Friday, April 21, 2017

205. Lake Douglas, part 1

205.  Part 1 of our interview with Lake Douglas.  Lake is associate professor of landscape architecture and associate dean of research and development at the LSU College of Art & Design. He wrote Gardens of New Orleans: Exquisite Excess with Jeanette Hardy and pictures by Richard Sexton. The book was named the 2001 book of the year by New Orleans-Gulf South Booksellers' Association. In his work Public Spaces, Private Gardens: A History of Designed Landscapes in New Orleans,  Lake employs written accounts, archival data, historic photographs, lithographs, maps, and city planning documents — many of which have never before been published--to explore public and private outdoor spaces in New Orleans and those who shaped them. The result offers the first in-depth examination of the city's landscape history. Douglas presents this "beautiful and imposing" city as a work of art crafted by numerous influences. His survey from the colonial period to the twentieth century finds that geography, climate, and, above all, the multicultural character of its residents have made New Orleans unique in American landscape design history. French and Spanish settlers, Africans and Native Americans, as well as immigrants from Germany, Ireland, Italy, and other parts of the world all participated in creating this community's unique public and private landscapes.
  1. This week in Louisiana history. April 23, 1831. Pontchartrain Railroad opened, first west of Alleghenies.
  2. This week in New Orleans history. From April 22 to 26, 1970, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival was held at Beauregard Square (now Armstrong Park) and the Municipal Auditorium.  Music was performed noon to midnight.  Duke Ellington, Mahalia Jackson, Pete Fountain, Al Hirt, the Preservation Hall Band, and "Hundreds of Others" were scheduled, according to advertising posters.  The festival was produced by George Wein.  Tickets were available at Werlein's, 605 Canal Street.
  3. This week in Louisiana.
    Senga Nengudi: Improvisional Gestures
    March 16-June 18
    "Senga Nengudi: Improvisational Gestures," sculpture retrospective
    When: Through June 18
        Contemporary Arts Center
            900 Camp St., New Orleans Warehouse District
            phone (504) 528-3800
        In 1975, artist Senga Nengudi began a series of sculptures, entitled R.S.V.P., which evoke the elasticity and durability of the human body.
         Made of everyday materials, such as pantyhose and sand, the works invite viewers to not only respond but to engage with them physically. Stretched and twisted, knotted and looped, the works occupy their space in the gallery much as a figure does—by projecting outward and reaching into the space of the viewer in unexpected ways. Improvisional Gestures includes works from the 1970s to the present, and is the first museum presentation to examine these sculptures together and in such depth.
        Senga Nengudi: Improvisional Gestures is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs Gallery of Contemporary Art.
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