History & Space
Affiliated with the University of New Orleans (UNO), the city’s only public research university, the UNO St. Claude Gallery functions as an off-campus Kunsthalle and laboratory for community engagement and cross-disciplinary collaboration. It is located in the Bywater neighborhood, at the heart of the St. Claude Arts District that formed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina as a haven of visual and performing arts organizations, artist-run collectives, and co-ops. Embedded in this synergic ecosystem, the UNO St. Claude Gallery fosters cultural partnerships with other organizations to present exhibitions of contemporary art by national and international artists in the first half of the academic year, while the second half is dedicated to highlighting work by students graduating from the Master of Fine Arts program at UNO.
Cultural partners have included Prospect New Orleans (since 2011), the Center Austria (2009–2016), and PhotoNOLA (since 2015). A large-scale triennial of contemporary art, Prospect is the most important event for contemporary art in the Southern United States. The last two Prospect exhibitions featured the Ho Chi Minh-based collective Propeller Group (Matt Lucero, Tuan Andrew Nguyen, and Phunam Thuc Ha) in 20014–15, and Princeton University Professor Jeff Whetstone in 2017–18. Both shows were reviewed in major news outlet such as Art in America and the work by the Propeller Group was acquired by the New Orleans Museum of Art, the city’s premier and oldest fine arts institution.
The collaboration with PhotoNOLA, a city-wide yearly festival of photography, has resulted in exciting initiatives involving national and international artists. For instance, opening in December will be an exhibition of Taiwanese photographers resulting from a partnership with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Houston.
As an academic art gallery, the UNO St. Claude Gallery has often sought collaborations with faculty members from other universities. Most recently in 2019, Assistant Professor of Digital Media at Boston College Jane Cassidy was invited to present her immersive multi-media and multi-sensorial work in the solo show The Thin Veil, which included a film on the infinite complexities of water and sand that was shot during her artist residency in Ireland in 2018.
This fall season has opened with two thematic group shows: Wildfire—a queer exhibition celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City that gave birth to the gay liberation movement—and RE-STUCK—a show devoted to the eclectic medium of collage with works by national and international artists. Following RE-STUCK will be Dread Scott: The Power of Resistance, a solo show honoring renowned New York-based artist Dread Scott, who is about to complete a six-year-long, large-scale, community-engaged project consisting in the reenactment of the 1811 Louisiana uprising, the largest rebellion of enslaved people in the history of the United States.
UNO Assistant Professor Tony Campbell has served as Director of the UNO St. Claude Gallery since 2018. Prior to that, UNO Instructor Kathy Rodriguez led the exhibition program since 2011.