New Orleans' Local Art Scene
When getting to know New Orleans, as you walk its streets, meet its people, and feel its energy, you realize the essence of the city is composed of many beautiful parts — not the least of which is art.
Art is its own language and a way of life in the city, and those who speak it and live it find the artistic freedom to do so with ease. Amidst the plethora of galleries exhibiting sculptures, paintings and photography from famous or perhaps even world-renowned artists, there is the everyday creative, the one living a life of art on the sidewalk in pastels, inside a booth at a local market, next to the Mississippi River on a canvas, or alongside a brick building on a mural.
Journey with us through the streets of the Crescent City, as we take a walk through the local arts scene that is so distinctly unique to its destination.
French Quarter & Jackson Square
Decorating the outer edges of the wrought-iron fencing that surrounds Jackson Square, artists claim their space and set up shop to capture the attention of passersby. Painters display their talent and finished work while street musicians add to the ambiance of this makeshift art gallery that never closes its doors. In fact, you’re easily able to find someone focusing on their craft all throughout the streets of the French Quarter, especially on Royal Street. Take a stroll and see what you discover.
Eclectic and inviting, string lights and sounds of music emanating from nearby jazz clubs punctuate the Art Garden on Frenchmen Street. Locals and tourists alike flock to this outdoor nightly market as well as the Palace Market next door, for artistic creations one can only find in New Orleans. Similar treasure troves like Piety Market in Exile take place the second Saturday of every month from September to May at the New Orleans Healing Center. This flea market-style event features arts, crafts and vintage merchandise with live music and pop-up food vendors. Freret Market offers a similar vibe at the intersection of Freret Street and Napoleon Avenue. Over 90 vendors gather in this open green space the first Saturday of every month except in June, July, and August.
Faubourg Marigny & Bywater
Exploring deeper into the colorful Faubourg Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods, either biking or on foot, you’ll discover countless murals and designs painted on buildings of all types, especially on St. Claude Avenue. Across brick facades and storefronts, and alongside abandoned warehouses, New Orleans is a canvas all its own showcasing numerous aerosol masterpieces. Music Box Village is also a growing attraction in this neighborhood; a one-of-a-kind contemporary sculpture garden with interactive and immersive "musical houses". Founded and developed by the nonprofit arts organization, New Orleans Airlift, the Village is located outdoors, so be sure to check the weather before you go!
Lizzie has been at Loews New Orleans since January 2016 and is a new resident of the Big Easy—but no stranger to its rich culture, colorful character and incredible cuisine. Her mom’s a NOLA native, and she’s excited to be returning to her roots.