Boyd Satellite Gallery appears to be the work of local artist Blake Boyd and partner Ginette Bone, whose name, reassuringly, is listed as the director. The web site opens with a graphically striking rendition of the letters "BS" in what can only be considered an experiment in branding. Its artist roster features Boyd along with septuagenarian Warhol Factory vestiges Billy Name and Taylor Mead as well as co-septuagenarian Brit pioneer pop artist Derek Boshier and Brit veteran David Eddington. Adding to the intrigue, an announcement states that the gallery was founded "during the apocalypse, December 2012, representing regional, national and international artists." If the enigmatic name and artist roster come as a, um... surprise, the talented and thoughtful Ginette Bone is at least a promising new addition to the select circle of Julia Street gallery directors.
And so it goes, with most of the city's respective art communities exhibiting strong vital signs. The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, after weathering turbulence last year, now features some outstanding exhibitions that really merit a visit, even as the low key McKenna Museum of African American art perennially deserves more notice than it receives. The St. Claude scene continues to expand with minimal obvious financial support even as it epitomizes an alluring sense that something dynamic and authentic is happening here--a quality that propels some intriguing interactions with other cultural capitals. For instance, the New York based Joan Mitchell Foundation maintains its only American satellite facility on Bayou Road, where its quietly substantial activities have significantly enriched our art scene. The management of the Prospect New Orleans International Biennial, now paradoxically based in Los Angeles, appears more organized than ever as it prepares to launch Prospect.3 in 2014.
Finally, the New Orleans Museum of Art seems to have emerged from its first century of existence in fine form thanks to the efforts of current director Susan Taylor and longtime predecessor, E. John Bullard. In fact, if surging attendance, strong finances and high visibility are any gauge, NOMA may have entered a golden age. Some of its current success can be attributed to its sophisticated outreach efforts. "We're always looking for ways to engage our audiences, new and current," says Taylor, citing popular exhibitions coupled with "a re-launched educational program focused on schools and literacy including a visual literacy program for 3 and 4 year olds." Taylor says she wants NOMA to be so much a part of the city's fabric of life that it becomes our "cultural living room." If appearances are any guide, she seems well on her way. ~D. Eric Bookhardt