By Blair Clarke

Published on July 1, 2015

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Photography by Brittany Ambridge

Clarke pauses beside a sculpture on Camp Street.

Let’s face it, when you live in New York City, nearly every day is alive with color, creativity, and, of course, art.
So, as much as I enjoy traveling, I often seek out places that supply rest and relaxation. An exception to this is New Orleans, a city I adore. I was reminded of my love for the Big Easy earlier this year when I journeyed there to attend the biennial of international contemporary art, put on by Prospect New Orleans. The exhibition, entitled Prospect.3: Notes for Now, showcased the works of 61 contemporary artists in various stages of their careers.

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Photography by Brittany Ambridge

Strachan’s installation.

Among my favorite parts of the exhibition was Tavares Strachan’s contribution, which managed to be a performance, a sculpture, and a form of community development. The centerpiece of Strachan’s installation, You belong here, was a neon work that will travel via barge on the Mississippi River to be docked and made visible from numerous locations throughout New Orleans.

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Photography by Brittany Ambridge

The historic Academy of the Sacred Heart.

Other highlights included the work of Andrea Fraser, a Los Angeles–based performance artist, and the paintings of Deborah Kass, who described her oeuvre as “feel-good art for feel-bad times.” It’s a sentiment I love. While in New Orleans, in addition to reveling in groundbreaking art, I took time to re-explore the city’s fabled streets. I jogged along the Mississippi River, enjoyed a collector’s home tour of historic Audubon Place, and visited with street mimes as I searched souvenir shops for the perfect presents for my daughters. All in all, I found the city to be as alive as ever with art and culture—not living in the past, but celebrating life as it has always done.