Embrace Local Art at New Orleans Jazz Fest

April 27, 2022

New Orleans Jazz Fest is back!

It’s felt like forever since the last Jazz Fest but it’s finally back and we are excited to check out the music, with acts such as Stevie Nicks, Lionel Richie, and Red Hot Chili Peppers headlining, as well as local and regional favorites such as Lost Bayou Ramblers, Sweet Crude, and Little Freddie King. Along with music, art vendors are back, selling everything from paintings to clothes. Here, we are highlighting New Orleans-based artists that you shouldn’t sleep on.

Mardi Gras Indians at New Orleans Jazz Fest
Mardi Gras Indians at New Orleans Jazz Fest. Nicolas Henderson, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

EDWARD WYCLIFF – Bow Shoeshoe

Website

With the mission of empowering the people of Lesotho, Edward Wycliff designs and sells bowties and neckties which are crafted by the people of Lesotho. Bow Shoeshoe empowers the people of Lesotho by facilitating entrepreneurship development in isolated communities, ultimately training those in underserved communities to support themselves through bowtie and necktie craftsmanship. By working in seven underserved communities, they provide residents of the communities a stable source of well-paid labor, bringing employment opportunities to areas struck by extreme poverty. Pronounced “shway-shway”, shoeshoe is the traditional cotton textile of South Africa, which became an iconic symbol of Lesotho. As Wycliff said, “It truly does take a village to produce each Bow Shoeshoe product.” Bow Shoeshoe will be available to sell their products on the first weekend of Jazz Fest.

OSCAR DONAHUE – Oscar of New Orleans

Website

Oscar Donahue grew up in the inner city of Kansas City, Missouri, with limited resources but surrounded by strong familial bonds and an abundance of love from family members. His artistry started early in life, as he was drawing at the age of 5. A goal setter, Donahue decided that he wants to be senior class president in his first year of school, so he embarked on a four-year mission and achieved his dream. After moving to New Orleans in 1984, he spent his weekends drawing portraits at the French Market before starting to design whimsical colorful jewelry to increase his income and support his family. Oscar Donahue will be available to sell his work on the first weekend of Jazz Fest.

MARIE JOSE POUX

A native of Haiti living in New Orleans, Marie Jose Poux founded the Hope for Haitian Children foundation, where she gives aid and support to abandoned or orphaned children in Haiti, as well as support parents and families in need. Marie Jose Poux’s dedication and hard work have kept the Haitian orphanage fully functional. Ms. Poux will be available both weekends, selling Haitian artwork and straw hats.

DARRIN BUTLER – Color in Wood

Website

Born and raised in New Orleans, Darrin Butler excelled in music and the arts at his school, with wood and metal as his preferred mediums. Living in New Orleans allowed him to be well immersed in music and art, whether it’s art museums or the people of New Orleans that dress in visually stunning and creative attire. He will be selling mixed media and wood-metal wall sculptures during the first weekend of Jazz Fest.

EPAUL JULIEN

Website

A self-taught artist, Epaul Julien started his career in 1995 as a fine art photographer. After having to abandon his oversized photo gear in order to evacuate for Hurricane Katrina in 2005, he salvaged his work from the storm, and combined with his artistic vision, he created mixed media art by working with what he had. His art is influenced by New Orleans history, abstract expressionist art, and a constant supply of leftover home renovation materials overflowing in city dumpsters. He is resourceful, environmentally conscious, and with a passion for representing his city through art. Epaul Julien will be selling gold and silver leaf photography during the first weekend of Jazz Fest.

CHESTER ALLEN

Etsy Shop

Chester Allen is an award-winning, nationally renowned, sterling silver jewelry artist. With over 30 years of work under his belt, his extensive line of work includes pieces inspired by his background in music, along with work inspired by sacred geometry. His portfolio ranges from casual everyday jewelry to fine jewelry using premium material. Chester Allen will be selling his work on the second weekend of Jazz Fest.

LAMENE SENE – Sunugal la Classe

Lamine Sene first started sewing at age 15 as a job in their native country, Senegal, where they developed their passion for fashion and started designing their own clothing. They started traveling to Europe to do fashion shows, then traveling to the United States for the first time in 1989. They came to New Orleans in 1995 to vend at Jazz Fest, fell in love with the city, resulting in a move to New Orleans. They still have their shop in Senegal but set up every day at the French Market in New Orleans. Lamine Sene will be selling Senegalese clothing during the second weekend of Jazz Fest.

SHAKOR WHITE – Gallery Cayenne

Website

With a career as an artist spanning more than three decades, Shakor White does not plan on stopping anytime soon. A painter and sculptor, his work embraces both non-objective abstract and objective realism. Drawing inspiration from classic works such as the sculpture of Michelangelo, he fuses that technical inspiration with his spiritual inspiration, drawn from the culture of New Orleans. Shakor White went to art school, beginning his career as a graphic designer, before moving to New Orleans in pursuit of complete artistic freedom and to practice his art with no reservations. Shakor White will be selling 3-dimensional acrylic paintings during the second weekend of Jazz Fest.

JESSICA STRAHAN

Award-winning and self-taught, Jessica Strahan is a painter and muralist who draws her inspiration from vibrant New Orleans and the African diaspora, creating portraits that magnify African influence on New Orleans culture with a focus on cultural practices, residential architecture, culinary traditions, and the features and styles of New Orleans residents. Jessica Strahan will be selling her acrylic paintings during the second weekend of Jazz Fest.

Don’t forget to create some memories and take a tour with Airboat Adventures during your downtime.

French Quarter Fest

April 18, 2022

The next few weeks, even months, are going to be busy, as festivals are finally making a comeback after two years of lockdown. The good news is there will always be something going on over the next few months, so you will have something to celebrate no matter when you pay a visit. Come eat, drink, and dance at French Quarter Fest. New Orleans is coming back with a vengeance and she’s not going anywhere.

We are so excited, especially for the return of French Quarter Fest.

Streetcar Downtown New Orleans

French Quarter Fest is Back!

With festivals making a comeback, New Orleans’s best restaurants bring their special festival dishes to French Quarter Fest. We miss festival food, and we’re sharing our festival culinary “plan” with you. Here’s what we’re looking forward to eating this French Quarter Fest. Helpful Tip: bring a group so you can sample all these dishes!

Broussard’s Restaurant

Open in 1920, this French-Creole restaurant has withstood the test of time. Once you try their cuisine, you’ll understand why. Try out their crab cake sliders at their French Quarter Fest Jackson Square booth. Want more than the limited menu at their French Quarter Fest booth? Their stunning brick-and-mortar location is less than a ten-minute walk away from Jackson Square, featuring a beautiful courtyard for you to sit down, dine, and enjoy a beautiful day.

Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse

This French Quarter fine dining staple is making its way to Jackson Square for French Quarter Fest as well, with a small menu of offerings. Here, at Airboat Adventures, we are excited about their barbecue shrimp po’boy. There is nothing better than New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp that is contained in its own bread vessel (boat pun intended) since we all love dipping French bread into the sauce accompanying this famous shrimp plate. There’s nothing better than a New Orleans classic, contained in bread, from this critically acclaimed restaurant. If you find yourself craving more Dicke Brennan’s, check out their French Quarter brick-and-mortar location, which is just a ten-minute walk away.

Galatoire’s

This fine-dining Creole restaurant, known for its Friday lunch, is also offering a select few dishes in Jackson Square for French Quarter Fest. We are most excited about their festival exclusive fried sweet potato pie. If you’re craving more than their festival menu, head on over to their brick-and-mortar location on Bourbon Street, where you can eat in their beautiful dining room, adorned with high ceilings and slow paddle fans. A word of warning: arrive early as there are no exceptions to their famed first-come-first-served policy for their first-floor dining area.

Plum Street Snoballs

This classic Uptown neighborhood stand is coming downtown for French Quarter Fest! One of the best snowball stands in the city, they come, bringing many flavors, to help you beat the New Orleans heat. With unforgivable heat, you’re probably going to want to keep this stand on your weekend’s radar.

Crabby Jack’s

Known for their fried seafood po’boys, this off-the-beaten-path joint on Jefferson Highway has been offering no-frills Cajun fare since 2002. We are excited that they’re bringing their offerings all the way to French Quarter Fest and cannot wait to try out their shrimp and grits, which is one of the menu items they’re bringing along Downtown. Their Jefferson Highway location will be closed from April 19th to April 23rd for French Quarter Fest, so you know they’re serious about offering their best at the festival. Their other restaurant, the famous Jacques-Imo’s will also be offering their fare at Jackson Square; we are excited about the slow-roasted duck po’boy.

Parish Seafood

Crawfish season is in full swing, and Parish Seafood is camping out at New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old US Mint with crawfish platters, including all the Fixin’s, with an option to add smoked sausage. Feed your crawfish craving over at the Parish Seafood booth, that is, if you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty.

The Court of Two Sisters

Head on over to the Jax Lot for a classy twist on creole classics from this spot known for its daily jazz brunch and whimsical courtyard. We are especially excited to try their berry glazed bacon & jalapeno duck poppers. You can also head over to their nearby brick-and-mortar location and enjoy basking in their courtyard, adorned with wisteria vines.

Jack Dempsey’s

This beloved, casual Bywater eatery is bringing its famed fare to Jax Lot! Known for their huge portions of seafood, they will not disappoint at French Quarter Fest, as they are bringing their baked macaroni, fried shrimp, stuffed crab, and soft-shell crab po’boys to the French Quarter. Bring your friends and appetite as choosing is going to be tough at this booth.

Ms. Linda’s Ya-Ka-Mein

Found at many corner stores, Ya-Ka-Mein is one of the best-kept secrets that New Orleans has to offer. This soup, a blend of many cultures, is classic New Orleans comfort food, and it features meat, noodles, scallions, hard-boiled eggs, and a unique broth. Ya-Ka-Mein is a result of the blending of cultures, something a lot of New Orleans food has in common. It’s highly recommended that you find Ms. Linda, known around New Orleans as The Ya-Ka-Mein Lady, and try out this classic. Luckily, it won’t be hard to find her as she’ll be at the Jax Lot all weekend.

Beaucoup Eats

This Mid-City eatery known for their Creole Comfort Cuisine is serving up “dirty gumbo” and “voodoo mac” and we are very intrigued by this offering. Our curiosity is peeking so you will definitely find us lurking by their Kohlmeyer Lawn booth.

14 Parishes

One of our personal favorites will be posted up at the Palm Lawn. Their jerk chicken and juices are to die for. Their sweet plantains are some of the best that we’ve tried (this includes someone that otherwise dislikes plantains).

Looking for something else to do? Check out our swamp tours! Looking for a place to stay? Look no further. We hope you enjoy french quarter fest.