Working artists

Today, I ran across two old friends, both working in the Quarter. The great photographer and musician Zack Smith was doing a shoot for Dirty Coast on Royal. His photography spans all of the different cultures that Southeastern Louisiana encompasses, and his work with the indie rock band, Rotary Downs is worth a deep listen. It’s on my regular rotation.



Sam Mee is someone I have known since I was a teen, when I used to run with his old employer, Roger Simonson. (Sam worked at Roger’s Royal Street store, A Better Mousetrap which had its heyday in the early 1970s.)  Sam has been a working artist for decades, and shows up on the Square from time to time. As these things usually go, I had just been thinking about him recently, realizing I had not seen him in some time. And then, there he was.


I even bought an original of his today:


I talked to both of them about how they are doing with the “job, gig, hustle” lifestyle we have here in town. Zack is doing well, but still takes the cycle of business very seriously; Sam is a little less sanguine about sales, but still very good at keeping it going after all of these years.

Eleven million visitors and less than half a million residents — and most still struggle. Since the levee breaks, the cost of everything has been doubled, tripled and the number of opportunists arriving has easily quadrupled.

It is in everyone’s interest to see our creative community succeed, yet the very infrastructure works against it.

Botton line: if you see an honest hustler or gigger, pay your respects in some way.




Jazz in the Park is calling all craft vendors and artists

People united for Armstrong Park is now accepting art market vendor applications for the seven season of Jazz in the Park. This year concert series runs Thursday, April 16th – June 4th, 2015.
Situated on Armstrong Park’s St. Ann Street promenade, the Jazz in the Park Art Market has enjoyed crowds of up to 3000 to 5000 people on a weekly basis. Attracting all demographics, this 8 week concert series is a favorite among local and regional artisans and spectators, alike. Vending spaces are limited; once gone, they will not make additional space so, apply early.

All work in this category must be 100% original and produced by the exhibiting artist. Offset reproductions of applicant’s original art may be sold, but should represent a very small percentage of the total work on display. No imported goods and or resale items will be accepted.

This is a juried show and as such, previous participation in this festival does not guarantee acceptance. Four digital images are required as part of your application. Image quality is essential and can make a difference in your acceptance, as the jury has only your digital images with which to judge your work. The best image is one that is full framed with the artist’s single work, is well lit and is representative of the body of work intended for exhibition. Your booth image should show your booth as it is set up for exhibition at an outdoor show. Images submitted this year will again be added to a google slideshow to facilitate in the jury process. For those accepted, these same images will be placed in a slideshow to post on the website and social media to create some excitement among the general public about art to be featured at the festival.

There is a $20 Non-refundable application fee (payable by credit card) due along with the online application no later than March 16, 2015.

Those accepted into the Arts Market will receive notification of acceptance along with a contract which will detail all the information needed to confirm participation. The booth fees for those accepted will be three hundred dollars ($300) to be paid and sent in along with the contract by Monday March 16, 2015. Booth sharing is allowed and all artists must be listed on this application. The cost is an additional $25 per additional artist.

1. Read the application in its entirety.
2. Complete the online application form including submission of artwork images and booth display.
3. Images must be submitted to and must be less than 2MB
3. Remit $20 application fee payable through Paypal link on People United for Armstrong Park website
4. Do not remit booth fee prior to notification of your selection and receiving your Jazz in the Park Art Market Contract.

The Jazz in the Park concert series will provide:

1. A 10ft. x
2. Security during and after the show
3. Promotion of the Art Market and participating artists
4. Audience of at least 3000 to 5000 people
5. One parking space near concert series site

The Artist will agree to:

1. Secure a special events occupational license
2. Provide your own WHITE 10 ft. x 10 ft. pop-up tent, with all necessary display hardware, signage, promotional materials and transport to the festival site as well as bring your own battery operated lighting(generators are NOT allowed)
3. Staff the booth from 4 pm to 8pm.
4. Supply your own 2A10bc fire extinguisher with proof of current inspection
5. Provide your tent brand along with fire retardant certification, if necessary
6. Submit the contract and payment within a timely fashion
7. Give the series staff notice of any cancellation of participation No later than Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 for a 50% refund.
8. Provide sales report and feedback form to Jazz in the Park at end of the series

For more information call 504-233-4276

Veronica Russell, award-winning New Orleans performer and costume designer, dies at age 44

One of our most creative and engaged community artists passed away this week after a brief illness. A great loss.

“She fused her acting and costuming talents into her role as the artistic director for Louisiana History Alive, whose performers assume the characters of some of the state’s most notable figures at public and private functions throughout the city — most notably in the French Quarter.

Russell often portrayed the notorious New Orleans madam Josie Arlington from the Storyville days.”

Veronica Russell, award-winning New Orleans performer and costume designer, dies at age 44 |

Sean Friloux, Royal Street artist

The artist that shows and sells his work on the St. Louis Cathedral (St. Anthony’s garden) fence at Royal Street made this beautiful short piece. His work was introduced to us courtesy of New Orleans photographer, author, restaurant family (Antoine’s of course) Roy Guste who is adding one of Sean’s pieces into his new book commemorating Antoine’s 175 years on St. Louis Street.

An elegy for George

One of the lovely people who, when you saw him, made you feel the French Quarter was still a haven for artists and souls that could not really exist other places. Sharon Litwin gives a sweet snapshot of him in the link below.


An elegy for George | NolaVie – Life and Culture in New Orleans.