NEW ORLEANS, LA - On September 22, 2017, the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) will celebrate LOVE in the Garden presented by Whitney Bank. This year, over 1,400 guests will enjoy cuisine from over 60 of New Orleans' finest restaurants, and craft cocktails from New Orleans' top bartenders as they vie for first place in the fourth annual LOVE Cocktail Challenge, sponsored by SKYY Vodka. Local New Orleans food trucks will provide late-night fare to keep the party going into the evening.

LOVE in the Garden is a celebration of the 14th anniversary of The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. The sculpture garden has been free to the public since its opening in November 2003, and is one of the most popular public spaces in New Orleans for locals, students and tourists. Proceeds from LOVE in the Garden 2017 help to guarantee the future stability of the museum and programs that are vital to the New Orleans community, and beyond.

Annually at LOVE in the Garden, NOMA honors distinguished New Orleans artists, celebrating their work as creative catalysts in the community. This year's event honors New Orleans artists Anita Cooke, Simon Gunning, Karoline Schleh, and Bob Snead.

"NOMA's LOVE in the Garden event allows us to celebrate creativity and talent. These four artists represent the very best of our creative community," said Susan Taylor, NOMA's Montine McDaniel Freeman Director.

Event co-chairs Olivia Carisella, Eleanor Davis, Glendy Forster, Joanna Giorlando, Kathleen Mix and Carol Short have worked together to finalize all details of the event, ranging from selecting entertainment to securing 60 participating restaurants.

"Dancing under the stars, mingling among the magnolias, and sipping cocktails amidst the sculptures give LOVE in the Garden an air that is quintessentially New Orleans," said Joanna Giorlando, co-chair of the annual fundraiser. "This event is truly one-of-a-kind."

One of the summer's premier social events in New Orleans, LOVE in the Garden kicks off with the Patron Party at 7 PM, followed by the Garden Party at 8 PM, and the Late Night Party from 9 PM to midnight. Local favorites the Kinfolk Brass Band will get the party going, followed by BRW, a local group who incorporate three-part harmony with a high energy R&B performance. Radio and Club DJ Brice Nice will keep the event going through midnight. The evening is presented by Whitney Bank.

"Whitney Bank is proud to serve as title sponsor of NOMA's LOVE in the Garden for the second year in a row. We have been invested in the city of New Orleans for nearly 135 years and have long been proud patrons of the arts in its community. By attending LOVE in the Garden you are helping sustain the museum, its exhibitions and programs for the next generation. It's our honor to continue to support this important event," said Suzanne Thomas, executive vice president, Whitney Bank, and NOMA Board Member.

LOVE Cocktail Challenge Presented by SKYY Vodka

The 2017 LOVE Cocktail Challenge presented by SKYY Vodka features New Orleans' top bartenders. Each bartender will create their own signature LOVE-inspired cocktail for the event, inspired by a variation of LOVE: forbidden love, love-hate, lust, unconditional love, or unrequited love.

Challengers include Tyler Chauvin from Trèo, Megan Devine from Twelve Mile Limit, Kirk Estopinal from Cure, Alia Fawaz from Marcello's, Paul Gustings from Tujague's, Hadi Ktiri from The Sazerac Bar, Beth McCaskey from Kenton's, Chris McMillian from Revel Cafe and Bar, Kimberly Patton-Bragg from Latitude 29, Daniel Victory from Victory, and Evan Wolf from Company Burger.

Guests will receive one "Token of LOVE" at check-in, and will be able to vote on their favorite cocktail by dropping their tokens in designated "LOVE banks". The bartender with the biggest LOVE bank wins the People's Choice Award! A panel of judges will award First Place and Best of Spirit awards.

Participating Restaurants

LOVE in the Garden features New Orleans' top restaurants and caterers, including: Acme Oyster House, Ancora Pizzeria, Atchafalaya, Baker Maid Products, Inc.; The Blue Crab Restaurant and oyster Bar; Bon Ton Café; Boucherie; Boulevard American Bistro; Bouligny Tavern; Brasa Churrasqueria; Broussard's; Café Degas; Café NOMA; Catering by Laura Arrowood; Chomp NOLA; City Greens; Crescent City Brewhouse; Crescent City Steakhouse; Delachaise; Doris Metropolitan; Galatoire's, Gordon Biersch,

Highly Season Catering, LLC; Houston's Restaurant; Ice Cream 504; Joel Catering and Special Events; Louisiana Pizza Kitchen French Quarter; Mandina's Restaurant; Martin Wine Cellar; Maurice French Pastries; Messina's Catering and Events/ Messina's at the Terminal; Mona's Café; Mondo; The Munch Factory; Neyow's Creole Café; Nonna Mia; Nothing Bundt Cakes- Metairie; PF Chang's; The Ruby Slipper Café; Seaworthy; Silk Road; Southern Candymakers; Southern Hospitality Catering; Superior Seafood and Oyster Bar; Ted Brennan's; Tommy's Cuisine; and Wayfare.

Late night cuisine is courtesy of Cocoa and Cream, Grita Tacos, Morning Call in the Oaks, Nola Snow Snowballs, and The Red Stove Food Truck.


NOMA thanks this year's returning presenting sponsor, Whitney Bank. SKYY Vodka returns to sponsor the LOVE Cocktail Challenge for the fourth year.
Silver Sponsors include: J. Edgar Monroe Foundation, Kabacoff Foundation, Lexus of New Orleans, Aimée and Mike Siegel.

Bronze Sponsors include: Sydney and Walda Besthoff, Dr. and Mrs. James Carisella, Joanna Giorlando, The Paretti Family of Dealerships, and Sheila and Britton Sanderford, and St. Charles Avenue Magazine.

Media Sponsors are Alt 92.3 FM, The New Orleans Advocate, The Scout Guide, WWL TV, Yelp, and In the NOLA.
For event information, visit:

About NOMA and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden

The New Orleans Museum of Art, founded in 1910 by Isaac Delgado, houses nearly 40,000 art objects encompassing 5,000 years of world art. Works from the permanent collection, along with continuously changing special exhibitions, are on view in the museum's 46 galleries Fridays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The adjoining Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden features work by over 60 artists, including several of the 20th century's master sculptors. The Sculpture Garden is open seven days a week: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The New Orleans Museum of Art and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden are fully accessible to handicapped visitors and wheelchairs are available from the front desk. For more information about NOMA, call (504) 658-4100 or visit Wednesdays are free admission days for Louisiana residents, courtesy of The Helis Foundation. (May not include special exhibitions.) Teenagers (ages 13-19) receive free admission every day through the end of the year, courtesy of The Helis Foundation.


Contact: Margaux Krane
Office: (504) 658-4106
Cell: (410) 591-3037