Welcome to the first Spring Issue of New Orleans Canvas Magazine! The arrival of Spring in New Orleans means you’ve survived another Mardi Gras and festivals are now blooming in the gorgeous Southern sunshine. Local artists who’ve done the hard work of decorating Carnival can usually be found somewhere on a blanket in the grass, contemplating a plastic tray filled with boiled crawfish …
This is an especially exciting issue because we’ve profiled some exceptional artists and readership is continuing to grow. Photographer Pamela Reed has also expanded her role with the magazine: In addition to taking all of the artists’ portraits, Pamela has taken on the role of Photo Editor. Pamela’s tireless work ethic and singular talent are abundantly evident in these pages.
We’re understandably proud to feature popular local artist Terrance Osborne as our cover artist for this issue. Terrance is known throughout the world for his vibrant paintings of New Orleans Architecture and local culture.
Pamela Reed and I also spent a day with contemporary abstract expressionist painter Nancy Hirsch Lassen in her studios. Nancy (also a well-known interior designer in the city) paints beautiful abstract paintings inspired by her surroundings.
We also profiled Jeannie Tidy, who is the Executive Director of Community Visions Unlimited (CVU) here in New Orleans. CVU is a local non-profit that aims to rebuild New Orleans and combat blight by providing housing and using public art to empower communities. Jeannie Tidy and CVU are responsible for the painted utility box program in Metropolitan New Orleans.
Additionally we profiled three other fascinating and vastly different artists our readers should become more familiar with. Derec Donovan is a local comic book artist who has had a successful career drawing comics for the last twenty years. Eric Odditorium is a professional sword swallower and side-show performer working in the French Quarter. Lance Vargas is a local gallery owner and Southern Primitive artist specializing in re-purposing and reclaiming antique lumber and mechanical parts which he uses to make art.
Finally, we’ve interviewed our first art collector: Dorian Bennett graciously allowed us to visit his home and take pictures of his collection for this issue. He discusses his fascinating process for collecting art.