The Where Y’Art Works Gallery at 1901 Royal St. is hosting an art exhibit and celebration that promotes public health and Louisiana culture on Friday, July 29 from 4-8 p.m.
The event is part of the state health department’s ongoing “Bring Back Louisiana” campaign, a COVID-19 vaccination and recovery initiative. It also supports artists across the state, who have suffered repeated blows over the past two and a half years amid shutdowns and economic fallout.
The Louisiana Department of Health has commissioned nine artists – representing the state’s nine public health regions.
Many works of art are light-hearted, for example, a painting of an anthropomorphic nutria waving a “Sleeves Up” flag. Others depict musical instruments, camellia flowers, crayfish, and other iconography associated with the state.
Healthcare workers will be on hand to provide COVID-19 vaccines, BMI and blood pressure tests, as well as nutrition information and cancer awareness. Vaccines and boosters will be available for everyone from 12 years old.
Commissioned artists who will be in attendance include Jessica Strahan, Antoine Mitchell, Mike Slage, Vergie Banks Morgan Allain, Leah Morace, Connie Stephens-Eaton, Vitus Shell and Adam Sambola.
Artists Cat Todd and Collin Ferguson founded Where Y’Art Works (formerly known as Just Where Y’Art) as an online collective in 2013 to enable emerging and established New Orleans artists to connect with clients and showcase their work.
Todd previously told Gambit it’s been a particularly useful tool for art lovers and creatives during the pandemic shutdowns, and it now features and sells work by more than 150 local artists. Todd and Ferguson have also helped the artist community find work by lending their expertise to boutique hotels and hospitals in need of decor.
“We need art in times of crisis to communicate, inspire and bring people and ideas together,” Todd said in a press release.