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Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Associated Press Features Jonathan Ferrara Gallery for Upcoming 'Guns in the Hands of Artists' Exhibition

Following yesterday's press conference, the Associated Press published an article about Jonathan Ferrara Gallery's upcoming 'Guns in the Hands of Artists' exhibition. Kevin McGill's account has since been circulated by multiple news outlets, including The Washington Times, The Daily Journal, The Daily Comet, The Republic, and others.

Kevin McGill reports:

Artists began picking through an array of stocks, barrels, revolver cylinders, trigger assemblies and other firearm parts spread across the floor of a New Orleans gallery Wednesday to mark the beginning of a project that will turn the weaponry into art.

City officials and artists gathered for the launch of the “Guns in the Hands of Artists” project said they hoped the result will provoke thought and civil discussion about dealing with the gun violence that plagues New Orleans and other cities.

“I’m so disheartened, when we talk about gun violence, when we talk about any type of responsibility about gun ownership that it devolves into emotion and silliness in many cases,” said City Council member Stacey Head.

Gallery owner Jonathan Ferrara said the program has its roots in similar projects that have taken place in New Orleans and other cities since 1996.

Thirty-one artists are expected to take part in the program, which will use remnants of 186 guns turned over to New Orleans police in a buyback program. Officer Earl Johnson said the guns had been burned and cut up to render them useless.

“It looks like there was some trepidation about putting guns in the hands of artists,” joked Deborah Luster, one of the artists involved in the project.

Luster, whose mother was shot to death in 1988, later became a photographer, earning notice of her work taking pictures of inmates at Louisiana prisons. Standing over the pile of weapons, she said she was unsure how she will use the pieces she selects but that they would likely become a part of some type of sculpture.

Results of the artists’ efforts are to be on display at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery from Oct. 3 through Jan. 15 and will coincide with Prospect.3, a city-wide display of art that takes place every two years in New Orleans.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bonnie Maygarden Featured in 'Staring At The Sun' Group Exhibition at Saltworks Gallery

Featured Piece: Bonnie Maygarden, Stylus, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 12" x 12"

In 2004, the Brooklyn band TV On the Radio recorded Staring At the Sun as the second song on their second album. The first line of the song begins, “Cross the street from your storefront cemetery…”

From Egyptian pharaohs claiming the bloodline of Amun-Ra to Louis XIV proclaiming himself the Sun King, the sun has ruled firm atop the creative imagination. More recent science describes the sun as an absolute limit of a different sort, since it is the sun that will eventually expand and destroy the earth. Or as Jean-Francois Lyotard put it “…after the sun’s death there won’t be a thought to know that its death took place.”1 To stare at the sun is to look at the impending, permanent end.

Since early in the 20th century, abstraction has also carried within it the seeds of its own demise. Reductive trends ignited in Europe and Russia by 1920 anticipated a future endpoint beyond which art could no longer be reduced. The embrace of abstraction contained the gravitational pull toward an impending reductive end. In that environment both the studio and the museum could come to resemble the “storefront cemetery” from the song.
But what if that’s too simple? What if there are new contemporary painters not confounded by abstraction’s latest endgames, the “provisional” or the “casual”? What if these painters could “stare at the sun” and receive the conditions of growth, rather than the promise of destruction? This Saltworks exhibition brings together four such painters who see abstraction as much more than an asymptotic disappearing act. Instead, these painters use abstraction as an imaginative practice that allows them to form new relations to the world.

Eleanor Aldrich makes paintings with an aspirational tone where abstract marks, shapes, and lumps of paint aggregate to become something they are not. In one case a modernist grid of paint may be repurposed as fishing net, while elsewhere a smeared perimeter brushstroke surrounds a rice dispersion and asks viewers to believe it’s a television.

Jane Fox Hipple builds paintings whose abstract properties often default to the literal conditions of their bruised materials. The painted objects are visibly acted upon through punctures, cutouts, or draping, complicating their status as paintings by a continual assertion toward the real.

Bonnie Maygarden uses deceptive techniques to leaven the self-referential flatness of late modernist painting with the emotional coolness of a screen-based experience. The very shapes of her paintings sometimes suggest Photoshop cropping tools, belying their careful handmade production.

Lauren Silva populates her paintings with abundant abstract shapes that collide, overlap, and entwine within a theatrical pictorial space. The inscrutable inventiveness of the shapes is made relatable by real world familiarity provided by volumetric modeling and cast shadows.

1. Jean-Francois Lyotard, The Inhuman: Reflections on Time, trans. G. Bennington & R. Bowlby (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1991), p. 9

-Craig Drennen

Craig Drennen is an artist living and working in Atlanta, GA. He is represented by Saltworks in Atlanta and Samsøn gallery in Boston. He teaches at the Welch School of Art & Design at Georgia State University. His works are in the permanent collections of the High Museum of Art, Atlanta GA; Telfair Museum, Savannah, GA; North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks ND; and multiple private collections.

Bonnie Maygarden is a 2014 MFA candidate at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA where she currently resides. She and holds a BFA from the Pratt Institute. Maygarden has exhibited in New Orleans and at the Université Lumière, Lyon, France. Her work was recently featured in New American Paintings. 

Bonnie Maygarden's 'The Simulated Tide' Exhibition at Staple Goods

Bonnie Maygarden
The Simulated Tide
new paintings and installations
Opening reception:  Saturday, April 12, 6-9 pm

Featured Piece: Bonnie Maygarden, Five Night Stay, 2014, acrylic on cotton, 36" x 59.5"

The Simulated Tide is an exhibition that seeks to define a universal truth through the synthetic materials and digital imagery of our contemporary visual language. I want to reference the simulation of water through screen savers, background images, and stock photos. Through augmentation and ambiguity these sources reference water as an idea rather than a physical experience. As we evolve into an increasingly digital existence, it is the simulation that serves as our definition of reality. 

Regular gallery hours:  Saturdays and Sundays, 12-5 pm
Gallery address: 1340 St. Roch Ave., NOLA 70117
Gallery phone:  504.908.7331
Gallery website:

The Arts Council of New Orleans' Direct Purchase Exhibition Features JFG Artists Hannah Chalew and Dan Tague

Featured Piece: Hannah Chalew, Study For Living Room II, 2013, pen, ink, gouache and thread on paper, 24" x 30"

Featured Piece: Dan Tague, All We Need Is Love, 2013, archival inkjet print on rag paper, 40" x 35", ed. 2 of 5

Arts Council Opens Exhibition of $50k Artwork Direct Purchase for Police and Fire Stations this Thursday

Arts Council of New Orleans in partnership with the City of New Orleans host an opening reception to celebrate the Percent For Art program’s recent $50,000 Direct Purchase of original artwork to hang in newly opened police and fire stations in Orleans Parish. The reception will take place on Thursday, April 3rd from 4-6pm at the Exchange Centre Gallery at 935 Gravier Street.

Artists work featured in the exhibition include: Sally Caraway, Hannah Chalew, Rachel David, Dawn DeDeaux, Joshua Duncan, Clifford Etienne, Adam Farrington, Andrea Ferguson, Jan Gilbert, Carol Hallock, Ben Hamburger, Jason Jones, Frahn Koerner, Zach J. Lawson, Jenny LeBlanc, Kathleen Loe, Shirley Rabe Masinter, Carol Scott, Ann Schwab, Billy Solitario, Dan Tague, and Michel Varisco.

Percent For Art Collection's Largest Direct Purchase to Date

These 22 new additions to the City’s public art collection are the second installment in a series of three Direct Purchase processes, which upon completion will add more than $114,000 in artwork to Percent For Art collection in less than twelve months, the program’s largest collective acquisition of artwork to date. 

The next Direct Purchase call will be announced in July 2014 with $50,000 available to select art for placement in library and community centers. The initial Direct Purchase was completed with a budget of $15,000 in November 2013, resulting in the addition of 11 works of art to be hung in community centers with the collection images used in Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s NOLA For Life campaign, which focuses on a holistic and collaborative approach to offer life-saving choices to reduce violence amongst males in New Orleans between 14 to 24-years-old. 

Direct Purchase is intended to purchase existing artwork that represents the breadth and diversity of artists working in New Orleans. The Percent For Art Collection was established in 1986 and currently includes more than 300 works by 225 artists.  The quality and diversity of the Percent For Art Collection represents the strength of the area’s visual artists and celebrates what makes our community unique. It is curated and maintained by the Arts Council of New Orleans, and is available to be viewed online at:

Monday, March 31, 2014

Press Release for Jonathan Ferrara Gallery's 18th Annual No Dead Artists International Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Art

Installation View for the 17th Annual No Dead Artists National Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Art

For Immediate Release

Jonathan Ferrara Gallery is pleased to announce the 18th Annual No Dead Artists International Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Art. The exhibition will take place August 25th – September 27th, 2014 with an open call for artists’ submissions from February 1st - June 16th.

The gallery is proud to open the call internationally for 2014. 

The exhibition was created in 1995 to give a voice to emerging artists. Now in its 18th year, No Dead Artists has become an exhibition that has time and again discovered new and emerging talent and is one of the most celebrated art exhibitions in the South.


The exhibition's name is derived from the old adage that artists never achieve success until they are dead. No Dead Artists turns that notion on its head and gives emerging artists their first break in the art world. In the 90's, the exhibition was open only to New Orleans artists and subsequently grew to include artists of Louisiana. In 2010, the exhibition expanded to become a national juried exhibition open to artists from the entire United States.

Each year, hundreds of artists submit thousands of works with the hope of being in the select few to exhibit at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery each September. The exhibition is reviewed annually by D. Eric Bookhardt (Artpapers and Gambit Weekly). The opening reception marks the beginning of the arts season in New Orleans and is attended by thousands of art enthusiasts.

This year, one jury-winning artist will be awarded a solo exhibition at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in 2015 as the grand prize.

No Dead Artists is open to living artists working throughout the world. All mediums are accepted including, but not limited to, painting, sculpture, design, glass, metalwork, photography, video, mixed media and installation art.


Now in its 18th edition, the exhibition has been a springboard for numerous artists leading to national press coverage, recognition, gallery representation and acquisitions by museums and other prominent collections. Each year gallery owner Jonathan Ferrara invites a panel of renowned arts professionals and collectors to select the newest creative talents. Past jurors have included Prospect.1 Founder and Curator Dan Cameron, Museum Director Billie Milam Weisman, Collector and Philanthropist Beth Rudin DeWoody, MacArthur Fellow John Scott, Whitney Trustee and Ballroom Marfa Co-founder Fairfax Dorn, NOMA Director Susan Taylor, artist Tony Fitzpatrick, Director of the Andy Warhol Museum Eric Shiner, Director of the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas and Founder and Artistic Director of the VOLTA Fair Amanda Coulson, Dishman Art Museum Director Megan Koza Young, ArtBridge Curator Jordana Zeldin, and Collector and MoMA Board Member Lawrence Benenson.

For the 18th edition, three renowned arts professionals have been tapped for the No Dead Artists jury:

Bill Arning

Bill Arning is the director of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. After arriving in Texas in 2009, Arning organized solo exhibitions of Marc Swanson, Melanie Smith Matthew Day Jackson, and the late Stan VanDerBeek. Jackson and VanDerBeek were jointly organized with the MIT List Visual Arts Center where Arning was exhibitions curator from 2000-2009. At MIT he organized shows of AA Bronson, Cerith Wyn Evans, and a retrospective of the work of Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler. From 1985 to 1996, Arning was director of White Columns in New York City where he organized groundbreaking first solo shows for many of the best known artists of his generation including John Currin, Marilyn Minter, Andres Serrano, Richard Phillips, Cady Noland, and Jim Hodges, among many others.  In 1993 Arning organized the first exhibition about gender and sexuality in South America, Maricas at the Center Cultural Ricardo Rojas at the University of Buenos Aires.  

Arning has written on art for journals such as Artforum, Art in America, Out, and Parkett, and multitudes of international museum publications, including texts for retrospectives of Jim Hodges, Keith Haring, Christian Jankowski, and Donald Moffett as well as other writing for books by Elmgreen and Dragset and Lawrence Rinder. He will be writing an essay on the art market and AIDS for the upcoming exhibition ArtAIDSAmerica being organized by the Tacoma Art Museum.  Arning is co-organizing in 2015 with curator Elissa Auther and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver a survey exhibition Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty and also the first large scale museum exhibition of Mark Flood, entitled Greatest Hits in 2016.

Stephanie Ingrassia

Stephanie Ingrassia is on the Board of Directors at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Nick Mayor

Nick Mayor is an active member of the community, splitting his time between New Orleans and London. He is an active supporter of the New Orleans arts community, with a growing collection of local as well as international contemporary art. He is a board member of the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans as well as a board member and Treasurer of US Biennial Inc., the organization behind the Prospect biennials in New Orleans.  He received his under- and post-graduate degrees in economics from Oxford University. After University, Mayor taught at Oxford, London Business School, and 7city (a commercial training provider), and published several articles on equity valuation.  Formerly an economic consultant with London Economics he moved to Lansdowne Partners, a London-based hedge fund, Mayor is now Principal of the consulting firm Inscriptus LLC, a provider of bespoke research consulting to hedge funds. Professionally he began work as an equity analyst with ABN AMRO in London in 1997, and in 2000 was ranked among the top ten internet analysts in Europe.


New Orleans has become a destination for contemporary visual arts and is considered one of the hotbeds of creative talent in the US. With exhibitions like Prospect Biennial, the national and international focus on New Orleans and its arts scene has increased dramatically from both a critical and collector perspective. With its rich cultural heritage and its unique indigenous creativity, the city and its arts scene are poised for continued success.


Jonathan Ferrara Gallery is a collective environment of creative visions; a commercial gallery with a public conscience. Artist, activist, and entrepreneur Jonathan Ferrara opened the gallery in 1998 to give artists a voice. Since its inception, the gallery has focused on cutting edge works by local, national and international artists with a sense of purpose, mission, and message. In recent years, it has gained a national reputation and increasingly presents artists and exhibitions in cities across the US and in Europe including the Miami Project in Miami, the VOLTA Fair in New York City and Basel, Switzerland, artMRKT Houston and San Francisco, as well as, working with museums and institutions.

Important Dates

Feb 1st - Jun 16th    Open National Call For Artists
Jun 16th              Deadline for Submission
Aug 25th – Sep 27th      Exhibition on display at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery
Aug 30th             18th Annual No Dead Artists Opening
Oct 4th           Solo Exhibition Winner Announced


To apply, log on to and click on the NDA 2014 Banner at the bottom of the homepage. If you do not already have one, create an entrythingy® account and begin uploading your resume, artist’s statement and five images of your work which you would like to submit for the show. Good luck! 

For more information, please contact the gallery via email at info@jonathanferraragallery,com.