Grace Rennie
Ogden Museum of Southern Art

Ogden Museum of Southern Art Announces Exhibitions for Art for Arts' Sake

(New Orleans, LA- September 10, 2015) On Saturday, October 3, 2015, from 6 - 9 PM, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art will be free and open to the public for Art for Arts' Sake, celebrating the opening of three new exhibitions, Objects of Interest: Recent Acquisitions for the Permanent Collection, Bill Yates: Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink, and Michael Meads: Bent, Not Broken.

Objects of Interest: Recent Acquisitions for the Permanent Collection
September 21, 2015 - February 5, 2015

This exhibition will highlight recent additions to the museum's growing collection of Southern art. These paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture, many on view for the first time in the museum, represent the depth and breadth of the museum's collection practices. Ranging in styles from Jimmy Lee Sudduth's gestural mud paintings to the classical precision of realist master Michael J. Deas, this exhibition of over fifty objects showcases the diversity of studio practice across the American South. Other artists represented include Jeffrey Cook, George Dureau, John Clemmer, Shawne Major, Mark Messersmith, Purvis Young, Gina Phillips, Skylar Fein, Robert Gordy and more.

Of the exhibition, Executive Director William Andrews said, "Building and exhibiting a collection is the most appropriate way to manifest the mission of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Artworks in the collection provoke enrichment while promoting knowledge and understanding. They record information of the artist's life and times, describe aspects of Southern identity, and transcend simple classification of style, region or period. When seen together in an exhibition, they help visitors gain an appreciation for the history of art and culture in the American South and how our story relates to the rest of the world".

Bill Yates: Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink
October 3, 2015 - January 17, 2016

In September 1972, Bill Yates was driving the back roads of Florida outside of Tampa, looking for things to photograph, when he came upon the Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink. Yates stopped his car, went inside and started photographing - thus beginning a seven month long project documenting the skaters of the Sweetheart roller rink. Set within the backdrop of sandy remote Florida, Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink is a visual time capsule documenting a transitional period of lost innocence, laid back days of heat and humidity, Spanish moss, roller girls, and rock-n-roll.

Yates made over 600 photographs in the seven-month period ending in May 1973, when he packed the negatives away and moved to Providence to enter school at Rhode Island School of Design. Forty years later, Yates rediscovered his Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink series and began scanning the negatives. In 2013, Yates entered the series into the Photolucida Critical Mass competition, where it placed in the Top 50 and became an instant classic.

Michael Meads: Bent, Not Broken
October 3, 2015 - February 28, 2016

Born in Anniston, Alabama, New Orleans held a deep allure to Meads from an early age. "When I was a boy I remember my father listening to the radio broadcasts of a ‘hellfire and brimstone' Baptist minister preaching from Bourbon Street. Even at that young age I knew there was something about New Orleans that was enticingly forbidden as my father would warn me repeatedly to never go to that wicked city," he recalls. He moved with his partner, Charles Canada, to the Crescent City in 1998, deepening a relationship with a place that serves as setting, character and muse for much of his work. In August of 2005, the floodwaters from the breach of the Federal Levee System in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina filled the first floor of his home and studio. Much of his life's work was destroyed. Choosing the arid, isolated environment of the New Mexican High Desert as a place to heal, Meads and Canada bought an adobe house in Abiquiu and built a studio in 2009.

Bent, Not Broken, will focus on the massive graphite drawings created post-Katrina. In these drawings, Meads creates a magical world (much like Carnival itself) where valkyries and Roman gods mingle with frat boys and firemen. Plague doctors and Pulcinella roam the streets of the Vieux Carré, and winged putti struggle to support the crumbling edifices of historic architecture. With a masterful hand, Meads creates a graphite opera - complete with proscenium arch - where each work is a complex visual libretto. With pencil and paper, Meads tells the story of New Orleans - the storm, the oil spill, the HIV epidemic, tourism, history, gentrification and demographic shift - all through the lens of Carnival. This body of work is both celebration and cautionary tale. It is both deeply personal and universal.

This exhibition will also include photography, paintings and drawings from throughout Meads' career, with a focus on the large narrative drawings created since his displacement from New Orleans. Michael Meads is a painter, draftsman and photographer whose work expresses a personal narrative filtered through the lens of classical themes. He received a Bachelor of Fine Art from Auburn University (1987) and a Master of Fine Arts from State University of New York at Albany (1991). His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally.


Located in the vibrant Warehouse Arts District of downtown New Orleans, Louisiana, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art holds the largest and most comprehensive collection of Southern art in the world and is recognized for its original exhibitions, public events, and educational programs which examine the development of visual art alongside Southern traditions of music, literature, and culinary heritage to provide a comprehensive story of the South. Established in 1999 and in Stephen Goldring Hall since 2003, the Museum welcomes over 56,000 visitors annually, and attracts diverse audiences through its broad range of programming including exhibitions, lectures, film screenings, and concerts which are all part of its mission to broaden the knowledge, understanding, interpretation, and appreciation of the visual arts and culture of the American South.

The Ogden Museum is open Wednesday through Monday from 10AM-5PM and also on Thursdays from 6-8PM for Ogden After Hours. Admission is free to Museum Members and $12.50 for adults, $10 to seniors 65 and older, $6.25 for children ages 5-17 and free for children under 5. The Ogden Museum is free to Louisiana Residents on Thursdays from 10AM-5PM courtesy of The Helis Foundation.

The Museum is closed Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Lundi Gras and Mardi Gras, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

The Museum is located at 925 Camp Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130. For more information visit or call 504-539-9650.