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April 2016

Jazz Fest, Just the Way WE Like It

By New Orleans Sojourn

I know we are probably a huge disappointment to our rabid musicaholic friends in NOLA — yes, I’m talking about you: Joy and Ed — because we are content with just the tiniest taste of Jazz Fest.

As in one day only, for just a few hours, dropping by only two or three tents, eating and drinking one or two offerings among the hundreds to choose from, and then heading home long before all of Mid City becomes one big grid-lock. Sorrynotsorry.

Watch this and tell me you think we missed out:

It is literally impossible to see it all, and because I am less and less encumbered by any FOMO (that’s “fear of missing out” for all my old school friends) and more and more content with enjoying what I’ve got, doing it our way works for us.

We arrived late afternoon on Saturday, April 23rd and went straight to the Art Tents to visit Rebecca Rebouche. She’s a busy girl, just back from Napa Valley where she was painting a family tree. (Something I would love to have her do for us one day.)

Rebecca Rebouche and Melissa "Sasi" Chambers at Jazz Fest 2016

It’s Happy Hour all day long at Jazz Fest, so with our cold white wines in hand we wandered over to the food booths and enjoyed an oyster poboy…

Oyster poboy at Jazz Fest 2016

then lingered a while at the Gospel Tent, where Glen David Andrews and the Treme Choir were raising the roof.

Glen David Andrews and the Treme Choir at Jazz Fest 2016

Our Spirits (and spirits) refreshed, we then headed over to the Gentilly Tent, stopping only to buy a present for Logan (sorry buddy, Mom and Dad went to New Orleans and all they’re bringing you back is this t-shirt),

Jazz Fest 2016 T-shirt

and to watch this band which was playing for the Second Line in the video above….

Band at Jazz Fest 2016

Van Morrison was the headliner we were interested in seeing, so we snuggled in to wait for him — along with one-bazillion other fans, under a cloud of ganja smoke and the stylings of a “Peace, Love, and Prince” adoring sky writer.

"Prince" sky writing at Jazz Fest 2016

Crowd waiting for Van Morisson Jazz Fest 2016

After “Van the Man” we stopped by for a listen to the Pocket Aces Brass Band at the Jazz & Heritage Stage,

Mike and Melissa at Jazz Fest 2016

and then (pretty proud of ourselves, as you can tell from that picture), we headed out early — along with a few other people doing it their way.

Jazz Fest 2016

Apparently ther are over one-bazillion great minds thinking alike in New Orleans. And that’s just the way WE like it.

Over the Moon

By New Orleans Sojourn

And the good juju just keeps a coming!

Mike and Melissa @ "Night Flying"

Last night was the Opening at Antieau Gallery of Chris Roberts-Antieau’s latest exhibition: Night Flying.

Chris Roberts-Antieau's "Night Flying"
“Night Flying”

I’ve mentioned Chris’s gallery and her work several times in my blog, so you will remember that in addition to her gorgeous embroideries and appliqués being among my very most favorite artwork in New Orleans, Chris is also the mama of Noah Antieau whose gallery Red Truck is one of my very most favorite galleries in New Orleans. It’s a small world, y’all.

Melissa, Lula and Mike Chambers at Antieau Gallery

Here are some pieces from Chris’s new series:

"My Brother's Boat" by Chris Roberts-Antieau
“My Brother’s Boat”

"Albino Fawn" by Chris Roberts-Antieau
“Albino Fawn”

"The Seamstress" by Chris Roberts-Antieau
“The Seamstress”

"Deer Head" by Chris Roberts-Antieau
“Deer Head”

"Ad Lucem" by Chris Roberts-Antieau
“Ad Lucem”

Though we’ve visited the Antieau Gallery many times, the Opening last night was the first time that Chris herself was there at the same time that we were. I was over the moon, and a little bit star-struck to be able to actually meet her and talk with her about her work, and my work — I gave her a copy of my Tarpestry book which she seemed to like very much.

Chris Roberts-Antieau, Melissa "Sasi" Chambers and Lula

Of course it never hurts to have Lula “Ice Breaker” Chambers with me on these adventures!

"When My Dog Was Here" by Chris Roberts-Antieau
“When My Dog Was Here”

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

By New Orleans Sojourn

It is POURING rain today.

So, Joy and I have decided not to try our luck out and about as we had planned to do, but to stick close to our respective arks instead.

Noah's Ark -- googled image

No problem. Instead of heading out on a new adventure, I guess I’ll share some photos with you from last week’s adventures.

Zack Smith --French Quarter Fest 2016

French Quarter Fest dominated our weekend.

Zack Smith, the Official FQF Photographer, took these terrific photos of several of the horn players who performed at the festival. You can see all of his FQF photos here on his blog.

Zack Smith Photography -- French Quarter Fest 2016

Zack Smith Photography -- French Quarter Fest 2016

Zack Smith Photography -- French Quarter Fest 2016

Mike’s and my favorite French Quarter Festival photo by Zack Smith is this one…

Zack Smith Photography -- French Quarter Fest 2016

which we will soon be adding to our art collection. Thank you, Zack!

Last week we were lucky to catch the tail end of the Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane exhibition of Kate Clark‘s “Mysterious Presence.”

Dana viewing Kate Clark exhibition

Kate Clark's "Choosing Her Words"
“Choosing Her Words”

Kate Clark's "Ceremony"

Kate Clark's "She Gets What She Wants"
“She Gets What She Wants”

Kate Clark's "Fortitude"

Kate Clark's "Galant"

Kate Clark's "Preoccupied"

Across the hall from the Kate Clark exhibition was the Andrea Dezso exhibition “I Wonder.”

Dezso is a multimedia artist working with embroidery, illustration, ceramics, pencil and marker drawings, and tunnel books. I absolutely relate to her approach, described in the catalog of her work as “revisiting traditional ‘female’ applied arts in an often irreverent and humorous manner.”

Andrea Dezso, Embroidery
“My Mother Claimed…” Embroidery

Andrea Dezso, Brother's Grimm illustration
“Brothers Grimm Complete First Edition” Illustration

Andrea Dezso, Embroidery
“My Mother Claimed…” Embroidery

Andrea Dezso, Brothers Grimm illustration
“Brothers Grimm Complete First Edition” Ilustration

Andrea Dezso, Ceramics
“Sketchbook Plate” Ceramics

Andrea Dezso, detail of "All the Beings"
“All the Beings” Detail of Pencil and Marker Drawing

Andrea Dezso, detail of "All the Beings"
“All the Beings” Detail of Pencil and Marker Drawing

Andrea Dezso, detail of "Krewe of Intergalactic Women Travelers Reach a Cave in Outer Space"
“Krewe of Intergalactic Women Travelers Reach a Cave in Outer Space” Tunnel Book

Melissa "Sasi" Chambers posing with Andrea Dezso's Tunnel Book
“Krewe of Intergalactic Women…” Tunnel Book

Ok rain. Go away. I’m ready to adventure another day!

It’s Always a Wild Rumpus in NOLA

By New Orleans Sojourn

I am pretty sure there is a celebration of something, of some sort going on in New Orleans every day of the year. Any holiday you can think of is celebrated to excess — often with parades which include holiday appropriate throws (carrots, along with the ubiquitous beads in the Easter parade, and cabbages on St. Patrick’s Day). As well as any number of festivals highlighting the music, the food, and the art of New Orleans and Louisiana — usually all at the same time.

It’s a year round non-stop Wild Rumpus.

Zack Smith photo from French Quarter Fest

This past weekend it was French Quarter Festival featuring a ridiculous 23 stages, 1,700 musicians, and 400 hours of live music — all for free.

There was a ton of food and drink too — not for free. That would be ridiculous!

Living only a short ferry ride away from the French Quarter made going to this year’s festival a no-brainier. We wandered all along the Riverfront and into the Quarter winding up as we so often do on Royal Street — which was packed with people enjoying the music,

Royal Street during French Quarter Fest

and the creative buskers — like the very talented painting puppet….

Sasi with Ed Moseley at FQF

We found our friend Ed (Joy’s husband) on Royal Street too. (Ed attended all four days of FQF from start to finish. That is serious dedication.)

Mike and I were more FQF fair weather friends, only going on Saturday and Sunday, which left us time to head to a less crowded part of town for dinner Saturday night at the High Hat Cafe. (Catfish for Mike, Pimento Cheese Burger for me, both with the green beans and applewood smoked bacon. Oh yeah.)

Dinner at High Hat in New Orleans

Then, on Sunday morning when we returned to the fest, we had another one of those serendipitous NOLA OMG moments.

Mike found a cell phone.

I won’t bore you with all the steps we took to determine who the phone belonged to, until we managed to find its owner (…look up Favorites…call “Dad”…find out phone belongs to Zack Smith, a photographer…find security guard to help us find the Headquarters tent…yada yada yada) — but once we did find Zack, and return his phone, and he realized he hadn’t just left it in the Headquarters tent to begin with, but that we had found it and were returning it to him he gave us his card with a big smile and said “Email me, I owe you!”

Zack doesn’t owe us a thing — though we are hoping he’ll come to Mike’s Opening in May — because…and this is the part I love…Zach Smith is not just a photographer, he’s the Official Photographer for French Quarter Fest (he took the photo at the very top of this post) and, if you visit his website you will see that he has a project called “My Louisiana Muse” featuring artists of many stripes. He’s also taken some wonderful portraits of the local talent, including one of my favorites who you will remember from last year, Rebecca Rebouche.

Portrait of Rebecca Rebouche by Zack Smith

I love these constant reminders of how small this world really is, and especially of how closely we are all connected.

Kate Clark's "She Gets What She Wants"  with Melissa "Sasi" Chambers
(That’s me with Kate Clark’s “She Gets What She Wants.”)

Let the Wild Rumpus continue!

And Another Week Down…

By New Orleans Sojourn

Time flies. Even when you’re not “having fun.” Which is not to say we are NOT having fun, we are, but we are also just living “normal” life, which believe it or not is about work, and laundry, and “making groceries,” even in New Orleans where your work schedule may vary.

Melissa Chambers by the Daigle Grocery hours sign

I do love having the luxury of two months here though because we don’t feel like we’re missing out on anything when we have days like Friday which we spent keeping cosy and dry in our little hideaway.


The day before the deluge I’d taken the ferry across the Mississippi to the foot of canal:

Riding the ferry to the foot of canal

and hung out with Joy — having “True Blood” juice at the Canal Street Bistro:

True Blood juice at Canal St. Bistro

and coffee at Monkey Monkey Coffee & Tea.

Painting at Monkey Monkey Coffee & Tea in New Orleans

The sun came out again for the weekend, just in time for First Saturday. First Saturdays in New Orleans are like First Thursdays in Boise, with art walks in all the gallery districts and many openings of new exhibitions. (Well, Boise X 1,000.)

We spent our evening in the Warehouse District on Julia St., and as the storm of synchronicity which keeps raining down on me would have it, Karen Bubb and Rachel Reichart (of Boise City Department of Arts & History fame) were in town too. So we visited the galleries together.

Karen Bubb and Melissa "Sasi" Chambers together in New Orleans

Here’s a little of what we saw at the Arthur Roger Gallery:

Viewing art at Arthur Roger Gallery

Mike viewing a Chihuly @ Arthur Roger

Art at Arthur Roger

But my favorites were the amazing embroidered portraits “Friends & Neighbors” by Gina Phillips at the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery:

Melissa Chambers talking to model for embroidered artwork behind her

Artwork and model at Jonathan Ferrara gallery

Portrait model at <a href=

It would seem that little dogs showing up with their people at art galleries and openings, and even in the artwork itself is the new thang round here.


Are you ready for your close-up?

Lula, ready for her close-up