New Orleans has two major art nights a year; White Linen Night, aptly named, is held in the summer and Art for Art’s Sake occurs in the fall. Many of the major local art galleries have opening receptions on the first Saturday evening of each month, but these two nights (occurring on the 1st Saturday of August & the first Saturday of October, respectively) are extra special. These events bring out the whole city to view the galleries’ new exhibitions, antique shops’ latest offerings, have a few drinks & schmooze. Unlike the regular monthly opening receptions, this is when the galleries display their crème de la crème. It is quite a grand affair; besides the art on display, in many areas, there are terrific live music performances for the crowds, wine and other cocktails are available at most of the venues…and all of this is FREE and open to the public! As the Crescent City begins to take its first few baby steps into fall, our annual art night out, is just around the corner on Saturday, October 1, 2011 from 6-9pm.
There are two main drags where Art for Arts’ Sake occurs; the Warehouse Arts District (primarily along Julia St) & further uptown along the Garden District portion of Magazine (less than a mile from our New Orleans bed and breakfast). You’ll find a wide variety of fine art within The Warehouse Arts Districts, from the stretch of galleries along Julia St. to Ogden Museum of Southern Art on Camp St. Just opposite the Ogden, the Contemporary Arts Center, or as locals simply call it, the CAC, also hosts a happening party from 6pm-midnight, however, the CAC’s party is $10 per person. Meanwhile, uptown along Magazine St., visitors can stroll from one art gallery to the next, with stops in between at high-end boutiques, antique stores, and jewelry shops. There are plenty of options to delight your eyes and keep you entertained for the evening.
The key is to decide ahead of time if you want to commit to just one area or attempt to fit both in between 6-9pm, which may seem like a good amount of time, but it goes by quickly once you get into the hustle and bustle. Visiting everything can be done, but you won’t leave yourself much time to relax & just take in the atmosphere. To help you make your decision, the general difference between the two areas is that the Warehouse Arts District is a bit more formal; whereas Magazine St. offers a somewhat more easygoing and intimate take on the evening.
Dress is casual chic, but in here that means different things to different people, so wear whatever you’d like, just make sure to choose comfortable shoes. Also, it’s a good idea to have a light snack (or even an early dinner) before hitting the town. There are plenty of restaurants in both areas, but they’ll all be busy, so you may want to consider making a reservation if you want to sit down for a late formal dinner after the gallery receptions have ended. Or, simply make your way to another part of town where it isn’t so crowded and you won’t have to compete for a table. We’re happy to offer suggestions on all sorts of wonderful places to eat in the Big Easy.