On view at the Ogden Museum, March 9 – April 21, 2024: “NOCCA PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE”

On view at the Ogden Museum, March 9 – April 21, 2024: “NOCCA PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE”

Composite image of work featured in NOCCA's show at the Ogden in March and April 2024

NOCCA PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE: Five Decades of Training Tomorrow’s Artists

Ogden Museum of Southern Art celebrates the 50th anniversary of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) with an exhibition of work by NOCCA alumni and faculty, on view from March 9 – April 21, 2024

Closing reception: Thursday, April 18 at 5 p.m.

  • NOCCA PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE celebrates NOCCA’s 50th year of providing world-class training for Louisiana’s young artists.
  • NOCCA PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE features painting, photography, digital arts, sculpture, ceramics, and printmaking, created by an array of NOCCA faculty and alumni.
  • Artists featured in the exhibition include: Zarouhie Abdalian, Falola “Ojo” Akinlana, Eve Axelrod, Jacksun Bein, Brooke Bourgeois, Marcus Brown, Amanda Cassingham, Charles Chaisson, Hannah Chalew, Jessica Childress, Emma Conroy, Armand de Laureal, Terry DeRoche, Courtney Egan, Amelie Gowland, Ryan Groendyk, Jackson Hill, Jaelyn Hill, Kyle Hill, Sarah House, Nikki Jackson, Louise Mouton Johnson, MaPo Kinnard, Anna Koeferl, John Caleb Kovaks, Frank Lechler, Ri’Kailah Mathieu, Samiya Payton, Mary Jane Parker, Keith Perelli, Khalil McKnight, Willa Richards, Davin Roberson, Joseph Taylor, Jade Thiraswas, Samuel Ray, Simieon Russell, Ann Schwab, Ersy Schwartz, Kant Smith, Kira Sullivan, Christine Van der Merwe, Michel Varisco, and Lorna Williams.

[New Orleans, LA] — Ogden Museum of Southern Art celebrates the 50th anniversary of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) with NOCCA PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE: Five Decades of Training Tomorrow’s Artists. This exhibition of work by the arts conservatory’s acclaimed alumni and faculty will be on view in the Museum’s Passageway Gallery from March 9 through April 21, 2024, with a closing reception on Thursday, April 18 at 5 p.m. Access to the exhibition and the reception are included with museum admission. 

Visual Arts is one of only three arts departments that welcomed NOCCA’s first students when the school opened on January 28, 1974. Since then, NOCCA has evolved to include 11 different departments, with Visual Arts extending into virtual realms in addition to more varied physical media.

Ellen Balkin, Deputy Director of Experience & Engagement at Ogden Museum of Southern Art states, “We are thrilled to be a part of this milestone exhibition. In New Orleans, the arts are vital to our community’s identity, culture, and economy. Thus, quality arts education for our young people is essential and an important part of Ogden Museum’s mission. Through the years and over multiple generations, NOCCA has been integral in fostering and developing the uniquely Southern identity that we champion at Ogden Museum. We are grateful for the exceptional arts education NOCCA has provided to so many young artists, and it is an honor to celebrate their achievements on their golden anniversary.”

NOCCA PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE includes works from Ogden Museum’s permanent collection; the private collection of the museum’s founder, Roger Ogden; works purchased by the NOCCA Foundation, NOCCA’s nonprofit partner; and pieces by current and past NOCCA faculty. The long lists of artists featured in the exhibition include NOCCA alumni like Zarouhie Abdalian, Marcus Brown, and Hannah Chalew, as well as current and past NOCCA faculty Courtney Egan, Sarah House, Mary Jane Parker, Keith Perelli, the late Ersy Schwarz, and Visual Arts chair, Michel Varisco. NOCCA PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE features a full range of 2D and 3D artwork, including painting, photography, and printmaking.

The artists included in this exhibition reflect NOCCA’s pedagogical model, which is rooted in the time-honored master-apprentice tradition. At NOCCA, professional artists pass on their lifetimes of experience to the future generations, who frequently become professional artists themselves and continue the process. Visual Arts chair Michel Varisco explains: “Students audition into the program from schools in New Orleans and from the larger region. The arts training students receive is from practicing artist-mentors who excel in their fields and who support their students’ growth technically and conceptually. NOCCA grads often return to speak with current students about their own experiences as professional artists in fields as varied as animation, illustration, architecture, design, photography, sculpture, and curatorial careers. We look forward to what’s next in this cycle of expression, transformation and growth.”

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Ogden Museum of Southern Art

Located in the vibrant Warehouse Arts District of downtown New Orleans, Louisiana since 1999 and open to the public since 2003, Ogden Museum of Southern Art invites visitors to experience and learn about the artists and culture of the American South. Ogden Museum is home to a collection of more than four thousand works, making it the largest and most comprehensive repository dedicated to Southern art in the nation, with particular strength in the genres of Self-Taught art, Regionalism, photography and contemporary art. The Museum is further recognized for its original exhibitions, public events, and educational programs, which examine the development of visual art alongside Southern traditions of music, literature, and local craft.

NOCCA and the NOCCA Foundation

The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts was founded in 1973 and opened its doors to students in 1974. Today, NOCCA is Louisiana’s arts conservatory for high school students, offering intensive instruction in Classical Music, Creative Writing, Culinary Arts, Dance, Drama, Entertainment Production Design, Jazz, Media Arts, Musical Theatre, Vocal Music, Visual Arts, and academics. Students come from across Louisiana, attending via full-day, afternoon, and after-school sessions. Admission to NOCCA is by audition, and there is no tuition.

The NOCCA Foundation is NOCCA’s nonprofit partner, providing supplemental funding for NOCCA and advocacy for its world-class program. Some of the Foundation’s more notable endeavors include: a Student Success Program that pays for students’ classroom supplies as well as fees associated with important summer training programs across the country; an Artists-in-Residence Program that brings more than 100 professional visiting artists into NOCCA’s classrooms each year; the capital campaign for NOCCA’s current home and expansion projects like Press Street Gardens; a wide array of arts classes for adults; and concert, gallery, and literary events for the community.