Thursday, August 25, 2016 - 7:00pm

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Free Event
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Artists and founders Dawn DeDeaux, Jeanne Nathan, and Robert Tannen join artists Jebney Lewis, Marianne Desmarais, and Sally Heller for an intergenerational conversation about the ever-changing structures of the New Orleans arts ecosystem.

The discussion will be moderated by Andrea Andersson, Ph.D., The Helis Foundation Chief Curator of Visual Arts.


Dawn DeDeaux is among the first Louisiana artists to utilize electronic technology including her 1975 FCC licensed project CB Radio Booths that prompted anonymous social media exchange before the existence of the Internet. She is considered a pioneer in the development of fully immersive, synchronized, multi-screen environments—including The Face of God, that premiered at the 1996 Oympics and her sculptures and 2D works applying new technologies. Recent works include The Goddess Fortuna and Her Dunces—an installation feature of Prospect 2 Biennial—and her touring MotherShip Series with an upcoming 2017 presentation of MotherShip 4 at MassMOCA, MADeDeaux has exhibited throughout the country, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Armand Hammer Museum, Baltimore Museum of Contemporary Art, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art and Ballroom Marfa. She is recipient of the Rome Prize as Knight Foundation Visiting Southern Artist, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation 2013 Artist in Residence; and winner of the 1975 Demolition Derby in the New Orleans Superdome, as the only female contestant in a field of 35 drivers.

Jeanne Nathan is in possession of a career and experience that spans decades, with work in journalism, marketing and public relations, community organization, and arts advocacy. As a broadcast journalist for WDSU in New Orleans she covered government, economic development and politics, producing the news on weekends and ultimately as managing editor. She produced weekend profiles of artists among many special cultural productions. She co-founded the Contemporary Arts Center with her husband, Robert Tannen—inviting artists and arts supporters to help open the center at its present address within a four month startup process. She produced the first CAC fundraising concert with Allen Toussaint, an annual late night jazz jam festival called the Dew Drop Inn, and won the Center’s first NEA grant. As President of Events in Media, the Nathan Bering Agency, and Creative Industry, she launched numerous cultural events and projects in support of clients, the administrations of three mayors in New Orleans and New York City, and business improvement districts. As the Founder and Executive Director of the Creative Alliance of New Orleans, Nathan has catalyzed a deepened appreciation for the city’s creative economy and helped advance the careers of young, emerging, and under recognized artists of all disciplines. She has won numerous awards for her professional and civic work, including the city’s annual arts award, YLC’s Leadership award, and City Business’s Women of the Year award.

Robert C. Tannen has studied and made art for more than 70 years while working as an instructor at Pratt Institute, Franconia College, and Tulane University School of Architecture, and as a regional planner for research and development, architectural, and civil engineering firms, and exhibiting as a multidisciplinary artist. His major interest is the integration and collaboration of visual art, environmental science, architecture, and engineering.

Jebney Lewis is a sculptor, community artist, and musician. He works with neighbors, youth, and other artists to re-interpret local sites and histories through the lens of the visual and performing arts. His work has been supported by the City of Philadelphia’s Percent for Art Program, the Leeway Foundation, and the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage.

Marianne Desmarais has lived and worked in New Orleans since 1990. Trained as an architect, she holds Masters degrees from both the Tulane School of Architecture and Cranbrook Academy of Art, and has studied abroad at the Edinburgh College of Art.  Through use parallel practices of art and architecture, productive cross-pollination shapes her work between disciplines. 

Recent shows include Transpositions, a solo show at Staple Goods Gallery as well as group shows at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Antenna Gallery, and the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans.  Her collaborative work with fiber artist Liz Sargent is on permanent display at the SCAD galleries in Shanghai, China after their award of the New Works Residency from the Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada. With artist Sarah Kabot she has installed a large scale public artwork for the Westin Downtown, Cleveland, OH.  In Louisiana, she is represented by Cole Pratt Gallery.  

Sally Heller is multimaterial-based artist who builds temporary installations and then fashions permanent works from these hand-built constructions. Some of the venues she's exhibited in include Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX; Depauw University, Greencastle, IN; Whitespace Gallery, Atlanta, GA;  Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA; Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, LA; Miami University, Oxford, OH; Ohio State University, Kempner Fine Art, NY, NY; Louisiana Museum of Science and Art, LA; and Scope, Miami, FL.

Currently, Heller has a solo show at Moore College of Art in Philadephia. She has received residencies from Headlands Center for the Arts in San Francisco, CA, Civitella Ranieri in Italy, Studio School,Vermont and Yaddo, in Saratoga Springs, NY. In 2008, she was the recipient of a Joan Mitchell grant to build an outdoor public sculpture which stands in downtown New Orleans.

Heller is currently building a stainless steel sculpture for a private collector. Her work is in the collections of the New Orleans Museum of Art, Walda and Sydney Besthoff, David Hoffman, Howard Read, Freeport–McMoRan, and many others. She holds a BS from University of Wisconsin and an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University.

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