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2016 Grant Finalist Interview: New Orleans Experience: Pop-Up Photography Festival

New Orleans Experience: Pop-Up Photography Festival is Proposed by New Orleans Photo Alliance

How did you come up with the idea for your project?

Louisiana, and New Orleans specifically, has really mastered utilizing festivals and celebrations to showcase our art and culture. We draw hundreds of thousands of people to our celebrations and it is easy to forget that that mass of people is actually comprised of individuals seeking out a cultural interaction. We wanted to explore the intersection of the mass audience with an individual experience and the idea of a Pop-Up Studio in the middle of the action was born.

What is the most engaging art event/collecting event you’ve been to?

Each December, the New Orleans Photo Alliance produces a festival of photography, PhotoNOLA. One of the highlights of the festival is the PhotoWALK. During this event, participants in PhotoNOLA’s portfolio review open their work for the general public to see, free of charge. Hundreds of people come from every corner of the community to interact with photographers and be inspired by the amazing. It’s a truly magical event and is eagerly anticipated by the local community.

How do you think artists should play a role in educating the public or their audience about their art or art in general?

In any and every way possible! There are as many answers to this question as there are artists creating work. Use the resources that are available to you and just start communicating. Get together with other artists and pool your resources – create a community gallery space, partner with local nonprofits to display work in their project space, use social media, create events to attract local media coverage. Get on a platform and communicate why art is important in your life, what inspires you, and keep talking! We need to make a lot of noise, individually and together.

Why do you think many people find art intimidating, and how can we lower the perceptual barriers to entry for collecting art (and specifically photography)?

People like formulas and sure bets. Art doesn’t follow conventional rules so people don’t understand how to evaluate quality and are afraid to make a bad choice or bad investment. We need to reinforce the global concept that public art elevates the community and then on an individual level the idea that the art you collect is a joy and a gift to live with each and every day.

Like this idea? Vote here for your favorite and the winner receives $1,000!