On October 11, 1998, artists from all disciplines and walks of life gathered in Congo Square for a historic photo shoot. The resulting poster bears images of some of the very best in the business.
Were you there? Is your family in the photo?
21st Anniversary Gathering of Artists from Great Day in New Orleans Photo Shoot
Ashé Hosts an Artist Reunion & Recognition Reception
September 9, 2019--NEW ORLEANS, LA.; On October 11, 1998, over 200 artists from all disciplines and walks of life gathered in Congo Square for a historic photo shoot. The resulting iconic poster bears images of some of the most notable New Orleans artists in the business. Many of them are now ancestors.
Ashé Cultural Arts Center is hosting a Reunion Gathering & Recognition Reception on the 21st Anniversary of the Great Day in New Orleans 1998 photo shoot. The event takes place Friday, October 11, 2019; 6:00-8:30 PM at Ashé Cultural Arts Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans. It is free and open to the public. RSVP at http://bit.ly/GreatDayNOLA1998.
The original gathering of artists was the brainchild of Carol Bebelle, cofounder and executive director of Ashé Cultural Arts Center, and artist Chuck Siler, who at the time of the photo shoot, was the former programs curator for the Louisiana State Museum. They saw fit to “document for posterity the wealth of African-American artistic talent here in New Orleans at the end of the 20th Century.” Members of the organizing 1998 Blackside Coalition went on to say, “Many of us have labored a lifetime and died without benefit of the simplest acknowledgement of our effort or our contribution to the art and culture of New Orleans and the world.”
With this gathering, Ashé hopes to reassemble members of this group of incredibly gifted artists to recognize their contributions and to afford the general public an opportunity to meet and celebrate them.
Represented on the poster are Ellis Marsalis and members of his family, Ausettua Amor-Amenkum, Ron Bechet, Cherice Harrison-Nelson, Charlie T. Johnson, Chandra McCormick, Deacon John Moore, and Kermit Ruffin, to name a few. The ancestral roll of participants includes Harold Baquet, Harold Battiste, Bruce Brice, Big Chief Donald Harrison, Dr. Morris F.X. Jeff Jr., Douglas Redd, John T. Scott, Willie Tee, and Marva Wright. And some of the artists appearing with their parents on the 1998 poster, like Jawara Simon and Isis Johnson, were just children.
Local photographers documenting activities that day included Gus Bennett, Brian Berteaux, Lloyd Dennis, Irving Johnson, Morris Jones Jr., Gerard Mouton, Bernie Saul, Greg Simms, Paul Sylvester, J.R. Thompson and Eric Waters.
This promises to be an evening of mixing, mingling, and artist discoveries. Speaking of discoveries, there were so many artists there, we’re still trying to identify some of them; and with that, we definitely need your help!
Plans for the next big “great day” photo shoot will be discussed.
For more information, call (504) 813-9008.