heart of this work, in which Mayers intentionally utilizes and shares the endangered Louisiana Creole language of Kouri-Vini, which is today spoken by fewer than ten thousand people. In his new role as the Baton Rouge Poet Laureate, Mayers said that a major component of his programming will be focused on sharing this dying language with new audiences. “A lot of the people I’ll be working with don’t know or even realize that their families, their ancestors, spoke this language,” he said. “That’s going to be an important aspect, having people learn a little more about Kouri-Vini and how they can be a part of rebuilding the language into our vocabulary.” Mayers said that he has plans to invite aspiring writers to submit their own poetry for translation. “Having your work translated into another language,” he said, “can build rapport, community, and a new understanding of one’s culture.” Part of Mayers’ existing practice is to simply use the language in day to day life. It’s how he answers the phone, how he bids adieu. He hopes to use this new platform to spread that sentiment even further, he said, teaching people simple phrases they can use in their regular conversations, including: Komen to yê? Mo byin, mèsi! Maringwin pèddi sô tem kan li piké kaïman.

How are you? I’m well thanks! The mosquito wastes his time trying to bite the alligator.

And finally: “Mo linm twa.” “I love you.” “Because,” said Mayers, “I think people need to hear more of that anyway.” —Jordan LaHaye Fontenot jonathanmayers.com

“I looked with amazement — such an entire change in so short a time appears often supernatural, and surrounded once more by thousands of warblers & thrushes, I enjoy Nature.”

COMING EVENTS September 17-18, 2021 - The Annual Inaugural John James Audubon Symposium LECTURES • WORKSHOPS • BIRDING TOURS • HISTORIC SITES • ST. FRANCISVILLE & SURROUNDS

September 18, 2021 - “AUDUBON UNDER THE OAKS" Gala 4 pm–7 pm • Audubon State Historic Site An elegant evening of fine Louisiana cuisine and refreshments served in the shadow of Oakley house, where Audubon painted 32 of the bird species highlighted in his famous Birds of America portfolio. Beautiful music and the camaraderie

Tickets for Gala & Symposium are Limited and On Sale Now at

point your phone camera here

#AudubonCountry

West Feliciana Tourist Commission www.explorewestfeliciana.com • 225-635-4224 • St. Francisville, LA

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Events

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LATE YOU

SUMMER IN HOW TO

LOUISIANA

KEEP

IS A WHOLE

H OT ST U F F

HOT VIBE, BUT WE’RE

HERE

TO

TELL

COOL IN GALLERIES, RESTAURANTS, AND MUSIC VENUES

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DISCOVER MORE SEARCH OUR ONLINE CALENDAR OF EVENTS

for more fun than we can t in these pages

Returning in 2021, the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) in New Orleans will hold its Whitney White Linen Night, when Julia Street’s 400-700 blocks become one big art party, with live music, cuisine and cocktails, and exhibition openings throughout the Arts District. Photo by Ryan Hodgson-Rigsbee.

UNTIL

AUG 8th

UNTIL AUG

22nd

Lafayette, Louisiana

ARTFUL FILMS PORTRAIT, NUMBER 1 MAN (DAY CLEAN TA SUN DOWN)

In John Guare’s farcical, though heartwarming, comedy The House of Blue Leaves, we meet a zookeeper named Artie, who would really prefer to be something much grander. Artie has a few gigs at piano bars in Queens, he has a wife named Bananas and a mistress named Bunny. His son harbors a desire to blow up the Pope in Yankee Stadium, and has the homemade bomb to do it. And then his old school chum Billy comes to town, holding the keys to Artie’s rise to the top. Described as an “Enchantingly zany and original farce” by the New York Times, producer Lauren Reilly Eliot and director Gina Baronne’s rendition at Cité des Arts is sure to charm Acadiana residents. Performances will take place Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 2 pm. $20. citedesarts.org. k

“From sun up until sun down, the body will hull and winnow rice grains, then place the hulled grains, one by one, on a tomb-like vessel lined with burlap until the weight and value of the vessel equals that of the body laboring to fill it.” For twelve hours and twenty minutes, performance artist Sheldon Scott processed rice. One by one, with his hands, just as his ancestors—the enslaved peoples of the Gullah/Geechee region— did day in and day out, not all that long ago. By using his own body to, in real time, physically remember the experience of hundreds of enslaved peoples, Scott makes the history just a little more human than it was perceived as before. Featuring a score by singer-songwriter and composer Tamar-kali and cinematography by Jon-Sesrie Goff, the film Portrait, number 1 man (day clean ta sun down) will

THEATRE THE HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES

New Orleans, Louisiana

be exhibited at the Ogden Museum through August. ogdenmuseum.org. k

UNTIL

AUG 25th

MULTIMEDIA EXHIBITIONS THE FRAGILE BEE Lafayette, Louisiana

Combining the mediums of printmaking, digital media, photography, and video, Nancy Mack’s The Fragile Bee installation at the Hilliard University Museum seeks to raise the stakes of pollinator conservation. Treating bees as a symbol in a practice of art activism geared toward preservation of our own environments and ways of life, Mack illustrates the ways our species and bees’ are interconnected. hilliardmuseum.org. k

UNTIL SEP

5th

ANTIQUES EXHIBITION PIECES OF HISTORY New Orleans, Louisiana

The Decorative Arts of the Gulf South (DAGS) project aims to preserve

COUNTRYROADSMAG.COM/CALENDAR

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Events

Beginning now

intimate moments of history through the preservation of decorative arts objects— including furniture, home furnishings, and tools—which can provide profound insight into the stories of those who once created and utilized them. In the exhibition Pieces of History, these beautiful and important pieces of pre-Civil War history are displayed at the Historic New Orleans Collection. The exhibition also assesses the dichotomy of the luxury experienced by those who lived in the homes where these objects were present, with the much harsher realities of the enslaved individuals whose work provided the economy for such wealth. hnoc.org. k

UNTIL SEP

11th

ART EXHIBITIONS COMFORT ZONE, 1993–2021 Lafayette, Louisiana

For her largest solo exhibition to date, multi-media artist Stephanie Patton brings works from across the span of her career, including pieces made from 1993 to 2021 in every discipline she’s explored including: photography, performance art, sculpture, textiles, and more. The Acadiana Center for the Arts’ exhibit,

Stephanie Patton: Comfort Zone, 1993– 2021 offers a significant survey of the vast body of the Lafayette-based artist’s work, and explores its common threads of humor, love, health, and more. The works are often an invitation to lure the viewers into their own state of self-awareness, and Patton finds that creating humorous objects often breaks down barriers and allows for the beginning of an open and genuine dialog between her art, the audience and herself. Born in New Orleans, Patton received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from the University of Louisiana in Lafayette and a Master of Fine Arts in Photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has been exhibited in leading galleries and art fairs in New York, Paris, Tokyo, and Miami and is held in many private and public collections, including the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Hilliard University Art Museum, and more. She currently lives and works as a practicing studio artist and educator in Lafayette. acadianacenterforthearts.org. For more about Patton’s storied career and her current ACA exhibition, read Jordan LaHaye Fontenot’s Perspectives profile on page 58. k

UNTIL SEP

12th

AUDIO EXHIBITIONS MORIR ES VIVIR

is to Live) is an audio collage installation created by New Orleans-based artist Marta Rodriguez Maleck. Through a

New Orleans, Louisiana

series of conversations Maleck held in and

Presented in the New Orleans Museum

around New Orleans, in partnership with

of Art’s Great Hall, Morir es Vivir (To Die

Jane’s Place Neighborhood Sustainability

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON

LOCATED AT BURDEN MUSEUM AND GARDENS

EVENTS, POINT YOUR PHONE

OPEN DAILY 8:00–5:00 • I-10 AT ESSEN LANE, BATON ROUGE, LA

CAMERA HERE!

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A wide variety of works by multi-media artist Stephanie Patton, spanning her entire career from 1993 through 2021, are currently on display at the Acadiana Center for the Arts. Pictured is “Strength” (2013), made of vinyl, batting, and muslin, courtesy of the artist.

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FOR MORE INFO CALL (225) 765-2437 OR VISIT WWW.RURALLIFE.LSU.EDU


Initiative and L.U.N.A, she collected expressions of grief and loss, contemplations of mortality and rebirth, and explorations of potential healing and hope. These voices are woven together as a microcosm of reflection within the New Orleans community. noma.org. k

UNTIL

SEP 26th

ART EXHIBITIONS BEHIND EVERY BEAUTIFUL THING New Orleans, Louisiana

Following a year so deeply focused on health—mental well-being and physical—this year’s annual Open Call exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans presents a deeply personal portrayal of artists’ relationships with health and illness in a series of multimedia artworks from thirty-six Gulf South artists. Throughout the course of the exhibition, visitors can also engage in activations and performances in the Gris Gris Lab inside the CAC’s Oval Gallery. Created by “Gris Gris Mama” Gia M. Hamilton, this Afrofuturist Apothecary is designed to ground, shift energy, and prepare the viewer to enter the portal and exhibition. $10; $8 for students. Reserve your admission slot online at cacno.org. k

UNTIL

SEP 26th

ART EXHIBITIONS ISOLATION / CONNECTION New Orleans, Louisiana

The experience of the COVID pandemic was no doubt difficult for all of us, but teenagers—those on the brink of adulthood, coming to terms with the world—it will forever define a seminal point in their lives. This exhibition is centered around the teen experience with COVID-19, and will feature works by twenty-two high school student artists from across the New Orleans region. It will be on view in the CAC’s first floor Atrium gallery. cacno.org. k

UNTIL OCT 3rd PHOTO EXHIBITIONS CENTENNIAL SELECTIONS New Orleans, Louisiana

In celebration of what would have been the late photographer Ishimoto Yasuhiro’s one hundredth birthday this year, NOMA presents a selection of his works from the collection. American-born but raised in Japan, Yasuhiro’s story as a photographer begins at the Grenada Relocation Center in Colorado, one of ten sites where the United States government incarcerated over 120,000 people of Japanese descent during World War II. It was there at Grenada that he began using a camera for the first time. After the war, he studied at the Institute

of Design in Chicago before emigrating permanently to Tokyo in 1961. He is best remembered for his street photography, and this exhibit highlights two eras of his work in Chicago: the first when he was a student and the second almost a decade later. noma.org. k

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NOV 7

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ART EXHIBITIONS A LEGACY IN ART New Orleans, Louisiana

Boasting a seventy-five year career that lasted from 1939–2014, the modernist John Clemmer remains an iconic figure to generations of New Orleans art collectors, students, fellow artists, and friends. Clemmer started his career at the Arts and Crafts Club of New Orleans, studying with Paul Ninas, Enrique Alferez, and Xavier Gonzales. The bulk of his professional career was spent at Tulane, first in the School of Architecture and later at Newcomb College. In honor of the centennial of his birth, the Historic New Orleans Collection presents a special survey of Clemmer’s work, featuring sixty-two paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures. A companion exhibition also presents pieces by seventysix artists Clemmer knew during his career through the Arts and Crafts Club, the Orleans Gallery, Newcomb College, Tulane University, and the city at large—resulting

in a remarkable testament to art’s history in New Orleans during Clemmer’s seventy-five years in action. hnoc.org. k

UNTIL

NOV 13th

ART EXHIBITIONS FANTASY II IN EXILE Lafayette, Louisiana

With a title tipping its hat to the longclosed gay nightclub of Lafayette’s past, Fantasy II in Exile explores the realm of a mythical dreamworld where the exiled are perceived as fools and hermits, while also acknowledging that many of the most interesting and liberated people in history are exiles of a sort, as well. Through painting and sculpture, artists Jacob Todd Broussard and Emily Mausner explore the co-existence of whimsy and solitude; of sentiment and loss. Both artists have studied and created art extensively, with Broussard currently living in Buffalo, NY; and Mausner currently residing in Orlando, FL. Suggested donation of $5. Public gallery hours are 11 am–4 pm Tuesday through Saturday. acadianacenterforthearts.org. k

UNTIL JUN 29th

LOCAL HISTORY LONGUE VUE: A LOVE STORY New Orleans, Louisiana

June 29, 2021 marked the hundredyear anniversary of Edith Rosenwald

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OLIVINA BOUTIQUE

Events

Beginning now - August 5th and Edgar Stern’s marriage outside of Chicago. The pair soon headed down river to New Orleans, where they built a family home and a civic legacy on the estate now known as Longue Vue. To celebrate and remember the couple as well as remember the impact they had on twentieth century New Orleans, Longue Vue is hosting an exhibit titled Longue Vue: A Love Story, which will run for approximately a year. longuevue.com. k

Baton Rouge, and the author will be available to sign copies. 3 pm. Free. ebrpl.com. k

UNTIL JUL

August 1: Release and Emergence: A Meditative Art Experience, 2 pm–4 pm. $20. August 7: Spin a Yarn Art Experience,

31st

ART MEETS SCIENCE IRIDESCENCE Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Stoney Clover Lane. Exclusively at Olivina Boutique!

Come customize your backpack today! 411 Franklin Street www.olivinanatchez.com 225-636-0442

In a mesmerizing feature exhibition, the Louisiana Art & Science Museum explores the rainbow-esque, vaporous phenomenon of iridescence. The exhibit is presented as an art-science collaboration between with Dr. Nathan Lord, Assistant Professor in the Department of Entomology and Director of the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum, and artists Karl Gaff, Ted Kinsman, Christopher Marley, Kate Nichols, Soo Sunny Park, Jennifer Robison, and Franziska Schenk, along with partners from Louisiana State University. Through works of art that capture and manipulate the dazzling effects of iridescence in the real world—in soap bubbles, bird feathers, gemstones, fishscales, even special edition LSU football helmets— LASM aims to educate the public on core STEAM concepts such as color, perception, physics, biology, fashion, photography, and art. Keep up with a year of programming around Iridescence through the exhibition’s website exploreiridescence.com and its Instagram @explore–iridescence. You can also learn more at lasm.org. k

AUG 1st

LOCAL HISTORY WALK DOWN THE MEMORY AISLE Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Available at participating merchants.

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A U G 2 1 // C O U N T R Y R O A D S M A G . C O M

Thirty years after the sale of Goudchaux’s and Maison Blanche department stores, memories from the iconic institutions will be shared at the Goodwood branch of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library during a “Walk Down the Memory Aisle” event. Wedding gowns, interest-free credit, and of course the arrival of beloved Mr. Bingle in time for the holidays will all be reminisced about. The event will also be a celebration of author Julie Sternberg ‘s ninth children’s book Summer of Stolen Secrets, which features the Goudchaux’s store that once sat on Main Street in

AUG 1st - AUG 7th

CREATIVE CLASSES AUGUST AT THE RED SHOES Baton Rouge, Louisiana

This month, The Red Shoes is offering two workshops to engage your creativity and wellbeing:

10 am–2 pm. $10. Register and find more info at theredshoes.org. k

AUG 1st - AUG 29th

ART TALKS, MUSIC & FILM MEAT MEET SALON SERIES Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The innovative, arts-forward, anti-profit group Yes We Cannibal is hosting talks and performances with artists in person, as well as streamed to Twitch in their Meat Meet Salon Series. Sundays 4 pm – 6 pm at Yes We Cannibal’s Government Street space or twitch.tv/yeswecannibal. Free. The schedule is as follows: August 1: Meat Meet #22: The Social Boot Network Panel Discussion, featuring Ugonna “UGO” V. Njoku, Mia Upshaw, and others. August 8: Meat Meet #23: Musical Performance by Renée Reed, joined by Baton Rouge singer/songwriter Hal Lambert. August 15: Meat Meet #24: How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman (1971) film screening. August 29: Meat Meet #25: Musical Performances by Jade and Jireh. yeswecannibal.org. k

AUG 1st - AUG 31st

GOOD EATS TAMMANY TASTE OF SUMMER Covington, Louisiana

Get a taste of the Northshore with the fourth annual Tammany Taste of Summer. Through the month of August, St. Tammany Parish is putting its best plates forward to welcome you for a summer getaway (or stay-cation) with restaurant deals, farmers’ market fun, and scrumptious special events. The area is chock full of local bed and breakfasts and hotels that offer an extra dose of local charm, as well as a good night’s sleep. tammanytaste.com. k


AUG 3rd - AUG 24th CREATIVE CLASSES HANDBUILDING BASICS WORKSHOPS Covington, Louisiana

Engage in the practice of hand building with this special four week workshop at the St. Tammany Art Association. With beginners in mind, ceramicist Janie Dick will guide students in the basics of hand building clay vessels like vases, bowls, and cups using the coiling method, adding texture using stamps and tools. Students will also learn how to add attachments and to glaze their final artworks. 10:30 am–12:30 pm on Tuesdays in August. All ages welcome; supplies included. $200. sttammany.art. k

AUG

3rd - AUG 26th

ART EXHIBITIONS ON EXHIBIT AT BATON ROUGE GALLERY Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Lining the walls at Baton Rouge Gallery this month: Anita Cooke’s rhythmic layers of painted canvas—torn, cut, and sewed together into thickly-wrought basrelief wall constructions; Audra Kohout’s whimsical box scenes, featuring pixies and dolls and fairies taking on the roles of scientists and inventors; Hye Yeon Nam’s interactive installations and videos; and

Thomas Neff’s body of photographic work. A first Wednesday Opening Reception will take place on August 4 from 6 pm–9 pm. Articulate Artist Talks will be held on Sunday August 8 at 4 pm, featuring each artist discussing their work. Free. batonrougegallery.org. k

AUG

3rd - AUG 31st

CREATIVE CLASSES LIFE DRAWING STUDIO Covington, Louisiana

Interested in exploring the art of life drawing? Join the laid back group of arts enthusiasts at the St. Tammany Art Association, who meet each week to draw in community, with the freedom to explore outside of the classroom format. All levels of experience are welcome. 6:30 pm–9 pm every Tuesday. $20, includes facility, live model, wine, and cheese. Pre-registration and payment required. Contact Bill Badon at (504) 812-0973 or lthrart@hotmail.com. sttammany.art. k

AUG

3rd - SEP 30th

ART EXHIBITIONS RIVER ROAD ART SHOW Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The River Road Show, sponsored by the Art Guild of Louisiana, is a national juried exhibition entering its fifty-first year. This year’s juror, nationally acclaimed artist Soon

Warren, has selected seventy paintings to be on final exhibit at the Louisiana State Archives Gallery. artguildlouisiana.org. k

AUG

4th

CREATIVE CLASSES CRAFT HAPPY HOUR: BLOCK PRINTING WITH KATIE SCHMIDT New Orleans, Louisiana

Join Katie Schmidt from fair trade fashion brand, Passion Lilie, for a workshop on creating a hand-block-printed tote bag at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. The centuries-old Indian art form utilizes a hand carved teak wood block dipped in dye and stamped by hand. Choose your design and create a special treasure all your own (or as a gift!). 6 pm–8 pm. $30. ogdenmuseum.org. k

AUG

4th

GOOD EATS GOLD MEDAL CHEFS GALA AND HOSPITALITY AWARDS New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is full to the brim of talented chefs and hospitality leaders, and the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation is taking a night to honor them for this tenth annual gala. Guests will delight in a cocktail hour, five-course seated dinner by the Gold Medal Chefs themselves, a live and silent auction, and awards presentation. The Louisiana

chefs who contribute to some of the state’s finest culinary and hospitality programs whose dishes will be featured include Chef John Folse, Chef Scott Maki, Chef Martha Wiggins, and others. 6 pm. $200 for individual tickets, tables also available. louisianahospitalityfoundation.org. k

AUG

4th - AUG 11th

LIVE TUNES SHREDDER SESSIONS New Orleans, Louisiana

The jazz-trained, funk-and-rock-fueled boys of New Orleans’ favorite genre-defying instrumental act Naughty Professor are proving that they’re still shredding by taking over the Wednesday lineup at the Howlin’ Wolf for a series called Shredder Sessions. Each week a different side project of one or more of the members will be featured, starting at 8 pm. Here are the two shows this month: August 4: Jack Sledge and the Hammers August 11: John Culbreth Quartet For tickets, visit thehowlinwolf.com. k

AUG 5th - AUG 12th B-BALL HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS Houma, Louisiana

The revered Harlem Globetrotters hit a slam dunk as they bring their epic world

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm LET US BE YOUR mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm GETAWAY TO LUXURY IN MISSISSIPPI. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm VISIT US AT: dunleithhistoricinn.com & jcollectionhotels.com/sheraton--owood-refuge-hotel-conference-center jcollectionhotels.com mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Something New!

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Events

Beginning August 5th - August 6th

tour to Louisiana. A star-studded roster will have fans on the edge of their seats to witness the ball-handling wizardry, basketball artistry, and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that thrills fans of all ages. Not to mention basketball’s first fourpoint line—located thirty feet from the basket and six feet, three inches beyond the top of the NBA’s current three-point line. No sweat. 7 pm. Tickets start at $20. Here are the dates and venues to see for yourself: August 5: Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center August 6: Raising Cane’s River Center August 7: Smoothie King Center August 8: Cajundome August 9: Lake Charles Civic Center August 11: Rapides Parish Coliseum August 12: Brookshire Grocery Arena harlemglobetrotters.com . k

AUG

5th - AUG 26th

CREATIVE CLASSES INTRO TO ACRYLICS WORKSHOP Covington, Louisiana

Learn the fundamentals of painting with acrylics with instructor

FOR

Libby McMeekin. With individual instruction and hands-on support, students will explore brush strokes and color mixtures using a canvas and three distinct acrylic colors to create a work of art. A supportive environment and group and individual discussions of studio work will aid everyone in deepening their skills and finding their artistic voice. 10 am–12:30 pm on Thursdays in August. Must be seventeen or older. $200. sttammany.art. k

AUG 5th - AUG 26th

CREATIVE CLASSES POTTERY WHEEL BASICS Covington, Louisiana

Over the course of four weeks, instructor Janie Dick will guide pottery beginners in the basic forms and techniques of the potter’s wheel. Learn to create mugs, bowls, and plates; how to incorporate texture and design through stamps; and how to apply glazes. 6 pm–8 pm on Thursdays in August. Supplies are included. $200. sttammany.art. k

SALE

SOUTH OF HISTORIC NATCHEZ ORMONDE PLANTATION 1164 Lower Woodville Road, Natchez MS 8000 Square Feet on 118.5 Acres Guest Cottage, Pond, Pasture Land, Fruit Trees, Pecan Grove & Wildlife

OAKLAND PLANTATION 1124 Lower Woodville Road, Natchez MS 5000 Square Feet on 110 Acres Guest Cottage, Tennis Court, Ponds, Timber, Pasture Land & Wildlife

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To celebrate sixty years of song, The Baton Rouge Chorus of Sweet Adelines is opening their rehearsals throughout the month of August, inviting any ladies who share their love of music and performance to participate. Pictured is Director Dr. Elizabeth M. Wallace, courtest of The Baton Rouge Sweet Adelines.

A U G 2 1 // C O U N T R Y R O A D S M A G . C O M

AUG

5th

- AUG

26th

SING OUT SWEET ADELINES OPEN REHEARSALS

performance, education, and sharing of their love of four-part harmony, acapella barbershop music. If you love singing, come check them out during August’s

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Open House Rehearsals, each Thursday

The Baton Rouge Chorus of Sweet Adelines celebrates sixty years with open house rehearsals for women of all ages. This group of talented, fun, and friendly women are dedicated to the

at the Broadmoor United Methodist Church, 6:30 pm–8:30 pm. Professional experience or vocal training is not necessary. batonrougechorus.org or call (225) 341-1608. k


AUG 5th - AUG 26th

basis. Here’s the live music that will accompany your dining at La Divina Italian Café in the coming weeks, from 6 pm–8 pm. Free:

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

August 5: Reece Sullivan August 7: Steve Judice August 12: Steve Levine August 19: Norb Redmond August 21: Katalysst

CREATIVE CLASSES ACRYLIC WORKSHOP: INTERMEDIATE

Join instructor Larry Downs in exploring the art of acrylics during this special workshop presented by the Art Guild of Louisiana, with a focus on crafting intriguing visual compositions using a view finder. Designed for participants with some prior experience in painting with acrylics. 4 pm–7 pm on Thursdays during August at the Studio in the Park (2490 Silverest Ave. Baton Rouge). $90. artguildlouisiana.org. k

AUG

5th

- AUG

27th

LIVE TUNES LIVE MUSIC AT LA DIVINA Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Gelato, panini (or paninis, for you American types), and the frequent injections of heart and soul from Baton Rouge’s singer-songwriter enclave? Divine doesn’t even begin to cut it. Look forward to live music Thursdays– Saturdays, with Fridays being home to the “Original Music Gathering” hosted by Donald Gelpi, where up-andcomers can bring their original songs and sign up for a chance to play two to three songs on a first-come-first-served

B 

facebook.com/ladivinabatonrouge. k

AUG

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Soak in a night of low-down blues music at Chorum Hall this weekend, featuring the gutbucket blues of Smokehouse and Mamie Porter, plus a special performance of sixties and seventies popular hits by the Tyrone Gringos. 7:30 pm–9:30 pm. $15; $20 for table seating. bontempstix.com. k

6th

ARTFUL STROLLS UNCORKED ART WALK Sunset, Louisiana

Sip in Sunset with the locals for the Uncorked Art Walk. Galleries along

AUG

6th

- AUG

8th

ANTIQUING THNOC ANTIQUES FORUM

6th

LIVE TUNES SMOKEHOUSE & MAMIE PORTER AND THE GUTBUCKET BLUES BAND

AUG

Napoleon Avenue—including Artworks by Ted Bertrand, boho, The Funky Flea, and Jerilyn’s Fused Glass Art Gallery— will be open for viewing and shopping, with many of the artists present to discuss their work. Café Josephine will provide wine and hors-d’oeuvres at each gallery. 6 pm–9 pm. Free. (337) 662-6222. k

New Orleans, Louisiana

“A Special Place in Time: Preserving Memories through Southern Decorative Arts” is the theme of The Historic New Orleans Collection’s popular annual forum—presented virtually this year. Encouraging participants to peel themselves away from the growing heap of digital debris that is today’s prime method of selfdocumentation via smartphones and social media—this year’s event will focus on the days when cherished physical items were our only means of connecting with the past. Tune in for expert panels, historic house tours, and Happy Hour Q&As each evening granting access to the day’s presenters, moderator Tom Savage, and members of the antique enthusiast community. Presentations to look forward to include “Time Traveling to a Special Place,” “Invisible Patina: Family,

History, Memory, and Mystery in Southern Furniture,” “All My Coat of Arms China: Armorial Ceramics in America,” “The Women Who Saved the Washington Relics at Arlington,” and much more. Registration is required. Tickets are available on a pay-what-you-can basis, with a minimum registration fee of $20. hnoc.org for schedule, details, and more information. k

AUG

6th

- AUG

28th

LIVE TUNES SHOWS AT TIPITINA’S New Orleans, Louisiana

The famous Tchoupitoulas venue is open and swingin’, bringing a wide variety of New Orleans’ favorite musical acts to Professor Longhair’s legendary stage. Here’s what’s happening this month at 10 pm: August 6: Free Friday, Naughty Professor + Brad Walker August 7: An Evening With IKO Allstars August 13: Free Friday, Honey Island Swamp Band + The Get Together August 20: Free Friday, Cowboy Mouth + Lvvrs August 27: Free Friday, The New Orleans Suspects + Slugger August 28: Tank & The Bangas + Berkley The Artist. tipitinas.com. k

A T D

Natchez

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Events

Beginning August 6th - August 8th AUG 6th - AUG 28th

Syrinx—A Tribute to Rush. 9 pm. $20.

Lafayette, Louisiana

AUG

LIVE TUNES LIVE MUSIC AT THE GROUSE ROOM The Grouse Room’s spirit is built upon the traditions of the Chiasson family, traditions that revel in the pleasures of good whiskey and good company. Honoring the late John Chiasson, a Lafayette native who made a name for himself as a world-renowned photographer, the upscale nightclub features his work across the walls. The Lafayette institution, therefore, is a place of traditions, legacy, cocktail artistry, and live performance. Each month brings a new slate of local and international acts— ranging from comedy to covers to original ballads. Find the schedule for this month, here: August 6: Dyer County, 9 pm. $10. August 7: Shotgun Lillie, 9 pm. $10. August 13: Tribute Band Series: Child’s Anthem—The Music of Toto. 9 pm. $15; $20 at the door. August 14: Lafayette Comedy Presents Toddy Barry. 6:30 pm. $21; GTO Party Band! 9 pm. $10. August 28: Tribute Band Series: Temples of

thegrouseroom.com. k

6th - SEP 3rd

ART EXHIBITIONS DAY DREAMER Hammond, Louisiana

During the quarantines of 2020, mixed media artist Ella Campbell spent her time seeking memorabilia, breaking down and sorting supplies, and then melting different materials to assemble ideas. Tucked into the corners of her work are toys, costume jewelry, game pieces, erasers, and more. Grounded in themes of resistance and nostalgia, Campbell’s work exudes a curious joy. Her work will be displayed in a special exhibition titled Day Dreamer in the Mezzanine Gallery at the Hammond Regional Arts Center. hammondarts.org. k

AUG 6th - SEP 3rd

ART EXHIBITIONS HAMMOND ART GUILD OPEN JUDGED EXHIBITION

AUG

7th

ART PARTIES WHITNEY WHITE LINEN NIGHT New Orleans, Louisiana

Returning in 2021, the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) will hold its Whitney White Linen Night, when Julia Street’s 400-700 blocks become one big art party, with live music, cuisine and cocktails, and exhibition openings throughout the Art District. Admission to the block party and art openings, held from 6 pm–9 pm, is free and cocktails and cuisine will be available for sale along Julia Street with food-and-beverage tickets. Find the full roster of participating galleries at artsdistrictneworleans.com. k

AUG 7th

LOCAL HISTORY BATTLE OF BATON ROUGE

Hammond, Louisiana

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

This annual exhibition at the Hammond Regional Arts Council continues the

The Confederate Army was thwarted in its efforts to recapture Baton Rouge from

For more information, visit www.evangelineparishtourism.org.

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Hammond Art Guild’s tradition of providing the city of Hammond with a display of art by some of the best artists in the area. Pieces range from paintings, drawings, sculpture, jewelry, and more, with many available for purchase. An opening reception will be held from 5 pm–8 pm. hammondarts.org. k

A U G 2 1 // C O U N T R Y R O A D S M A G . C O M

Union forces during The Battle of Baton Rouge, which took place on August 5, 1862, on what is now the grounds of Historic Magnolia Cemetery. For over three decades, the dramatic events of that day have been commemorated in August. Educational displays including funeral memorabilia, Civil War artifacts, model ships, period maps and photographs bring details of every day life in to enrich this historic event. 422 North 19th Street, from 9 am. Free. (225) 405-7607. k

AUG 7th

STAND-UP COMEDY DARE YOU TO LAUGH Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Bigg Sexxy is coming to town, and setting up shop on the Manship Stage, where he, Kirk McHenry, Insayne Wayne, LaRita Shelby, D.J. Sandhu, and Rudy O promise a night of pee-your-pants funnies. 8 pm. $23. manshiptheatre.org. k

AUG 7th

MUSIC FESTS ONE CROWLEY MUSIC FESTIVAL Crowley, Louisiana

Some of Acadiana’s favorites are all coming together to celebrate the rich culture of Crowley, Louisiana with a full on throw down. Catch local musicians

Evangeline Parish Tourist Commission 306 West Main Street, Ville Platte, LA 70586 email: eptc1911@gmail.com


Colby Latiolais and the Ambush, Jamie Bergeron and the Kicking Cajuns, Dustin Sonnier and the Wanted, Leroy Thomas and the Zydeco Roadrunners, and Charlie Rivers at the Crowley Rice Arena. Leave your ice chest at home, food and drinks will be available for purchase. Music starts at 11 am and lasts until 11 pm. $35; $10 for kids ages five to twelve; younger than five is free. facebook.com/1crowley. k

AUG

7th - AUG 31st

ART EXHIBITIONS GONE BANANAS New Orleans, Louisiana

Take in Carol Hallock’s signature loose realism—presented as New Orleans courtyards and atmospheric bayou scenes—at Gallery 600 Julia’s August exhibition. There will be an opening reception from 6 pm–9 pm on August 7. gallery600julia.com. k

AUG

7

th

- SEP

1

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ART EXHIBITIONS ARIODANTE GALLERY AUGUST EXHIBITION New Orleans, Louisiana

New works will be on display this month at Ariodante Art Gallery on Julia Street in New Orleans, beginning with a First Saturday opening reception from 6 pm–9 pm. Works include paintings by Amy Sartin Carlisle,

ceramics and paintings by Nancy Susaneck, jewelry by Lisa Normand, and crafts by Gary Schiro. ariodantegallery.com. k

AUG

7th - OCT 10th

ART EXHIBITIONS LOUISIANA CONTEMPORARY New Orleans, Louisiana

The Ogden Museum of Southern Art will once again produce its state-wide, juried exhibition, Louisiana Contemporary, curated this year by guest juror Hallie Ringle, the Hugh Kaul Curator of Contemporary Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art. The comprehensive exhibit features fifty-one works by thirty-nine artists in a showcase of contemporary art practices in Louisiana. ogdenmuseum.org. k

AUG

8th - AUG 13th

CREATIVE CLASSES BYZANTINE ICON WORKSHOP Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Experience the unique peace of the Byzantine era through Icon painting. The Byzantine Icon Workshop is a thoughtful and meditative six-day retreat of traditional painting techniques that date back two thousand years. And in this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to focus on the apostle Matthew, known by many as the tax collector-turned-saint.

Carol Hallock’s signature fun, vibrant loose realism graces the walls of Gallery 600 Julia in New Orleans this month for the exhibition Gone Bananas. You just might “go bananas” for Hallock’s work, too. Artwork by Hallock, courtesy of Gallery 600 Julia.

No previous artistic skill or experience is required. 1 pm–3 pm on Sunday; 8

AUG 8th - OCT 9th

am–5 pm Monday–Friday at the Burden

SCIENCE EXHIBITS WATER/WAYS

Museum and Gardens. Registration is

Madisonville, Louisiana

$350; all materials are included. Email

The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum is excited to welcome a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian called

dianawells1548@gmail.com to reserve; space is limited. k

A NEW LIVE REGIONAL DAILY RADIO PROGRAM ABOUT SOUTH LOUISIANA Monday through Friday live at noon and rebroadcast at 7:30 p.m.

In Baton Rouge on WRKF 89.3 FM In New Orleans on WWNO 89.9 FM and on wrkf.org and wwno.org

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Events

Beginning August 9th - August 13th Water/Ways, which explores the ways water impacts our world, environmentally, culturally, and historically. lpbmm.org. k

AUG 9 - AUG 28 th

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LOCAL HISTORY THE NEGRO MOTORIST GREEN BOOK EVENTS New Iberia, Louisiana

In partnership with The Iberia African American Historical Society and Shadowson-the-Teche, the Bayou Teche Museum presents a series of events reflecting on the history of The Negro Motorist Green Book. Victor Green’s 1936 publication served doubly as a travel guide and a survival guide for African Americans traveling around the United States well into the 1960s. In conjunction with the Smithsonian Institute exhibit by the same name on display at the Louisiana Capitol Park Museum in Baton Rouge, the Bayou Teche Museum invites all to reflect on the history of safe havens, sundown towns, and the struggles and obstacles faced by African Americans in our country throughout the twentieth century. See the line up of events here: August 9: Book Club Zoom discussion

of Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights. 6 pm. August 21: Screening of The Green Book, the Academy Award winning motion picture, at the Grand Theater. 6 pm. August 28: Screening of The Negro Motorist Green Book, a Smithsonian documentary, at the Sliman Theater, followed by a moderated panel discussion including New Iberia’s actual Green Book sites. 2 pm. All events are free and open to the public, but screening seating is limited and guests will be seated on a first come, first served basis. (337) 606-5977. bayoutechemuseum.org. k

AUG

10

th

- AUG

GOOD EATS TASTE OF TANGI

15

th

Hammond and Amite, Louisiana

Celebrate the countless unique top-of-theline restaurants in Tangipahoa Parish while supporting local during Tangipahoa’s first Taste of Tangi Restaurant Week event. The kick-off on August 10 will offer firstclass speakers from the restaurant and hospitality industry, along with workshops on social media marketing and updates

Calendar of

EVENTS August 7 | Market on the Avenue August 14-15 | Gem and Mineral Show August 21 | Louisiana Saturday Night August 27-29 | Jambalaya Festival For more info go to 20

visitlasweetspot.com

A U G 2 1 // C O U N T R Y R O A D S M A G . C O M

on the restaurant industry, during free presentations at Columbia Theatre in downtown Hammond. At 6 pm, keynote speaker Dickie Brennan of the New Orleans restaurant dynasty will take the stage. Then for the remainder of the week, indulge in deals throughout the Hammond and Amite areas, at restaurants offering anything you crave from Cajun favorites, to Mexican, to sushi, and beyond. tasteoftangi.com. k

AUG

12th

LIVE TUNES DALTON WAYNE & THE WARMADILLOS Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Celebrating the Manship Theatre’s 2021/2022 season announcement kick off party, Louisiana bands Dalton Wayne & The Warmadillos and Minos the Saint return to the stage to present their locally-inspired sounds to a performancehungry Baton Rouge. 7:30 pm. $30. manshiptheatre.org. k

AUG 12

th

ART EXHIBITIONS STUDIOV: BEHIND EVERY BEAUTIFUL THING New Orleans, Louisiana

Experience the Contemporary Arts Center’s new exhibition Behind Every Beautiful Thing with the guidance of

guest curator David W. Robinson-Morris, Ph.D, who will present a virtual studio tour of the exhibit via Zoom. 5 pm. Free. cacno.org. k

AUG 12th

ART EXHBITIONS SOUTHERN CULTURAL IDENTITY Baton Rouge, Louisiana

See the Associated Women in the Arts’ annual summer member show Southern Cultural Identity at Elizabethan Gallery this month. The organization, founded in 1980, is made up of Southern Louisiana women artists, who work together to create opportunities to celebrate women’s art in the region. An opening reception will take place from 5 pm–8 pm. associatedwomeninthearts.com. k

AUG 12th

LIVE TUNES ROBERT CLINE, JR. Arnaudville, Louisiana

Folk and Americana, with a touch of Texas barhouse country rock and bluegrass, are sounding their way to the stage at NUNU Arts & Culture Collective for a special singer/songwriter performance by Robert Cline, Jr. and Tennessee Dixon. Enjoy these two musicians’ soulful expressions of the South’s rich cultural tapestry for one


This year, the Ogden Museum’s state-wide, juried exhibition, Louisiana Contemporary, features fifty-one works by thirty-nine artists in a showcase of contemporary art practices in Louisiana. Photograph by Faith Laurent, courtesy of the Ogden Museum. See listing on page 19.

of the first performances at NUNU since the pandemic. Doors open at 6 pm; music starts at 7:30 pm. Food will be available for purchase from NUNU Culinary Collective. $20 at eventbrite. nunuaccollective.homesteadcloud.com. k

AUG 12th, 26th & 31ST KID STUFF FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT Watson, Louisiana

Load up the fam and get ready for a good old fashioned movie night, hosted by the Livingston Parish libraries. This month’s movie is Raya and the Last Dragon. Snacks will be provided. Registration is required at mylpl.info. 5 pm. Free. k

AUG 13th - AUG 14th

CREATIVE CLASSES ACRYLIC/OIL WORKSHOP Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Get an inside look at the process of awardwinning Southern Impressionist David Boyd, Jr. during this special two-day online workshop. Participants will follow David, live, throughout his daily practice, starting with his search for subject matter

in the streets of Newnan, Georgia— where he will make field sketches, color notes, and value studies—and landing in the studio, where David will walk through the steps of scale to composition. Then, David will paint a black and white painting before bringing it to full-color finish, taking the participant through every step of his proven process. Designed for intermediate students in oil or acrylic, this course will incorporate several introductory videos, and students will select their subject matter and site before the workshop begins. After the demonstrations, students will paint their own works using the skills taught in the workshop, with full access via Zoom to David for questions and progress check ins. Finally, students will submit their work via email for group critique. On the second day, David will perform another live demo based on questions gleaned from the previous day’s work, and artists will paint some more with David’s assistance and a critique time at the end. 8 am–4 pm each day, with a break for lunch. $200. There is also an $80 view-only option in which students can gain access to all live demos, but cannot participate in paint along interaction or critiques. artguildlouisiana.org. k // A U G 2 1

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Beginning August 13th - August 14th AUG 13th - AUG 28th LIVE TUNES LIVE MUSIC AT SMOOT’S GROCERY LOUNGE Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez’s legendary restored Juke Joint carries a prestige all its own—a pillar of the city’s history, an homage to the area’s status along the Mississippi Blues Trail, and a modern-day site for memorymaking and toe-tapping, the music venue has recently been infused with new life in the post-COVID era. Some of the best in regional touring acts along with Natchez favorites are making stops in the storied space. Here is the schedule for this month: August 13: Red Clay Strays August 15: Sunday Fish Fry featuring Ryann and Jesse August 20: Ryan Balthrop August 21: NRhythm August 22: Sunday Fish Fry featuring David Mitchell August 27: Alex Lopez August 28: YZ Ealey Shows start at 9 pm. Cover is collected at the door. smootsnatchez.com. k

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AUG 14th

KID STUFF STORYTIME IN THE GARDEN Baton Rouge, Louisiana

At Burden Museum and Gardens, Storytime in the Garden promotes early childhood literacy in the greater Baton Rouge community through storytelling, crafts, and activities. Parents with children ages three to eight are invited to join in the fun from 9 am–noon; the last reading begins at 11:30 am. The program meets one Saturday a month from August through May. Registration is not required and admission is free. lsu.edu/botanic-gardens/events. k

AUG

14th

CREATIVE CLASSES BOOKBINDING WORKSHOP Covington, Louisiana

Join Rachel Crawford in a special three-hour workshop exploring two book forms, the concertina (accordion) and the pamphlet. Each student will create three books: a hard cover concertina and single and double pamphlet books. Supplies will be provided, and some tools will be required by the

A U G 2 1 // C O U N T R Y R O A D S M A G . C O M

On August 15, Acadian Catholics celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary along with the anniversary of the arrival of the French Canadian immigrants to Louisiana with a forty-mile Eucharistic procession down Bayou Teche. Image courtesy of Father Michael Champagne. See listing on page 24.


student, including: pencil, eraser, ruler, scissors, bone folder (or popsicle stick), and a tapestry needle. Ages ten and older. 1 pm–4 pm. $50. sttammany.art. k

AUG

14th

GOOD EATS THE MARKETS FOOD SHOW & LIFESTYLE EXPO Natchez, Mississippi

The Markets will be showcasing hundreds of food products from various companies at the Natchez Convention Center for one tasty whirlwind of a day. Participate in free tastings, samples, coupons, and recipes from all your favorite brands — and maybe gain some new favorites, too. Tastings will range from delicious appetizers, to main courses, to desserts, and everything in between. Besides the food, there will be door prizes and product giveaways— including a reallife “Supermarket Sweep” (that’s right, just like the T.V. game show). 10 am–5 pm. $5. themarketsonline.com. k

AUG

14th

ART PARTIES WHITE LINEN & LAGNIAPPE Slidell, Louisiana

Pull out your favorite white ensemble for Slidell’s fourth annual White Linen & Lagniappe. Venture to the Northshore for a family night out full of art, shopping, dining, live music, and more. Presented by the Olde Towne Slidell Merchants Association, Carey Street Coalition, Olde Towne Slidell Main Street, City of Slidell, and Slidell Historic Antique Association. Free. 6 pm–9 pm. facebook.com/OldeTownMainSt. k

AUG 14th

ART TALKS LE DEUXIEME SAMEDI Arnaudville, Louisiana

Second Saturdays are a great time to visit the NUNU Arts and Culture Collective in Arnaudville, when the Deux Bayous Gallery artists will join visitors in exploring and celebrating their work. 11 am–4 pm. Free. Visit nunuaccollective.homesteadcloud.com to learn about this month’s featured artist and their work. k

AUG

14th

FUN FUNDRAISERS RED DRESS RUN New Orleans, Louisiana

Scarlet-garbed runners f lex their inner vamps for the Red Dress Run. Sponsored by the Hash House Harriers, a self-proclaimed “drinking club with a running problem,” the event offers not just a chance to imbibe in scarlet finery and unlimited beer, but to also support a good cause, with proceeds supporting

more than one hundred local charities. Hashers are offered special red-themed running events like the Red Lingerie Run on Friday night and the Hangover Run on Sunday. This year’s run begins at the corner of N. Peters and Marigny Streets at 9 am. $60. nolareddress.com. k

AUG

14th

- AUG

15th

ROCK OUT GEM & MINERAL SHOW Gonzales, Louisiana

Rock out with the Baton Rouge Gem & Mineral Society this weekend. Their Gem & Mineral Show—held at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center—offers two days of door prizes, a silent auction, demonstrations on faceting and wire wrapping, and vendors selling rock specimens, fossils, minerals, tools, and jewelry. Grab a handful of raff le tickets for your chance to win an Amethyst Cathedral! 10 am–5 pm. $5 adults; $3 for children ages five to twelve; four and younger free; Military with ID also free; scouts in uniform get in for $1 off. 9030 South St. Landry Avenue. brgemandmineral.org. k

AUG

14th

STAND-UP COMEDY SUMMER OF COMEDY SERIES Lafayette, Louisiana

Lafayette Comedy has vowed to keep Acadiana cracking up all summer long. This month, crack up with Todd Barry at Club 337. lafayettecomedy.com. k

AUG 14th - AUG 28th

LIVE TUNES AUGUST AT THE RED DRAGON Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The Red Dragon Listening Room is back in full swing, bringing local favorites and touring musicians to the beloved Baton Rouge listening room. Here are the shows this month: August 14: Eric Schmitt. $20. August 17: Bonnie Bishop. $25. August 28: Kristin Diable Band. $25 manshiptheatre.org. Buy tickets for nonmanship events at PayPal.me/reddragonlr, just put the name of the artist in the description. k

AUG 14th - SEP 12th

ART EXHIBITIONS ITTY BITTY, NITTY GRITTY Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Samantha Combs, like the rest of us, contemplates things in the shower. As an artist dealing in the realm of self-toplace relationships, she also contemplates the shower itself, and our individual lives within it. In Itty Bitty, Nitty Gritty, on exhibit at Yes We Cannibal’s gallery space, Combs excavates cross-sections // A U G 2 1

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Events

Beginning August 14th - August 20th of that universe—bringing together residual soap and self-help book paper to act as metaphors for the spaces in which we symbolically wash ourselves and our emotions down the drain each and every day. Viewings are available by appointment, with regular hours to be announced at soon. An opening event will take place on August 14 from 6 pm–8 pm. yeswecannibal.org. k

AUG

14

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AUG 15th

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Leonville, Louisiana

Jackson, Mississippi

Not much connects the artists featured in the 2021 Mississippi Invitational besides their home state and their ability to distinguish themselves in a famously cultural place–– partly because the guest curator intentionally sought out a diverse selection of voices and mediums this year. The guest curator of this year’s invitational is Danielle Burns-Wilson. msmuseumart.org. k

CREATIVE CLASSES CERAMIC PRESENTATION Baton Rouge, Louisiana

On August 15, Catholics worldwide celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which this year coincides with the Year of St. Joseph and the Year of the Family. In Acadiana, though, the date is also celebrated as the anniversary of the arrival of the French Canadian immigrants who brought their faith to Louisiana after years of great trials and suffering. In celebration, the seventh annual Eucharistic procession will take place along Bayou Teche in the forty-one mile stretch from Leonville to St. Martinville. Holy Mass beings at 8 am at St Leo’s in Leonville, with the

AUG 15

LOCAL HISTORY EVANGELINE: THE MYTH AND THE MAIDEN In conjunction with the West Baton Rouge Museum’s Evangeline: Evolution of an Icon exhibition, Dr. Elista Istre will present a discussion on Evangeline: The Myth and the Maiden. A historian with Louisiana roots that run deep, Dr. Istre is the founder of Belle Heritage, LLC. She will shed light on the enduring legacy of Longfellow’s heroine, and how she came to be such an important character in the Acadian saga. 2 pm. Free. westbatonrougemuseum.org. k

AUG 17 , 19 & 31 th

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RAINBOW PRIDE QUEER CONVERSATIONS Even though Pride Month is technically over, Baton Rouge Pride is continuing their Queer Conversations series for the rest of 2021, with topics ranging from intersectionality to proper pronoun usage. The topic for August is “Queer-mediation for Educators:” Discussing tips, tricks, and tools for queer or allied educators and support staff for the upcoming academic year. The community is invited to actively submit recommendation questions, topics, and panelists or moderators to brpride.org for future conversations. Free, however, registration is required to attend. brpride.org. k

AUG 18th - AUG 22nd

FOOD FESTS DELCAMBRE SHRIMP FESTIVAL For anyone who has ever pulled to the side of a two-lane road somewhere in South Louisiana, lured to a little

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AUG

Delcambre, Louisiana

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and candles with this special workshop that will assist you in transforming your home or workspace into a tranquil atmosphere through the art of aromatherapy. 6 pm. Registration is required. Free. mylpl.info. k

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Port Allen, Louisiana

HOLY WATER FÊTE DIEU DU TECHE

ART EXHIBITIONS 2021 MISSISSIPPI INVITATIONAL

AUG 15th

Join the Contemporary Fiber Artists of Louisiana for a special meeting at the Rural Life Museum this month, featuring a presentation by mixed media artist Cara Kearns, who will discuss her work and share some of her creations. Light refreshments will be provided. 1 pm. Free. contemporaryfiberartistsofla.com. k

Boat Procession departing at 9:30 am. Stops will be made along the Bayou in Arnaudville, Cecilia, Breaux Bridge, and Parks, landing at the Evangeline Oak in St. Martinville that evening. 126 Church Road in Leonville, outside of Opelousas. For more information, call (337) 394-6550 or contact fetedieuduteche@gmail.com. fetedieuduteche.org. k

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Enjoy the outdoor fun! This month marks the opening of the Mississippi Museum of Art’s 2021 Mississippi Invitational, which features dozens of artists from a diverse variety of backgrounds working in an equally various array of mediums. This photograph, “Childhood Memories,” is by Christina McField. Artwork courtesy of the Mississippi Museum of Art. See listing on page 24.

shack by a hand-painted sign reading “fresh shrimp,” this one’s for you. This Wednesday through Sunday festival offers carnival rides, a boat parade, a firemen water fight, and fais-do-dos every day. Plus live music from local legends the likes of Wayne Toups, Dustin Sonnier, Jamie Bergeron, Drake White, and more. Hungry revelers will also be able to enjoy their shrimp in every conceivable iteration. All held at the Shrimp Festival Grounds, 409 East Main Street. $10 gate fee on Friday and Saturday; Free Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday. shrimpfestival.net. k

classic revolves around “Professor” Harold Hill who, with his fast-talking style, convinces the parents of River City to buy instruments and uniforms for their youngsters in order to save them. Chaos ensues as Hill’s credentials are questioned, and he is called upon to prove himself to the citizens of River City. All at the Essanee Theater; Thursday–Saturday at 7:30 pm; Sunday at 2 pm. $20. ipaltheater.com. k

AUG 19th - AUG 22nd CHILDREN’S THEATRE CHARLOTTE’S WEB Denham Springs, Louisiana

AUG 19th

MUSEUM MEETS LSU MOA ANNUAL MEETING & GALLERY RECEPTION Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The LSU Museum of Art welcomes patrons back with its annual meeting, where the museum’s impact will be reviewed, and a special reception will be held for the two ceramics exhibits currently on display. Live ceramics demos, hors d’oeuvres, refreshments, and entertainment will be provided. RSVP required. lsumoa.org. k

AUG 19th - AUG 22nd MUSICAL THEATRE THE MUSIC MAN New Iberia, Louisiana

For its 2021 fall musical, the Iberia Performing Arts League presents Meredith Willson’s The Music Man. The

Based on E.B. White’s famous story of the friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a little gray spider named Charlotte, The Spotlight Theater Players’ production of Charlotte’s Web is sure to weave its way into your heart. This treasured tale, featuring madcap and endearing farm animals, explores bravery, selfless love, and the true meaning of friendship. 7 pm Thursday–Saturday; 2:30 pm Sunday at the Serenity Event Center. $20. stpds.com. k

AUG 20th - AUG 29th THEATRE CLUE

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Theatre Baton Rouge presents Clue, based on the Hasbro game turned 1985 Paramount slapstick murder mystery you know and love. Was it Scarlet with the candlestick? Or Colonel Mustard with the revolver? Perhaps, someone and some-

8592 Hwy 1, Mansura, LA 800.833.4195 travelavoyelles.com // A U G 2 1

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Events

Beginning August 20th - August 23rd thing else entirely? One way to find out is to be in the audience for this side-splitting murder mystery. $30. 7:30 pm Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; 2 pm Sunday. theatrebr.org.  k

AUG 20th

LIVE TUNES PAUL CHILDERS Slidell, Louisiana

Singer/songwriter and guitarist Paul Childers is set to perform at the Lobby Lounge in the Harbor Center. The Nashville musician is known for his unique style blend of pop, R&B and soul. 7 pm, doors at 6:30 pm. $18 General Admission seating, $50 for a two-seat table and $100 for a four-seat table. harborcenter.org. k

AUG 20th

BARREL OF LAUGHS SPOOF NIGHT! WITH CLUELESS Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Join Baton Rouge’s The Family Dinner Comedy Troupe for an interactive movie experience, poking fun at the classic ‘90s film, Clueless. Enjoy live commentary, skits, and interactive games for laughs and

a drink or two. Groups will be seated with six feet distancing measures. Rated R-ish; guests under sixteen require accompanying parent or guardian. 7:30 pm. $12. manshiptheatre.org. k

AUG

21st

ART PARTIES WHITE LINEN NIGHT Covington, Louisiana

Covington’s White Linen for Public Art, presented by the Covington Business Association, is a community affair which endeavors to brighten up downtown with meaningful works of art. Music, shopping, libations, and art are all on the docket, with a percentage of local business sales going toward the Covington Public Art Fund. Now, what will you wear? 6 pm– 9 pm in historic downtown Covington. facebook.com/covwhitelinen. k

AUG

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MUSIC FESTS TUNICA HILLS MUSIC FESTIVAL

Is your cosplay ready? If not, you’ve got some time: Louisiana Comic Con isn’t until August 28 this year. That’s when all of your favorite heroes (and villians) from the realm of video games, comics, film, and more will be under one roof at the Cajundome. See listing on page 30.

Jam. Two stages welcome Louisiana musicians for concerts, jam sessions,

AUG 21st

instruction, and celebration of the arts.

CINEMA MOVIES & MUSIC ON THE LAWN

Bring your blankets, chairs, coolers,

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

and of course your instruments and

Baton Rouge Gallery is bringing back its

Saint Francisville, Louisiana

settle in for a beautiful weekend. 10

Movies on the Lawn series after a year

Once again, the hills come alive for the annual Tunica Hills Music Festival and

am–10 pm. Free.

on hiatus with a different silent cinema

explorewestfeliciana.com. k

classic each month until October in

September 30 • Tickets On Sale Now MPAC is back to mark the Grand Opening of the Capital Region’s most unique community arts space, the Cary Saurage Community Arts Center. Join us for an evening of light bites, spirits, and arts entertainment. Tickets available at artsbr.org/mpac.

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BREC’s City Park. 8 pm. $7 a ticket, bottomless popcorn included. This month, catch Kids Night featuring Shaun the Sheep (2015) with an original score from the students of Baton Rouge Music Studios. batonrougegallery.org. k

of our Louisiana. See them perform together live at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center. 6 pm. Tickets start at $35. lamardixonexpocenter.com. k

AUG 21st

LOCAL HISTORY OUR MAMMY’S PERSEVERANCE WAGON

FUN RUNS Q50 RACES BLEAU MOON Mandeville, Louisiana

Q50 Races is holding the twelfth edition of their five and ten mile nighttime race. Get those steps in on a picturesque, flat course on a summertime evening. Registration begins at 6:30 pm. Adult race begins at 8:15 pm, children’s race begins at 7:45 pm. Fee of $3 to enter the park. Register at ultrasignup.com. k

AUG 21st

LIVE TUNES A LOUISIANA SATURDAY NIGHT Gonzales, Louisiana

Two Louisiana boys are comin’ home. Don’t miss this special concert produced by some of our state’s most successful country music superstars, Frank Foster and Laine Hardy. Both musicians found their way to the top of the charts singing songs inspired by their rural, backroads upbringings against the gorgeous and culturally rich landscapes

AUG 21st

those of Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc. Please visit louisianastatemuseum.org/events or call (318) 357-2492 for more information. 2 pm. Free. k

AUG

21st

JAM SESSIONS JAMMIN’ ON THE BAYOU

Natchitoches, Louisiana

Opelousas, Louisiana

Join us at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum as Gaynell Brady, founder/ educator of Our Mammy’s, shares the stories of African Americans in Louisiana through the lens of her ancestors. The Perseverance Wagon program explores the lives of African Americans in Louisiana during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Participants will learn about education on plantations, the ways enslaved people sought freedom, and the things free people did after their emancipation through hands-on activities. This educational program is geared for families and children ages six and older and accompanied by an adult. This project was supported through funding provided by Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent

Join musician Stanley Lee in his not-so-impromptu jam sessions every third Saturday of the month at the St. Landry Parish Visitor Center. Guests are encouraged to bring their favorite instruments and their favorite songs, no matter their level of expertise. 1 pm–3 pm. Free, and open to the public. cajuntravel.com. k

AUG 21st - AUG 23rd CREATIVE CLASSES VIBRANT WATERCOLOR WORKSHOP Baton Rouge, Louisiana

In conjunction with the Art Guild of Louisiana’s 2021 River Road Exhibition, juror Soon Warren, an internationallyrenowned artist and instructor, will also present a special three day workshop at the Studio in the Park. Known best for her skills in manipulating color, light, and contrast, Warren will dive into

the art of watercolor realism, focusing on bringing vibrancy into your work. Students will practice recreating images of subjects like a cut crystal bowl with flowers, Koi pond water, or silver pots. 9 am–4 pm from Saturday–Monday. $450. artguildlouisiana.org. k

AUG 23rd - AUG 27th ARTS RETREATS ART WORKS St. Benedict, Louisiana

This August, Saint Joseph Abbey Art Works is inviting painters of any medium to its next Artist Retreat for four days of peaceful, quiet painting on the grounds of Saint Joseph Abbey. The retreat will include a private room and bath, plus meals in the newly renovated Retreat Center just steps from the studio building. This retreat is for independent artistic development, and no formal painting instruction will be given. Artists will set up their own studio space in the Art Works building and begin independent work. Easels and tables are provided. Artists should bring their own painting supplies. Enjoy meeting and sharing art and ideas with other artists, working at your own pace and developing your own imagery. Artist-in-Residence Billie Bourgeois will be available in the studio each morning and afternoon for critiques.

Big River Economic and Agricultural Development Alliance invites you to attend their

3rd Annual Farm Fête Event Thursday, September 30th 5 to 8 p.m. River Center Library’s 4th floor terrace Festive Drinks & Food Pairings by Local Chefs from: Tricia Day and Joe Simmons | Betty Simmons | John G. Turner and Jerry G. Fischer Susan Turner and Scott Purdin

SoLou, Eliza, Houmas House, City Club, Bergeron’s City Market, Chef Celeste Bistro, Cocha, and Pizza Byronz

Live Music by the John Gray Jazz Trio Live & Silent Auction

Annette Barton and Malcolm Tucker | Ty and Tracey McMains | Virginia and John Noland | Devera and Jerry Goss | Charles and Carole Lamar | Mike and Kim Wampold ®

LSU College of Human Sciences & Education | McGlinchey Stafford | Emergent Method BREADA is a local non-profit organization that works to build a healthy and strong local food system and support small family farmers statewide.

Featuring unique Farmers Market items including local farm tours, culinary gift items, and exclusive experiences.

Tickets are $100 per person and are available at www.breada.org. Proceeds from the event benefit BREADA’s outreach programs including support for the Red Stick Farmers Market.

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Beginning August 24th - August 27th $750 for four nights’ stay. For more info, and to register, visit saintjosephabbey. com/artist-retreat. k

AUG 24th

WELLNESS YOGA WORKSHOP Port Allen, Louisiana

Join twenty-six-year veteran instructor Elena Moreno-Keegan for a special yoga workshop at the West Baton Rouge Museum. Moreno-Keegan will lead students of every age, shape, size, fitness and skill level in a stretching and breathing session as part of Port Allen Culturla District’s wellness initiative programming. Bring a yoga mat, wear comfy clothes, and don’t eat one hour before class. 6 pm. Free. westbatonrougemuseum.org. k

AUG 24th

GREEN THUMBS F1 HYBRIDS: NOT YOUR GRANDMOTHERS’ FLOWERS GARDENING WORKSHOP Gonzales, Louisiana

Enhance your gardening experience (and

aesthetic!) by learning to incorporate first filial generation seeds and plants into your home landscape. The Ascension Parish Library and Ascension Parish Gardeners Association are facilitating a special workshop with the help of Cindy Moran, a licensed landscape horticulturalist and former owner of a wholesale bedding plant nursery. Moran will teach participants about how interspecific crosses have revolutionized flowers and foliage in gardens, and how to make important decisions in selecting seasonal color. 6:30 pm. Registration required. Free. (225) 647-3955. k

AUG 24th

LIVE TUNES SCOTT MULVAHILL Arnaudville, Louisiana

In 2017, singer-songwriter Scott Mulvahill visited Lafayette, Louisiana for the first time as an anonymous bass player for Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. Then, mid-performance, Skaggs invited Mulvahill to share his own stripped-down, jazzed-up version of an old bluegrass song. Everyone who was there remembers it. And last year,

After having the performance postponed, bonafide Delta bluesman Cedric Burnside is bringing his signature meld of blues with rock, funk, and soul to the Acadiana Center for the Arts on August 24. Cover image from Burns’ latest album, I Be Trying, by Dale Gunnoe. See listing on page 29.

How many do you need to seat?

What can we build for you? We handcraft tables with you in mind. Whether you need to seat two or twenty-four, we have you covered. Stop in today to design your very own Handcrafted Cypress Table.

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when Mulvahill visited Lafayette again for a concert at the Acadiana Center for the Arts as a solo artist, he sold out the house. Now, Mulvahill returns to Acadiana in a more intimate setting, fitting for his Americana sound which utilizes bass, voice, and multiple other instruments. See him live at NUNU Arts and Culture Collective. Doors at 6 pm. Food will be available for purchase from NUNU Culinary Collective. $25 in advance at Eventbrite; $30 at the door. Details at nunuaccollective. homesteadcloud.com. k

AUG 24th

LIVE TUNES CEDRIC BURNSIDE Lafayette, Louisiana

Grammy-nominated blues singersongwriter Cedric Burnside is bringing his born-and-raised Delta blues to Lafayette for a performance at the Acadiana Center for the Arts. 7:30 pm. acadianacenterforthearts.org. k

AUG 27th

GOOD EATS FÊTE ROUGE FOOD AND WINE FÊTE Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The Baton Rouge Epicurean Society (BRES) is gathering together the capital city’s culinary creatives to host the annual celebration of all things food and wine that is Fête Rouge. Forks and palates at the ready—there’s lots of eating and toasting to be done. This year L’Auberge Casino & Hotel plays host to the famous Food & Wine Fête. Local chefs prepare their best dishes for the chance at winning the gold medal in the Fête Rouge Chefs Competition, and somebody has to eat all those delicacies. Live entertainment, and more than two hundred wines available for tasting round out this event. 7 pm– 10 pm. $95 at Eventbrite. bresbr.org. k

AUG 27th

ORIGINAL TUNES SONGWRITERS’ SHOWCASE Covington, Louisiana

AUG 25th

ART TALKS LUNCHTIME GALLERY TALK WITH DOUGLAS BOURGEOIS Port Allen, Louisiana

Make the most of your lunch break and join artist Douglas Bourgeois for a special lunchtime gallery talk at the West Baton Rouge Museum. The “Visionary Imagist” has been called “Louisiana’s leading fantasy-based realist painter” and his works are featured in the exhibition Art by Bourgeois: Douglas Bourgeois at the museum. For this special, free talk, he will share some insight into his inspiration and process. Noon. Free. westbatonrougemuseum.org. k

The musical maestros of the Abita Springs Songwriters’ Circle are presenting a showcase of their original tunes. This month’s will be held in conjunction with the block party in Downtown Covington from 6 pm–9 pm; featuring songwriters Todd Lemoine, John West, Paul Wilson, and Darrell Galatas. Free. Check out the Abita Springs Songwriters’ Circle on Facebook for more information. k

AUG 27th

BLOCK PARTY HOT AUGUST NIGHT Hammond, Louisiana

Tune into an illuminating conversation with Garth Johnson, the Paul Phillips & Sharon Sullivan Curator of Ceramics at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York, discussing the ceramic works presented in the LSU Museum of Art’s exhibits, Form & Fire and The Boneyard. 5:30 pm. Free. Register at lsumoa.org. k

It’s a hot night in a cool town. The Hammond Downtown Development District presents another blazing iteration of its signature annual event. Known as Hot August Night, this evening of art, food, wine, and music begins in Hammond’s downtown stores and spills out onto the streets to become one of the best-attended social events on Hammond’s calendar. Community spirit will fill the air during the traditional SLU athletics pep rally/parade LionPawLooza; then, Louisiana native “Bayou-Soul” singer-songwriter Marc Broussard will take the stage and keep the party going. 5 pm–10 pm. dddhammond.com. k

AUG 26th

AUG 27th - AUG 29th

Saint Francisville, Louisiana

Gonzales, Louisiana

St. Francisville’s new music series Vibes in the Ville is keeping the good vibes flowing in Parker Park the last Thursday of each month. 5:30 pm. Free. stfrancisvillefestivals.com. k

Gonzales, the self-proclaimed “Jambalaya Capital of the World,” will host a festival dedicated to your favorite regional meat and rice concoction (and surely, around here, there are plenty). The event is free

AUG 26th

ART TALKS CERAMICS TALK WITH GARTH JOHNSON Online

LIVE TUNES VIBES IN THE VILLE

SEPT. 2-6 2021

FOOD FESTS JAMBALAYA FESTIVAL

EAT. DANCE.

Repeat!

Louisiana’s oldest chartered harvest festival is back this Labor Day Weekend featuring great food, live music, traditional events, and children’s activities for a FREE, five-day extravaganza. Do not miss this event on the Cajun Coast! Get info and make reservations now.

CajunCoast.com

MORGAN CITY • BERWICK • PATTERSON

What do we encourage you to consider when making your trees storm-ready? Soil Aeration so your tree’s roots can breathe, increasing its overall health. Seasonal fertilization so trees are better prepared for extreme weather. Skilled preventative pruning can greatly reduce the amount of damage during a storm. Pest and disease management by a pro will alert you of insects or fungal diseases you may not have seen otherwise. Untreated infections or infestations can decimate a tree. Cabling and bracing can be added to co-dominant tree trunks to strengthen them during heavy rain, ice and wind. Scheduling regular tree care will grow your trees to be stronger and healthier. They’ll be less susceptible to pests and diseases, nutrient deficiencies, branch drop and other dangerous elements that will reduce your tree’s structural integrity. Give Frank or one of our many other Certified Arborists a call this season. Isn’t the investment in your valuable and wonderful trees worth the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your family will be safer from the type of damage our Southeast Louisiana storms can cause.

SCOTT, LA • 888-620-TREE (8733) CHURCH POINT, LA • 337-684-5431 WWW.BOBSTREE.COM // A U G 2 1

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Events

Beginning August 27th - August 29th to the public and features a jambalayacooking contest, live music, and carnival rides. jambalayafestival.net. k

AUG

27th - AUG 29th

PERFORMANCE ART PERFORMANCE SHOWCASES New Orleans, Louisiana

This weekend, the Contemporary Arts Center presents a special slate of nightly performances featuring bold new worksin-progress created by the CAC’s 2021 performing artists-in-residence: paris “cyan” cian, Jarrell Hamilton/De La SoL Dance Theatre Co., and Rebecca Elizabeth Hollingsworth. 7:30 pm. $10. cacno.org. k

AUG

27th - AUG 29th

FOOD FESTS LOUISIANA SOULFOOD FALL FEST Shreveport, Louisiana

We’re lucky to be able to find comforting soul food state-wide, but the folks in North Louisiana love it so much, they’ve made an official menu of it, and a fall festival, to boot. This year’s Celebrity Chef Judge is Darrell Johnson, winner of Food Network’s

Great Food Truck Race. Head up north for three days of amazing cuisine, live music, a vendor’s village, contests, and more. louisianasoulfoodfallfestival.com. k

AUG

27th - SEP 26th

ART EXHIBITIONS SOLOS: EXHIBITIONS OF NEW WORKS

agency built on the values of supporting young Black photographers and models in the fashion industry. This month, they will present their very first fashion show, celebrating an exciting slate of Black photographers, artists, models, and designers at Yes We Cannibal. 4 pm. miaupshawprods.com. k

AUG

28th - AUG 29th

AUG 28th - AUG 29th

NERD OUT LOUISIANA COMIC CON

HOME & FOOD FESTS PONTCHARTRAIN HOME SHOW & LANGENSTEIN’S FOOD FEST

Lafayette, Louisiana

Visual artists kai barrow, Ellen Bull, J Knoblach, and Keysha Rivera were selected for the CAC’s Visual Artist Residency program and provided with one thousand square feet of built-out studio space in the CAC’s second floor Lupin Gallery, alongside technical and curatorial support the creation of new, interdisciplinary work. That exciting work is now on display in SOLOS: Exhibitions of New Works By CAC Visual Artists-in-Residence. cacno.org. k

Need to gush about the latest Star Wars leaks? Have a comic book you need signed? Or do you have an intricately detailed replica of the Iron Man suit but haven’t found the right occasion to wear it? There’s a place for you. Comic books, costumes, and crazes abound at the family-friendly Louisiana Comic Con, arriving to the Cajundome. 10 am–6 pm on Saturday; 11 am–5 pm on Sunday. $25 per day plus fees; $40 for the weekend; $15 Military weekend. Kids younger than ten get in free with an adult purchase. louisianacomiccon.com. k

AUG 28th

AUG 28th - AUG 29th

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

FASHION DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES? Founded in 2019, Mia Upshaw Productions is a Louisiana modeling

Circus Louisiana adds in a level of wonder assisted by over thirty performers and fifteen circus disciplines. Some revenge can only be expressed through impossible feats, after all. Performances will be held at the Manship Theatre at 2 pm and 7 pm on Saturday and 4 pm on Sunday. $33. manshiptheatre.org. k

CIRCUS HOOK, ACROSS NEVERLAND Peter Pan’s story is a fantastical tale of the ages, and this theatrical retelling by

Kenner, Louisiana

The Fall Pontchartrain Home Show— Louisiana’s largest and longest running fall home show—returns. This year’s event will feature exhibitors boasting the latest trends in kitchens, remodeling, flooring, outdoor living, and so much more. And while you’re there, don’t miss Langenstein’s Food Fest, where there will be free samples, tastings, coupons, and recipes from over thirty brands. At Tastes of Louisiana, show visitors can also taste from an assortment of beverages from Louisiana breweries, vineyards, and distilleries. Every participant at the show has a chance to win great door prizes, including spa days, restaurant certificates, and much more. 10 am–5 pm. $8; Children younger than twelve are free. jaaspro.com. k

Meet me at the Mag!

E U R O P E A N R E S TA U R A N T

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Lunch Tues-Fri 11-2 Dinner Mon-Wed 5-8:30 Dinner Thurs-Sat 5-9:30

3056 Perkins Road

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Closed Mondays 5689

3-V Tourist Courts •1940’s Motor Hotel • Reservations: 225-721-7003


The LSU Textile & Costume Museum is officially wide open to the public after a soft opening during COVID with an exhibition on Trajé, the traditional dress of the Guatemalan Mayan people. Image of a Mayan woman in traditional dress weaving on a back strap by Connie Frissbee Houda, courtesy of the LSU Textile & Costume Museum.

AUG 28th - SEP 19th MUSICAL THEATRE RENT Mandeville, Louisiana

30 by Ninety Theatre presents the rockin’, heartstring-pulling musical about the New York HIV/AIDS epidemic. A reimagining of Puccini’s La Bohème, RENT has been a force to be reckoned with since its 1996 debut. The story follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams (and pay their rent) without selling out. Performances are at 8 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 pm on Sundays. $19, with discounted ticket rates available for seniors, military, students, and children. 30byninety.com. k

spent much of her career capturing the spirit of Mayan cultures. Houda will be present at the exhibit’s grand opening on August 29, and available for discussions on her experience. At 2:30 pm, Dr. Travis Doering, the co-director of the digital heritage and humanities collections at the University of South Florida, will also present a lecture titled “Woven Voices: A Journey into Maya Textiles and Cultural Heritage”. The opening reception will take place from 2 pm–5 pm and is free to the public. For more information, contact Erica Woolard at (225) 578-2448 or at ericaw@lsu.edu. k

AUG 29th - DEC 31st

TEXTILE EXHIBITIONS TRAJÉ: MAYA TEXTILE ARTISTRY Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Translated to “traditional dress,” Trajé possesses a deep cultural significance to the Guatemalan Mayan people, as it represents a tradition of weaving and symbolism that has been passed from mother to daughter for hundreds of years. In the LSU Textile & Costume Museum’s exhibition, textiles and artifacts from this tradition—representing over forty Mayan villages in the Guatemala Highlands—will be on display. Accompanying the textiles are photographs by Connie Frissbee Houda, a New York photojournalist who has

To see our full list of regional events and festivals, including those we couldn’t fit into print, point your phone camera here.

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VISIT ST. FRANCISVILLE — West Fel Fall Festivals

These upcoming outdoor events promise a community-wide celebration of the arts in St. Francisville. Oh, and did we mention they’re free?

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owntown St. Francisville’s summer concert series, Vibes in the Ville, keeps the good vibes flowing this fall with live music returning to Parker Park on the fourth Thursday of each month. Starting at 5:30 pm, you’ll find groovy tunes, local food and drink vendors, and kids’ games. This time, however, the family-friendly event has a little something extra in store for regular attendees—pop ups from local shops and artists. Mark your calendar for September 23rd, when Ernest Scott & the Funk Children take the stage. Baton Rouge jazz band the Florida Street Blowhards is slated to follow on October 28th. On August 21st, the hills will be alive again when the Tunica Hills Music Festival and Jam returns to Parker Park and Old Market Hall. Two stages welcome Louisiana musicians for jam sessions, songwriting instruction, and celebration of live music across many genres from 10 am—10 pm. Bring your blankets, chairs, coolers, and, of course, your instruments. All genres welcome. The tenth annual Yellow Leaf Arts Festival returns October 30—31 with a lineup of talented juried artists and live music all weekend long. Authentic, inimitable, and running on a full tank of small town charm, the Yellow Leaf has become a favorite with artists, craftspeople, musicians, and collectors—many of whom have been involved every year since the festival’s inception. Upwards of fifty artists and craftspeople gather around Parker Park to show and sell paintings, pottery, metalwork, handmade boats, fabric art, wood pieces, sculpture, glass art, jewelry, carvings, and lots more. This year’s featured artist is ceramicist Denise GreenwoodLoveless. It’s a heady blend of art, music, and poetry, beneath the live oaks in Parker Park from 10 am—5 pm. Christmas in the Country will be rockin’ around the Christmas tree the first weekend in December. The annual holiday extravaganza is bringing back all

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the local favorites to a downtown shrouded in strings of white light, including community choirs, historic homes to peep into, fresh Christmas wreaths for sale, games for kids, downtown entertainment, and more jolly good fun. explorewestfeliciana.com stfrancisvillefestivals.com


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Restaurant 1796 | Located at The Myrtles 7747 U.S. Hwy 61 St. Francisville, LA 70775 (225) 784 - 4096 | www.myrtlesplantation.com

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Features

A U G U ST 2 0 2 1 34

CONTEMPORARY SOUTHERN

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THE WAISTLESS WONDERS COLLECTION

ARCHITECTURE GETS

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INTERNATIONAL STAGE

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creditsbygoOJT in this corner Topphoto left: designs in New Orleans, photograph by William Crocker. Top right: The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Library Marine Education Center by unabridged Architecture, photograph by Casey Dunn. Bottom left: Home Building at Thaden School in Bentonville, Arkansas designed by EDR in New Orleans, photograph by Timothy Hursley. Bottom right: GEODE by emerymcclure in Lafayette, photograph by James Osborne IV.

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DEEP SOUTH DESIGN

SHOTGUN

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OF PL ACE & TIME

A South Forty

SHOWCASING THE WORK OF CONTEMPORARY SOUTHERN AMERICAN ARCHITECTS AT THE 2021 VENICE BIENNALE

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iving in the Gulf South is to call home a place regularly ravished by the effects of extreme heat, humidity, storms, and floods. Still, despite these environmental hurdles, we stay. The region’s captivating and singular culture provides a convincing argument for remaining loyal to this low-lying land; but it is our homes, our offices, our community spaces, our buildings that provide the means for us to weather yet another storm. Architects practicing in the Gulf South face a unique set of challenges and responsibilities—today perhaps more than ever before. The terrain they navigate is particularly fraught, and in their work they must consider not only the practical necessities of building structures that can survive this climate, but also the pressures to respect historic structures while also contributing something contemporary and original—all while paying mind to equity, in a region that historically has not been best at doing so. The Southern American architecture of today is frequently overlooked in favor of the more widely-discussed designs of the East and West Coasts, or overshadowed by the historic shotgun homes and columned mansions of its own past. Currently the exhibition, A South Forty, presented in conjunction with the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale in Venice, Italy, is bringing light to the work of thirty-six firms operating in the American South, each overcoming environmental and economic barriers to contribute striking, original, and simultaneously practical building designs to the landscape of contemporary architecture. “These are people who are not resorting to interpretations of historical styles, but who are taking the vocabulary of modern architecture and combining it with the historical vernacular of architecture from the South to make things that are entirely new and inventive, to deal with very difficult problems— everything from a really intense climate to hurricanes to complex cultural conditions,” said Jonathan Boelkins, an assistant professor of architecture at the University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design at the University of Arkansas and principal at Jonathan Boelkins Architect. Boelkins designed the installations for A South Forty and coordinated with the thirty-six firms involved to execute Curator Peter MacKeith’s vision.

By Alexandra Kennon

A Grand Stage: La Biennale di Venezia While the world of contemporary American Southern architects is a relatively small one, the Venice Biennale, or La Biennale di Venezia, could not provide a grander stage for presenting their bodies of work to an international audience. The Biennale dates back to 1895, when the first International Art Exhibition took place. By the 1930s music, cinema, and theatre were also included (the 1932 Venice Film Festival marked the first film festival in history). The International Architecture Exhibition made its debut in 1980, followed by Dance in 1999. More than 500,000 visitors travel to Venice annually for the events, which encompass much of the city. A South Forty is currently on display as part of the TIME SPACE EXISTENCE exhibition for the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale in the Great Hall of the Palazzo Mora at the European Cultural Center.

At the time, it was also becoming clear to MacKeith, as well as his colleagues Boelkins and Chris Baribeau—the principal architect of modus studio in Fayetteville and a graduate of the Fay Jones School who also helped curate the exhibition—that there was a growing number of young, community-oriented, contemporary architectural practices throughout the American South producing work and ideas deserving of attention. “And at some point,” MacKeith said, “the perception comes to mind that there is this incredible vitality occurring across the Southern states, of firms and practices of a certain size who are doing work in their communities…what if we were to look at this collectively?” The exhibition’s name, “A South Forty,” comes from the use of Interstate 40 as a sort of path connecting these firms, a path “which begins in Wilmington, North Carolina and runs west through the American Southeast, intersecting the major north-south inter-

“THE QUESTIONS WE ASK OF OURSELVES ARE: ‘HOW CAN WE ENSURE DESIGN SOLUTIONS UPHOLD A TANGIBLE SENSE OF PLACE AND COMMUNITY?’ ‘HOW CAN OUR ARCHITECTURE RESULT IN OPTIMAL OUTCOMES FOR SOCIETY AND THE ENVIRONMENT AT LARGE?’” —STEVE DUMEZ “It is the most established and recognized platform for the discussion and presentation of contemporary architectural work, period,” said Jonathan Tate, principal architect at OJT (Office of Jonathan Tate) in New Orleans—one of the firms featured in A South Forty. “[The Venice Biennale] has been around the longest, it’s the one that everyone looks to as sort of a marker of what’s going on in the world, and it’s the one you want to participate in.”

A South Forty: The Contemporary Architecture of the American South Behind the conception and curation of A South Forty is Peter MacKeith, dean and professor of architecture at the Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design at The University of Arkansas. MacKeith has been involved in the Biennale in some capacity since 1990, and in 2018 was struck by what a powerful venue the Palazzo Mora could provide for an exhibition.

states of I-95, I-55, I-49, and I-30 along its path, until reaching a delimiting inflection point in Oklahoma City,” wrote MacKeith in an essay published in the Summer/Fall 2020 edition of the Oxford American. The title’s significance expands, as MacKeith writes, “The proposition for a contemporary, place-based, regionally-identified architecture of the American Southeast rests upon a literary and intellectual foundation as much as on a prolific period of constructed design excellence. The argument’s intellectual history can be traced back at least eighty years, with two particular points of reference, the first in 1941, appreciating and then advocating for an architecture distinctive to the American South, and the second forty years later, in 1981, advocating for an architecture of ‘critical regionalism,’ in an ever-expanding and seemingly general world culture, and with reference to an identifiable architecture of the new American South, rich on its own terms.” The firms included in A South Forty cover a broad swath of the Southeast, from Virginia to Texas and down to

the Gulf, with five of the firms based in Louisiana and Mississippi: emerymcclure architecture of Lafayette, OJT and EskewDumezRipple of New Orleans, unabridged Architecture of Bay St. Louis, and Duvall Decker of Jackson. As for sharing such a grand stage, each of the featured architects concurred that they are in excellent company. “It’s nice to see a robust list of thoughtful practitioners in our region, and to be included in that list is an honor,” Tate said. “As much as we’re always looking outward in a lot of ways, we still live in and practice in this region, and to know that you’ve got people geographically-speaking that are close to you, that are making the same efforts and sort of struggling with the same struggles, it keeps you moving and motivated.” Steve Dumez, principal architect and Director of Design at EskewDumezRipple in New Orleans, lauded MacKeith and the other organizers for not only the massive undertaking of organizing the firms and installation, but for recognizing the broader lessons Southern architecture can provide. “That Peter and his team were able to turn around and pull all of this off on such short notice, amidst a pandemic, is a testament to their resolve and a shared conviction in spreading the vital lessons Southern architecture has to offer,” he praised. “And the exhibit they’ve assembled is truly eye-opening.”

Beyond Shotguns: Dismantling Stereotypes of Gulf South Architecture Part of the intent of A South Forty is to showcase that while architects in the South face unique challenges, their work is still relevant and important nationally, and even internationally. “I think it’s about trying to make an argument that the adaptive reuse or the contextualism that the climate of the South somewhat demands does not mean that we cannot be part of the contemporary realm,” said Ursula Emery McClure, founding partner of emerymcclure architecture in Lafayette. “Which is probably why the East Coast and West Coast ignore us— they’re probably like, ‘Sure, whatever, you’re just gonna build another shotgun. And sure, they’re great, but I’m not really interested.’ And that’s why I think this exhibit is trying to say, ‘Hey! I’m gonna stand at the table too.’” MacKeith agreed with Emery // A U G 2 1

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emphasized. “It can be employed in service of or in opposition to the common good,” he said. “The questions we ask of ourselves are: ‘How can we ensure design solutions uphold a tangible sense of place and community?’ ‘How can our architecture result in optimal outcomes for society and the environment at large?’”

Structured by Culture

Midtown housing designed by Duvall Decker in New Orleans, photograph by Timothy Hursley.

McClure that there are particular hurdles faced by architects in the Gulf South, from regional stereotypes to climate. “Part of this effort too was to supersede conventional perceptions, or try to jump past them; certainly, the perception that architecture in the South is white columned mansions or sharecropper shacks, take your pick,” MacKeith said. “There are a lot of these stereotypes. And these are tiresome, and they’re unhealthy, and ultimately unhelpful nationally as much as they are regionally. So, all that being said, there’s a real difference in some ways between the climate and life conditions if you’re practicing in North Carolina or if you’re practicing in Louisiana and Mississippi.” Tate also spoke on the exhibition as a mechanism to overcoming generalized perceptions of Southern architecture. “Anything we can do to tell the story of what is happening and how this region is thinking beyond stereotypical notions of what the American South is, I think is a positive,” he explained. “I think it’s critical to show there is contemporary thinking in the architectural realm in our region.” “When people think of the South, what is their immediate visual impression?” asked Allison Anderson, principal architect at unabridged Architecture in Bay St. Louis. “It’s things like the French Quarter and plantation houses. Those kinds of historic icons. But I think it’s really important to show an architecture that is very much of place and time, that’s being created for the next two hundred years, or four hundred years. It’s these new things, these innovative things that really can 36

transform the ways in which people both approach the South or take lessons from the South.”

resilience on the local level, we can apply those sorts of lessons in a much broader sense.”

Changing Climates

Considering Equity and Accessibility

“Design excellence is occurring for most of these firms relative to the environment that we’re in—which is culturally rich, full of historicism, hot, humid, and volatile,” said Emery McClure, speaking to the distinctive climate and cultural factors that her firm and the others in Louisiana and Mississippi must address when approaching a project. “A lot of the work in the South is trying to mitigate and negotiate the fact that climate is becoming very different in this region—[this] is I think the value that [this conversation] holds on an international level,” she said. “How does architecture have to, no matter what, deal with climate change? And it has to do so in a way that looks back at the historical ways that the Native people who lived in South Louisiana negotiated the climate.” Anderson agreed that the ways unabridged and the other firms in A South Forty address these nuanced issues contributes to their international relevance. “We are taking those questions that have great impact on the environment and the people that we work for, and we’re addressing them head on,” she said. “And these stories of transformation can become a model for other communities—it doesn’t matter if it’s in Italy, or if it’s in the Northwest, which is dealing with all kinds of heat and craziness right now. If we understand the impact of sustainability and

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While factors like climate, environment, and historical precedents arise frequently in discussions about modern Southern architecture and A South Forty in particular, Tate and others also pointed out that sometimes less-tangible factors like equity, economics, and accessibility come into play when building in the Southeast in particular. “What we are very interested in is providing access to individuals who aren’t customarily served by architecture in general,” Tate said. “We live in buildings, and we work in buildings, but they aren’t always the most thoughtful.” Anderson is also interested in providing more democratic access to architectural services, particularly given the region’s historical struggles with equity. “The South kind of has that story of abandonment and decay,” she said. “It’s partly due to climate—we have a lot to contend with—but it’s also due to demographic and economic shifts. So especially in light of the new conversations that are being held about equity, architects have to be a little bit scrappy down here. We have to figure out ways—strategic ways—that we can work within very traditional sorts of environments. We have to figure out ways that we can work within strict budgets, and make something new.” Design is not neutral, Dumez

“The South can be a place with limited resources and palpable needs, but also with engaging culture,” said Roy Decker, principal architect at Duvall Decker in Jackson, Mississippi. “It is a place of inequities and inspiring struggles for human dignity, a place of hot, humid summers with threatening storms, yet with shady welcoming porches. The South is a storytelling place with great writers and blues musicians that have spoken with the voice of this place and defined our time. Architecture can likewise make a difference as we work to make buildings, spaces, and sites that are engaging and alive, grounded in this place.” Decker elaborated that the contemporary designs of the Southeast are pertinent internationally foremost because of their profound relevance to their own particular local time and place. “In the South, I think we understand that culture, art, architecture, and ideas spring from local insight––from small conversations and agreements. Culture is always local first,” he said. "When ideas travel, they do so because they make sense. Maybe it’s the climate, maybe it’s the limited resources. But in the South, we know that if an idea has currency beyond its place, it is the approach to form and not its emulation that is valuable. We hope our approach to connect a place to its environment, to search for form that is equitable and educational, has currency.” Dumez asserted that it is not despite, but because of the unique culture and challenges of the South that the work presented in A South Forty bears relevance globally. “Southern architecture has relevance the world over,” he said. “As we like to say here in New Orleans, ‘We have a front row seat to the future.’ We’re rooted in a city that is at once amazingly beautiful and unfortunately damaged. As we wrestle with the external factors of a climate emergency, we’re simultaneously asking ourselves deep, internal questions around race, identity, equity, diversity, and the role architecture plays in answering them.”

A Global Exchange On October 5 and 6, members of each of the included firms have been invited to Venice for an opening party of sorts and a symposium, with a moderated discussion “about what we see in each others’ work, how we look at our own work maybe now with fresh


eyes, especially at a certain distance,” MacKeith explained. The plan is to livestream the event, to allow for the ideas to circulate widely into the world as well as back into each firm’s own work philosophies. “I feel like the work that this group of architects is doing has the potential to have greater impact across America,” Anderson said. “If we take this opportunity to really not just introspectively consider our place and time in architecture, but to share those lessons, I feel like it could have real power to change things.” h

A South Forty is on display at the Palazzo Mora in the European Cultural Center in Venice, Italy until November 21, 2021. For more information on A South Forty and the firms involved, to find information about live-streaming the October symposium, or to read Peter MacKeith’s 2020 essay in the Oxford American, visit asouthforty.com. emerymcclure.com officejt.com duvalldecker.com eskewdumezripple.com unarch.com

A South Forty exhibition installations on display in the Palazzo Mora. Photograph by Riccardo Grassetti.

When morning came to Louisiana, we were wide awake. Ready for what’s next. And as we begin anew, Blue Cross stands ready to support you. bcbsla.com

01MK7553 04/21

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FA S H I O N

Waistless Wonders WITH HER GRANDMOTHER’S FABRICS, GRETTA GARMENTS CHANNELS LAZY GIRL CHIC

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Story by Kristen Foster • Photos by Grace Chetta n an Instagram photo from the recent launch of what Baton Rouge fashion designer Grace Chetta has laughingly dubbed her “post-pandemic transition wear—the waistless wonders collection,” a young woman in a bold, aubergine floral, a-line dress leans her fresh, makeup-free face toward a tangle of wisteria dangling from her fingertips. She’s inhaling, smiling with her eyes closed. The caption reads: “Always one to stop and smell the flowers.” It’s a fitting motto for Chetta’s intended client, who she endearingly calls “The Gretta Woman.” Laidback but elegant, The Gretta Woman can effortlessly transition her look from a posh garden party to a movie night on the couch. “It’s lazy girl chic,” joked Chetta of the aesthetic guiding her line of inclusive, sustainable women’s wear, Gretta Garments—and especially her most recent collection. “I don’t want anything to be too serious. Feeling comfortable and good in your body and being real—that’s what’s most important to me.” Gretta, a portmanteau of Grace Chetta’s first and last names, captures the whimsical spirit of its creator with free-flowing floral frocks. Authenticity has never been hard to come by for Chetta, the youngest child

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of four, who playfully attributes her freedom to pursue a creative occupation, at least in part, to the impressive professional successes of her older siblings, who work as engineers and doctors. “It kind of takes the pressure off of me,” she quipped. In reality, Chetta’s desire to design clothing took root in childhood, and, she explained, “I just never grew out of it.” To call Chetta a scrappy designer is more than just an irresistible indulgence in wordplay. She recalled squirreling away scraps of fabric from projects in college, wondering, “How can I reuse this?” During her final year in the fashion design program at LSU, she created a stunning collection from repurposed salvaged denim, which took home the top honor at her senior fashion show. Though her design aesthetic has evolved since college and further developed during her three years as a technical assistant to the New Orleans designer Suzanne Perron, Chetta’s commitment to sustainability has never wavered. She officially launched her brand in 2018. Her affinity for scraps became especially useful during 2020, when face masks became mandatory, and the demand far outweighed the supply. “Fabric stores were running out of cotton,

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but I had so much stored up I thought, ‘I’ll just use mine.’” What followed was a formidable run of vibrantly patterned Gretta Garments masks that gave back to the community with a one-purchasedone-donated distribution model. Now that the need for face coverings is, fortunately, waning, Chetta has been busy

designing custom wedding dresses for private clients and celebrating her latest collection, featuring unstructured dresses that will have even the most zealous quarantine sweatpants devotees confidently rejoining the world of in-person social engagements. “Of course, all of my dresses have pockets,” she assured. Such a resourceful detail would have likely pleased Gretta Garments’ posthumous benefactor, Chetta’s paternal grandmother, Jay Chetta, whose stash of fabric has supplied the materials for all of the line’s creations so far. “She was a doctor, very well-read, intelligent and ambitious. She sewed, but not as much as she would have liked, I think,” Chetta said of her late grandmother. “She loved beautiful things, like fabrics, and she collected them all her life.” Pulled exclusively from Jay’s collection, all Gretta Garments pieces are limited-run. “Some of them I only have enough for a few dresses,” she explained. “When it’s gone, I can’t get more.” Working from a finite range of patterns challenges Chetta as a designer, especially when her idea of beauty clashes with the original collector’s. “There are a lot of ugly prints in there,” Chetta confessed. “The challenge is to design for the fabric and make something cool and groovy out of it.” She is particularly influ-


enced, she said, by the styles of the sixties and seventies. “The silhouettes were most flattering. I think during those decades, women felt empowered.” With a firm nod to the billowy psychedelic-prairie vibe of the 1960’s music festival scene, Chetta’s most recent designs are meant to revive a similar sense of confidence in her modern clientele as they re-emerge from a year-long quarantine. “Right now, I want to wear a muumuu, and I’m hoping others feel the same way,”

Chetta laughed. Though the comfort level and ease of wear might very well resemble a muumuu, the open nature of each silhouette in the collection offers multiple styling possibilities. Sustainability for the brand depends on Chetta’s ability to procure secondhand materials once she’s depleted her current fabric stock. “I have found some here and there in estate sales,” she explained. “Sometimes people contact me wanting to donate fabric.” She’s even

“This is my second time using Window World. I am a Realtor and judge contractors pretty hard. I have had an A+ experience both times. From customer service to price and ultimately savings on my electric bill. Love it!” – Dana A.

quickly approaching, Gretta Garments will soon launch a line of one-of-a kind patchwork sweater vests upcycled from donated sweaters and, for the first time . . . actual pants. Hopefully, by then, the post-pandemic world will be ready. h

Find Gretta Garments at Grettagarments.com and on Instagram @grettagarments.

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considered establishing a system in the future in which clients would receive a discount in exchange for material donations. Right now, Chetta has more than enough old bolts to keep her busy, and is currently adding ready-to-wear dresses named for streets in Baton Rouge to her inventory to sell on her website and at local makers markets. For those looking for something even more unique, Chetta also welcomes custom orders. With fall

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Visit Our Window Design Center •GetWindows.com 8405 Airline Hwy., Baton Rouge, LA 70815• (225) 470-0055 // A U G 2 1

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Photo by Alexandra Kennon.

Photo by Jay D. Edwards.

Photo by Jay D. Edwards.

HOUSE & HOME

On Shotgun Houses

THE HISTORY & FUTURE OF THE SIGNATURE SOUTHERN STRUCTURE By Ed Cullen

Photo by Jay D. Edwards. 40

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Photo by Alexandra Kennon.


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n a 2013 interview with Rolling Stone, John Mellencamp said that he wrote “Pink Houses” driving along Interstate 65 in Indianapolis, looking out on what were likely neighborhoods of shotguns. In many Louisiana cities, we have only to take a walk, ride a bicycle, or embark on a short drive to see a hhouse design simultaneously so old and so modern that the sight of it makes us smile. I’m talking, of course, about the shotgun house.

The Origins

Scholars in the field of vernacular architecture apply scientific names to this humble structure, its origins, and its future, but the shotgun doesn’t lend itself to high church language. The structure’s very simplicity has allowed the design to survive since its origins in West Africa, its passage through the Caribbean and to Haiti, and its ultimate landfall in New Orleans in the early 1800s. The shotgun house design thrived in New Orleans following two disastrous fires in the late eighteenth century. Building codes required wooden houses to be narrow so that there was room between the houses built on small lots. The space made it harder for fire to spread, so the thinking went, and the Spanish Cabildo (or city council) was forced to acknowledge that such wooden dwellings were necessary, as poor individuals could not afford expensive bricks and tile roofs.

The Architecture

Usually no more than twelve feet wide on a city lot often no more than thirty feet wide, the Louisiana shotgun increased substantially in popularity with the influx of refugees from Saint-Domingue/modern Haiti following the Haitian Revolution. Having encountered the design in the Caribbean, the free people of color who came to New Orleans from Saint-Domingue built many shotguns for themselves and others in the early nineteenth century. By the 1830s, the dwellings were also being utilized for factory, farm, and railroad workers. Usually three or four rooms deep but as few as two, one behind the other, the shotgun’s front and back doors often had transom windows, which theoretically provided good air circulation via a cross-breeze (though architects argue this point). For some working poor, the house type afforded the chance at a decent home, even ownership, close to where the house builder made his or her living.

Beyond the South

Throughout the nineteenth century, many New Orleans residents resettled in upriver cities such as Louisville and built their versions of shotguns. By 1900, local carpenters were looking at pattern books to build them. By 1910, pattern books featured the California bungalow, or Craftsman-style house, which included designs almost indistinguishable from shotguns. “These were adopted by local builders, many of whom, perhaps, had never seen an actual shotgun,” explained scholar and anthropologist Jay D. Edwards. Simple and inexpensive to build, the shotgun spread by the hands of carpenters. In the nineteenth century, New Orleans manufacturers of pre-fab shotguns, including Roberts and Co. and Samuels and West, shipped house kits by barge up the Mississippi River. Sears and Roebuck and the railroads had their own, non-folk versions of the shotgun. We think of shotguns as Southern, vernacular designs—vernacular defined as structures built by ordinary people of a particular region—but according to Edwards, shotguns (or variations on the style) are found from Texas to east of the Rockies; from the Midwest to the Atlantic Coast. The design followed the rivers North and West from New Orleans, then later traveled more widely via railroad. “Probably any town in which building of inexpensive houses was going on between around 1880 to 1920,” Edwards said.

The Name

One suggestion for how the shotgun may have got its name is attributed to the kind of saw used to cut rough lumber. Mill hands called the piece of equipment the “shotgun saw” or simply, “the shotgun”. The more popular story is the idea that “You can fire a shotgun through the house, and the blast will pass through the front door and out the back without hitting anything.” Assuming, of course, that the house is devoid of people, animals, and furniture, and the shotgun is on full choke. Edwards also pointed out that many shotguns do not have aligned doorways, shooting another hole in this popular theory. “People invent explanations (folk etymologies) when they see something curious and unfamiliar,” Edwards explained. Another possible source for the shotgun’s name is derived from the West African name for a small house where men meet to talk. “Togu na” (house of talk), some believe, might have become “shotgun”, as George Washington University professor and author John Vlach asserted in his dissertation on the subject. The origin of the name remains a somewhat disputed topic of conversation for anthropological happy hour.

The Future of Shotguns

When I set out to write a book about shotguns, I thought it might encourage builders to look at this old design as a way to the future. I still think it a good design for first-time homeowners looking to build small houses on narrow, urban lots. Could the shotgun be an urban starter home, a larger version of the tiny house? “It depends,” Edwards said. “In New Orleans, shotguns are constantly being remodeled. ‘Singlization’ is the remaking of doubles into larger, single family residences, and it has become very popular over the past thirty years or so.” Each large city has its shotgun enthusiasts, he said, like the PRC (Preservation Resource Center) in New Orleans, who Edwards credits with helping save many of the houses from demolition. “In general, though, completely new shotguns are an unusual phenomenon.” Still, he told me that he is not surprised that the popular press, internet, and television house shows think the shotgun “trend” is making a comeback. “It’s never gone away,” he said. Though the cost of lumber is high these days, the shotgun lives on—in historic neighborhoods throughout the South, and far beyond. It is its own best advocate: a charmingly practical, simple shelter for the right people at the right time. h

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Cuisine

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E N D O F T H E D A Y, I T ’ S

SEAFOOD’S

R E A L LY A L L A B O U T T H E

SPICES

KINGS & KINDRED // 4 4

A Q&A WITH

LOUISIANA

KING OF KINGS W

At Kindred, which offers “plant-based comfort food” in Uptown New Orleans, a “shrimp” poboy consists of fried mushrooms, coleslaw, roasted tomatoes, and a drizzle of house Buffalo sauce on French bread.

S H R I M P P O B O Y, H O L D T H E S H R I M P

Where Veganism Meets the South THE PLANT-BASED PLATES CREATED WITH NEW ORLEANS IN MIND

Story by Matt A. Sheen • Photos by Alexandra Kennon

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hen people think of Southern hospitality, they primarily think of food. This is especially true in a place like New Orleans, where visitors come from worlds over expecting spreads of crawfish, gumbo, Cajun-spiced shrimp, and poboys. But with its famously rich meat and seafood-heavy brands of cuisine, Southern Louisianan hospitality can sometimes seem to leave out a certain population of diners: vegans. “A lot of New Orleans food depends on spices,” said Wil Hernandez, lead bartender at Vegan Wit’ A Twist, noting that popular blackened foods (like alligator) result from spices turning black from the cooking process. “There’s no right or wrong way to make gumbo,” he offered (perhaps controversially) by way of example, pointing out that jackfruit or vegan sausage can serve as a substitute for shrimp, crawfish, chicken, or andouille. The only difference really, he said, is texture. “The flavor comes from 42

the base stock. The baseline of most Cajun and Creole cooking is vegetables: the holy trinity of bell peppers, onions, and celery.” The idea of a vegan gumbo is not actually all that novel, although the term is a relatively new one. Gumbo Z’herbes, traditionally a plant-based Lenten dish, has long been a New Orleans staple, according to Tiffany Burgin, assistant manager at The Gumbo Shop. “So people could have gumbo during Lent,” she explained. “Today, with the rules of Lent changing, a lot of people make it with chicken stock or other ingredients that are not vegan, but we make ours the traditional way. A lot of people probably order it because it’s vegan.” Nothing says New Orleans like a poboy sandwich, originally crafted to provide downtrodden striking street car conductors with a hardy meal—hardy meaning meat-based, though potatoes were often used to cut the cost of beef in those early days (and even then, they

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were usually doused in beef gravy). Not so anymore: French Quarter sandwich shop Killer Po-Boys offers two vegan varieties: one with sweet potatoes, the other with cauliflower. “Things change, things evolve,” reflected Burgin. “And so do menus.” Not much of a meat-eater himself, Hernandez picked up a lot of vegan recipes from his aunt and found that for those who have the time and inclination to cook, “The more you invest in vegan food, the easier it is to embrace the lifestyle.” Hernandez suggested that the growing prevalence of meat-inspired dishes on many vegan menus makes them more accessible to people transitioning to veganism, and friends of vegans who are joining them for a meal, without pandering to them. The oyster burger at Vegan Wit’ a Twist, for instance, is made with oyster mushrooms, which are also served a la carte. Hernandez likened such variation

to the adaptability of chili, which he said doesn’t depend on beans, but more on the spices and an individual’s preferred type of tomato (fresh, never canned in Hernandez’s case) and pepper: serrano, bell, or ancho reyes. “People had to use beans to fill out the dish in the Great Depression,” he said. Turns out, beans serve as an excellent meat alternative even in better times. “This isn’t the Depression.” While veganism may not have been a consideration for traditional Southern Louisiana cuisine, a modern vegan menu can still reflect that tradition while offering an opportunity for innovation. “I’m actually a Yankee, from Connecticut by way of New York City,” confessed Caroline Nassrah, owner of the Uptown vegan eatery Kindred. “I do think of Louisiana food as seafood, but it also includes things like poboys, beignets, sausage, lots of seasonings, and just overall great food. Whenever people from out of town talk about New Orleans or Louisiana, it always includes food. The key to


providing a successful plant-based alternative is to make something that tastes similar, that definitely tastes well-seasoned and great.” A vegan for over two decades, Nassrah said that the vegan food landscape in New Orleans has changed a lot in those years. “When I moved to New Orleans back in 2000, there was only one vegetarian restaurant, Old Dog New Trick,” she recalled. “There were vegan options at various restaurants throughout the city, but almost nothing was listed as vegan and usually required modifiers to become so. Slowly, there became more and more vegan options, and then eventually vegan restaurants started opening. I think having a vegan restaurant now is less of a challenge than it would have been ten years ago with vegan and plantbased [food] becoming more and more mainstream, athletes turning to vegan diets to improve their performance, and much more science about the benefits of a plant-based diet to a person’s health and the impact it has on our environment.” Nassrah said that veganism is no longer such a niche market, and that being a vegan restaurant doesn’t necessarily mean you get a smaller customer base. “We promote ourselves as a restaurant with great food, drink, and service that just happens to be vegan. We use fresh ingredients and make most things from scratch, even our daiquiris are made from fresh juices, never mixes. Our ‘chicken’ is seitan [a chewy, protein-rich food made from wheat gluten] made in-house, which takes a substantial amount of time to produce. All of our sauces and desserts are made in-house. I think people, vegan or not, really appreciate that.” In Nassrah’s experience, vegans are often foodies, active on social media promoting the latest restaurant finds and willing to drive in regularly from the Northshore for a good meal, but she also said that her customers span a wide spectrum. “In Louisiana, it really is all about the food. All we have to do is get you to try it once! New Orleanians are also really all about supporting local.” Such a sentiment is exactly how she came to have a non-vegan chef in her

kitchen. Louisiana born and raised, Chef David Breaux has adapted the cooking style he’s known all his life to vegan ingredients easily enough, though he did have to learn new terms like seitan and gluten. “You have a culinary background, you’re going to be able to gain the technique,” he said of the new experiences, like working with nutritional yeast. “Using what you have is a Louisianan trait, so with Chef David nothing goes unused,” Nassrah enthused. “The Gambino’s poboy bread we use that doesn’t make the cut for a sandwich gets repurposed into French toast on Sundays, croutons, and breadcrumbs. Tomatoes get roasted in-house for our shrimp poboys, but also quesadillas and to top our eggplant burgers. Chef David even started making our boudin sausage with dried black-eyed peas that I over-purchased for our New Year’s Day plates.” As of July, Kindred has rolled out a new menu that no longer includes the boudin balls, but now offers buttermilk battered onion rings (and by “buttermilk,” they mean soy milk with just enough vinegar to create the necessary effect). And as in any true Louisiana kitchen, at Kindred, seasonings and sauces reign supreme. “Our creamy lime-cayenne sauce actually started as a dressing recipe of mine that I made way too spicy for myself, but that our customers love,” said Nassrah, who added that Kindred’s house-made buffalo sauce incorporates both Frank’s (for color) and Crystal (enough said) hot sauces, but also fresh citrus juices and zests. When trying to avoid all animal-based products, even drinks may have to be reinvented. “Having a vegan eggnog daiquiri was very important to me,” she said. Kindred’s vegan variation on the traditional holiday favorite was so popular that the restaurant was still running what was intended to be a limited-time seasonal special well after Easter. “I’ve been told that our eggnog daiquiri tastes like a legit eggnog daiquiri, and although the season is over, we kept rolling with it, because, why not?” h

5713 Superior Drive, Suite B-1 Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70816

When Kindred’s owner Caroline Nassrah over-ordered black-eyed peas for New Years Day, Chef David Breaux converted them into meat-free “boudin balls”. // A U G 2 1

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Q&A

King of Kings

CHEF TORY MCPHAIL ON LOUISIANA SEAFOOD, BOZEMAN, AND PLATING

By Jordan LaHaye Fontenot

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his summer, James Beard Award-winning Chef Tory McPhail— who relocated to Bozeman, Montana in 2020—proved that mastery of Louisiana seafood isn’t something you just shrug off. The former Commander’s Palace executive chef took a break from his work at his Bozeman venture Revelry Plates + Pours in late June to compete in the Fourteenth Annual Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off. Presented by Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, this year’s cook-off brought together ten past champions—McPhail won in 2009—to battle for the title of King of Kings. In a magnificently orchestrated showcase of Louisiana’s most distinct and beloved flavors, McPhail claimed his victory with a dish of sheepshead with shrimp and crab, garnished with a shrimp tasso henica made with his mystery ingredient Bulldog Pepper Jelly Roasted Pecan, flambéed fresh sweet crabmeat with summer corn, glazed with whiskey—all atop a Creole sauce. In celebration of his new title, we reached out to McPhail to chat about all things Louisiana seafood, about his new life in Bozeman, and about all he has to look forward to as the official 2021 Louisiana Seafood King of Kings.

First, how does it feel to reign again as the King of Louisiana seafood?

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It’s a thrilling feeling to wear the crown again after going head-to-head with the very best seafood chefs in Louisiana. All of these chefs have been friends for years, so this certainly felt like a bit of a homecoming.

What was it like returning to Louisiana for the event? I had butterflies the whole time on the flight down from Bozeman and was excited to be involved again after winning back in 2009.

Over the course of your career, how has Louisiana seafood played a role in your creative process as a chef? Louisiana has not only shaped my career, but has transformed the scope of my whole life. We all know that Louisiana has such a huge variety of seafood that one might get spoiled having the opportunity to cook so much of it every day. But it’s really the relationships that have been forged with the people in the industry that have made it special and created life long friends in the seafood industry.

What are some of your favorite Louisiana seafood products, and what are your favorite ways to use them? My favorite seafood is the species that happens to be at the peak of season on any particular day. But honestly, I love softshell crabs and how delicious and briny they are when they’re fresh out of the water and delivered to Commander’s Palace alive and kicking, ready for service within minutes of their arrival.

Tell us about your award-winning dish! How did it come together? Have you ever made anything like that before? Our award-winning dish this time was similar to the dish we did originally back in 2009. We did a vertical tasting of the bayou, featuring sheepshead, white shrimp, and blue crab. This time, I made this dish super healthy and clean by making it gluten free and grain free. This was an inspiration by food coach Jen Smiley who lives in New Orleans and started to work with us during the pandemic.

Your mystery ingredient was Bulldog Pepper Jelly Roasted Pecan. Have you ever used that in a dish before? I love pepper jelly and have had the Bulldog brand in my house for years. I chose to make the shrimp component after the signature dish at Commander’s Palace called Shrimp and Tasso Henican. I love that dish, because there is so much flavor packed in each and every bite. 44

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Not only is seafood versatile and delicious, but it can also be beautiful. In honor of our annual Design issue, would you tell us a little bit about your approach to the art of plating seafood? Plating beautiful food is certainly an artform and requires a steady hand, creativity, a balance of color, textures, flow, and symmetry. The sauce work is not to be taken lightly, either. The sauce or the garnishes can really frame the dish and provide structure and a finality to the composition of the main dish. Everything must work harmoniously and have a purpose on the plate.

In 2020, you left your nineteen-year tenure as Executive Chef at Commander’s Palace for a new adventure in Bozeman, Montana. Tell us a little bit about your new post at Revelry Plates + Pours, and how you are liking your new home. Bozeman is a great little city, and the vibe and culture are budding with great new restaurants and bars to compliment what’s made our food scene famous for generations.

Montana is far from the ocean—how has your expertise with Louisiana cuisine and seafood come in to play in developing your new menu? My experiences in New Orleans have made my approach to cuisine here in Montana very transformative. Revelry is just celebrating its first birthday and doing extremely well already. Our philosophy here, much like Commander’s, is to evolve the menus into regionally and seasonally focused cuisine that reflects the community and the rich history of this area in Gallatin County .

You are set to compete in the Great American Seafood CookOff in New Orleans on August 7-8. Can you give our readers a hint of what you’ve got up your sleeve? We’ll be cooking Flathead Lake trout from Northwest Montana. These are wild, hook-and-line caught fish that are only allowed to be harvested by the indigenous Native Americans that have called Flathead Lake home for hundreds of years. The proceeds go to support the tribes and provide important funds for the conservation of the legendary lake that has sustained their family heritage for generations. h

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Keep up with all things Louisiana seafood at louisianaseafood.com.

Installation &

maintenance

on new & pre-existing lighting Chef Tory McPhail pictured at the King of Kings Louisian Seafood Cook-off with his winning dish, sheepshead with shrimp and crab, garnished with a Shrimp Tasso Henican made with his mystery ingredient Bulldog Pepper Jelly Roasted Pecan, flambéed fresh sweet crabmeat with summer corn, glazed with whiskey—all atop a Creole sauce. Photo courtesy of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board.

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Culture

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A

KEEPER OF A

SACRED

FLAME, A

PROFESSIONAL RECYCLER

// 4 8 R I V E R

MODERNISM & MORE

ROAD

RAMBLIN’

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tangible way. Ross and his wife and business partner, Molly McCombs, operate an online design COLLECTIONS bookstore called Modernism101 from their home in Shreveport, where they have lived since 2009. Ross’s journey as a bookseller began in the early 1990s at book shows and conventions around Austin, Texas. As a University of Texas journalism student, he fell in love with the writers of the Beat Generation, the “new journalism” of Tom Wolfe, and also with his future wife. After graduating, he and McCombs each pursued careers as graphic designers, and Ross made a “pivotal” decision to begin buying and selling books. He initially specialized in pulp fiction paperbacks of the “hardboiled detective” variety, but his professional interest in graphic design eventually crept into his FROM SHREVEPORT, RANDALL ROSS PEDDLES RARE DESIGN BOOKS ACROSS THE GLOBE collecting. He began to pursue rare and out of print design books, while McBy Chris Jay Combs pursued a similar interst in photography books and ephemera. The couple would spend long weekends together Modernism101 proprietors Randall Ross and Molly McCombs specialize in buying and selling materials relating to on book-hunting road trips the Bauhaus, the influential German trade school that was open from 1919 to 1933. Photo courtesy of Randall Ross. to Dallas, Houston, and San t was a Friday morning in late February of 2014, In less time than it would take to get in and Antonio, bouncing from one bookstore to the next, and Randall Ross was digging through a box of out of brunch at a busy restaurant, Ross had res- then retire to the hotel to pore over their best finds. loose catalogs, warranties, and owner’s manuals cued a piece of design history from the wait- They called these outings “working the triangle,” in at an estate sale when something caught his eye. ing maw of a landfill and placed it with a grate- reference to the three cities’ locations respective to Aus“I recognized it for what it was, which ful collector on the other side of the globe. tin. was a very significant piece of information “On days like that, I feel like the keeper of a sacred “I was like: ‘I know this stuff is out there,’” Ross said. design produced by Knud Lönberg-Holm and Ladislav flame,” he said. “But other days, I just feel like a pro- “I’ve always had this hunting and gathering instinct. Sutnar around 1952,” Ross said. fessional recycler.” To me, the idea of driving around all day looking for To the vast majority of estate sale shoppers, the HonRoss grew up attending swap meets, garage sales, books is a dream.” eywell Thermostats sales catalog would have been just and flea markets with his mother in West Texas As their expertise grew more focused on midanother old magazine retrieved from the depths of a towns like Lamesa, Abilene, and Sweetwater, where century design and architecture, so did the dusty workbench. Had it not attracted Ross’s attention, he was especially drawn to old books and periodicals Modernism101 collection. The duo had a knack for it would likely have wound up in a garbage bin. of any kind. unearthing materials related to the biggest names in He took the catalog home, scanned the cover, and “I was always looking for portals into the rest of mid-century architecture, including Louis Kahn, e-mailed it to Adrian Täckman, an architect and the world, and to me they were newspapers, films, Richard Neutra, and Frank Lloyd Wright, as well design historian in Copenhagen who has built an and books,” Ross said. “Books were really the thing as designs produced by commercial artists like Paul archive relating to the career of Lönberg-Holm. Täck- that made me feel connected to the rest of the world. Rand and Herbert Bayer. The only problem was that These days, books connect him to the world in a more no one wanted to buy the design books. There was alman immediately purchased it for his collection.

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ways a market for a great first edition of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road or a rare pulp novel, but no one—at least no one in Austin in the mid-1990s—seemed to have any interest in rare books about design and architecture. Then came the advent of affordable, high-speed home internet, and everything changed. Suddenly, Ross no longer needed to stand behind a table at a book show to find his customers. Those interactions started taking place on message boards and listservs. The Modernism101 website, modernism101.com—launched in 2001— became a beacon attracting design collectors from places as far-flung as Denmark, Japan, and Australia. People even started reaching out to Ross to sell design-related collections that they had inherited. He cultivated relationships with museum acquisitions departments, research libraries, and private collectors, and soon he and McCombs found themselves criss-crossing the country to evaluate and purchase entire collections of rare design and architecture books. In April of that same year, Ross quit his job as a graphic designer. “I just decided: ‘I can make this work,’” he said. The couple’s guest bedroom in Austin became the Modernism101 office. When it became apparent that they would need more space to contain their growing collection, Ross rented a retail and office space just off of Austin’s bustling South Congress Avenue, where he sold books by appointment and occasionally to people who were passing through for South by Southwest. “My e-mail rolodex was just exploding,” he said. “I was having a hell of a good time. But really, in Austin, what I was doing didn’t matter. Nobody cared.” With Austin home prices skyrocketing and traffic worsening, Ross and McCombs began to joke that “maybe our dream house is waiting for us in Shreveport,” the Northern Louisiana town they had visited on occasion to attend the Centenary College Book Bazaar, an enormous used book sale held each fall. So, they went looking for it.

Randall Ross and his wife Molly McCombs have been collecting special, rare books and ephemera on the subject of graphic design since the early 1990s. One of his great finds was the Honeywell pamphlet below, designed by Knud Lönberg-Holm and Ladislav Sutnar. Photo by Molly McCombs, courtesy of Randall Ross.

Today, the couple runs their business out of an architect-designed mid-century home in Shreveport—an ideal vessel for their jaw-dropping collection of design books, art, and mid-century furniture. In their new home city, Ross and McCombs enjoy fewer distractions, more space, and increased access to the myriad of cultural institutions and organizations Louisiana is home to. They’ve produced design exhibitions for the School of Design at Louisiana Tech University and the Meadows Museum of Art at Centenary College, and have helped foster a growing appreciation of Shreveport’s place in design history. Ross also manages Shreveport Modern, a Facebook page that documents Shreveport’s place in the history of modernist architecture. While many Shreveport residents are familiar with the legacy of Samuel and William Wiener—architects and Shreveport natives whose groundbreaking work helped establish modernism in the United States—Ross has made information about the Wieners and their contemporaries more accessible by placing it on social media. As the world of the web continues to evolve, so does Ross’s access to a global audience interested in design. The @modernism101 Instagram account, for example, currently has more than seven thousand followers. Now that he and McCombs are busy buying and selling collections and networking with international collectors, it would be fair to wonder how much time they still spend rooting around in dusty flea markets. “You’d be surprised. I’m always on the look-out for stuff,” Ross said. “You can find anything, anywhere, at any time.” h modernism101.com

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RAMBLIN’

The Museums Along the Mississippi A GUIDE TO THE FASCINATING COLLECTIONS ALONG THE RIVER ROAD By Mary Ann Sternberg

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boy, about seven years old, hung over the railing of the large 1904 sugar mill model in the central atrium of the West Baton Rouge Museum, enchanted. Press the button and a voice-over provides the boy’s introduction to how the tall grass called sugar cane is magically transformed into raw sugar. And since the factories called sugar mills that perform this feat rarely give tours, this may be the only way the boy, or anyone else, can see this demonstrated. The mill model is part of an extensive exhibit about sugar, an insight into this slice of local history and culture that remains important in West Baton Rouge as well as elsewhere along the River Road. It’s typical of what the (mostly) small museums of the River Road do: present stories that focus on local people and their cultures, on the basic essence of the place and how its heritage has influenced what it has become. New Orleans and Baton Rouge—the anchor cities of the River Road, an approximately one hundred mile section in South Louisiana of the Great River Road National Scenic Byway—are well known for their assortment of excellent museums. The stretch of geography in between, through cane fields and petrochemical plants, is most often defined as a plantation parade because its best known attractions are the elegant antebellum mansions open to the public. But in fact, wonderful museums exist along the River Road, tucked in along the bends on both banks of the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Each of the River Road’s museums offers some combination of education and entertainment, insights into past and present in this richly historic and colorful region. Here is a listing of River Road museums by location—downriver along the west bank from Port Allen; upriver along the east bank from LaPlace. Travel the roads sequentially—or dip in as you desire. And enjoy!

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WEST BANK The West Baton Rouge Museum, located inside the records vault of the old 1880s West Baton Rouge Parish courthouse building, houses a fine permanent collection focused on the sugar industry and the history and culture of rural life in the parish. Changing exhibits of art and regional culture fill the building’s ancillary galleries. (Current ones include Evangeline: Evolution of an Icon and a solo exhibit by figurative oil painter Douglas Bourgeois.) The main building shares a six-acre, live oak-shaded campus with historic structures each filled with displays and artifacts: The Aillet House, circa 1830, is a raised and galleried sugar planter’s cottage with bousillage walls; three cabins from Allendale Plantation reflect the lifestyles of the African Americans who lived in the quarters, a Reconstruction-era cabin, and a sharecroppers’ cabin; the Arbroth Plantation Store reflects rural farm life in the early twentieth century; a Juke Joint spotlights local Blues musicians, instruments, and artworks; the Reed shotgun house exemplifies early twentieth century vernacular architecture; a barn that houses the 1964 industry-changing Julien Sugar Cane Planter and vintage farming implements.

Eight miles downriver in the old railroad town of Addis, west of LA 1 is the tiny Addis Museum in the 1920 redbrick Bank of Addis building facing the still-active railroad tracks. The collection of local interest artifacts reflects the town’s importance on the transcontinental rail route between New Orleans and the west coast, and includes railroading memorabilia—vintage tickets, train photos, signal lights, and more—as well as displays on town history, Mardi Gras, and local war veterans. The old river town of Plaquemine boasts two museum attractions just across the street from each other. The Iberville Museum, housed in the 1848 Courthouse Building, is a grandma’s attic of collected Iberville Parish history, stories of diverse and worthy parish residents and Louisiana’s high school boxing history, cases of vintage tools, cooking implements, and much more. Out back is an extensive Atchafalaya Basin exhibit, introducing visitors to the swamp’s unique way of life through audio-visuals and panels as well as a swamper’s cabin, artifacts, maps, and environmental information about this threatened area.


Courtesy of The Great River Road Museum.

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house, perched above the 1909 Plaquemine Lock that linked the Mississippi River and Bayou Plaquemine. The lock was engineered by Panama Canal designer Colonel George W. Goethals, and the lockhouse exhibits relate to the use and mechanics of the lock and the commerce that passed through at this important confluence. Wander the site’s spacious grounds to see relic features of the old lock, a collection of traditional boats, and a spectacular Mississippi River overlook. From Plaquemine, LA 1 arrives at Donaldsonville and the River Road African American Museum. Housed in an old cottage in the historic district, the museum offers artifacts and displays about the lives, stories, and contributions of area African Americans. It was founded in 1994 at Tezcuco Plantation in Burnside by Ascension Parish native Kathe Hambrick, who moved home from California and discovered that the stories of African Americans were not being told along the River Road. After a fire destroyed Tezcuco, the museum and collections moved to Donaldsonville in 2003, attracting a broad audience which includes the descendants of enslaved people who can learn about their South Louisiana history. Exhibits focus on the history of slavery, music, moss ginning, Louisiana cooking, the history of voting, and meanings of freedom, plus more.

An adjacent outdoor space hosts live music and a contiguous shed houses the exhibit Purchased Lives, about New Orleans slave auctions. Two nearby historic buildings are in progress: a Rosenwald School, to be renovated as a community center and educational space, and the True Friends Benevolent Hall, planned to be a music school and performance venue. Whitney Plantation Museum is on a late eighteenth century plantation property re-envisioned as a museum complex dedicated to the history of slavery and opened in 2014. Numerous outbuildings, some original to the Whitney, others acquired from nearby properties, present stories of slavery on Southern Louisiana sugarcane plantations, and especially those of the enslaved people who worked the fields of Whitney, showcasing the details of their lives and the impact of slavery on the area. Whitney’s possession of eleven such structures worthy of the National Register for Historic Places includes: an original kitchen, a mule barn, a pigeonnier, and a French Creole barn—the last surviving example of its kind. A memorial wall dedicated to all of Whitney’s enslaved is engraved with the names, origins, ages, and skills of over three hundred and fifty individuals—details discovered in original archives. Another memorial, called the Field of Angels, is dedicated to the 2,200 children who died while enslaved in St. John the Baptist Parish between the 1820s and 1860s.

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Plaquemine Lock State Historic Site is the Dutch colonial-style lock-

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May 15 - October 31, 2021 www.WestBatonRougeMuseum.org

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The West Baton Rouge Museum’s Juke Joint interprets the rich blues heritage of the area, which was centered around the juke joins that provided relief to workers coming in from the sugar cane fields; and drinks to East Baton Rouge parish residents, whose parish was dry on Sundays. Photo courtesy of the West Baton Rouge Museum.

The Iberville Museum, housed in the 1848 Courthouse Building, is a grandma’s attic of collected Iberville Parish history, stories of diverse and worthy parish residents and high school boxing champs, cases of vintage tools, cooking implements, and much more. Photo courtesy of the Iberville Museum.

EAST BANK

Across the Mississippi River, on east bank River Road in the small community of LaPlace, is the 1811 Kid Ory Historic House, which opened February 2. It fills the late eighteenth century Woodland Plantation house with two stories: the largest revolt of enslaved people in American history, the 1811 Slave Rebellion, which started on the site; and the story of famed jazz trombonist and band leader Edward “Kid” Ory, who was born and raised on Woodland property in the late nineteenth century. The house was recently renovated to reveal two rooms with original bousillage walls and wide pine flooring; these are where the rebellion exhibit is mounted. Panels, furnishings, and artifacts depict the saga of that 1811 event. “We don’t present slaves or masters here,” said John McCusker, a former Times Picayune photojournalist and the museum’s director, “…just human beings.” McCusker wrote the definitive biography of musician Ory and orchestrated that exhibit, which documents the musician’s life from his departure from St. John Parish because there were no schools for Black students to his migration to New Orleans and success as a musician there. The rooms are crammed with memorabilia surrounding the musician’s legacy, including his trombone. If the exhibits seem a bit bifurcated, McCusker included transitional exhibits to connect them. One features the critical contribution of mules to the post-bellum economy (complete at one point with a live mule in a rear barn), and the second depicts the important role St. John the Baptist Parish played during Reconstruction. Also noteworthy: the museum’s tiny, but unique, gift shop sells Kid Ory vintage jazz LPs and CDs, homemade cigar box guitars, and old phonographs. 50

Upriver in Darrow, at Houmas House, one of the best known River Road plantation mansions, is the new Great River Road Steamboat Museum. Constructed and presented in the same grand style as everything else on the property, the new edifice has soaring ceilings and an elegant entrance. According to curator Jim Blanchard, who designed both the building and exhibit, the museum is a pictorial presentation of life along the Mississippi River, including architecture, people, commerce, and lifestyle— painting a much broader stroke than its fellow River Road museums. Wax mannequins posed in period costumes appear throughout the exhibition space, which is reminiscent of a steamboat’s grand ballroom, complete with a stage and piano at the far end. The museum’s large central space is dedicated to an exhibit about the River Road’s history with details and images of many plantations and buildings located along the river over two centuries. Perimeter exhibits feature the Civil War, New Orleans Mardi Gras, Reconstruction, sugar, slavery, the Lemann department store in Donaldsonville, steamboat models and pictures, Evangeline and the Acadians, ironwork, woodworking implements, maps, and more. Most of the exhibitions’ period furniture, decorative items, and artifacts came from Houmas House, the personal collections of Blanchard and plantation owner Kevin Kelly, and loans from other collectors. As I wandered through one day, I decided to approach the only other visitor, a middle aged man in jeans and a sweatshirt. When I asked about his impression of the museum, he grinned. “Nothing like this in the Texas panhandle,” he drawled, clearly dazzled.

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On the outskirts of the village of Carville is the site of the National Hansen’s Disease Museum. Although the museum itself remains closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, for now visitors are welcome to follow a map (offered both onsite and online at neworleanshistorical.org) and drive the grounds of this unique community that for a century housed the only institution in the continental United States serving people with leprosy. The tour is worthwhile, but a visit to the museum, housed in the old staff dining hall, puts it in more meaningful context. Through an astonishing collection of institutional and personal artifacts, photographs, and records, the museum presents not only the facility’s history but also how patients and their physicians lived and coped, as well as the culture that existed in this very real community. I was very lucky when researching my story on Carville for my book, River Road Rambler (LSU Press 2013), to have been led through the museum by one of the last surviving residents and Hansen’s Disease patients at Carville.

The Timbermill Museum in the old lumber town of Garyville is not quite open again but its supporters are hopeful. The museum, in the headquarters of the Lyon Cypress Lumber Company, celebrated the cypress lumber industry that thrived during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In 2015, the state returned the museum to a local nonprofit that is currently working to restore the building and exhibits. The latter includes archival papers and photographs, period equipment and machinery, and even a remnant cypress board milled from the thousand-year-old cypress that resourced the business. An annual fundraiser in Garyville, set to be held on October 10 this year, benefits the museum’s reopening. h Mary Ann Sternberg is a longtime freelance writer and nonfiction author; her books include Along The River Road; River Road Rambler; River Road Rambler Returns; and Winding Through Time (Bayou Manchac).

The Whitney Plantation Museum possesses eleven outbuildings worthy of the National Historic Register, which present more nuanced stories on the experience of being enslaved in South Louisiana. Courtesy of the Whitney Plantation Museum.


The Great River Road Museum at Houmas House is a pictorial presentation of life along the Mississippi River, including architecture, people, commerce, and lifestyle. Courtesy of The Great River Road Museum.

A MIX OF HISTORY AND CULTURE The National Hansen’s Disease Museum in Carville, Louisiana presents the history of the country’s only institution serving people with leprosy. Because of the disease’s stigma, nothing was allowed to leave the property, including Coca Cola bottles, which were recycled in the Center’s gardens. Lucie Monk Carter.

West Baton Rouge Museum

Whitney Plantation Museum

845 N. Jefferson Ave. Port Allen. (225) 336-2422 westbatonrougemuseum.org

5099 LA 18 Edgard. (225) 265-3300. whitneyplantation.org

Addis Museum

1811 Kid Ory Historic House

7821 Harris Avenue, Addis. (225) 687-4844

1128 LA 628, LaPlace. (985) 359-7300. 1811kidoryhistorichouse.com

Iberville Museum 57735 Main Street, Plaquemine. 225-687-7197 ibervillemuseum.org.

Plaquemine Lock State Historic Site 57730 Main Street, Plaquemine. (225) 687-7158 plaquemine.org/194/PlaquemineLock-State-Historic-Site

National Hansen’s Disease Museum 5440 Point Clair Rd. Carville. (225) 642-1950. hrsa.gov/hansens-disease/

Great River Road Steamboat Museum 40136 LA 942, Darrow. (225) 473-9380 houmashouse.com/great-riverroad-steamboat-museum

From the brilliant colors in the gardens of Houmas House Plantation to the vibrant stories told at the Great River Road Museum, from the explosion of flavors in a bowl of Jambalaya to the explosion in retail at Tanger Outlets and locally owned shops, from Louisiana’s

River Road African American Museum 165 Charles Street, Donaldsonville. (225) 474-5553 africanamericanmuseum.org.

Timbermill Museum

second largest historic district to a sugarcane distillery,

148 Museum St. Garyville facebook.com/garyvilletimbermillmuseum

there’s just so much to see, taste, experience and savor in Ascension Parish- Louisiana’s Sweet Spot

visitlasweetspot.com // A U G 2 1

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Escapes

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FANTASIES OF WES ANDERSON WONDERLANDS

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Photo by Douglas Friedman.

Photo by Matt Harrington.

R E T R E AT

A Saintly Stay

THE HOTEL SAINT VINCENT MELDS GARDEN DISTRICT HISTORY

Photos courtesy of M18 Public Relations.

WITH VINTAGE ART DECO FLAIR AND CONTEMPORARY OPULENCE

McGuire Moorman Hospitality, founded by chefs Larry McGuire and Tom Moorman in Austin, the firm changed its name to MML this year with the addition of Lambert. The three have garnered well-earned reputations for hyper-aesthetic hotels and inventive accompanying eateries and bars in Austin and beyond. While the newly-rebranded MML Hospitality handles the operations of the seventy-five room hotel, the San Lorenzo restaurant, Paradise Lounge bar, and more, Lambert and McGuire’s interior design and architecture studio Lambert McGuire Design handled the building restorations and interiors. Having spent most of its life in disrepair, the Saint Vincent’s Infant Asylum’s transformation into Hotel Saint Vincent was an extraordinary undertaking. “We started with an orphanage that was built during the Civil War in New Orleans that had remained fairly untouched structurally since it was built: drop ceilings, and lots of disrepair and abuse, but structurally pretty intact,” said Lambert. “So we approached the build-

By Alexandra Kennon “Saints have no moderation… just exuberance.” ––Anne Sexton

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hen strolling down Magazine Street, it is impossible to miss the immaculately-restored Hotel Saint Vincent, with its three broad stories of red brick laced with wrought iron details, tantalizingly veiled by the leaves of palm trees, beckoning coyly to visitors and locals alike. Such a degree of historic opulence is hardly unusual in the Lower Garden District, which has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1972—but to be invited past the sidewalk, into the Italianate beauty’s very halls? The Hotel Saint Vincent presents such a rose-tinted, vintage fantasy on a golden platter. Before stepping through the heavy double doors and saturating oneself in the splendor of sixties and seventies grandeur, it helps to appreciate the original reason the historic brick structure 52

Photo by Matt Harrington.

was built. In 1861, Margaret Gaffney Haughery, an Irish immigrant and baker known around the neighborhood as “Our Margaret,” founded the building as the The Saint Vincent’s Infant Asylum, which served as an orphanage and a refuge for the elderly. A short walk from the now-hotel, Margaret Place Park continues to honor her memory with a monument created by sculptor Alexander Doyle, which was dedicated in 1884. Around a century and a half since its inception, the orphanage has been completely overhauled into its luxurious present state: The Hotel Saint Vincent officially opened its doors on June 22. Boutique hotelier Liz Lambert, formerly of hospitality company Bunkhouse Group, envisioned and oversaw the transformation as the premiere project of newly-formed company McGuire Moorman Lambert (MML) Hospitality. Formerly

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ing in the spirit of restoration, with the additional intent of layering a new story on top of the historic structure.” “My favorite hotels always seem to be properties that have been in a family for a long time and passed along to new generations, who in turn layer their own remodels and personal styles on top,” added McGuire. “Liz and I imagined that it was our turn, and we were gonna go sixties-seventies decadence over the beautiful base layer of New Orleans classic Garden District design that already existed.” Lambert spearheaded designs for the rooms and lobby area, McGuire said, while he concentrated on the main restaurant and bar spaces. “We needed a full re-imagination of the place,” Lambert added. “We wanted to create something grand and a little debaucherous.” The exuberance is not only for tourists. In addition to its seventy-five luxuriously styled rooms, the hotel boasts three bars and two restaurants that have each already served their share of curious, aesthetic-hungry locals, including this writer.


I started with the Paradise Lounge, which welcomes ample natural light through its tall windows, piercing through an overcast sky to illuminate the artfully-rendered bird of paradise plants blooming on the walls, rich emerald velvet loveseats, and custom mosaic-tiled floors, which were inspired by the original floors of the building. Even the bartenders and cocktail waitresses, in their beige vests and bow ties or ankle-length patterned dresses, are inexplicably model-level attractive, effortlessly adorning the beautiful space to serve up a menu of refreshing spritzes, martinis, and other thoughtful interpretations of classic cocktails. Across the main foyer, the guests-only Chapel Lounge (which, you might deduce, was originally the orphanage’s chapel) draws the senses in an entirely contrary, and darker, direction—while still maintaining a sense of elevated, art-deco-influenced luxury. Orange and gold light seeps through stained glass windows to warmly drench a sleek upright piano upon entry, seducing imbibers to approach the monochrome marble bar, whose underside is upholstered in fuschia velvet. Lambert’s collection of artful nudes adorns the dramatically-shadowed space. The bartenders turn out an impressive assortment of finely-crafted cocktails in delicate glassware, incorporating ingredients like local, small-batch El Guapo bitters, St. George Absinthe, and egg whites. And of course, what is a historic New Orleans building without a lusciously-outfitted interior courtyard? Coral and cream-striped lounge chairs, tropical foliage, and water fountains surround a sparkling pool, with equally-sparkling beverages served up to daytime sunbathers from the cabana bar. The hotel’s signature all-day restaurant San Lorenzo, classically grand in its design, draws influence from Coastal Italy, with a tip of the hat to signature New Orleans cuisine (think: an appetizer of prosciutto and summer melon with white balsamic and fresh basil, or a Scampi Milanese Risotto with saffron and Gulf shrimp). “Early on we knew we wanted to do a restaurant with coastal Italian food with a focus on Gulf seafood,” said McGuire. “In the main dining room of San Lorenzo, we added a thick high wainscot with rope and

medallion detailing, and then put a layer of excitement on top of the classic architecture with painted floors and murals, custom mohair couches and wild stones choices.” Lighter and more casual by comparison is Austin favorite Elizabeth Street Café: a French Vietnamese-style café and bakery offering creative bites like turmeric and coconut marinated red fish with fresh dill and vermicelli noodles, or broiled escargots in Thai basil curry butter with a baguette. Whether attuned to the eyes or to the touch or to the tongue, tasteful details abound wherever you turn on the property, settling in deep in the hotel’s guest rooms and suites. “When you dig into New Orleans, you realize how much there is to draw from—Spanish, Italian, and French, to name a few cultural influences on design,” Lambert said. The base, she and McGuire decided, would be classical Western European details, with a substantial dose of Italian modernism. “I love Italian modern style. That’s what inspired the palette of greys, salmons, reds, and gold,” she said. “For the bathrooms, we were inspired by the marbled bindings of Margaret Houghery’s financial ledgers, and we worked with one of our friends, George Venson of Voutsa, to create a sort of psychedelic marbled wallpaper, which we loved so much we ended up using it in other places, including robes and headboards.” An epitome of the phrase ‘gilding the lily,’ the hotel’s lobby shop ByGeorge is a satellite of the Austin fashion and lifestyle outfit by the same name, which offers just the necessities—vintage Rolex watches, exclusive cashmere sweaters, and designer fragrances and jewelry; all against a backdrop of Tiffany blue. All this to say, if you’ve ever desired to be transported into the colorful, art nouveau wonderland of a Wes Anderson film set—or perhaps, scrolling through Instagram, you’ve found yourself wistfully eyeing the floral wallpaper and velvet sofas of an influencer’s tastefully-filtered photograph, wishing you were reclining in the midst of it all, sipping an aperol spritz—then a visit to the Hotel Saint Vincent might be just the glamorous reprieve you crave. And if all that hasn’t convinced you? It’s dog friendly, too. h

saintvincentnola.com

Southside Gardens

Next Best Place to Home! “A wonderful experience with wonderful people"

Michelle Cave, resident. Also pictured, Judy Johnson, Team Member

Our garden homes are all ground floor units, on beautifully landscaped grounds, in the heart of South Baton Rouge!

• No buy-in fee • Utilities and cable TV included • Weekly housekeeping • Ground floor apartments • Home cooked meals prepared daily by Chef Celeste Photo by Douglas Friedman.

4604 Perkins Rd. | 225.922.9923 | southsidegardens.com // A U G 2 1

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WEEKENDER

A New Era at Dunleith NATCHEZ’S SIGNATURE MANSION REOPENS, CASTLE AND ALL

Story by Chris Turner-Neal • Photos by G Douglas Adams

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atchez is one of the South’s queens of the weekend away. Perfectly situated for residents of Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Jackson—not a long drive, but long enough that you can’t reasonably be expected to go home to deal with something—the little city on the bluff has expertly presented itself as a destination. If New Orleans is the South’s playground, Natchez is one of its bed and breakfasts. One of the key properties in the Natchez tourist infrastructure is Dunleith Historic Inn, under new management and back open for business. Now fresh from a renovation that addressed lingering structural issues in the main house and rejuvenated the restaurant and its environs, Dunleith is ready to offer respite to those needing a break from their everyday. I spent a lovely night at the refreshed Dunleith recently, and I’m looking forward to going back. I arrived in the late afternoon—I had left work at the shocking hour of 1 pm, hoping to beat both weekend traffic and the promised rains of Tropical Storm Claudette, and enjoyed the cutting-school feeling of being on the road instead of on the clock. After I checked in and dropped off my overnight bag, I hopped onto the golf cart for a quick tour of the property with Lyn Jenkins, assistant general manager and gracious guide. The core forty acres of land have lasted as a unit since 1796, but the original mansion, Routhland, burned down in 1855 after a lightning strike. The site 54

was sold to Charles Dahlgren, who built a new home with all the fervor of Old South worship of the classical world—to the extent that Dunleith is the only antebellum house in Mississippi fully surrounded by columns. (The columns were among the aspects of the site that needed repair—you can’t tell, which is the mark of an excellent renovation.) The house was sold in 1866—guess why!—and was held by a local bank until its purchase in 1886 by John Neibert Carpenter, the paterfamilias of the Carpenter family. The house remained a private residence for successive generations of Carpenters until its sale in 1976, baffling a subdivision product like me who grew up in a house about nine months older than I was— one can only imagine that the children were not even allowed to learn about grape juice. In 2019, New Orleans hotel group The J Collection purchased Dunleith and began the renovations needed to keep the property competitive in the crowded small luxury hotel space. In addition to the main house, two well-preserved outbuildings are key parts of the property. Offices occupy the old poultry house, a large (by bird standards) brick structure which was shared by chickens and pigeons; the chickens used little doors at ground level, while the more airworthy pigeons had their own entries higher up. These pigeons weren’t solely destined for the table, as many pigeons were; instead, they acted as messengers, retrieving the all-important price of cotton from exchanges in New

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Orleans. Outside the poultry house stands a strong candidate for the oldest magnolia in Mississippi. Confirmation of its senior status would require taking a core sample, which could endanger the tree, but even if it’s merely the third or fourth oldest, the branches stretch out to make a fairy cave, cool and thick with the citrusy scent of the tree’s blossoms. The carriage house hosts the bar and restaurant. Originally, the horses were billeted upstairs, with the downstairs serving as a tack room. Horses, notoriously reluctant stair-climbers, were brought in and out via a wide, gently sloped ramp on one side of the building. Today, this gives the building one of the best wheelchair-accessible entrances I’ve ever seen—one of my favorite dining companions uses a wheelchair, and you’d be amazed by how many steps sometimes separate us from our dinner. The recent renovations added outdoor seating on both levels, multiplying the capacity of the restaurant and allowing patrons to take full advantage of the lovely springs and autumns that are the South’s prize for enduring the summers. A spruced-up pool area behind the restaurant caters to sun worshippers, and a small second bar, repurposed from an event room, offers an alternative to waiting with a drink for a table to open—while there, you can gawk at the Castle’s “cellar,” a colossal wine selection resting in a glass-fronted temperature-controlled case. Jenkins noted that many people refer to the property as Dunleith

Plantation, but this is incorrect: the forty-acre spread and colonnaded mansion were the owners’ place in town. The plantations that generated their wealth lay elsewhere and covered far more than forty acres. This, of course, does not mean that people were not held in slavery at Dunleith, but there’s a clear difference in the atmosphere. Tourism in the South can be fraught for obvious reasons; I know I’m not alone in occasionally visiting a site and finding the interpretation too wistful for the pre-war order, too elegiac about a system that emphasized near-imperial luxury for a few over the dignity of thousands. Changes in public perceptions of the past will mean changes in how people in the tourist industry—and I include myself and my occasional travel writing—develop sites and experiences, and smaller cities like Natchez whose cultural and historical assets are largely keyed to the antebellum era are having to think creatively about how to use these properties in responsible and appealing ways as the public re-evaluates what it wants from heritage and historical tourism. Taking a more hands-off approach to its history than it once did, Dunleith isn’t selling Scarlett sweeping down the staircase or Bette Davis’s Jezebel flouncing in a pile of skirts. You’re not stepping back in time here; you’re stepping into well-appointed and air-conditioned rooms with convenient access to an excellent restaurant. Visitors can stay in the house or the dependency, a word I learned shortly after I was told my room was in the dependency. Normal houses have add-ons; especially old or attractive houses have dependencies. Guest rooms in the main house are furnished with period-correct furniture, preserving the unity of the look. Dependency rooms have more modern furniture, but are still excellently cozy, and my room was stocked with two shelves of hardbacks for perusal. (I chose to believe these operated on the same rule as hotel soaps and purloined a historical novel about the settlement of Iceland.) Heavy curtains fostered a good dark cave for my afternoon nap—I hate to go to dinner without being rested— and a king-sized bed was perfect for a dozy sprawl. Belted into my one pair of long pants that still fits (at this writing, at least), I made my way over to the carriage house for dinner and a drink. The Castle Pub offers an English pub aesthetic. Drinkers can order from a bar menu or from the upstairs restaurant, but I was anxious to have the full Castle experience, so after a martini I went upstairs and was seated in a cozy corner, perfect for people-watching across the crowded room. “Oh, I’ll have some wine with dinner,” I thought, and ordered the house pinot. It came, to my admitted delight, in a big glass, somewhere between a dare and a treat: “Look, it’s technically one glass.” (I had two, of course.) The menu was the right size, which is a sincere


compliment: too many options feels like a diner, and too few always involves a feeling of compromise—a menu should be a journey, not a pit stop. Chef Doug Hosford has curated a menu that offers the right amount of sweet indecision. I knew what I wanted, and I also knew what I would want someone eating with me to get and let me sample. Because I was going to write about the restaurant, I had to get an appetizer (how I sacrifice myself for my art), and after a pleasant period of starter-main matchmaking I settled on corn and catfish chowder and duck carbonara. The chowder was among the best I’ve ever had, and I have been to New England and consider myself a chowder enthusiast. (Country Roads wouldn’t put it on my business cards.) In the grand scheme of soups, a chowder should be rich but not heavy, smack-dab between a bisque and a bouillabaisse: good sweet corn, mild but flavorful catfish, and plenty of each, all in a perfectly seasoned stock. I tilted the bowl unabashedly to get the last spoonfuls and would have done so in front of the Queen. If she’d had the chowder too, she would have understood. The waiter managed to pull the bowl away from me so he could put down the duck carbonara. Fat strips of perfectly cooked meat rested on top of a justright portion of pasta, accompanied by sugar snap peas. The duck had the ideal crisp skin and little layer of fat along the meat, as well as the right texture—most people reasonably overcook poultry a little because we’re so used to not giving our friends salmonella with chicken, and slightly overdone poultry is still generally perfectly good, but the softer texture of a just-done bird is a delight. It was easy to pace myself with the meat because the pasta was also delicious, glossy and gently creamy—pleasantly light, to the extent that carbohydrates can be light. (I subsequently learned that carbonara sauce is made by adding a raw egg mixture to freshly made noodles and letting the heat from the noodles cook the sauce, which impressed me further.) The snap peas added a brisk, fresh crunch and some vegetal depth to the dish. Duty-bound to order a dessert, I chose a berry freeze—not frozen itself, but named for the freeze-dried and crushed berries that topped the whipped cream that topped the crème anglaise that topped a cheesecake-like central goody. Aided by another tureen of wine, I savored it all as I idly eavesdropped on the table of ladies to my right. To my amazement, as they stood to leave one of them turned to speak to me, telling me she was pleased the restaurant would be in Country Roads—she recognized me and followed the magazine. I’d never been recognized by a stranger before, largely because I am not actually famous, but I was thrilled, if a bit unnerved (where did she recognize me from, and what had I been doing?). Swollen with pride and a

good meal, I waddled the hundred yards back to the dependency—I used the ramp to leave the restaurant, as it seemed wisest—and slept like a stone. On my golf cart tour, I’d asked Jenkins if Dunleith had run into problems during COVID—were people reluctant to get back out there? She was pleased to tell me they were doing well. The timeline of the renovations meant that the property was ready for visitors more or less at the same time visitors were ready for it, and so they’ve enjoyed ample reservations and full tables as Natchezians and weekenders have reemerged into the world. They’re looking ahead, too, at developing the remainder of the forty acres to offer more outdoor amenities like walking trails. By all appearances, Dunleith has some happy years ahead of it— be sure to share them. h

dunleithhistoricinn.com

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Directory of Merchants Albany, LA Livingston Parish CVB Baton Rouge, LA AllWood Furniture Artistry of Light Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge Baton Rouge Blues Festival Becky Parrish Aesthetician Blue Cross Blue Shield BREADA East Baton Rouge Parish Library Elizabethan Gallery Eye Wander Photography Losey Insurance and Financial Services Louisiana Public Broadcasting LSU Rural Life Museum Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center Pinetta’s Southside Gardens Stafford Tile & Stone Wilson & Wilson, LLC Window World of Baton Rouge WRKF 89.3 Young Entrepreneurs Academy

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Bogalusa, LA Bogalusa Blues Festival

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Broussard, LA Parkside RV Park

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Grand Isle, LA Grand Isle Tourism Department Hammond, LA Taste of Tangi Tangipahoa Parish CVB Jackson, MS Visit Mississippi Mandeville, LA St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission

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Natchez, MS Crye-Leike Stedman Realtors

16

All Creatures Great and Small:

Wednesday, August 18 at 7PM

www.lpb.org/livestream

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New Orleans, LA Stafford Tile & Stone

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Celebrated Mississippi & Louisiana Chefs • Creative Dishes • Wine Pairings • Cooking Demonstrations Book Signings • Cocktail Tastings • Craft Beer & Brats Garden • Lawn Games

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New For 2021 Saturday Night Winemaker Dinner – 4 courses by Chef David Dickensauge, Beausoleil Coastal Cuisine; wine pairings by Steve Reynolds, Reynolds Family Winery 2021 Small Town Chefs Awards – Small plate tastings from this year’s winning chefs. Alex Diaz - Cena, Hammond • Lauren Joffrion - The Thorny Oyster, Bay St. Louis Paolo Cenni - Paolo’s Restaurant & Wine Bar, Ponchatoula VIP Enclosure – Private bar, buffet, seating, & more

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Sponsored by Tangipahoa Parish Tourism

P E R S P E C T I V E S : I M A G E S O F O U R S TAT E

“Comfort Zone”

MULTIMEDIA ARTIST STEPHANIE PATTON IS JUST GETTING STARTED By Jordan LaHaye Fontenot

“L

Stephanie Patton. “Grey Matter,” 2017, vinyl, batting, canvas, 65 x 154 x 6 inches.

adies and gentleman,” rings out the deep cowboy-voiced introduction to the “Lost in Love” radio show on KRVS 88.7 FM in Lafayette and Lake Charles, on air every Saturday evening at 5 pm and on Tuesdays at 1 pm. “It’s my unmitigated pleasure to introduce to you tonight a fine fine lady who I’ve known for quite some time. She’s news in New York, she’s the fairest in Paris, she’s Renella Roooose Champagne. Put your hands together now.” Multimedia artist Stephanie Patton, under the guise of her alter ego, laughs, greeting her listeners in her signature Southern accent, “Well howdy partners!” It’s certainly possible that most fans of “Lost in Love” might never know that their campy, country-music-loving DJ is actually an internationally-shown visual artist, nor that they are participating in her larger body of artwork that is the story of Renella Rose Champagne. They’re just here for the music. “The thing about Renella,” said Patton of the bighaired, Dolly Parton-esque character she first created in 1992, “is that in my performance there have been all these times where there is a brush between fantasy and reality.” The most famous example of this was Renella’s wedding to Jack Rivas’ character Junior Rivas, produced in 1993 by Patton and announced in The Daily Advertiser newspaper in Lafayette. “People didn’t know it was fictitious,” she said, “My sister even went to a friend’s bridal shower, and old ladies there were talking about ‘that little girl laying on her dress in the newspaper’.” Renella has emerged in the form of self-portraiture, video, and live performances throughout the course of Patton’s career, and was even featured in a New Iberia television advertisement for Nationwide Manufactured Homes. “Now, doing the radio show has kind of kept the character going, but it’s also a real radio show, and I really do love the music that I play.” The “Lost in Love” playlists, Patton noted, are connected by the language of country music (and these days, disco and other eighties party genres, too), but also by themes of intimacy and relationships and emotions—all of which are recurring issues explored across her vast and diverse body of work. “But . . . it’s funny too,” she said. The integration of humor into her work goes as far back as high school, when she was borderline obsessed with

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Saturday Night Live, and had every intention of pursuing a career in theater. But over the course of her time at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, she found herself dabbling in a bit of everything: “I took a drawing class, and the teacher told me I should do visual arts, so I ended up focusing on that. But I took as many photography classes as I did painting classes, and I was going back and forth with sculpture. I took classical voice classes in the musical department, where I studied opera really. I was truly interdisciplinary.” Patton credits those years, her fellow art students, and her teachers at ULL—who included artists Alan Jones, Lynda Frese, and Dee Carnelli—for helping her to discover her voice. “I remember I had this sculpture class,” she said. “A friend of mine gave me a pair of her boyfriend’s Fruit of the Loom underwear. I made the bottom half of a man’s torso, then added two mopsticks for legs. And it was this really funny and kind of creepy piece. My sculpture teacher Dee Carnelli told me, ‘You know, there are people out there doing what you are doing, and it is valid. People are being taken seriously doing humorous work.’ It was amazing advice, to just let yourself be you and have faith in what you are doing.” Wandering through Patton’s most recent exhibition, the survey Stephanie Patton: Comfort Zone, 1993–2021 at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, it’s easy to find the humor. Some of her earliest works from Renella’s Lingerie Showroom (1997), which was also her thesis at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, include a series of self-portraited advertisements presented in the styles of vintage mail order catalogues offering products like the “Heart Filter” (“Interchangeable filters allow for weeding out the undesirable characteristics in a potential mate.”), the “Overnight Invigorator,” or the “Anxiety Guard”. A wall of negligees from her period of musical performances from 2002– 2005 with collaborated Walter Pierce (also known as “Chablis”) enjoys a prominent place in the exhibit space. “Bronzed SAS Shoes (size 8)” is a grand presentation of a pair of Patton’s grandmother’s shoes, which she sent off to the American Bronzing company, a company that

often bronzes babies’ shoes for parents. Turning tradition and society’s veneration of youth on its head in a way that is simultaneously funny and sobering (the pedestal that the shoes sit upon is mirrored, reflecting the viewer’s own inevitable aging.) is a touchstone of Patton’s work. Another example is her video, “Heal” (2011), in which Patton plays with the cliché “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” by cutting and squeezing lemons for forty eight minutes straight before stuffing one lemon with batting and sewing it all back together. “This endurance-based piece captures the absurd and exhausting repetitiveness of this act and reflects on how much work is involved in the healing process,” she says in the piece’s accompanying statement. Health—physical and mental—and healing recur as themes throughout various phases of Patton’s career. In her most recent projects, it has arisen in the form of her mattress and vinyl works. “Conceptually, mattresses can represent birth, death, intimacy, and more,” said Patton, who is the daughter of three generations of mattress salesmen. “There’s just so many layers to it, relationships, aging, rest.” Featured in Comfort Zone are some of her more recent mattressed messages: “Be careful what you wish for,” “Us,” “Wait.” “I like words that have multiple meanings. Like ‘wait’ can mean so many things: ‘don’t die,’ ‘please don’t leave,’ it can refer to intimacy issues. A lot of words go back to the idea of emotional connections and references.” Patton created “Join” in the middle of the pandemic of 2020. “I was thinking a lot about people doing this together, coming together. It was such a historic moment in time for everyone. And then also the conversations on racial equality. . . it’s what I was thinking about at the time.” Featured prominently in Comfort Zone, the word takes on a new meaning as the pandemic begins to relinquish its grip and we rejoin each other in embraces, in society, in art galleries. “The timing was amazing,” said Patton, who said curator and Visual Arts Director of ACA Jaik Faulk captured her vision perfectly. “People were able to come out after getting through the pandemic, but it also just feels like the right time in my personal career to show the changes and evolution of it. To be able to collect that amount of work and reflect on it, I’m learning things about myself. And I feel as though I’m just getting started.” h Stephanie Patton.“Join,” 2021, mattress quilting, upholstery foam, cording, wood, 44 x 57 x 7 3/4 inches, (courtesy of Arthur Roger Gallery).

Comfort Zone is on display at the Acadiana Center for the Arts until September 11, 2021. See more of Patton’s work at stephaniepatton.com


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Profile for Country Roads

Country Roads Magazine "Deep South Design" August 2021  

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